It's rare that you step into cycling shorts and sigh because they are so comfortable. The RS Pro Bib is, in this respect, a rare bird. Its high-performance fabric blend is not only wicking and breathable but soft against the skin. The Formula FX Chamois offers more than enough protection for your longest long ride without adding unnecessary bulk. Careful construction conceals the chamois panel from behind, making the short look as tailored and sleek as possible. The long length adds extra protection from wind, sun, or rain without grabbing or inhibiting a rider's comfort level.
Shorts testing on long road climbs. With high performance and quality fabric, a multi-panel design, and a chamois calibrated for comfort, this bib is built to take you on serious adventures from the saddle.
Comfort & Fit
As a part of SUGOi's "RS" (or, Racing Systems) series, the RS Pro is designed with riders logging long, hard hours in mind, and it shows. The multi-panel short offers a fit that is snug enough to be supportive, but comfortable enough to keep you in these bibs for hours and hours. But, the fit of these shorts extends beyond comfort to the short's functionality.
In fact, these SUGOi bibs offered our testers a unique challenge: according to Sugoi's website, the construction of the upper bib enables riders to stop "…screening nature's calls: with SUGOi's Pit Stop technology, simply pull down your bib, pulling on the ultra-stretchy straps, and you'll be good to go."
Huh. Well, that's an interesting idea, we thought.
After a few rounds of testing, we are happy to report that the RS Pro do not disappoint. With straps like Gumby's arms, the bibs are stretchy enough to get the job done, and we are able to keep ourselves otherwise clothed the entire time.
Padding & Protection
The Formula FX Chamois provides multi-layer protection that lasts for long ride after long ride. SUGOi includes additional "Poron" foam cushioning under the sit bones as well as high-density dampening pads to keep road chatter at bay while the mid and outer sections of chamois are less aggressive and provide forward ventilation.
The RS Pro Bib feels like a more carefully calibrated chamois: it's not just more cushion, it's thicker where you need it, and less where you don't. This enables the chamois to protect sensitive areas while, at the same time, decreasing the build-up of moisture and sweat that can lead to chafing and saddle sores. The longer leg length adds extra sun protection for the upper thighs.
With its multi-fabric construction and "Ultra Aero fabric on outer thighs for maximum aero efficiency," SUGOi takes the cycling bib and raises it to a new level of performance. The fabric offers extreme breathability paired with a softness that rivals the Louis Garneau Fit Sensor 7.5. Yet, SUGOi takes the softness a step further and makes it not only soft but light and breathable.
Testers took this bib to high elevations, to desert expanses, and everything in between and found that the bib performs with excellence in each environment. The dimpled fabric on the outer thighs adds aerodynamics, while the extra cushion in the chamois makes long days in the saddle not only bearable but enjoyable.
In our soak-test, the SUGOi performed reasonably well. While it didn't dry quite as fast as other shorts, it was in the top 50% of all shorts in the review. On the bike, the short wicks sweat like nobody's business and kept riders high and dry even on the hottest days.
There's not a single hole in the armor of the RS Pro Bib. Aside from the stray thread here and there, this bib withstood multiple trips through the wash, soak-tests, and rides without even a nod to the miles.
The reinforced seams, carefully stitched chamois, and high-quality fabric ensure that this bib will last for more than just one season. If, however, disaster strikes and a seam fails, SUGOi offers a one-year window in which to replace your short.
In our 2.5-month testing period, we did see some wear on the RS Pro Bib: the inner size label began to peel and a few threads came loose on the seams. Other than these minor details, the bibs appear - and perform - like new.
While it's hard to argue with basic black, the RS Pro Bib makes it especially difficult. The 2018 version of this bib has small color accents at the bottom o the thighs, but it still doesn't represent a ton of personality. The large number of panels and well-thought-out design makes this an attractive bib that will go with just about everything.
The leg openings feature silicone-infused Aeroband leg grippers that lock the short in place without squeezing the thighs. Another bonus is SUGOI's "Invisa Chamois" that eliminates stitch lines around the edges of the chamois for a flattering (flat) silhouette — a HUGE upgrade, in our opinion, from other cycling shorts, period. This short may have a chamois, but why does the rest of the world need to know it's there?
As our Editors' Choice winner, the RS Pro Bib outperformed all other shorts and bibs included in this review. Our testers are confident that this bib will take you wherever the bike can go.
While most cycling shorts shine at one type of activity more than others (an hour ride, a criterium race, a century) the RS Pro Bib is an all-around champion that excels for everything from a 20-miler to a double century. Granted, there are shorts that can handle the 20-miler, and if that is all you are interested in, you may not want to spend the extra dollars for this high-performance bib. The Canari Pro Gel and the REI Co-Op 9" Short can handle those low distances just fine and save you money.
For maximum comfort and breathability, however, we challenge anyone to find a better product than the RS Pro Bib. Even if you don't like bibs, we encourage you to give these a try - the ultra-stretchy shoulder straps don't "tug," and you'll hardly notice they are there.
If, however, you really want something other than basic black, check out the Shebeest Petunia Bib - but be prepared to miss the comfort and protection that we found to be unique to the SUGOi RS Pro Bib.
While $170 is one of the more expensive price tags in this review roster, we nonetheless believe the expense is worth it. It is one of the highest scoring pieces across every review metric and offered our testers a comfortable ride, no matter the conditions: rain, sun, mountain climb or long, deserted valley: the only "fault" with the bibs are the price, and even then, we think they are totally worth it.
The Castelli Free Aero Short - the other "expensive" cycling short - did not perform quite as well in its the performance of its chamois, overall comfort, or in its ability to last for more than just one season.
If, however, the cost is simply too much, we recommend checking out the Louis Garneau Fit Sensor 7.5, which received our Best Buy Award. At $80, Louis Garneau dishes out high comfort that may get you just as far down the road as the RS Pro Bib…maybe.
The RS Pro Bib offers exceptional performance for all sorts of conditions on the bike - from long, outdoor rides to hard, indoor training sessions.
We can't get enough of the SUGOi RS Pro Bib, which consistently scored high across all our review metrics. With such a high-performance garment, how could we not grant it our Editors' Choice Award? Even if you aren't a fan of bibs, we still recommend that you give the SUGOi a try. Because of its tailored panels, quality fabric, discrete yet very effective chamois, and super-stretchy straps that make pit stops easy-peezy - you might just add these to your quiver of cycling gear.