Ciovita Apex Scudo Ceramic Bib Shorts: The Bottom Line In Protection
Crashing your bike is never fun, but Ciovita’s innovative Ceramic treatment in its Apex-series bib shorts helps soften the blow, a little, physically and financially.
The Apex is the Cape Town firm’s pinnacle – an exclusive range that combines the latest in cycling technology with hundreds of hours of testing and refinement to produce kit that pushes the boundaries of what is possible. The Scudo Ceramic model uses a ceramic shield print that is applied to key panels on the bib, a treatment that makes the fabric more durable and reduces friction in high risk areas if you do take a high-speed slide.
There are two industry methods to achieve this type of protection; the first is to weave a reinforcing thread into a garment – there are a number of WorldTour teams kitted out like this, evident with a criss-cross pattern on the bib shorts.
The second method is to coat the lycra with tiny ceramic dots, which will be the first point of contact with the ground and distribute the force of a accident by sliding, rather than uncoated lycra that disintegrates at a microscopic level, then fails into holes that expose your skin to abrasion from the road surface.
After getting up I expected the worst: torn skin and a week of terrible pain trying to shower. The bibs survived this crash with not even a tear or mark.
There are pros and cons to both methods, but the one advantage (other than superior protection) is the breathability of the ceramic fabrics Ciovita uses, especially important in the warm South African climate.
Fit and function
The Apex bibs are constructed with Ciovita’s Pro Fit style, with a longer leg, using Mnemonic Ultra Stretch Advanced Performance Fabric. This special Lycra features a four-way stretch meaning it offers increased manoeuvrability while keeping its elasticity for longer. The Apex Scudo is finished with the latest in high tech trims including high density silicon grippers and a dedicated sunglasses hook on its Elastane Snapback Straps.
Saddle comfort in the Apex Scudo Ceramic Bib Shorts comes from the free-floating Argon C7 Pad Insert. This revolutionary Italian-made pad features a 3mm perforated foam layer that adapts to your saddle position, alongside a 12mm high-density shock absorption foam layer that spreads potential discomfort evenly, minimising pressure points in that most sensitive of cycling areas.
Much like a helmet, this is something we hope to never actively test, but at least one of Ciovita’s regular riders has: “Last year I had a huge wipe out on a trail called Zululand, as the Armageddon trail splits. This trail is very compact, basically as hard as concrete. After getting up I expected the worst: torn skin and a week of terrible pain trying to shower. The bibs survived this crash with not even a tear or mark. My hip area that took the main force of the impact was actually fine. Not so much, the muscle tissue and blood under the surface of my skin. Yes I crashed hard. I bruised the muscles on my whole right side of my body with the only skin loss on my knees and arms.”
That’s an awful lot of tech talk – what it translates to in our real world is a set of shorts that you will relish the comfort of – both at short-and-fast race pace, and all-day adventuring – with an added layer of confidence that your skin is protected if you do ever decide to lie down at speed.