Your Review – DhB Bib Shorts

‘Budget’ ‘cheap’ ‘low end’ these are words which don’t exactly inspire the imagination. They often mean a bit crap, throw away and useless. However, DhB has found itself in these brackets and has got a bit of a bad rep because of it.   

 It’s been a bit of a mute conversation over the past couple of years. The thought process has generally been ‘if you want to be taken seriously out on the bike, you’ve got to pay for the top dollar brands.’ It’s easy to fall in to that mind set with the likes of Rapha offering beautiful kit which performs amazingly well but is super pricey. Castelli offer glorious Italian style and have racing pedigree coursing through their stitching, again this is too pricey for some. What about the start out cyclist, the one who wants to be involved with lycra but doesn’t want to spend all their money on bike kit. That is where DhB have come in with this years Blok kit. 

  • How does it fit? 

A few years ago you could label them a bit crap, they were saggy around the chamois and uncomfortable for long rides. They just didn’t offer the padding. Now though, with the new Blok kit this year, DhB has certainly laid a few demons to rest with good looking, snug fitting, functional kit.

After a couple of rides in the kit, one long one short, I have to say, I’m impressed. 

I’ve got an old pair of DhB shorts and after I bought a pair of Castelli shorts I realised what fit was, the old DhB kit had a saggy chamois and the leg grips didn’t grip, they also became wrinkly and ill fitting. Now if you were to blindfold me and put that pair of Castelli shorts and these new DhB Blok shorts, I don’t know if I’d know the difference – until of course, it came to the ride but cycling blindfolded is dangerous and not advised.  

The leg grips on these are just right
 The over the shoulder straps don’t tug on the shorts making them ride up, nor are they flapping loose. They offer a really good balance of flex and support. 

My only slight niggle on the fit is the fitting around the waist, I’m not exactly tubby with a 31″ waist but I did feel this was where the bub shorts were just a bit tight. 

  • Comfy Chamois? 

Yeah – it is actually, especially for the shorter rides, for a 15 mile commute these things are ideal!  

Gone is the saggy chamois
 However, towards the end of the 15 miles and going a bit further, I did experience my first ever need for chamois cream. I could feel the chamois starting to rub, on the backside of the chamois… To put it bluntly, the chamois was starting to sneak in to my crack, near the top.  

Theres that long chamois
 That’s one thing I did think about the chamois, it’s long. It came up almost near my belly button and went all the way back. 

  • Is the kit comfy? 

The fabric is a silky, stretchy, lovely bit of lycra. Very breathable and wicks away sweat amazingly well. At no point in my riding did I feel cold because the kit was sopping wet and didn’t dry quick enough. I always felt a good comfy temperature though out.  

The mesh on the back is breathable and sweat wicking
 Now – I don’t shave my legs, so I know that the leg grip on shorts can get very clingy and pull. Not these fellas though, they stayed right where they were needed, not any pulling not discomfort on that part. I was well impressed. 

  • Would I buy a pair?

Absolutely, without a second thought. DhB have played a blinder here, no longer is their kit unfashionable, saggy, ill fitting and cheap. It looks great, fits nicely and is very reasonably priced. 

If you’re looking for some kit to go to spin classes in, commute to work in or just to get yourself in to cycling, get yourself some of this kit. It’s durable, breathable and exceedingly handy! 

The shorts cost £50 from wiggle and can be bought by clicking this link, here

I really do recommend them for the first time rider, you won’t get a better pair for a better price. 

  • Final thought

Cycling really needs to shake off this whole “I can’t take you seriously you’re in cheap clothes” mentality. It’s not that elitist. You can ride a bike when you’re stone broke and you can ride a bike if you’ve got more money that Bernie Ecclestone. 

If you see someone out in DhB kit, you better not be looking down on them because you’ll be gutted when they go flying past you. 

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Track World Championships

This week I was lucky enough to be working with the UCI at the Track World Championships. Lucky boy, eh?

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The opening ceremony.

I was there to film all the on track action so that the judges could play back any incident they wanted. No pressure then with Rio, looming a few months away and qualification spots up for grabs! It was great fun and an awesome experience, having an access all areas pass was as good as it sounds and even being in the same computer controlled conditions as the athletes was a privilege.

So, what is there to tell you from the track worlds? Well, Team GB don’t warm up the same as anyone else, they have these spaceman type orange trousers too, which look weird. Sir Bradley Wiggins is loved by almost everyone and their dog and the Dutch? Well the Dutch possibly have the coolest bikes. I said coolest, not best looking – I’ll come to that later.

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Team GB Women on the turbos warming up pre race down under cover away from prying eyes.

The British passion for success in the velodrome comes in two forms. 99% of people who go to track events really knows what’s going on and no one really knows the full rules but my god, do they love to see a British athlete going for it and the British fans sure do love a come back. None so much as when Filipino Ganna became the first Italian man to win the individual pursuit at the World Championships since Francesco Moser in 1976. Ganna came from almost half a second down to win by almost a second, the crowd loved it and the noise, well the only time I heard them louder was when Team GB were going against the Aussies for Gold in the Mens Team Pursuit. The crowd was so loud is became a ringing in your ear, I’ve never heard anything like it. Unbelievable.

Talking of that pursuit… Well, after Team GB won silver, I saw Sir Bradley Wiggins giving Ed Clancy what seemed to be an awful before the medals, arms were heavily gesticulating and there was a very relaxed looking Ed Clancy sat on the seats, arms and legs spread with an I don’t care air about him. Looking at what’s been said and written I think I may have got it wrong. I think Brad may have been heavily apologising to Ed for peeling off the front and leaving him to bring it home. Ed Clancy hand’t been over 300 Watts until a couple of weeks prior to that race, he’d ben training on a mountain bike and walking up hills to try and gain fitness. It’s remarkable he even made the start of the race, let alone the finish! You can only imagine the more the team train together over the coming months they’ll only get better, I would imagine they’ll have to beat their own world record more than once in Rio to win gold.

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Team GB all questions and no answers on the podium

It was interesting watching the teams go about their warm ups and getting themselves ready for the boards. The most notable thing for me was that Team GB have moved away from the world of rollers, bucking tradition for the much more modern and Team Sky loved turbo trainer. They’ve been on the turbos not in the main central pen but down below the track, away from prying eyes. This is reminiscent of when Team Sky first started doing their turbo warm ups in a blackened out tent – there’s nothing wrong with it, I found it added to the tension a bit. See Team GB turn up, start slipping in to their kit and put on their space man orange trousers, take in the atmosphere for a while, before walking down to the turbo. Half an hour of warm up in the bowels of the velodrome on the turbo before putting on the Lazer helmet and rolling on to the track.

Oh – those orange spaceman trousers? Hot Pants. They warm up the riders muscles so that when they start warming up they’re muscles are already close to optimum, enabling a better warm up and a better riding performance. But why so garishly orange? Why can’t they be dark blue like the rest of the kit? Unless it’s some sort of double bluff… ‘Hey everybody! Our secret is these Hot Pants!’ I doubt it, but it would be funny.

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Really dodgy quality but as close as I could get to brad in his Hot Pants

I stand by what I said earlier, by the way. The Dutch bikes were the coolest, made by Koga jet black with an orange and white wolf/panther beast head just behind the front forks. Even the tyres were orange (slightly red) to match the Dutch team colours. The coolest, yes but the best looking? No. That goes to the Pinarello Bolide of the Italian team. I was having a chat with someone there, we were saying that if you were lucky enough to be a cyclist from any nation, you’d want to be an Italian rider. Pinarello bikes and Castelli kit so stupidly cool and stylish.

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Italian Team Pursuit on the awesome Pinarello Bolide bikes and Castelli Kit

There was a real buzz around this tournament, not only because Wiggo and Cav were going to be competing together in the Maddison. That feels like nostalgia turned up to 11. But because all of the worlds best were giving others a quick glimpse of their hand before Rio – and Team GB’s don’t look so bad. You don’t want to be winning everything five months before the biggest races in Rio, don’t peak too soon!

 I was having a chat with one of the other camera guys and he seemed to think the Shane Sutton era was very quickly coming to an end. Personally, I think he’s doing a decent job. Anyone taking over from Sir Dave Brailsford is going to have a lot to live up to, it’s like trying to succeed taking over Manchester United or following Sir Clive Woodwood’s success in 2003. Everyone’s going to jump on you the moment you don’t win every gold. There’s so much more to go on about here though, you could blame Sir Dave for moving cycling on so far that everyone has has been having slightly more marginal gains. Just look at the tumbling times of the team pursuits. Those gains are so fractional now it’s going to take some genius to break the mould again.

So – after being there for three days and watching on the telly for two, what was my personal highlight? Meeting Sir Bradley Wiggins, obviously. It was Friday night and he’d just finished doing his bit for Sport Relief. I kept my cool and didn’t just shout “I LOVE YOU!” Well, at least I think I didn’t… We spoke about his hour record briefly and then I sheepishly asked if he’d sign my pass. Then new world champion Jon Dibben signed it too. Again, I kept my cool… Surprisingly, Dibben said he didn’t think he had it in him with 100 laps to go, looking at him sprint at the end, you’d think the other guys had lost it from 160 laps left. What a ride. It comes a close second to Brad and Cav winning Madison gold though, when those boys set their minds to something, they more often than not come out on top. To change disciplines from road to track like that and do what they’ve done, someone give me another superlative other than, unbelievable.

Jon Dibben’s signature at the top with Sir Bradley Wiggins’ beneath it.

All in all, what a world championships, everyone is always so complimentary of the Lee Valley Velodrome and it is a fantastic place, if you get the chance to roll on the boards, you definitely should. Who wouldn’t want to in the same place which Team GB was so prolific at London 2012, Wiggo smashed the hour record and Jason Kenny emptied the tank, completely, to take World Champion sprinting gold.

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite photos I took there, the BBC presenters ‘working’ during and interview being aired on television.

What could be so interesting on their phones?