Offered in a good range of sizes, the SWAT bib is superb value and a great fit
This bibshort is part of Specialized’s SWAT (Storage Water Air Tools) range. When we first tested it, a year ago, you could only buy it in combination with a baggy short for a hefty £120, but now it’s available separately, and considerably cheaper as a result, and there’s nothing to stop you pairing it with your favourite short.
With a couple of pockets on the legs, and three lumbar pockets, the liner has plenty of storage capacity. The central rear pocket is cut deeper and gapes at the top, making it wide enough to accommodate a water bottle, although it’s not that easy getting one in and out.
Two smaller pockets sit on either side, and these are big enough for an inner tube, wallet or phone. Additional pouches on each thigh can be used for items you need to access easily, such as gels and maybe a small multi-tool.
Compared to the Race Face version, the Specialized bibshort is a lot roomier in the body and a better fit if you’re not built like an Olympic cyclist. It also has a more supportive and breathable pad, and to stop chafing, the legs feature Lycra hems rather than irritating silicone grippers.
It’s superbly stable when loaded up — certainly more so than a roadie jersey with the pockets stuffed — but we’d like to see a taller rear pocket or some extra loops to secure a mini-pump.
Offered in a good range of sizes, the SWAT bib lacks the reservoir compatibility of the Race Face Stash, but it’s superb value and a better fit.