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Santini Redux Fortuna bibshorts review

19 Jun 2020

Aero bibshorts combining simple looks with high-end performance

Cyclist Rating: 
Form-fitting • Good ventilation and breathable • Decent wide bib straps
Chamois takes some miles before total comfort is achieved • Not the most pleasant material

'Grief, what are you putting on? Waterproof shorts? It’s May!' The present Mrs Abbott has a point. No, the Santini Redux Fortuna bibshorts are not waterproof riding attire in the same vein as the Sportful Fiandre No Rain range.

But the material used for the shorts and lower half of the bib section certainly has the rustling effect and feel of a lightweight softshell; you can hear them being put on from the next room.

Once you’re in, this is of course forgotten, since the shorts pack a great deal of compressive comfort into their unassuming design. At least they’re not rubbery, like some aero kit.


Sitting comfortably?

Once you’ve heaved yourself into a pair of aero-fit bibshorts, half the battle is over. It’s only fully won when the chamois is totally comfortable. And the pad in the Santini Redux Fortuna bibshorts did take a few rides before it was utterly cossetting.

Buy now from Wiggle for £220

Santini says its C3 pad is ‘an endurance high-performance chamois, ideal for long hours in the saddle', and it is after a week of riding. It’s worth sticking with – the carved design features anti-shock gel at the sit bones (‘locating this at the ischium area allows for neutralisation of vibrations,’ says Santini), and a 10mm thick layer of foam at what we’ll call ‘the business end’.

This chamois is recommended for rides of up to eight hours. I’ve ridden for three hours at a time without any numbness creeping in, and my pitted local roads are among the worst in the country.


Feeling hot, hot, hot

Santini has put a lot into the Redux Fortuna bibshorts to make summer riding (and riding with maximum efficiency) a breeze.

‘The Redux name comes from our desire to reduce weight, aero drag, details, design elements, etc,’ says the Italian company. ‘We use woven materials to make lighter kit with better thermal regulation.’

While I can’t vouch for the friction/drag coefficient with a finger in the air assessment, what I can say with confidence is that the material at the front of the bib which extends above the navel is surprisingly breathable, and the rear layout of the bib straps allows plenty of hot air to escape.

The straps are satisfyingly wide, accommodating my crooked collarbones with ease, and not requiring any readjustment during the ride. Being raw-cut, there’s no seam to chafe you, either.

The same is true of the shorts, where a seamless hem is kept seated comfortably on the quads via a good 5.8cm of what Santini calls ‘tattoo-effect’ silicone.


Less means more

The Santini Redux Fortuna bibshorts are built around the premise that ‘less is more’.

This won’t help convince some riders to part with £220 for them, but if you’ve the money to spend, these shorts do represent a bit of a sleeper: they’re comfortable in use, compressive without feeling restrictive, well ventilated, breathable and the chamois is built for comfort over distance. And it’s supplying exactly that now that the gel inserts have moulded to my body.

Buy now from Wiggle for £220

Just don’t try to put the shorts on quietly for a sneaky crack-of-dawn ride – you’ll wake the whole house up.

All reviews are fully independent and no payments have been made by companies featured in reviews


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