Interbike 2013: Specialized SWAT under-bibs

by Marc Basiliere 11

Jessica Stein hunts down some smugglers’ undies.

Is that a bottle under your shirt?
Is that a bottle under your shirt?

Much as it sometimes seems that SRAM is waging a war against front shifting (Hammerschmidt, doubles, XX1…), it now seems like Specialized is out to do away with the hydration pack.  And who can blame them?  For an hour or two, 3L of water water as well as everything from the last backcountry epic are probably overkill.  With their new SWAT-compatible frames and accessories, Specialized have been secreting tools and spares away on their ’14 bikes: chain tools in the steerer, multi tools in shock mounts, and tubes in bottle cages.  But what about everything else?

Hangs over baggies' waistband
Hangs over baggies’ waistband

Meant to be worn under baggies, these Mountain Bib Liner Shorts caught our eye by providing an impressive amount of on-body storage.  The three jersey-style pockets are only attached for about half their height, allowing their contents to sit over baggy shorts’ waist bands.  More storage is also available at the wearer’s thigh- a great place to keep snacks edible on cool days.

Even if they’re not for everyone, in a year when most products were incremental improvements over last year’s model, the willingness of a large company to take someone’s hey- I don’t like wearing a pack thought to its logical conclusion is more than welcome.  And the US$88 suggested retail pricing isn’t half bad, either.

www.specialized.com

Comments (11)

  1. What exactly was the problem this solves?

  2. It lets you carry a tube/CO2 and wallet in your bibshorts pockets while still being able to wear baggier or more casual-looking jerseys on top. Giro has exactly the same idea with its New Road range. No rear-pocketed jerseys needed.

  3. Its that so your drink and other kit can get caked in the mud from your backwheel?

  4. “Its that so your drink and other kit can get caked in the mud from your backwheel?”

    I wouldn’t have thought so if not if you’re wearing a jersey as well, no.

  5. Mud? Have you seen Morgan Hill, where Specialized is based? 🙂
    http://pics4.city-data.com/cpicc/cfiles29492.jpg

  6. It’d make getting a drink on flat sections of the ride a bit of a pain in the arse. The hydro-pack works because you don’t have to stop to get a drink and you don’t need to risk losing caged bottles over rough stuff. You’ve still got stuff in pockets on your back, only this time it’s in your shorts not your jersey. Solution in search of problem.

  7. “Specialized have been secreting tools and spares away on their ’14 bikes: chain tools in the steerer, multi tools in shock mounts, and tubes in bottle cages” — sounds like Clarks Commandos about 35 years later..

  8. Atlaz,

    I think of the bottle here as more of a backup: drink from the cage on the bike until empty, then swap. I can’t see fishing around under my jersey while riding the trail either.

    Marc B

  9. First thought was “hmmm, not the daftest idea in the world”, then realised that lot all sits under your Jersey. You’ll look as daft as if you wore a bum bag. And at least with one of them you can turn it round to see what you’re rummaging for. Ahm oot.

  10. That’s a lot of stuff to dig into your soft bits when you crash…

  11. I like the thigh loops. Should put one or two of roadie shorts too. I often tuck a gel wrapper or route directions up inside by shorts leg.

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