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Alé Green Road Lady bib shorts review

Pros

Price as reviewed:

£145

The desire to own nice shiny bike things can often conflict with people’s want to reduce their eco-footprint, so getting hold of a pair of Alé Green Road Lady bib shorts which promise to meet both needs is a very happy new kit day indeed.

The brand trialled the Green Road range of cycling kit last year when the Alé-Cipollini team wore it at the 2019 Giro Rosa. Generally considered the hardest stage race in the Women’s UCI calendar, it’s safe to say that the Alé Green Road Lady bib shorts got a pretty thorough road test.

The biggest must know for the ale Green Road Lady bib shorts is that a significant percentage of the fabric used is Global Recycled Standard (GRS) certified. The Polyamide and Elastane mix shorts use a Denali Green fabric – its properties include high elasticity and good muscular compression.

There’s plenty of ventilation at the rear in the form of mesh panels on the legs and between straps

This is teamed with a laser cut finish Green Elastic leg gripper, which, measuring eight centimetres and almost entirely silicone backed, means that the shorts really do fit like a second skin. The only section that isn’t super sticky is a three centimetre mesh panel, that stretches 17 centimetres up the back of the leg to give an element of breathability to the otherwise dense fabric. Not wanting to criticise the fabric density – far from it – the tight weave is what gives the Alé Green Road Lady bib shorts their UPF50+ rating, muscle compression properties and if nothing else, that pure back colour even when stretched.

On top, the bib straps are made in Kimball Green, a mesh-like fabric with a high elasticity and endurance characteristics. It’s one of my favourite bib designed and construction methods: keeping it simple with wide over the shoulder straps. They can be slightly warmer and heavier than other systems, but the mesh panels and the sides and in-between the straps at the back keep them securely in place without constriction of movement. The construction as a whole weighs a mere 162g (for a size small) so they’re still exceptionally light.

There are four colour ways in total, all of which are pretty reserved for Alé.

Alé has fitted bib shorts with an Alé Green 4WH F pad, which uses a recycled green Lycra on the top layer. The 12mm foam is more basic than the complexity of the pad in shorts such as the Santini Legend pair, but it’s still shaped for women specifically, and perforated by 3mm holes to assist breathability,. I found it perfectly adequate.

While I’m significantly well below the standard of Giro Rosa competing these days (was I ever?) I still feel capable of saying top marks to Alé for creating such a performance focused pair of shorts while still meeting my need to be environmentally friendly. In fact, once on, the Alé Green Road Lady bib shorts fabric’s origin is swiftly forgotten, as other than the warm fluffy internal feeling of doing something good, there are zero compromises to be found on its inclusion.

Even the price at £145 doesn’t feel particularly elevated for this level of performance short, which only leaves the question, why isn’t all cycling kit made using recycled fabric?

Meeting the need for performance kit, while trying to keep a low environmental footprint can feel like a constant conflict, often ending up in a design compromise or wallet busting prices. The women’s specific Alé Green Road Lady bib shorts prove that you really can have the best of all worlds, raising the bar for all cycle wear. 

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This content was originally published here.

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