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  1. #1
    Junior Member BikeSwimLaugh's Avatar
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    Bibs....understanding & opinions please

    Prior to my getting into biking I only knew "bibs" to be small napkins attached around the necks of infants and my father-in-law....it wasn't long before I came to realize lycra shorts with suspenders attached were also referred to as "bibs".....

    So okay, I get it....shorts tend to roll-down so the suspenders hold everything up and keep a nice pressure on the abdominals....but what I don't get is the proper way in which to wear these things. And am I correct in that they are generally worn just to avoid the shorts rolling-down syndrome?

    Seems there are 3 options as far as wearing these...

    1) With shirt/jersey on the outside...this seems traditional and the commonly accepted method. My only complaint are the suspenders usually separating and sitting on the edges of my shoulders....but still, this is the common method and looks normal.

    2) The 70's disco method; occassionally you'll see some guy wearing a t-shirt tucked-in with the suspenders on the outside. This just seems wrong, ghey and did I mention wrong?

    And now the big question.....

    3) I see some guy in my spin class wearing a bib with no shirt at all. Something just doesn't look quite right. This guy is in good/fair shape and perhaps he thinks he's doing the gals a favor...but it just seems a bit odd. Am I correct in thinking this is wrong? I've never seen it on the trail or road.

    My interest is based on the fact that I sweat like a pig in spin-class. OMG I go through 2-4 bottles of water and I pre-hydrate as well. I just sweat like crazy, I put towels under my bike and at the end of class I can take off my shoes and wring quit a bit of perspiration out of my socks. I NEED TO SERIOUSLY FIND THE COOLEST OUTFIT TO WEAR that is within acceptible fashion/function. The bib seems like it would be the ticket, but wearing it w/o a shirt just seems way wrong; am I correct? (cause I really don't wanna do that)

    My other observation is that the bib has material that runs up the back, why not just have a bit more material running up the front to mimic a wrestling singlet or triathlon suit?? That's what I often wear, a light tri-suit with a running shirt over the top...the light padding is good for the spin-saddle, the shirt can come off if I get way hot and I generally swim right after spin class...but still, my question is more about the bib and how it should be worn.....

    Opinions please.....

  2. #2
    Senior Member rodrigaj's Avatar
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    I can't comment on bibs, but I can comment on sweating. On my trainer, I will wear a mid size towel around the waist, tucked into my shorts. Cool max jersey over that, fan directly pointed at me.

    One of the reasons I don't join spin classes is because I sweat too much. I sweat more than anybody I know.

  3. #3
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeSwimLaugh View Post
    ...And am I correct in that they are generally worn just to avoid the shorts rolling-down syndrome?

    ...2) The 70's disco method; occassionally you'll see some guy wearing a t-shirt tucked-in with the suspenders on the outside. This just seems wrong, ghey and did I mention wrong?

    ...I NEED TO SERIOUSLY FIND THE COOLEST OUTFIT TO WEAR that is within acceptible fashion/function...
    No, bibs are mostly worn because after a very short while waist tie shorts feel as though you're being cut in half.

    It's comfortable, functional and when you're commuting/training lets you get to the toilet without having to take your shirt off (disclaimer: I use full length zip cycling jerseys over my bib shorts).

    Wear bib shorts but don't use the suspenders - as long as they're a good fit and you're on the bike/trainer they shouldn't slide down. Also get a LOOSE (most important) wicking t-shirt, e.g., under armor loose gear t-shirts are awesome and will keep you cooler than cheap cotton t-shirts. Basically, minimise the number of layers you're wearing and make sure that any clothing is thin, light and wicking synthetics.
    shameless POWERCRANK plug
    Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
    Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
    Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!

  4. #4
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Odd thread... on the trainer I don't wear a shirt. When I get hot I open the door and some windows.

    The usual way to wear bibs is straps on the inside. Good straps won't shift around so much. Many bibs have short straps and I have Boure put a new top on them. Their straps are longer and wider.

    The idea of wearing a baselayer below the straps is intriguing enough that I'll try it if Spring ever comes.

    "Nice pressure on the abdominals"?? I thought the whole idea was to take pressure off the abs for comfort and better breathing. Your bibs may be too small...

    My favorite synthetic fabric is Powerdry. You may have to poke around to find a t shirt made from it.

    I have had good luck with Patagonia
    http://www.patagonia.com/web/us/prod...IRTS#sku.21102
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
    Stewart Brand

  5. #5
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    I was gonna suggest tri stuff till I got the end and saw that's what you usually wear. The triathlon gear is designed to not hold water. If you are wearing a trisuit I wouldn't bother with a t-shirt, regular bib shorts then yes. Suspender fit varies from brand to brand and with individuals.

  6. #6
    Junior Member BikeSwimLaugh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldfeet View Post
    I was gonna suggest tri stuff till I got the end and saw that's what you usually wear. The triathlon gear is designed to not hold water. .
    My gym routine involves taking a spin class and then proceeding directly to the pool to swim a mile+...you can't beat the fuctionality, conveinence and practicality of the tri-suit. I hit the pool-side shower to rinse the perspiratin off, then I jump right in and get my upper-body cardio. The best part is that after swimming you just get in the shower to rinse-off the chlorinated water and you're suit is auto-cleaned...no dirtly laundry to clean when you get home! (I embrace the lazy path ).

    I also agree that the tri-suit has minimal coverage on top and affords pretty darn good cooling. It's not quite as open as the bib-shorts, but it looks proper.

    Quote Originally Posted by coldfeet View Post
    If you are wearing a trisuit I wouldn't bother with a t-shirt
    I usually wear a running shirt over the tri-suit, something light and wicking so I don't get too hot. The addition of the shirt does hold a bit of heat, but on the few occassions that I've not worn a shirt (taken off after class starts and lights are dimmed)...I've gotten a few looks from the woman. Let's face it, it's little more then a masculine-cut lycra unitard body-suit....something you'd see on a gal back in the 70's & early 80's. I'm in good shape and I shouldn't be so self-conscious, but still. Just the same, I'd much sooner wear the tri-suit then a bib w/o shirt!

    I think a small/medium-sized portable fan with rechargable batteries would go a long way towards helping! I have no idea why they keep the big fans off during class, apparently popular vote says no-fans I rode on the trails today; I really missed the moving air, changing scenary and that nasty rut that snuck up on me and almost sent me over the handlebars!
    Last edited by BikeSwimLaugh; 02-18-08 at 10:36 PM.

  7. #7
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    You live in SoCal where it's always sunny and warm and go to a spin class rather than riding outside?

    Quote Originally Posted by markhr
    No, bibs are mostly worn because after a very short while waist tie shorts feel as though you're being cut in half.
    +1

    If you get bibs, PLEASE wear a jersey or shirt on the outside covering the straps.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

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  8. #8
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have a sweat issure more than a bib issue. Big ol fan is the only answer. Doesn't matter what you wear, you gonna sweat. Buy a $20 fan at wally world and bring it to class, plug it in and leave it next to the bike you usually ride.

    Re: fit of the bibs, there's lots of different models / brands / cuts, look around. When you find a pair you like, buy 3 more because they won't be available next week.

  9. #9
    Junior Member BikeSwimLaugh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    When you find a pair you like, buy 3 more because they won't be available next week.
    So true.....with just about everything.

    Seems like when you find something that is made well, fits perfect, looks great and is destine to become one of your more favorite pieces......they stop making it. You can just imagine some marketing genius looking at the numbers "Oh, wow....we sold every one of these we made and we have re-orders for more....better discontinue it and replace it with something dumb".

    I agree, it's a sweating issue and last class when I pushed hard, I think I was approaching passing-out. I looked around the room and there were no outlets accept up by the front. No way I'm bringing a fan & extension cord, I'll just see what sm/med-sized portable units are available and play with rechargible batteries.

    Thanks for the input.

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