The Salopette Dottore X and the Salopette Unique bib shorts were released within six months of each other. This gave the potential to use both during the same summer, enabling their differences to be experienced.
The Dottore X arrived during the winter months and I waited patiently for the warmer days, to try the new product in the conditions and temperature that they are designed for. By mid summer, I started to see indication of another, technically advanced bib short by Q36.5, and soon after, the Salopette Unique was released.
Okay, I could have held off buying the Unique, but for me, the level of intrigue would have been too unbearable! Or made me even more so! Plus, it would have delayed comparing the two new products.
Given that Q36.5’s website contains a lot of technical detail relating to both of these bib shorts, I have chosen to only include a brief overview of their design and features, and bias the article towards how the shorts feel when in use, and the conclusion that I reached.
Being a long time user of the Salopette Dottore, the differences in the X version are quite easy to pick up on. From a visual perspective, the fabric change is noticeable, the inclusion of silver thread carries over from the original short, but it is lighter in weight.
There is a new pattern, adjusting the actual shape of the short – “The C-Interface”. This is the contact area between shorts and saddle and it is now designed with no central seam, thus removing a potential pressure point. Additionally, there is a new strap construction, which for me has translated into the X being a short of enhanced comfort. The specific feel and performance traits of the Dottore line are present, and this is something that will feature later in this article. It is worth noting that one feature which is not immediately apparent, is the water resistance treatment, for protection against light rain, and to aid quick drying.
The way in which Salopette Unique is formed results in this bib short being literally very different in the way it feels and performs. This may sound cliched, but that is how it is!
Q36.5 utilise seamless construction, and weave areas of integrated fibres, to create the Unique garment. Each specific area of the short performs differently, to suit its placement. The three dimensional form of the short is consistent in the chamois; the Fusion Vented chamois combines various density foams, breathability and ventilation, all of which contribute to rider comfort. Tubular strap design is also part of what forms the Unique bib short.
To interpret one of these bib shorts to be better than the other, would be unjust. Both are excellent, but have different traits. From a personal perspective, I select each one for specific conditions, and style of ride.
The characteristics of the Salopette Dottore X are most readily identified by feel of the compression in the lower leg, and the lumbar support. When using these shorts, there is a feel of it in some way assisting the movement of pedalling, particularly as the leg retracts from the down stroke.
The Salopette Unique has a fit that could be described as “sculpted” and the compression has a more subtle feel than the Dottore X.
The Body Mapping technology used by Q36.5 facilitates the optimum placement of fabrics, for their traits and performance. The effect of this is very prolific in the Unique, which is finely tuned to ensure the rider does not feel discomfort from being overly warm, cool, or from perspiration.
My preference for long, hot days in the saddle is the Salopette Unique. Its second skin fit, the effect of the body mapping, combined with the Fusion Vented chamois creates a garment which performs in a way that is very harmonious with the rider, and seems to assist in negating the challenge of very warm conditions.
The Salopette Dottore X is the one I reach for when I need all the assistance I can get! Whether it’s rough road surfaces, a long day in the saddle, or a mix of summer conditions, the features of this bib short, help the rider to overcome these challenges.
I hope the content of this article helps you to choose one or both of these bib shorts by Q36.5 but if you would like any further detail, please feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or head to www.q36-5.com
Footnote: I have friends in mainland Europe whose preference is to use these shorts differently. An example being a bias to the Salopette Dottore X in hotter conditions. This might be because they have a higher level of adaption to riding in hot conditions than I do.