Combining the comfort of a bib short with the durability of a baggy trail short is nothing new. Many clothing brands have had a stab at the onerous task of perfecting the road/MTB fusion. In fact, it’s not even the first time that Aussie Grit Apparel have tried. Having taken on rider feedback from their original Flint design, the Australians went back to the drawing board and have released what they believe is the perfect all purpose cycling short.
What are they?
The Aussie Grit Apparel Ignite 2 in 1 bib is essentially a traditional bibshort design stitched into a baggy trail short, rather than two separate pieces. Anyone who has attempted riding in bibs with shorts over the top will be quite familiar with the baggies slowly sliding down during a ride. So combine the two and hey presto! No more awkward pant pulling moments while out riding.
The liner features a premium chamois pad from Italian masters of comfort, Elastic Interface. Integrated into the rear of the Aussie Grit Ignite are 4 elasticated pockets, roughly in the position you’d expect to find pockets on a typical jersey. Although they look quite small at first, the stretch of the material allows for stowage of more than you’d expect. On the right leg is a zipped security pocket.
The outer short is made from a 4-way stretch material for freedom of movement. The overall cut is somewhere between Enduro Baggy and XC Racer tight and the short ends just on the knee. The nylon inner short legs end just a little higher up than the baggy outer. Other than a few token reflective elements, the grey shorts are very understated, meaning you could pair them with almost anything in your cycling wardrobe.
Why wear a baggy anyway?
Other than the questionable topic of fashion, trail shorts generally withstand abuse much better than delicate lycra fabrics. The Aussie Grit Apparel Ignite are created from a hard wearing ‘anti-abrasion’ fabric to shrug off abuse from trailside flora and if you’re unfortunate enough, crashes and tumbles on the trail.
While out riding
First impressions are that they are not the most breathable of shorts. The plethora of laser-cut ventilation holes in strategic areas of the outer fabric suggests the designers tried hard to make them cooler. The elasticated shoulder straps of the bibs feature an enclosed mesh back all the way from the waist to the neckline and this also contributes to the heat buildup.
Outside of the summer season, there hasn’t been any problem with getting clammy in the chamois. The issues tend to revert to moisture of the precipitation kind. The ventilation holes and that the material is not water resistant does mean they are susceptible to water spray.
Moisture issues aside, the best thing about the Aussie Grit Apparel Ignite shorts is that I don’t notice them when riding. No flapping, rustling or catching – things that have always infuriated me about baggies. The leg length is spot on and once in the cycling position, doesn’t rub or tickle your knees.
The Elastic Interface endurance pad proved to be excellent. Absolutely no complaints in that department and I have found the shorts to be comfortable for short rides as well as all day outings.
Initially I looked at the four pockets with some confusion. Why do I need pockets when my road jersey has pockets? A hang up of the Ignite’s mountain bike origins where baggy tops are more trendy than roadie lycra maybe. However, wear the shorts with a t-shirt for relaxed rides or laid back bikepacking trips and suddenly those pockets prove useful.
Aussie Grit set out to create an off-road riding short that provides the comfort of bib shorts with the durability of a baggy over-short. They totally achieved this. But at a price.
At £180, they are a lot of money. Without doubt they’re well made and will withstand lots of riding abuse for years before giving up the ghost. But you have to be pretty set on the idea of a combined bib and baggy. Which for me is the limiting factor. Personally, I’d prefer a pair of bib shorts and some over-shorts that I can chuck on as and when required.
Last modified: 10th September 2019