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Old 04-12-09, 11:05 AM   #1
sstorkel
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Love2Pedal Falconi Deluxe Bib Short Review

There's been a lot of talk about bib shorts over the last week or two, so I thought I'd post a review of some bibs that I recently purchased...

I ordered a pair of Love2Pedal's $36.95 Falconi Deluxe bib shorts last week. They showed up within a couple of days and I've now completed several rides, including the 2-hour/30-mile loop that I normally use when evaluating saddles and shorts. As background, let me say that my favorite shorts so far have been Pearl Izumi's $100 Slice Ultrasensor shorts. I bought a couple of pairs last year when they were on sale at Performance for around $65. They're fantastic! Unfortunately, I need more shorts or bibs and couldn't find the Slice on sale at a price I was willing to pay. For $37, I figured it was worth giving Love2Pedal's Falconi bibs a try...

Quality of the bibs is pretty good. I'm no expert, but I'd say that it probably isn't at the same level as the PI Slice bibs/shorts, but for 1/3rd the price I didn't expect it would be. It's certainly as good as any of the "house brand" shorts I've purchased from REI, Performance Bike, etc. The lycra is the same as in any other generic cycling short. The flatlock stitching that holds the panels together seems a bit more widely spaced than the stitching on the PI Slice short. I like the look of the PI stitching better, but suspect that both are perfectly adequate. The mesh upper seems a bit flimsy and the part of the bib most likely to be damaged; I could easily imagine snagging it on something. The rubberized Falconi logo on the left leg looks a bit cheesy to my eye. I'd be just as happy if it wasn't there and will probably attempt removal at some point. Note that the logo isn't shown in most of the pictures on the Love2Pedal site; you can find it at the very bottom of the product page, but it doesn't show up in most of the bib pictures.

Fit is as advertised, though snug. I'm about 5'9" with a 37" waist, 32" inseam and right at 180lbs these days. Ordered the XL size, which is advertised to work for 36"-38" waists. The fit is perfect for me! Snug, but not too snug, and the length works great. Like most bibs, the shoulder straps on the Falconi bibs stretch but aren't adjustable. Pulling up on the shoulder straps, it looks like your torso could be 4-5" longer than mine and the bibs would still work. It feels like the bibs are designed for someone with a reasonably athletic build. If I had a 38" waist I'd be tempted to order the XXLs rather than trying to squeeze into the XLs.

So how do they ride? Very well, it seems! Have to admit, I was a bit concerned when I first saw the chamois. I really like the chamois in my PI Slice shorts, even if it is a bit on the thick side. The chamois on the Falconi bibs isn't nearly as thick as the chamois in the Slice shorts, though it is a bit thicker than the chamois in any of my cheap house-brand shorts (e.g. REI Novara). On my 30-mile loop, I honestly didn't notice any difference between the chamois in the Falconi shorts and the one in the Slice shorts. A longer (50-100mi) ride will be needed to know for sure, but I'm very encouraged at this point! The chamois wicks well and I didn't notice any chafing. The rubberized leg cuffs do a good job of keeping the shorts in place. It's been cold enough that I've been wearing a base layer t-shirt along with the bibs. I don't think the shoulder straps would cause nipple chafing if you wore the bibs without a base layer, but I don't know for sure at this point.

Bottom line: these bib shorts feel like a great value for the money! Easily better than other "house brand" shorts that I've tried recently. Obviously, I can't say anything about long-term durability yet, but it's difficult for me to imagine that I wouldn't get $37 worth of value out of them. In fact, I liked the pair I bought so much that I just ordered two more! If you're going to order multiple pairs, be sure to use the two pair for $64 product page; you'll save a bit more that way. And don't forget to try the BFDN coupon code that Dan created for us. I saved $5 on each order, which effectively means that shipping was free.
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Old 04-14-09, 10:18 AM   #2
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Thanks for the detailed review of the shorts.

Its not rocket science designing a great fitting bibshort with a nice pad. Fortunately, lycra is so stretchy and conforms to a lot of varying body shapes so most of the credit for a good fit goes to the fabric.

Regarding the logo on the leg, your comment has been noted. Sometimes we produce products with no logos at all on them with just the brand name on the little sewn-in size label inside the garment. I may consider this in the future. But the little silicone rubber logo on the leg can be easily removed. I have it stitched on the leg (instead of glued like some other brands) so it can be removed with no glue residue.

Dan
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Old 04-14-09, 10:49 AM   #3
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A very useful review ! Thanks.
After using the same bib for about six months, I agree on the surprisingly good quality of the chamois ( and the nylon fabric). I guess Dan could invest in a more impressive looking logo - it is the only thing that makes these bibs look cheap. My impression was that the sizing of the falconis is not so snug as compared to my other shorts, but I do not have any pearl izumis (they do not seem fit me).

I really wish the bikeshorts would be available in some colors other than black; actually some not-neon, not super-bright colors; colors which do not try to make you look like a pro or a clown; some quieter colors would be nice.

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Old 04-14-09, 12:29 PM   #4
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lutz,

If interested, we recently listed bibs in navy or gray and regular cycling shorts in navy, royal blue and gray.

Dan
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Old 04-14-09, 01:31 PM   #5
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Regarding the logo on the leg, your comment has been noted. Sometimes we produce products with no logos at all on them with just the brand name on the little sewn-in size label inside the garment. I may consider this in the future. But the little silicone rubber logo on the leg can be easily removed. I have it stitched on the leg (instead of glued like some other brands) so it can be removed with no glue residue.
Yep, I removed the logo this morning with very little effort. Most of the other budget shorts I've owned used glue on the logo, so it was nice to find that the Falconi logo was stitched. Nice job, Dan!
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Old 04-14-09, 02:51 PM   #6
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I too bought a some of the Love2Pedal bibs last week and was planning to write a review, but you saved me a bunch of typing. I will say that my results pretty much match the above posted. My only real issue is the strap length. I am 5'9" 210 lbs with a long torso. I bought the large size and the straps dig into my shoulders enough to turn them red. Also, the legs were a little tight, so I think by going up to a X-Large size will be perfect. Otherwise these shorts felt good on the one 40 mile test ride that I put on them (on par with my Specialized bib tights) and are a good value for the money.
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Old 04-14-09, 07:52 PM   #7
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Hill-Pumper,

If interested, we do have a 30 day return policy if you want to return the bibs for a larger size. Also though, the straps will stretch a little after the first few rides, so you may ride the bibs a few more times before you decide. You didn't say your waist size, but just from your weight and height, you may be right about the XL being better.

Dan
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Old 04-14-09, 08:07 PM   #8
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Dan,

My waist is a 37", so I just ordered based on that. I agree that the best thing is to go up one size and try those. Thanks,

Jeff
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Old 04-14-09, 08:40 PM   #9
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Jeff,

Send your bibs back for the XL--that will fit a 37" waist better

Dan
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Old 04-15-09, 10:37 AM   #10
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Dan,

They are back on their way to you !!! It Thanks !!!!

Jeff
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Old 04-22-09, 06:55 PM   #11
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Based on this review, I just ordered some of the bibs today. I needed some new bibs for a while. Can't wait to get them an give the a ride.
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Old 04-22-09, 07:10 PM   #12
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Hi,

My review is pretty much the same after a quick 30 mile ride. One minor issue with the stitching was quickly resolved by Dan. For sizing reference, I'm 6', 230 and all leg...the XL seems right for me also.
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Old 04-24-09, 09:46 PM   #13
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I will add one more thing to this, as noted earlier, my first bibs did not fit right. I sent them back as Dan said, and they promptly sent out the replacements. The XL's fit me much better, the straps are still a little tighter then I am use to, but I think that they will stretch out over time. I did a 17 mile ride in them today and certainly better then before. I will be wearing them during this weekends metric for more of a true distance test. Regardless, it is nice to find a company that stands behind their product!!!
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Old 05-16-09, 08:43 PM   #14
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I'm about to place an order with these folks, and I have a question. They list 4x as the size for my waist (or close to it) 42-44. Do they run small for their sizes?

I'm going to retire my gel bib shorts, they are too uncomfortable on long rides now that I have a Brooks. These bibs and their thinner pad might work better.
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Old 05-16-09, 09:34 PM   #15
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I ordered the 3x (not here yet) for my first set of bike specific shorts. I was looking at their chart and there seems to be a discrepancy between the text and the chart. Text says 3x=40-42, chart says 3x=42-44. If they end up running on the small side, I'll probably just end up keeping them for when the weight comes off. And it will come off if I have to die pedaling dammit.
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Old 05-16-09, 10:48 PM   #16
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sorry don't know on sizes... but I know a lot of cycling clothes are sold in euro sizes which are completly off from what us "fat" americans use... one companies 4x is way smaller then another...

i've considered the falconi's... but worry that even their largest 4x is going to be a little to small for my hips (got a big arse)
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Old 05-17-09, 06:57 AM   #17
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sorry don't know on sizes... but I know a lot of cycling clothes are sold in euro sizes which are completly off from what us "fat" americans use... one companies 4x is way smaller then another...

i've considered the falconi's... but worry that even their largest 4x is going to be a little to small for my hips (got a big arse)
I don't think it's so much the sizing as the cut, in Europe most people, male or female are larger around the chest, smaller around the waist then larger around the hips, this is easier to see on a female, but males are built that way to, it's just to a smaller degree. Most Americans are more of an apple shape, smaller around the chest and hips and larger around the waist. So clothing designed for a European shape is not going to fit someone of an American shape, even when the size is right. Which is why you need to find a manufacturer who uses a cut more in tune with an American shape. I am not sure about Love2Pedal whether they manufacture their own stuff or buy from other countries. Supposedly Aerotech makes all their own stuff, so they can use a more American cut.
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Old 05-17-09, 07:09 AM   #18
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sorry don't know on sizes... but I know a lot of cycling clothes are sold in euro sizes which are completly off from what us "fat" americans use... one companies 4x is way smaller then another...

i've considered the falconi's... but worry that even their largest 4x is going to be a little to small for my hips (got a big arse)
Thanks for sharing.

What finally swayed me was the 30 day return policy. If they are decent but the wrong size, I'm only out shipping.

I realize these are not 'top of the line' bibs, but I'm going to be losing more weight and I don't want to invest in pricey stuff until I'm back down to near goal.
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Old 05-17-09, 10:53 AM   #19
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I'm about to place an order with these folks, and I have a question. They list 4x as the size for my waist (or close to it) 42-44. Do they run small for their sizes?
I would say that the sizes are as advertised on the Love2Pedal website. I bought the XL size, which is recommended for people with 36-38" waists. When I originally got them, I was 37" across the gut (e.g. slightly above my natural waist). I thought the bibs were just a bit snug, but comfortable. I'm now down to 36" and the fit feels perfect.
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Old 05-17-09, 03:48 PM   #20
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Thanks for sharing.

What finally swayed me was the 30 day return policy. If they are decent but the wrong size, I'm only out shipping.

I realize these are not 'top of the line' bibs, but I'm going to be losing more weight and I don't want to invest in pricey stuff until I'm back down to near goal.

I think that there stuff runs small, but the best thing to do if you are in doubt, is to contact Dan with your waist size and have him recommend a size. I'm not sure if it still works, but punch in CLYD in the discount code during check out and it will save you $5.
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Old 05-17-09, 04:03 PM   #21
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I think that there stuff runs small, but the best thing to do if you are in doubt, is to contact Dan with your waist size and have him recommend a size. I'm not sure if it still works, but punch in CLYD in the discount code during check out and it will save you $5.
I used BFDN and got the discount.

4x is the largest they have, so I'm stuck with it. If it's tight, so much the better.
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Old 05-18-09, 01:37 AM   #22
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I think that there stuff runs small, but the best thing to do if you are in doubt, is to contact Dan with your waist size and have him recommend a size. I'm not sure if it still works, but punch in CLYD in the discount code during check out and it will save you $5.
Yes it still works. That's the code I used, CLYD was so much easier to recall. I just had to look down to remind me.
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Old 05-18-09, 09:44 AM   #23
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I did ride a double-century on Saturday with the Falconi bibs. I also got a new saddle since my last double 2 years ago. No butt problems during the ride and for the first time, my butt does not hurt at all the day after a 200 mile ride. They seem to work for me. ;-)
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Old 05-18-09, 11:40 PM   #24
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I'm probably the worst candidate to offer advice, having them be my first set of bibs. With a 49" gut, measured at the naval, the 3x seemed pretty damn comfortable and I think I could have even been able to go down a size. Still not comfortable enough to wear lycra in public so I threw on a pair of "And 1" brand mesh basketball shorts over the bibs and went for a ride. Having rode in just mesh shorts or cargo shorts previously, I was AMAZED what a difference a chamois can make. For most of my ride the saddle disappeared. It was only toward the end when I started to tire that I could "feel" it but no discomfort or chaffing like I would have had with plain shorts.

Definitely the longest ride I've taken since starting out a few weeks ago (27 miles), and by far the most comfortable. The mesh shorts did become a hassle a few times when they started riding up, I'm still not going to ditch them until I like the way I look without them.

For someone on the fence about getting into bibs (like I was), these are worth the try for such a small investment as far as bibs go.

Edit: WARNING, the investment won't actually be small if you've never tried cycling with a chamois, you'll never be able to go without again. I am now a believer.

Last edited by SilverSurfR; 05-18-09 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 05-20-09, 10:31 AM   #25
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I would say that the sizes are as advertised on the Love2Pedal website. I bought the XL size, which is recommended for people with 36-38" waists. When I originally got them, I was 37" across the gut (e.g. slightly above my natural waist). I thought the bibs were just a bit snug, but comfortable. I'm now down to 36" and the fit feels perfect.
I'm trying them on now, and I'm a little perplexed. According to the size chart these are right, but they seem much looser than other bibs I've worn. I wear a 2xl in Performance stuff, except their oversized Century Gel, in which I take a 1x. My Pearl shorts are a 2xl. Perhaps I've been wearing too small bibs for my entire riding career. I'm contacting Dan of Luv2Pedal about this.

The strap length seems right, however, the bib is 'cut' very high. If I need to take a "natural break", I'm not going to be able to pull down the front far enough to urinate.
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