Louis Garneau Neo Power Bib Shorts

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Manufacturer Description

Ideal for comfort, the Neo Power Bibshorts utilize compression in order to achieve comfort. Power Lycra is muscle supportive and facilitates muscle movement to offer the ultimate performance. Color stitching and accents provide a racer look

Features

  • Fabrics
    • Lycra Power Shorts
    • Power Mesh Straps
  • Ergonomic fit – Designed to fit and support the body and movements
  • 12 panels
  • 1 back pocket
  • Seamless inner leg
  • Flatlock seams
  • Stretch trim on bib straps
  • Powerband Cuff
  • Back and bottom reflective accents
  • Airzone Chamois
  • Compressive Fit
  • Measured size medium
    • Weight – 220 g (7.8 oz)
    • Inseam – 28.5 cm (11.25 in)
  • Retail – $140

YMMV Review

This summer I was able to do my first review of Louis Garneau cycling clothing. This review is one of three products that I reviewed including the Carbon Ion Jersey 2 and the Mondo Gloves. These three items made up one of my summer kits.

Full Louis Garneau Kit from the Front

Testing

While the Neo Power Bibs are able to be used for mountain biking as well, I used them only on the road. I used them in conjunction with the Carbon Ion Jersey 2 on rides that varied from 20 – 80 miles in length. Since it was summer the weather has been warm and dry ranging from 50 – 95 degrees.

Design ★★★½☆

Appearance (30%) ★★★★☆

Construction (50%) ★★★½☆

Pockets (10%) ★★★½☆

Sustainability (10%) ★★☆☆☆

The Neo Power Bib shorts are some of the top-selling bibs for Louis Garneau. They are part of the Road Performance line. This line is a blend of value and performance for a rider looking for high-quality and durable shorts. The Neo Power shorts are made of two materials: Lycra Power and Power Mesh. The Power Mesh section only makes up the lower back area and the back straps while the Lycra Power is the majority of the shorts. Lycra Power contains 75% microtactel nylon and 25% Lycra Power by Invista. This composition has more Lycra than most knits to provide full stretch and better shape recovery. The fabric has a compressive fit as it will support muscles better and reduce vibration for improved performance. According to Louis Garneau, the compression helps with blood circulation, which helps resistance to fatigue. The fabric is good at absorbing and wicking moisture away from your skin. It also provides a UPF rating of 50 for protection from the sun.

Louis Garneau Full Kit from the Back

The Neo Power Bib Shorts have an ergonomic fit designed to fit and support the body and movements. They have been made with 12 panels to provide optimal support. What I really like about these is the longer inseam. The Neo Power has an 11 ¼ inch inseam for more muscle support; this is also good for more coverage. The inner thigh has been designed to be seamless for more comfort and reducing bulkiness. All the seams in the shorts are flat locked to eliminate irritation and reduce chafing. Another comfort addition is a stretch trim along all the bib straps. This helps provide a more comfortable strap. At the bottom of the leg, the shorts have a compressive band to hold them in place and provide lower leg pressure. Since they are several inches wide they distribute the pressure well. There is no need for any gripper because of this.

The Neo Power Bib Shorts come in four color schemes with contrasting stitching for a racer look. I happened to test the black, which is the most subdued of the bunch, but I like it. Another feature of the shorts is a small pocket on the back. There are a couple of reflective accents on the back and bottom for better visibility. The Neo Power Bib Shorts uses the Louis Garneau Airzone chamois. This chamois has been developed with the beveled molding edges high-density perforated memory foam. This creates a smoother transition at the edge of the foam and more comfort. The chamois has small holes in it for venting and increased breathability. The chamois has a seamless construction, 4-way stretch, and has been premolded for a better fit. It also has been treated with an anti-bacterial solution to combat the effects of retained moisture. Looking at the materials used in the bib shorts, I was not able to find any information on them being green or sustainable. I also have not been able to find any corporate initiative by Louis Garneau on sustainability. One thing that they do have going for them is that they are made in the US. For these reasons, I gave these a two rating.

Airzone Chamois

Fit ★★★★☆

Ease of Movement (15%) ★★★★☆

Fabric Comfort (20%) ★★★½☆

Inseam Length (15%) ★★★★½

Leg Sizing (20%) ★★★★☆

Strap Comfort (15%) ★★★★☆

Torso Sizing (15%) ★★★☆☆

The Neo Power Bib Shorts have a bit of a thicker feel to them when you first get them in your hands. I think this is due to the fabric used; it reminds me of the compression top and bottoms I tested back in the winter. That being said I really like the feel of this fabric, it is compressive, soft, and comfortable. I tested the medium in these, and they fit how I expected them to, like a medium. They did not seem too tight or loose anywhere; I think this is from the high amount of stretch in the fabric. The legs definitely have more of a compressive fit compared to the torso section but this is expected. The straps are wider than many other bibs I own and this helps them be more comfortable. Pressure is distributed over a larger area and spreads out the pressure. The stretch trim also helps these feel very comfortable.

11 1/4 inch Inseam with Powerband Cuff

The legs are very comfortable as well. I had no chafing issues. With no seams on the inside of the legs there is not much that can go wrong here. The large amount of stretch also helps with the comfort as the fabric can stretch with your movements instead of moving around. While I know it is not the classic look, and many people may not like it, I really like the longer inseam. I like longer shorts and a more modest look, so I was excited when I saw an 11 ¼ inch inseam. For me, it hits a couple of inches above my knee cap right where I would choose if I could. The Neo Power Bib Shorts are one of the better fitting bibs in my drawer.

Performance ★★★☆☆

Breathability (20%) ★★★☆☆

Compression (15%) ★★★★☆

Cushioning (25%) ★★★½☆

Durability (20%) ★★½☆☆

Moisture Transport (20%) ★★★☆☆

The Neo Power Bib Shorts were the first pair I have tried from Louis Garneau. They have been plenty comfortable on all my rides, ranging up to 80 miles. I really like how the thicker fabric feels on these, but I do think it makes it so they breathe a little less than some other shorts I have tried. With the thicker fabric, you do get more muscle support, which helped my legs feel fresher longer. I do not know if they made me faster or gave me better endurance as I do not ride with power numbers, which would be the best measure of this. I can say that I really like how they feel and how my legs feel when I ride in the Neo Power Shorts. I am also hesitant to say that these are high compression like you would find in a recovery product. Rather I would call them more of a muscle support compression that will reduce vibration and support working muscles. This may help with circulation, but it will not force circulation like some of the compression socks I have reviewed.

Small Back Pocket

As with breathability, I think the Lycra Power fabric is good at absorbing moisture but a little slower at transporting it. This was less noticed than the breathability was. The Airzone chamois has been comfortable on my rides. Enough so that I have not noticed it too much, which is what I like to be able to say about my chamois. I have even been able to do rides up to 50 miles without chamois cream and had no issues. I have not been able to tell if the ventilation holes make that much of a difference. On several of my rides the temperatures were in the mid 90’s so it was hot. If the holes did help cool thing down there I was not able to notice, but like I said I try not to focus on it. One thing I did notice with the chamois is over time the cover material is starting to pile a bit. This has not caused any comfort issues but is something I am keeping an eye one. Other than this the rest of the shorts has not shown any wear, unfortunately the chamois is a pretty important part of the comfort equation.

Fabrics on Straps Close Up

Overall ★★★½☆

Overall, I was impressed with my first pair of Louis Garneau Bib Shorts, especially the fit. I really liked the feel of the fabric and the compressive fit they give. For me, the longer inseam length was a big plus, but I realize that many will call this a disgrace to classic cycling gear. I think most people do not want to see my quads. The chamois was comfortable and better than expected from a $100 bib short. Some of the features like the breathability did go unnoticed, but as I said above, that may just be me. The thick thigh band does an excellent job keeping the legs in place, there is no need for any gripper, which makes them that much more comfortable. I did not find that I used the pocket at all as I would stash things in my jersey, the pocket also seemed slightly high up on the back, and maybe it is best for a radio like the pros use. The Neo Power Bib Shorts look cool, fit well, and is a descent value at $140 retail. Will they make you a faster rider; I will not guarantee that, but I can say that they will not slow you down. For $140 you can do much worse, as always; your mileage may vary.

Pros [field name=iFrame]

  • Compressive fit supports muscles
  • 12 panel construction helps the shorts fit better
  • Comfortable Lycra Power fabric
  • Chamois felt good, better than expected in this price range
  • Straps are wide and comfortable
  • Cool colors for a “pro” look

Cons

  • Thicker fabric has slightly worse breathability and moisture transport
  • Chamois is piling a bit
  • Could not feel ventilation from the holes in the chamois or at least not noticeable to me

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About the Author

I am an avid runner, cyclist, swimmer, hiker, climber, skier and many other activities that would make this list too long. I started Your Mileage May Vary Reviews in Early 2011 to combine two of my passions: sports and gear.

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