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The next step.
Given that it's already become a mainstay for almost every other touch point on the bike (saddles, shoes, tape, bars, stems, seatposts), Fizik's move into the realm of cycling shorts feels like the next logical step on the company's journey toward become all things bike. The Link R1 Chameleon Bib Shorts incorporate the brand's Spine Concept design philosophy and luxury details, making them race-ready for cyclists with moderate flexibility. For reference, Fizik designed the Chameleon Bibs to correspond with the brand's Antares saddle, but the shorts are so comfortable and well-tailored that they're just as capable of pairing with any other saddle.
Though this is Fizik's first outing in chamois land, the Link R1 feels like the product of multiple generations of R&D. This immediate rise to the top is impressive—though, admittedly, not unexpected. After all, the brand has made a name for itself by redefining our expectations throughout the cockpit, so extending that expertise to bib shorts was the next logical step, and focusing on the chamois is itself the most obvious point. As with its saddle counterpart, the Antares, the Link R1's Chameleon chamois is shaped for cyclists whose average spine flexibility means their hips tilt forward five degrees while they're stretched out on the bars. Fizik's thinking is that Chameleons benefit from dedicated support across the entirety of the chamois with a slight increase under the sit bones.
The body is made from a woven material that rivals the qualities of gentle compression and lightweight, airy breathability that have come to define top-tier bibs from marquis brands the industry over. The material marks a decided departure from the Lycra we've all grown accustomed to, so in addition to the race-appropriate fit and the laser-cut, lie-flat bib straps, the Link R1 just has a feeling of elevating the in-saddle experience. It may not seem like a significant detail, but we never quite stop noticing the feel of the material while we're riding in these. Maybe that will pass in time, a by-product of novelty, but for now the Link R1 impresses with every pedal stroke.
- Top-tier cycling bib shorts from the masters of the saddle
- Chamois specifically designed for moderately flexible cyclists
- Light, airy material wicks and dries faster than standard Lycra
- Clean, laser finished leg openings eliminate transitional ridges
- Lie-flat bibs disappear beneath a jersey for a truly lux feel
- Corresponds with Fizik's Antares saddle but also rides happily on any preferred perch