We have said it before and will say it again, bibs are a personal preference. Between muscle and body structure, riding style, bike fit and even the saddle you use, the bib that you choose may not be the bib your friends wear, or the most popular or expensive bib available. Personally, finding a bib that works for bikepacking is tough, as most bibs are not developed for all day riding, especially for many days in a row. While I wish I could test all the bibs in the world, it’s just impossible. Over the course of the past few years, I have been using a bib that was recently discontinued by Gore. This has been a disappointment because the Alp-X 2.0 Bibtights Short was the perfect fit for me, especially in the quality of chamois, and the way the bib remains tight day after day. While I continue to wear those for longer races, I have moved on to the ALP-X PRO 2in1 Shorts for my day rides and shorter bikepack trips.The ALP-X PRO 2in1 Shorts+-04767 The ALP-X PRO 2in1 Shorts are a mesh bib intended to be slim fit, while giving off a casual look. I knew I was a men’s medium in Gore shorts so that is what I went with. At 5’10” the fit is comfortable, not too loose but not too tight. While that is all well and good, for bikepacking, I do like a bib tight that fits a bit more snug, as they tend to stretch out over time. The fit is slightly larger than their regular bib shorts, but only by a little, certainly not enough to require a size change. While the bib may look complicated, it’s very simple. My first concern was the baggy portion of the shorts. I was worried about chafing especially with the shorts being stitched in, and the seam that went right down the middle of the chamois, but there were no issues with this. The baggy portion stayed in place near the chamois, and with the slim cut and thin mesh material, I hardly noticed the shorts. Only on the rarest of occasions while descending would the elastic shorts get snagged on the saddle. While climbing or seated I did notice the shorts riding up near the lower-thigh causing them to stretch around the mid-thigh. I wouldn’t say this was a big issue for me, but from time to time I would have to pull them down from my thigh to let them hang freely again. The mesh shoulder straps and back are nice and light, allowing for plenty of breathability and fast drying. The mesh back also comes with a little pocket for small items, however, I never thought the pocket was in a great place to reach and it’s functionality made me question why it was there in the first place. Like I mentioned above, the bib felt loose compared to their other medium bibs, and I think a big reason was the elastic shoulder straps. They were just not as tight as other models in the Gore lineup. While I think this should be addressed, I had zero issues with shoulder rub, or chaffing from the straps, which is something I do experience with extremely tight fitting shoulder straps on bibs. The straps also remained tight enough to keep the tight and chamois in place, at least for day use or overnighters, for more extended trips the chamois would shift around, but that was caused by the tight loosening over time.
The ALP-X PRO 2in1 Shorts
The red elastic piece along the Alp-X 2.0 Bibtights Short straps seemed to make the straps a bit more snug, compared to the The ALP-X PRO 2in1 Shorts straps.
The chamois was the biggest question mark, mainly because I thought they would copy the chamois from my beloved Alp-X 2.0 Bibtights Short. That was not the case. It has a completely different design and feel. I have not had any issues with the bib creating any premature chafing, or rubbing, but after a few days of riding, the chamois no longer held the loft which would accelerate chafing over a long period of time. A lot of this was due to the tight loosening or riding up, If they could add some sticky membrane towards the lower part of the tight, this may be prevented. That being said, I have had no issues on day rides up to 5 hours, and I prefer the casual look over the full-on spandex look any day of the week. In the end the chamois are high on my list, especially when I take them off for the night and let them settle and dry. They just might not cut it for someone looking to race the Tour Divide or similar events.
Notice the difference in Chamois. Left: older Alp-X. Right: The ALP-X PRO 2in1 Shorts+
Notice the difference in Chamois. Left: Alp-X 2.0 Bibtights Short. Right: The ALP-X PRO 2in1 Shorts+. The older Alp-X has a thicker chamois that is more firm, something that is nice over the course of an extended trip.
The ALP-X PRO 2in1 Shorts+-0035
The Grippy Membrane on the Alp-X 2.0 Bibtights Short would go a long way if installed on the ALP-X PRO 2in1 Shorts.
The ALP-X PRO 2in1 Shorts+-04794 That leads me to the look. The ALP-X PRO 2in1 Shorts look great on and off the bike, and if you are someone that doesn’t like to wear tights because of the look, but want the same function and feel, these are great option. Walking into a convenient store with these on or going to a restaurant didn’t make me question twice how I looked. They are still slim, and rather short with the baggy portion sitting above the knee, but they are a much more comfortable and casual option when compared to standard bibs.The ALP-X PRO 2in1 Shorts+-04787 Overall the ALP-X PRO 2in1 Shorts are a great, casual choice for your weekend bikepacking trips or simple day rides. The extremely technical bib drys very quickly and will keep you slightly warmer when the elements are present. I wouldn’t be opposed if Gore brought back their older chamois, or at least implemented some of the features from the discontinued Alp-X 2.0 Bibtights to the ALP-X PRO 2in1. The 2 in 1 bib comes in two colors, black and red, and cost $200. If you are not into bibs, Gore has a lot of options as far a regular shorts similar to the Alp-X PRO 2in1. I suggest you head to your local Gore dealer or check them out on their website at GoreApparel.comThe ALP-X PRO 2in1 Shorts+-04763

3 Comments

  1. How do you think these would do on a road bike?
    Thanks

    • From other reviews I’ve read people love them for road riding as well – you just can expect a few funny faces coming your way if you give up the full spandex look..

  2. Pingback: 2016 Bikepacker Gift Guide - Bikepacker

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