Long Term Review - Slowtwitch BY RYAN HEISLER

A lot of times when we review products for Slowtwitch, we’re reviewing something with curb appeal. Bikes, wheels, electronics, wetsuits, super shoes — you name it, we usually deep-dive on it – and we’ll do our best to bring that product to life. And the analytics don’t lie – Slowtwitchers love some bike porn.

This…is not one of those reviews.

Instead, we’re looking at one of the necessities. At least, in my opinion, one of the necessities – recent polling elsewhere in triathlon have shown the vast majority of triathletes are eschewing this product in favor of wearing tri shorts all the time. This despite the fact that the additional padding, pockets, and shoulder straps all conspire to make for a more comfortable riding experience, whether indoors or out.

I’m talking, of course, about the mighty bib short.

Why do I use the term mighty above? Because a bad pair of shorts will ruin a ride faster than a flat tire on a tubeless ready wheel can. Chafing, saddle sores, bad seaming – you name it, the result of a poor short fit will wreck your day. On the flip side, a good short has a thankless job. You won’t remember your ride because your shorts were comfortable. You’ll remember it for the people you rode with, the terrain you rode over, or the scenery surrounding you. You’ll get done, toss your shorts in the wash (and hopefully, treat them correctly in the laundry), shower, and move on.

I’m not going to try to pretend that Position One is looking to change that mindset with the introduction of their apparel line, and more specifically, the Triathlon Training Bibthat I’ve been ride-testing the last few months. The goal remains the same: a high-quality short that means you’re not cutting short your ride due to self-inflicted discomfort. But it does raise a question that probably needs some additional exploring.

Are shorts just as important as bike saddles when it comes to comfort on the bike?> Let’s explore that a little bit.

Side note: I was provided these shorts for review as part of a partnership agreement between Slowtwitch and Position One.


As we touched upon in our article covering the launch of Position One, the company has taken a bit of a new approach when it comes to building a bib short. Primarily, they’ve focused much of their effort on chamois design and materials in order to better serve athletes riding in the aero position – namely, triathletes. They’ve reviewed bike geometry and positioning to understand how athletes will rotate forward on the bike, and where pressure points will be for these athletes.

In turn, Position One came to two conclusions – first, that the position of the chamois in a traditional bib short was oriented too far rearwards to be of use to athletes who ride in this steeper position. Second, the chamois were too narrow to mate with modern triathlon split-nose saddles – such as those from, for instance, ISM, or BiSaddle, or any number of other manufacturers. This combination would create something that Position One dubs “the Pain Zone.” Solving it was the mission statement.

Their answer was to create a variety of chamois sizes and shapes, positioned correctly within each subsequent size of short, to be able to mate with the pressure points and saddle shapes that athletes who ride more forward positions will encounter. Namely, most of us triathletes. Consequently, whether Dan Kennison and team knew it or not, they’re also solving for a fair number of road and gravel riders as well who find themselves far forward on the saddle – a not uncommon place for many triathletes to be when they swap disciplines. You can take a triathlete off of a tri bike, but you frequently can’t take that rider DNA out of them.

The rest of the short features premium Italian fabrics. Notably, these are not sublimated fabrics – more on that in a minute on how that impacts fit and finish on the short. Cost for the shorts reviewed here sits at $173.50, which puts it almost squarely at the median price of $175 for most name-brand shorts while I was recently shopping for shorts for myself, and significantly less than some comparable shorts from Castelli, Assos, and Rapha.



I’m 6’3” (that’s 190.5cm for the metrically inclined out there). Weight fluctuates within 10 pounds of 182 depending on time of the year and a variety of other factors. I’ll usually wear a 33 or 34 inch jean waist, with a 34 inch inseam. Speaking super generally, I’m going to be either a medium or a large in generic sized apparel, with the biggest determining factor usually being length.

The Position One shorts fit most similarly to my De Soto 400 mile bib short. That means that the leg gripper comes up a little bit further on the thigh. If you have less femur length than I, these will probably wind up hitting just above the knee. It is a touch shorter than I prefer out of a short, but it’s also not so short that I’m going to complain or fellow riders will complain that I’m being indecent.

The shoulder straps are nearly perfect length for me. For as tall as I am, I have a shorter torso relative to my height, and so straps need to be long without being loose. Alternatively, though, I frequently run into straps that are too short, with Castelli being the worst offender. Sizing up fixes the strap length, but then the legs are loose. So in order words – if Castelli fits you really well, you may not fit as well in Position One.

Leg grippers are well done and unobtrusive, in my opinion. The stitching along the leg on my pre-production sample was slightly rough. However, two subsequent production samples (a men’s cycling bib and a women’s cycling short) showed no signs of the same issue. The rest of the panels are well constructed and Goldilocks-weight: not too compressive, not too loose. Just right.


Over the last few months, these shorts have seen a lot of different saddles and rides. From indoors on Zwift on my winter riding beater to my new gravel bike and then on a triathlon bike, the Position One shorts have racked up some quality miles. As noted before – I tend to be pretty far forward on a saddle, regardless of the bike. Probably comes from having started off my adult riding career on a triathlon bike almost fifteen years ago.

Regardless of the saddle, I’ve found that Position One has indeed solved the so-called “Pain Zone” – at least for me. Without getting too personal, I almost always will develop an issue on the right side with extended riding – just one of those “yeah, you get used to it” annoyances. It hasn’t mattered the saddle, the chamois cream, the short – that’s always been the riding equivalent of a wetsuit hickey for me.

That annoyance never showed up while riding in these shorts. Period.

I found the difference in shorts to be most stark while riding indoors. I am a prolific sweater. It’s not uncommon for me to finish a Zwift race with a puddle of standing water beneath me – and that’s with two towels on the bike, an additional one for my head, at least one fan going and the basement door open. I’m also, admittedly, hard-headed when it comes to spending any more on the indoor set-up. There are no rocker plates, no fancy mats, etc. It’s a KICKR, rubber flooring from Home Depot, a couple of fans, and the unofficial computer of Slowtwitch (MacBook Air M1) powering Zwift. That general lack of movement will usually unearth any kind of fit or form issue. And not one popped up during all of the rides I’ve done in this short.

The only negatives I can spy are three fold. First, as of this writing, there isn’t a custom program on offer to be able to have a design done for your team or coaching business. Second, you can get this short in any color you want so long as that color is black. Considering the price point, competitors in this space will usually have at least one additional color option. And lastly, sizing is limited to straight sizes – four for men, four for women. Given that the company has only been available at retail for a few months, we’ll revisit this sizing question after the company has had more time under its feet to see if it will offer extended sizes.

Overall, though, I’ve been more than pleased with the performance and durability of these shorts. They’ve easily replaced everything except a pair of WYN Republic shorts in my go-to pile, and are my absolute favorite indoor riding shorts. So long as you fit into one of their size offerings, this is a sweet spot of performance and value.

Available direct from Position One: Men’s / Women’s

Don’t hate your saddle…. fix your pad!