PHAT TEST - Gel Touring Bibs by Aerotech Designs

Uppdaterad: apr 26

Cycling bibs with pockets! Aerotech Designs brings to XLbikers the innovations other brands failed to provide in larger sizes.

Everyone loves fall rides and cold, crisp mornings here in Sweden.

No one wants to be uncomfortable miles away from home on cold days!

Cycling bibs with side pockets are not new in the cycling industry, but they are great news for XLbikers, larger cyclists looking to ride on equal terms and enjoy the same privileges of good gear and innovative design other brands fail to provide them with.

Aerotech Designs Gel Touring Bib levels the field for everyone and boost our desire to be out there riding!

Aerotech Designs Gel Touring Bib levels the field for everyone and boost our desire to be out there riding!
The woods near Sala, Sweden, were the beautiful backdrop for one of the test rides.

Trailblazing

Aerotech's webpage states that this product will help you "ride longer and feel stronger" so, I couldn't wait to take an unknown route and explore it in one of the many rides wearing it. I didn't know what he ride would throw at me so it was good to have extra pockets to carry food, a safety vest, and other light items, which came in handy in the mix of pavement, wet MTB trails, rough gravel, mud, sweat and... smiles, of course! After all comfort was secured by the gel padding.

It was nice no to have to stuff a jersey pocket with a Big and Tall reflex vest! Mind you I'm a XLbiking!

Likes and dislikes

One of the things I appreciated about the side pockets was their stealth ability of not getting in the way nor giving a feeling of heaviness when pedalling. In my opinion products work better when not noticed. Well done Aerotech! Another good detail was that the mesh panel is quite strong and ,contrary to what I previously thought, didn't allow stuff to fly all over the place when riding.

Even my huge reflex vest found a home in the pockets!

My dislikes weren't really negative aspects, only a few things that I think could improve. The top part of the sewing on the pockets, for instance, didn't need to go all the way to the buttocks, the mesh could be a little tighter - but, this one is on me since I ordered the bib a little bigger than I should!

A hunting tower became the perfect spot for a lunch in the woods.

Comfort is king

There is really one phrase that sums up the experience of touring around with the Bib: "Comfort is King". At the end of the day nothing can be more annoying for a larger rider than the feeling that you've got the energy, the drive, you can still pedal further and harder, but your clothes are chaffing, hurting you, and are poorly designed with a poor choice of materials. It is frustrating to break a nice ride because of that! Not the case with Aerotech Designs Gel Touring Bib. I always use chamois cream when riding, fact of being a big rider; yes, I do want that level of comfort. The gel padding was a great companion and worked flawlessly with the cream. It worked so well I began to use even less of it! I soon found out that Aerotechs new pad was comparable to that of my much more expensive Santini's Mago Bib! So, that's great technology and comfort available to XLbikers at reasonable pricing - exactly what we fight for here at XLbiking!

Urban Riding

The commuter rider will greatly appreciate the level of comfort the Bib provides together with the added practicality of pockets to just grab and go on the way home or to work. No worries about last minute items having to make their way into bags or backpacks!

The proverbial banana was a good addition to breakfast on the go! I love the fact that the reflexes are exactly where they need to be on the bib! Visibility is crucial during this time of the year in Sweden when the Scandinavian darkness is creeping in as an uninvited guest which will stay until early spring!

It's not everyday an XLbiker gets the feeling of being toe to toe with brands of exclusive products unavailable to them.

The Bib works well with my leg warmers and I suspect they will follow with me even on some early winter rides. A good deal, since I've really enjoyed riding with them! I'ts not everyday an XLbiker gets the feeling of being toe to toe with brands of exclusive products unavailable to them, thanks Aerotech for bridging that gap for all of us!


Fear not the road. The Gel Touring Bib will get you there!

The tech

I've followed Aerotech for a while and noticed that this is a company willing to evolve in all aspects of its activities. Design has improved significantly, attention to detail and choice of materials too! The gel pad is comfortable and coped well with my 315 lbs. The mesh panel in the back breathes well and doesn't bunch up like my Castelli Bibs (quite uncomfortable in the back). I really like the discrete yet functional reflexes! The silicone grippers do their job, though a bit outdated. A silicone band is welcome. The high visibility model (pictured) is a nice touch specially when spending time on the road to get to your magical gravel location or lakeshore away from the ordeals of daily life (and crazy traffic!).


The verdict

Aerotech has been quite consistent in getting 4 out of 5 possible XLbikings, the main reason being the fact that they are constantly evolving, and who wouldn't like that? Their products are good, deliver what they promise, are comfortable to wear, tough and resistant, come in larger sizes and caters to all riders (brands, learn please! ). I have to mention that not every expensive brand endures our tests! I've had Santini bibs loose their stitching after only 3 short rides, Castelli become unbelievably uncomfortable during century rides, ROSE cycling pads completely deteriorate after 1 month of use and Gonso bibs loose elasticity and color in less than a season! Aerotech is definitely here to stay! We all win as they evolve! Winter is upon us, and I can't help but wonder what Aerotech has in store for all XLbikers out there!

Our tests happen in a variety of environments and weather conditions. We also wash, stretch, dry, measure and test the elasticity of the material to the max! The Gel Touring Bib never came undone, it recovers quite fast and become more comfortable! If you are an XLbiker I recommend always wearing your bibs and shorts with your preferred chamois cream and, of course, absolutely no underwear between you and the pad - that would kill the purpose of having cycling bibs in the first place! Remember: comfort is king, and the Gel Touring Bib encourages you to ride for a long time!

There and back again. Aerotech Designs gets the XLbikers covered. Here on the way to Munga, Sweden.

I hope you've enjoyed reading our review. Remember to follow us on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. We wish to bring options, inspiration and motivation to riders of all sizes and shapes! Until the next one, keep on riding!



Rider: Ebbe Paz e Silva.

Height: 6'1 (187cm).

Weight: 315 lb (143kg).

Bike: Specialized Sequoia Base (all steel - no carbon, please!).

Location: Västmanland, Sweden.

Dream Bike: La Fraise Randonneur Tout Terrain

Bib: Aerotech Gel Touring. Leg Warmers: Sigr Sweden.

Saddle: Brooks B17 Special



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