Petrichor Projects is the brainchild of Claire Goodman, a Fashion Designer and mountain biker with a background in sportswear and technical clothing for some very well known brands. The PP002 Bib Shorts are designed for women, by a woman with a host of experience on a bike and a good idea of exactly what we need in a bib short. Innovation where it’s needed built with fabrics you can’t resist.
- Can pull them down for toilet stops
- Magnetic closure with tab to locate the strap works even with loads of top layers on
- The fabric is soft with the right amount of elasticity
- Recycled materials, and even the post & packaging is eco-friendly
- If these work for you, all your other bibs will become redundant
- It takes me a moment to figure out where the straps go when putting them on
The Petrichor Projects PP002 Bib Shorts are made from recycled materials. 65% recycled Polyamide (ECONYL®), 35% recycled Elastane. The ECONYL® regenerated Nylon with the added elastane results in a matte finish fabric with just the right amount of ‘give’. Prior to these bib shorts it hadn’t really occurred to me that to find a good fit in bib shorts is highly dependent on the material as opposed to the cut. Stupid, I know, but it took me finding a great set of bibs to realise just how important the elasticity is.
The pad is wide at the back where your sit bones need support, and it tapers off to be nothing but perforated and breathable at the very front. The mid section has the same dense foam at the sit bones but in a narrow channel that thins out at the sides, preventing pressure or rub as you pedal.
The straps are light and flexible, crossed over at the back to allow for the magnetic clasp feature. The clasp is so low profile that it has no impact on the fit or feel of the bibs, yet it’s secure and really easy to reattach thanks to magnets and the extra tab that helps you pull the strap down.
Fit and Function
The bibs offer the right amount of support without being suffocating or creating many women’s issue of sausage legs. We naturally have a higher percentage of body fat, and in my case most of it is on my thighs, so I rarely feel comfortable in bib shorts. These are a very good balance of stretch and security. The rubber grip strip at the bottom of the shorts is formed of tiny dots as opposed to thick sections of rubber, which I have found to be really comfortable and not cause irritation after hours of sweating.
The straps initially feel quite flimsy, but when worn that flimsiness translates to uninvasive and comfortable, with no pressure or need to stretch them around and adjust them. They are more like elasticated ribbon than a strap. Using the magnetic clasp is simple, even when I have a bad back I can reattach it because you don’t need to be a contortionist thanks to the pull tab. It can be secured without looking, as it’s not over-complicated, it is simply two magnets.
The seams and trim are elasticated enough for the shorts to be pulled down for a quick loo stop, yet still have a uniform fit with no baggy areas. I have chunky thighs, wide hips and a narrow waist, so I usually have to sacrifice an area of comfort in order for the rest of a bib to fit, but these feel tailor made.
Long Term Comfort?
My first ride in the Petrichor Projects PP002 was the Frontier300, a 300km coast-to-coast in Scotland. I took a chance on wearing the new bibs simply because I wanted to be able to wee without getting undressed, but they proved to be a great choice as I had zero saddle discomfort despite using my stiffer saddle (unintentional packing error).
Most recently, I have done a two week bikepacking trip across the French and Italian Alps with a high percentage of off-road terrain on a gravel bike. So basically, the most uncomfortable riding experience available. Going up and over every Col along the way meant a lot of time in the saddle, and it took 10 days for me to finally feel any sort of discomfort and (apologies for being so crude) that was down to how much sweating I was doing. In 30+ degree heat, 8 hour days are going to make your skin sting a bit. That said, I didn’t get a single saddle sore, just some raw feeling skin that recovered each night.
I realise bib shorts are a very personal preference, but the fact that every aspect of these shorts is game-changingly good for me makes me think they really are the innovation we women needed. Soft to the touch, a simple looking black short with no garish branding, easy to wee in, comfortable in every direction, and the pad appears to stand up to every challenge I’ve given it. Since receiving these bibs I haven’t considered wearing any of my others.
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