I’ve been on the quest for the perfect pair of bibs for some time. Louis Garneau was kind enough to nudge me in their direction by sending me a pair of their new Mondo Evo line of bibshorts. This past weekend, after several weeks nursing a fractured elbow, I got to give them a try with a few long rides in some unseasonably warm Midwest fall weather.
As soon as I put them on, I noticed the exceptional fit and great fabric. Lazer-cut, hemless leg bands, laid smooth for a second skin feel along with a moderate level of compression. The fabric is superlight, giving a barely-there feeling. Note — these do run small. I normally wear a medium short (I’m a dress size 5-6) but the large size was what fit me best. So, if in doubt, set your vanity aside and go up a size with these!
The most important part of cycling shorts for me – the chamois – was perfect. And I don’t use that term loosely. I often find that even on high end bibs/shorts, the chamois isn’t placed well, not enough padding here, too much there, or restricts movement. I didn’t find that to be the case at all with the Mondo Evo. The chamois has a good ergonomic shape, not too thin, not too thick, provided good coverage and protection to delicate soft tissue areas while riding, wicking and temperature control were superior. Definitely kept the saddle area comfortable, despite hours of riding.
If you haven’t ever worn bibs before, you should – they fit better than half-shorts, stay put, and don’t cut into your midsection. Whenever hunting for a pair be sure to check that the bibs aren’t too short and restricting. When trying them on, bend in a seated bike position to test the torso length. Not only do the LG Mondo Evo bibs provide ample length in the torso, they have a ipod pocket in the back for your listening pleasure.
The technology behind the fabric — Celliant — claims to “allow for enhanced oxygen levels in the body”. The product also came with tags detailing the “Resistex” carbon which described the ability to “increase strength and build endurance”. Honestly, I don’t know if the shorts had an impact on my oxygen levels. And the only thing I know of that builds strength and endurance is training — hard. If Louis Garneau could come up with shorts that force me out of bed at 6am on a cold morning to get on my bike when I’d rather sleep, that would definitely increase my strength and build endurance. That being said, these shorts are pretty much top notch. Excellent moisture and temperature control, fantastic compression, comfort, and an all around great fit. I would totally recommend these bibs to a serious rider putting in the long hours of training. Or the casual rider who just wants to be super comfortable when they ride.
The Louis Garneau Mondo Evo Bib Shorts are a really solid piece of gear, worth the $189 price tag if you want a high performance style bib and can be purchased at your local Louis Garneau retailer.
By Christa Zielke of Cincinnati, Ohio