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Louis Garneau Men’s Alveo 3K Cycling Bibs–Initial Review

A little more than a week ago, we received a test sample of  the Men’s Alveo 3K Bibs from Louis Garneau.  Since we’re spending quite a bit of time on our bike training for Beach2Battleship, we knew that we’d have a great opportunity to test these bibs.  Since receiving the test sample, we’ve put almost 150 miles on the shorts, mostly in the hot and humid Beaufort, SC and a few hours of indoor testing while traveling or when the temps are just unbearable.  These bibs are priced at $119.95 and can be picked up from most cycling shops or you can order the Alveo 3K Bibs from Amazon for the same price.

About the Louis Garneau Men’s Alveo 3K Cycling Bib Shorts:

The Alveo 3K Bibs are mid-level bibs; priced at $119.95, they are accessible to most cyclists yet they offer a few features found on higher level bibs.

The bibs are made from a mesh-like material that offers a great deal of ventilation while not becoming transparent when stretched.  The mesh fabric has a UPF/SPF rating of 50, offering a respectable amount of UV protection while riding.  The material is 83% Nylon and 17% Lycra.

Louis Garneau Alveo 3K Bibs

The bibs also feature Louis Garneau’s AirZone chamois.  The AirZone is made from high-density memory foam.  The foam is molded, which prevents any pinching points or chafing.  Louis Garneau designed the chamois for long distance comfort, including increasing the number and decreasing the size of vent holes.  The fabric is treated with an antibacterial solution to prevent bacteria buildup from sweat and chamois cream.  The AirZone chamois is thicker where you make contact with your seat, while thinning out a bit in the front, the sides, and the perineal area.  This design is supposed to help prevent discomfort.

AirZone Chamois Louis Garneau

The Alveo 3K Bibs also feature front, back, and bottom reflective logos for increased visibility.  The shorts are designed with flat seams inside the legs.  The leg openings don’t have a great deal of elastic or Lycra when compared to other shorts.  The bibs are made of 10 panels, allowing a very comfortable fit with minimal extra fabric.

Testing the Louis Garneau Men’s Alveo 3K Cycling Bib Shorts:

We have used these bibs for about two weeks now and have put over 150 miles on the shorts.  We’ve also used them twice indoors, once in a spinning class and another time on a regular exercise bike.  All of our outdoor testing was done in Beaufort, SC and most times the temperature was over 90 degrees.

The first thing we noticed about these bibs is the close and comfortable fit.  Using ten panels of fabric allows a very accurate and close fit without having extra fabric.  The legs of the bibs are about the same length of standard cycling shorts, ending just above the knee when pulled all the way up.  The shoulder straps are made from the same fabric used in the rest of the bibs, resulting in a soft and stretchy straps.  The chamois is one of the largest we have tested, covering nearly our entire seat area.

The mesh-like material is very cool and ventilated.  All of our outdoor testing was completed in high temperatures, mostly above 90 degrees and high humidity.  In all of our outdoor testing, we were impressed with the moisture wicking and ventilation performance of the Alveo 3K Bibs.  One of the benefits of wearing bibs is the lack of waistband.  As many of you know, waistbands can cause a bit of aggravation once they get soaked with sweat, causing chafing and irritation.  Without a waistband, the Alveo 3K Bibs don’t have this problem.  The fabric also allows a great deal of movement and doesn’t restrict your range of motion.  The reflective logos are slightly useful, but certainly not enough if you plan to do any serious riding at dawn or dusk.

The AirZone chamois is certainly one of the largest we’ve tested.  Though this is a little uncomfortable when not on the bike, we quickly forgot about the size once we were on the bike.  The increased thickness in the seat and decreased thickness in the crotch and wings is a great idea.  We noticed the reduced pressure in the perineal area and the increased comfort in the seat.

We were also pleased with the ventilation features of the AirZone chamois. The vent holes, found in the front and around the wings of the bibs, helped control sweating and heat retention.  The main part of the chamois doesn’t have any ventilation holes.  This makes it the thickest and most heat retaining part of the shorts.  Although not as cool as the rest of the shorts, we didn’t experience any uncommon heat retention.  Even after a few hours on the bike and all the sweating that goes with that, we didn’t find the chamois to be uncomfortable.  The chamois wicks moisture respectably and, although it does get a bit damp, we didn’t find this moisture to be more uncomfortable than other shorts we’ve tested.

Initial Thoughts on the Louis Garneau Alveo 3K Bib Shorts:

We have found these shorts to meet or exceed our expectations for shorts or bibs in this price range.  We are impressed with the ventilation and wicking properties of the shorts and the chamois.  These bibs fit well and haven’t cause any chafing.  The flat seams are a great, and oft overlooked, feature that helps keep chafing at bay.  For our tester, the shoulder straps ended up right on the nipples and surprisingly didn’t cause any irritation there, even without using a body lubricant.

Our training program calls for a serious week of cycling next week and we’re looking forward to using these bibs exclusively during that long week.  After we finish that testing, we look forward to bringing you a final review of these bibs.

About Eric H. Doss

Eric is a triathlete and writer. He has competed in all distances of triathlons, from sprints to full Ironman distance races. He founded FitEgg.com in 2009 to meet the increasing need for professional, unbiased reviews of triathlon gear.

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