We're so used to describing Babici's designs in grandiose, romantic terms, that we were caught off guard by its new Lumiere Bib Shorts. Instead of requiring a history book for a lengthy revisiting of a namesake, the Lumiere characterizes everyday comfort and subtlety. Yes, the design is beautiful. And sure, the craftsmanship and engineering innovations are pronounced. However, the thoughtful Lumiere design should be viewed as a triumph for the passionate rider, not the casual observer.
Australia is no stranger to the boyhood fanaticism of Italian cycling. And while Italian fabrics and style were in demand at Babici's inception, Babici noticed an undercurrent of desire to retain the Australian identity. So, designs in tow, Babici went to the premiere Italian fabric manufacturer, MITI -- the source of the ever popular and plagiarized SuperRoubaix, ThermoDream, and Ibisco fabrics. As their relationship blossomed, MITI's Aenergia material presented itself as the obvious fabric choice for the Lumiere bib shorts. With a warp-knit construction, the material is given a natural stretch. Within the knit, the threads follow a zigzag pattern along the length of the bib shorts. This allows more surface area coverage while using less material, equating directly to an airy, lightweight construction. Aenergia's open weave also accelerates moisture transfer from the skin to the quick-drying surface of the bib shorts. And while this fabric costs Babici an arm and a leg to produce, the comfort is worth it.
Now, you might be wondering about the Lumiere bib shorts' functionality. We believe that the true test of a bib short is how it holds up over a century, and your comfort level during that ride is mainly derivative of quality of the chamois. Babici agrees, and accordingly, the Lumiere features a chamois that's the result of 12 months of development between Babici and the Italian Dolomiti. Why the lengthy customization process? Well, after a period of exhaustive research, it found that contemporary chamois designs underserve the most utilized areas of the body, the perineum. And along these lines, Babici soon realized that excess material outside of the region only translates to excess abrasion and numbing. So, the two parties coordinated in order to create the medium density construction of the Babici-exclusive Imerio. As a result, the Imerio features a sleek shape that provides targeted support the perineum and pudendal nerve. Additionally, the chamois' surface form construction is completely seamless and features four different MITI fabrics to eliminate abrasion. Furthermore, Babici designed the chamois to work in harmony with the saddle. Accordingly, the Imerio is secured to the shorts at the perimeter, not on top of an existing portion of fabric. And with the addition of Cordura Lycra along the exterior of the chamois, the Imerio provides a zero movement on the saddle.
The Babici Lumiere Bib Shorts are available in four sizes from Small to X-Large and in the colors Nero (Black) and Bianco (White).
Believe the hipe you say to your self as you purchase these Italian made beauties. They must be good as the company has gone to such great lengths to add the flourishes to make the bib look great and high end market.
But... when you hop on the bike with them the truth sadly sinks in that although they look great the promise slips away as the shammy (the most important part) scratches at your inner legs like sandpaper. You say to your self that you just need to wear them in and everything will be great. You move around trying to get a nice spot where your sit bones are supported but that is a losing battle as when you finally do, you have limited your perfect position on the bike.
They look great but sadly the shammy just is second rate. Maybe if they spent more time and money on R&D on the functional side they would be a better bib. I would not mind if the bibs where just straight black and no trimmings if the functional part of the bibs where great.
Another sad part is the leg length is way to small and ride up your leg so if your not very short and 79kg these bibs are not for you. Also no UV protection and considering Australia has some harsh sun coverage I was again disappointed.
But this is a young company that have their hearts in the right place and maybe as their business grows so will they. A good place to start though is to examine the best out there and there is one thing that all the best bibs have in common... Comfort. Start there and then add the bling :)
I'm 6'2 and 143lbs so fairly skinny so I ordered a Medium and it was way too small. The waist was okay but the legs are way too short and the top as well. Then I thought I'd go for XL straight away and it was like wearing a bag, still with very short legs but now the waist was way too wide. I gave up after that. I guess Australians are just all short and with Cavendish legs? I hope their new stuff will have a better fit cos I do own three Babici tops (all in L) and I love them!