At £50/€50, the Triban RC500 Pocket bib shorts were the cheapest in the ADVNTR cargo bib short group test from international sports retailer Decathlon, but would they still be able to compete with the pricier options?
The main body of the short consists of a series of thin polyamide/elastane panels, linked by flatlock stitching. From the waist up, the bib straps and back panel are all made of a breathable perforated stretchy mesh.
The wide leg grippers worked well, keeping the leg hem of the short in place effectively without being irritating.
Unlike more expensive shorts, the material is thin and non-compressive.
Fit and sizing
These shorts are available in a men’s fit and chamois only, which is a bit of a bummer. The sizes range from small to XXL, and I had a size large on test. I’m 6’2” and around 95kg and for reference I normally wear an XL in Castelli.
I found the the thin material of the shorts bunched around my hips while riding, and the chamois would also move around after riding out of the saddle, leaving me rather uncomfortable after spending just a couple of hours in them.
Although I measured up for these shorts according to my measurements on the Decathlon site, I would try a medium size in future, which I think may give a better fit to reduce the bunching and help keep the chamois in place.
The chamois included is a BTWIN model, featuring gel inserts, a central ‘comfort channel’ and thin forward area. The chamois itself seemed fine, if only it would stay where it’s supposed to.
There is just one pocket on offer with these cargo shorts, on the right thigh, which measures 12cm wide and 11cm deep. It’s made from the same material as the body of the shorts, with a neat reflective strip along the top.
This pocket honestly feels like an afterthought, barely deep enough to hold a few bars securely let alone a modern smartphone. I have a Google Pixel 3, which by modern standards is a conservatively sized phone. If you are like me and begrudge spending the large sums of money that these devices cost, putting it in the pocket before bouncing down a rockstrewn byway will leave you anxious, and at worst ~£500 poorer.
When we started the test, the shorts were available in either black or navy, and now there’s a cherry colourway too. There are very minimal logos on the shorts, which is very aesthetically pleasing, but a few printed reflective chevrons for low light visibility and sewn-in reflective tabs on the backs of the thighs. I did really like the navy option.
The RC500 Cargo Short verdict
I can’t help but be disappointed with the RC500 Cargo Shorts, as there are so many promising aspects of these but crucially the fit is flawed. Perhaps a smaller size would eliminate the issues of bunched excess material over the hips and the chamois moving about during the ride causing discomfort, and I’d like to see this reflected in the online sizing guide to help riders choose the best size based on their measurements. In an age where we’re so dependent on internet shopping, this should be spot on.
The other aspect that needs to be improved is the depth of the pocket. Really this should be able to fit a phone so that you can choose to wear a tee or shirt up top (isn’t that what cargo bibs are for?), and thus needs to be much bigger to totally engulf even a standard sized phone.
Otherwise, the lovely colour, wide, comfortable leg grippers and lightweight, perforated back panel and bib straps were all really great. With a few alterations in sizing and the pocket, these have the potential to be a really great budget option.
Triban RC500 Pocket Road Bib Shorts£49.99 €50
Last modified: 4th July 2021