Back when we first threw a leg over the new Anthem 29, Giant’s Apparel Marketing guru Jeff Schneider emphatically set us up with Giant’s new Elevate Bib Shorts. While super high end – and somewhat pricey apparel might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Giant brand, perhaps it should be…Giant has recently teamed up with Etxeondo, an apparel manufacturer from the Basque Region of Spain. They currently manufacture kits for Team Sunweb as well as many other World Tour teams. Anyhow, let’s see how this collaborative effort has worked out.
• Durable soft-feel fabric provides the perfect amount of compression and breathability
• Inside-Out bib strap construction keeps seams away from the rider’s skin
• Soft, flexible shoulder straps provide excellent comfort and suppleness
• Price: $210
Before we even got into theElevate Bibs, we could tell they were well thought out and made from high end materials. The laser cut straps seemed minimalist, but still wide enough that they wouldn’t dig in at the shoulders.
The straps are connected between the shoulder blades to keep them in line nicely, and the “inside out” layup means that the seams and their stitching all stays away from your skin.
Upon sliding into the bibs we were seriously impressed by the material of the shorts – they’re made with a fabric unlike anything we’ve ever felt in any other shorts or bibs. They almost have a memory of sorts…the compression is there, but it feels somewhat passive and NOT rubbery. The leg grippers were also seemed surprisingly un-intrusive.
On the Trail
Right out of the gate, our tester got along with the chamois as it didn’t bunch up or have any excessive bulk. Its shape and density provided just enough padding in the right areas and the Elevate bibs weren’t the type to require constant “adjusting”…
Also down low, the fit and compression on offer from the miracle material used in the legs was truly heavenly. The leg grippers prevented unnecessary slippage but at the same time, never dug in or left irritating marks on our tester either.
Up top, the straps seemed odd at first – when you first put the bibs on, because they are so wide it’s best to sort them out and lay them flat before throwing your jersey on. Once you do that, you won’t notice them for the entire duration of the ride as they don’t budge and they certainly don’t irritate. The laser cut shape combined with a lack of seams, stitching and threads on your skin deliver exceptional levels of comfort with absolutely zero irritation. The fit and materials of the straps are fantastic, they have loads of elasticity in them and in some parts below your chest, they actually hover over your skin.
Although our test rider admittedly isn’t a road or XC guy who’s constantly trying tons of bibs, he’s ridden a handful in a broad price range from some big brands and the Giant Elevate bib is the best he’s tried to date. Nothing can ruin a big day out like a crappy chamois, regardless of whether you’re wearing shorts or bibs. Speaking of shorts, to be quite frank, because the top half is so well designed, these almost feel like you’re just wearing shorts…only better. Last but not least, as we’ve been reaching for these and avoiding everything else in our closet, they’ve been ridden in more and washed more, but have held up incredibly well over the last 5-6 months. All in all, these well thought out bibs are well worth the price. Two thumbs way up.
**This article has been updated for clarity**
-When we first received the bibs, they were dubbed the “Signature” bib. Giant has added them to their “Elevate” apparel line.