In a male-orientated industry, it's often difficult to find good-quality women's cycling shorts at a realistic price. I quite honestly believed bib shorts simply weren't meant to last more than a year of comfortable riding, until I rode in a pair of Grity Kit bibs. Releasing not only a female but a male line too, the company has clearly put many hours of thought and testing into the design specifications of both sets of kit.
If you are looking for your black shorts wardrobe staple, these shorts are the place to start. The premium Italian chamois (not too thick or too thin), is a reliable decision for those long days in the saddle. They are created with soft, comfortable fabrics (that act like a second skin) but are the most durable shorts I've ever owned, withstanding the likes of continuous washes and velcro abrasion!
With environmentally sustainable values and all its kit made from 100 percent recycled materials, Grity has its gen Z audience targeted perfectly. Not to mention the high-end premium feel of the fabric, at a price of only $142 / £115 – it really has hit the nail on the head.
Design and Specifications
With a sleek stealthy black design, these shorts are ideal to coordinate with any other kit without risking any terrible color clashes. Minimal branding keeps the look simple and honest. There is a slightly lighter change in the shade of black on the side panel. However, after many hours wearing them I've found no evidence of them going see-through, which is always a fear.
Compared to the likes of Rapha's classic range of bibs, Grity shorts have been carefully designed to help with muscle control and compression, useful for longer expeditions on the bike. A super thick chamois, designed specifically for women, sits nicely when on or off the bike and is ideal for off-road gravel trails when the going is tough – you will be grateful for the extra 'support'. The shorts also make use of flatlock stitching, meaning the risk of any chafe is greatly reduced.
The shoulder straps are thin but wide, and therefore sit comfortably without digging in. They are laser-cut to shape, giving a very professional feel. Connected to the straps, is the coordinating mesh back panel, adding a significant layer of comfort, hugging the skin nicely, and keeping you cool in the summer but adding that extra layer of warmth in the winter. The shorts come up quite high on the front (to just below my belly button), but it makes it super cosy and almost feels like a nice hug around the stomach.
The fabric is premium Italian, made up of 20 percent recycled polyester, 59 percent recycled nylon and 21 percent elastane. The polyester is created from recycled plastic bottles, the nylon from recycled carpets or fishing nets and all produced in a factory powered off 100 percent renewable energy. It couldn't get more environmentally friendly.
In terms of sizes, the Grity kit ranges from XS-L and having tested a few of its products I have found they fit slightly larger than expected as the material is stretchy. However, I haven’t had problems with this as there is no significant bunching of material due to the flexibility of the fabric adapting to fit your body. Grity has now got an extended range of designs with three different choices of bib shorts available to buy: Stealth Grity Bib Shorts (£115), Pritygrity Core Bib Shorts (£95) and the Global Warming Bib Shorts (£95).
My favorite feature here is that 90 percent of the shorts has a laser-cut finish on the edges. It gives a very professional feel and allows the material to sit in line with the way your body is shaped. Having gone through my fair share of bib shorts over the years, I've found laser-cut material the comfiest to ride with, particularly on the leg grippers. These shorts have a thick hem which is dotted with a silicone grip pattern, allowing it to hold firmly to the thigh.
In general these shorts fit me well, especially over the shoulders. With other kit brands, I've really struggled with shoulder straps digging into my neck and shoulders on longer rides but the Grity Stealth shorts have the comfiest straps I've worn, to the point where I’ve forgotten I've got bibs on. However, I have found that, as the shorts come up slightly larger in size, the length of the leg is longer than I usually prefer and there is a slight wrinkle finish around the crotch area, only really ruining ‘aesthetics’ not comfort. Although, I know everyone has their own personal preference on short length (I won’t start the debate here) and it is very much a case of ‘each to their own’.
Chamois comfort is key when heading out for a day in the saddle and I well and truly believe Grity has this nailed down to a T. The chamois is wide and allows for all shapes and sizes, yet is only super thick in all the high pressure point areas. Moreover, the material used for the pad is super velvety and even after many washes hasn't lost its softness. I’ve used these shorts for nearly a year and found they are the ones I reach for most when I’m heading out for a big ride. As is the case with most cycling shorts though, the material has begun to bobble slightly around my thighs where they rub against the saddle and over time the fabric has weakened. Saying this, considering I’ve worn these for most of my long rides, they haven’t broken a hole or gone see-through (which has happened to plenty of other shorts I own).
On the whole, Grity shorts are a fab, comfortable pair of black shorts for the longer days in the saddle and to have as that cyclist's wardrobe staple. Considering Grity kit is all sustainably made and created from completely recycled materials, the price is remarkable – especially nowadays with the increase of greenwashing in modern companies. It really appeals to the ever-increasing push for a more environmentally sustainable future in all businesses, as well as a generation of people keen to reduce the impact of pollutants on the earth.
I've never found myself uncomfortable when riding in these and genuinely love how they look on the bike. Sweat patches don’t exist for these shorts, so you’ll never have to hide an embarrassing patch around the crotch area when at the cafe stop. However, the shoulder straps are the key selling point for me; thick, laser cut and flat against the body – I’ll never have to deal with neck/shoulder pain again in these.
The sizing is a bit tricky to get right and with returns and exchanges only offered to unworn, still labelled kit (with no questions asked) you have to really be sure of your size before ordering. However, the materials used are super stretchy and muscle hugging, so if you think the size you chose is one size too big or small, you may find it still fits accordingly. I wear a size Medium bibs, but I could probably quite happily fit into a size Small if needed.
Tech specs: Stealth Grity Bib Shorts
- Price: $142.00 / £115.00
- Materials: 20 percent recycled polyester, 59 percent recycled nylon, 21 percent elastane. Made from recycled premium Italian fabric for maximum performance
- Colors: Stealthy Grity (Black), Pritygrity Core (Black/Gray), Global Warming (Black/ Blue)
- Sizes: XS, S, M, L
- Available from: grity.co.uk