Funkier Apiza Gents Elite Bib Shorts
Black 210g XL (as tested) £79.99
The Funkier Apiza Gents Elite Bib Shorts are described as “The Ultimate Bib for the elite-level rider” Features and pad are excellent, and performance has been consistently good, regardless of whether I’ve been doing long steady road, or trail miles. I have a couple of bibs that will beat them, in the very hottest weather and being picky, the Apiza are mid-point, not top-drawer. Otherwise, there’s a lot to like.
Pros: Solid feel, great cut, fit and pad.
Cons: Lack of white/retroreflective detailing a missed opportunity.
This boils down to 80% polyamide, 20% Spandex. Up top, we have a black single panel bib. These and the straps feature mesh for improved moisture dispersion and are bonded for a smooth, low profile.
The legs are designed to evict moisture, although unlike some warm weather models, do not feature perforated thigh panels. This might be a consideration in very hot climes, or longer sessions on the indoor trainer but should offer improved protection from UV rays. That said; exposed skin should always be treated to a decent, high factor sunscreen.
Flat seams and compression Lycra to provide support and minimise fatigue over longer distances. Laser cut leg grippers continuer the clean finish, while preventing annoying and uncomfortable creep.
Though everything must be harmonious, pads are particularly significant. Stitching and standards of construction is uniformly good throughout. Rubbery Funkier logos feature just above the buttocks and on the leg panels but provide no benefit save for branding/aesthetics, although I like them.
Funkier’s F1 is an Italian pad, which employs three layers of foam and an anti-bacterial component.
While quite generous and shapely, it doesn’t feel like the proverbial loaf of bread. Pressure –relieving grooves do just that and improve blood flow to the genital region. Obvious perforations are designed, not for decoration but to prevent bunching and help conform to the wearer’s body shape.
Though very accurate, Funkier sizing is a little different to everyone else’s. Scrutinise their size chart and you’ll be fine. At 1m81 and 70 kilos, most brand’s mediums will fit and flatter me. Not here, XL, which comes as a culture shock. That said; the cut and fit is absolutely bang on. Plenty of length in the leg panels, ample stretch in the fabric generally. Cut is racy but roomy enough for winterweight, long sleeve base layers.
I’ve worn ours in temperatures between 6 and 25 degrees and rides between 1 and 5 hours, plus and they’ve performed consistently well throughout. The straps are supple, yet supportive, enabling seamless switching between tops, hoods, tri bars and drops. Though the front section isn’t particularly low cut, the bib and straps’ compliance continue this dignified theme when needing to perform roadside ablutions.
Compression technology has been around for a good while now and in this instance, seems to help stave off fatigue. Funkier suggest the Apiza are good for rides of four hours plus and I’ve cruised passed the 5-hour mark with no issues.
The Lycra’s texture offers excellent tenure to most saddle types. I default to traditional leather and leather topped models. No issues with slip, or annoying surf but micro adjustments/shuffling require nominal effort, or conscious thought, for that matter.
Suede topped models, like old school Turbo require more concerted effort, when they’re new but in my experience, that’s the case with all shorts. I’ve worn messenger longs and trail shorts atop too and tenure is similarly good. No bunching or gathering, regardless of the tempo, or riding context. On very cool mornings I’ve paired them with leg warmers.
The grippers have done an excellent job of keeping things in situ, no incremental downward creep, or gathering at high cadences, especially on the fixed. In these contexts, the Lycra has done an excellent job of retaining useful warmth, ditto the bibs and as I've said previously, plenty of scope for long sleeve middle and winter-weight base layers.
When the mercury’s been 23 degrees and higher, the Apiza have remained temperate, although those with perforated leg panels have an edge, in this respect. (However, even if the main fabric has inbuilt UV protection, a high factor sunscreen is advisable.)The bib’s mesh continues the temperate theme, allowing efficient moisture dispersal.
As for the pad, I’ve only noticed it in the most positive sense and feel it an improvement on the otherwise excellent C7 employed in their Force Pro. Straight from the packet, it moulded perfectly to my contours, offering excellent support, on and off road. No tingling, or numbness.
I’ve done 50-mile, mixed terrain rides and even allowing for plush suspension posts, including this Kinekt Aluminium Suspension Seatpost chafing, or soreness have been moot points. Though not something I do ordinarily, in the interests of thorough testing, I’ve worn The Apiza for several consecutive days. In keeping with most pads, there’s a faint mistiness before the wicking starts. I’ve never felt damp and no nasty niffs, or funk, confirming the anti-bacterial component is equally effective.
The Apiza wash convincingly-30 degrees, with minimal detergent. in practice, ours have slipped in with domestic loads at 40, with no obvious signs of deterioration- not so much as a stray thread.
Lots of mixed terrain riding suggests they’d also be a good bet for moderate gravel riding. Ours have been snagged on thorns and similar aggressive foliage, no bobbling, or more serious deterioration to date. Mind you, the lack of some features, such as pockets mean there are better choices for bike packing.
£79.99 is arguably mid-point and there’s a fair bit of choice. Polaris Latitude Bib Shorts are allegedly a development on their Nexus and Geo Bib Shorts. These feature a stash pocket in the big and large white leg grippers for support and additional presence.
Store brand models, including Decathlon’s Van Rysel Shorts Racer Ultralight and Triban Men’s Cycling Bib shorts GRVL 900 Black are both £64.99. The former is arguably a better choice for hot weather, or prolonged sessions on the indoor trainer. The GRVL 900 look to be the closest comparator and feature a generous pocket.
There’s room for small improvements. I would’ve preferred a less stealthy effect-a white, or retro-reflective silicone panel, for example. There are a few, cheaper competitors, capable of giving the Apiza a good run for your money, too. Nonetheless, for general road and moderate rough stuff, the Funkier Apiza Shorts are very competent, mid-range choices.
Verdict 3.75/5 Competent mid-range bib shorts with great pad.
PUBLISHED JULY 2022