Since its establishment in 1992, Primal Wear has been providing the cycling community with quality apparel. However, a lot of the in-house kit designs have erred more to the Fred end of the style spectrum, and seemed to be in dire need of panache and artistic guidance. With its recent rebranding, Primal, as they’re now known, has given their art department a much-deserved shot in the arm, as well as improved their materials to make for a killer new lineup. Primal sent a kit my way for review, and I put the new goods through their paces for you, loyal Singletracks reader.
I know that it’s shameful to admit around these parts, but in addition to being a mountain biker I am, in fact, a roadie. As such, I’m quite familiar with tighter-fitting kits, and recently have converted over to bibs after years spent snugly secured in standard shorts. Now, not everyone is a bib person, and that’s ok, but if you are a fan of shorts with suspenders like myself, then I’ll cut to the chase and tell you that the Onyx Evo is the most comfortable bib I have ever worn.
Prior to testing the Onyx Evo, I had been wearing a pair of bibs from a major manufacturer of cycling gear that I thought were comfortable enough. However, due to some poorly-chosen seams, I was experiencing some pretty heinous chafing on longer rides. For a while, I thought I could just deal with it, but one fateful ride I came to the painful realization that saddle sores are both real and one of the most unfortunate side effects of improper kit design. Thankfully, since switching to the Onyx Evo, my undercarriage has remained blissfully devoid of those nasty sores and hasn’t had to endure any sort of abrasion.
The bibs use a pretty clever two panel design that eliminates unnecessary seams and provides a super comfortable and snug fit. Material-wise, this is most likely some of the nicest fabric to ever grace my nether regions, and I’ve actually found myself lounging in my kit around my apartment for hours after rides. While on the bike, the bib never crept up my legs or bunched up at all, but rather provided the perfect amount of support and stretch where needed. Another surprising feature of the bibs was their ability to regulate heat incredibly well. While riding in temperatures ranging from 45 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit up here at the top of the world, I continually found my warmth in a Goldilocks-esque level of “just right.”
Of course, what makes a cycling bib more than just a pair of fancy spandex suspenders is the inclusion of a chamois, and Primal sourced theirs from the Italian comfort masterminds at TMF. The E6 Carbon Chamois is an anti-static, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial pad designed with proprietary 4 density foam meant to promote blood flow and provide a comfortable layer between your derrière and the saddle. After putting a couple hundred miles in with the chamois, I can say without hesitation that it’s a winner.
By now I’m sure you’ve realized that I’m a fan of the Onyx Evo bibs; I can think of no complaints and I am completely satisfied with them. After all of this quality saddle time, I think I may have to pitch my old bibs in the trash (unless anyone out there knows someone who wants a good deal on some used bibs) and pick up a few more Onyx Evo bibs from Primal.
Thanks to Primal for providing the Onyx Evo Bib for review.