Review: G.S. Panache Fleece Bib Short & Leg Warmers

Apparel Pro Review

Why You Want: You need a top-end, winter weight bib short and leg warmer combination, and prefer the adjustability of a multi-piece system versus bib knickers or bib tights.

Pros: Warmth. Period. Both the G.S. Panache fleece bib short and leg warmers work as advertised. On numerous occasions these past few months, I rolled out the door when temps were in the low 30s, and managed to stay comfortable.

Both pieces are lined with 220-weight Roubaix fleece that’s soft on chapped skin. The bib shorts also incorporate a longer-wearing nylon under the chamois, which means they will hold up to the rigors of sloppy-conditions riding, when grit and grime often end up between shorts and saddle.

The adjustability factor is also nice. Unlike with bib knickers or tights, if the temperature suddenly goes up, you can stuff the leg warmers in a jersey pocket. I also appreciate the simple, yet elegant design that permeates the entire Panache line. Their apparel looks good without screaming, look at me, look at me.

Cons: The fit on the shorts is tighter than that of Panache’s same-sized summer weight pieces (I own a few). The rationale, according to Panache, is that the fleece bib shorts use a tighter weave material, which sits closer to the skin to provide additional warmth and muscle compression. The Roubaix fabric is also dyed as opposed to printed like with the polyester Lycra on my custom summer-weight kit. Bottom line, the fit is definitely different and some riders may want to consider sizing up. The bib short’s $200 price tag may also scare off some people.

RoadBikeReview Take: Once you get fit dialed in, this is a great winter-weight combination to have in the apparel arsenal. The fabric on both pieces is high quality, and it shows both in function and feel. The bib shorts are constructed from nine panels, which helps put material where you need it.

The all-important chamois is made from high density open-cell, all-way stretch foam padding with two layer X-TRACT fabric. Translation, according to Panache, is that it breathes well and dries fast. Frankly we never put this to the test, since we mostly rode when it was cold out. But the chamois did provide plenty of comfort without unwanted bulk. The complete lack of cross seams meant no unwanted chaffing, which is especially critical in winter when skin is usually more tender. One caveat is that at times, the chamois rode a little too far forward for our liking. This was in part due to the snug fit, and could be remedied with a little tugging and pulling.

Grippers on both pieces did their job. Even during aggressive out-of-the-saddle efforts, everything stayed in place. Flatlock seams and tagless construction further enhanced comfort. And if you’d like to have a pair dressed up with custom graphics, Panache utilizes digital printing, which means crisp and accurate imagery that wont bleed.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Price: Bib Shorts, $200; Leg Warmers, $65

More Info: www.panachecyclewear.com

Review: G.S. Panache Fleece Bib Short & Leg Warmers Gallery
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G.S. Panache Leg Warmers

Retail price, $65.
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Front View

Straight forward design.
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Back of the Bibs

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The G.S. Panache Fleece Bib Short

Retail Price, $200. Also available in custom
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The Inside View

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Chamois

No unwanted seams here.
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Bib Name Tag

Eliminate ownership confusion, and fill in the blanks.
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Bib Short Ingredients

Panache is based in Boulder, Colorado.
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Bib Short Gripper

Silicone helps eliminate cracking – and keeps things in place.
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Digital Print

Digital printing is crisper and wont bleed.
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Leg Warmer Zipper

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Leg Warmer Lining

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Fleece Lined

Both pieces use 220-weight Roubaix fleece that’s soft and warm.
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Top Of Leg Warmer

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Ankle View

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Leg Warmer Grippers

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Silicone Gripper Dots

Stay in place and don’t crack
review-g-s-panache-fleece-bib-short-leg-warmers
About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures in British Columbia, Belgium, Brazil, Costa Rica, France, and Peru among many others. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in January, 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and edited a book on cycling tips. When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying the great outdoors with his wife Lisa.


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