Review: Planet X Clubman Light Bib Shorts
Planet X have a well-deserved reputation for providing great quality kit at a low price point, especially with their own brand gear.
The Clubman Light bib shorts are no exception.
Built around Planet X’s Pro Line chamois pad the Clubman range is designed to be more comfortable than the Pro Line range, which is primarily designed for racing performance.
Clubman gear is for the leisure cyclist, the commuter, the fair weather cyclist who wants to look good and be comfortable on the bike but not have the ‘race ready’ look.
Having said that, the Clubman Light bib shorts are still made with a race cut style and their outward appearance is very similar to the Pro Line 365 shorts we reviewed a while back, but there are some subtle differences that enhance comfort.
The shorts have a reflective strip on the rear of each leg along with a Planet X rubber badge on the lower back, which all aids visibility even though they only come in black. ‘Planet X’ is also emblazoned on the leg grip, which is much shorter than the Pro Line shorts and is more comfortable for casual riding when you’re not in the drops often.
The Clubman Light shorts come with Planet X’s extra light mesh which they say gives ‘unparalleled breathability beneath your jersey’. The mesh upper is really light and is really comfortable, but the cross over along the top of the back straps feels odd at first and we found it a tad awkward at times when making adjustments during the ride.
The mesh did keep us extremely cool though and the lightness of the fabric meant that few adjustments were necessary, at times it’s easy to forget you’re actually wearing bib shorts and not regular shorts.
The clothing tag is awkwardly situated at the top of the back straps, right at the cross over point. This was uncomfortable and rubbed a little, especially on big efforts out of the saddle when you’re dancing on the pedals.
The ultra-stretchy fabric that the shorts are made from – 82% polyester 18% elastane – was close fitting and very comfortable, requiring little adjustment. The material wasn’t too tight next to the skin and didn’t feel loose making for a comfortable riding position in the drops and on the hoods.
The Pro Line pad performed exceptionally well, fitting close and providing a comfortable siting position both on the rivet and sat up in the saddle. There were no pinching, chaffing or problems with discomfort on our 30 mile test ride of these shorts and we got the impression it would perform just as well doing 60, 90 or 120 miles.
The Clubman Light bib shorts are definitely a summer short, the super light mesh and fabric not providing any warmth or insulation with a primary goal to provide a comfortable, cool ride which they do with ease. At £19.99 these shorts are a bargain and should be part of any serious roadie’s wardrobe, whether you’re a racer or a casual rider.
+ Pro Line chamois pad
+ Extremely comfortable ultra-stretchy fabric
+ Light mesh provides excellent breathability and comfort
– Cross over of mesh back straps uncomfortable at times
– Clothing tag in mesh causes chaffing
Overall we give the Planet X Clubman Light Bib Shorts 9/10