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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 07-28-11, 05:04 PM   #1
MikeOCS
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To bib or not to bib, that is the question

Are bib shorts worth the extra money? This seems like one of those things where either they are over-hyped or they are something you wished you had had all along (once you tried them of course). Any thoughts?
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Old 07-28-11, 05:16 PM   #2
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I first tried bibs when they first came out, something like 30 years ago. Never went back. That answer your question?

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Old 07-28-11, 06:01 PM   #3
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So I'm going to put bobbycorno in the "maybe" category.
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Old 07-28-11, 09:04 PM   #4
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I just bought my first pair, and it was a "where have these been all my life" type of thing. The lack of a waist band is heavenly on my longer rides, though bathroom breaks are a bit more difficult. Honestly I could go either way on a short ride, but will never go back to regular shorts for the long rides..... I am a convert
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Old 07-28-11, 09:21 PM   #5
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as zrieser mentions, they do make bio breaks a bit more cumbersome. depending on the height of the material in front, you may end up having to take your jersey off and get half-naked just to take care of business.

but it's totally worth it
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Old 07-29-11, 01:42 AM   #6
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Hi

Is there anything else to wear? I have four pair of bib knicks now and no shorts; guess that says what my vote is.

Andrew
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Old 07-31-11, 09:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I just bought my first pair, and it was a "where have these been all my life" type of thing. The lack of a waist band is heavenly on my longer rides, though bathroom breaks are a bit more difficult. Honestly I could go either way on a short ride, but will never go back to regular shorts for the long rides..... I am a convert
Okay, serious question: How do you handle those bathroom breaks? I have one cheap pair of bibs with a too-thick diaper-like pad that I tried a few years ago and was okay with the bib part, but not the oh-so-pillowy cushion under my butt. I tried them again today on a short 20-miler to see if I liked them any better or worse, and I liked the bib part but I distinctly remember thinking that I'd avoid them for longer rides 'cause I'd have to find a field to strip down just to pee. I could be converted if I could figure out how to handle that part of it.
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Old 07-31-11, 09:15 PM   #8
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I tried bibs and was not impressed; but then I'm female. I prefer regular shorts.
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Old 08-09-11, 10:20 AM   #9
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Okay, serious question: How do you handle those bathroom breaks?
As a guy, doing a #1 isn't too difficult with my bibs - they're stretchy enough that I don't need to take them off to get at my 'undercarriage'. As to #2, unless I ate the wrong thing last night, I'll only need to go at most once per ride per day (with that, then, yes, I'll have to strip down). If I take care of #2 close to the start of the ride, then it usually isn't an issue for the rest of the ride.
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Old 08-09-11, 11:23 AM   #10
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on a ride of 600k, I expect to need to take off my jersey so I can pull down my bibs. It hasn't been an issue, there is almost always a hook to hang clothes on in public bathrooms. On shorter rides, I've never had this issue. Before they invented bibs, I used suspenders. I don't miss that.
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Old 08-10-11, 12:23 PM   #11
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I've owned several different pairs of standard (non-bib) cycling shorts. I've never noticed the waistband causing any discomfort or problem even on the longest ride. I never liked the idea of bib shorts, but got some for free, so gave them a try. There are so many negatives to them that I cannot understand why most people prefer them. Maybe the waistband on standard shorts would bother me more if I was overweight, but since I'm not, it has never seemed to be a drawback. I've since tried another pair of bibs and even tried on several Assos models, but I still don't like them, here are a few reasons why:

On hot days, I don't want anything extra on my back (not even mesh straps). Even Assos say that for "Hot Summer", you should use their non-bib shorts even though their bibs have a light mesh upper.
How do you find ones that fit right? The bib shorts that fit my lower half well don't have bibs that are long enough, and so they pull on my shoulders. That is WAY more annoying than the waistband on my regular shorts. Buying regular shorts is much more straightforward because they only need to fit one part of my body.
If I'm going on a lightweight overnight tour, carrying an extra pair of bibs is bulkier than an extra pair of shorts. Bibs also have more material to wash and dry if I choose to go with that option.
Being a guy, even doing #1's is a little harder with bibs on than with shorts (but is certainly still possible). Of course, doing #2's is a huge hassle if you have bibs.
Bibs cost more.

I have found one advantages of bib shorts - if it is cold, then bibs do provide another layer of cover for my back. However, I'd prefer to just use an undershirt.

So, aside from the old comment that the "waistband is uncomfortable" on regular shorts (which does not apply to me) - why else should I use bibs?
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Old 08-10-11, 04:42 PM   #12
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because bibs don't fall down. Even when I was super-thin, I had problems with shorts falling down. Now my waist helps push them down. If shorts slip just a little, it helps break them loose from your thighs and promotes saddle sores. Of course, YMMV.
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Old 08-10-11, 04:46 PM   #13
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I don't own any shorts. Bibs are way more comfee to me. Its like a wet suit!
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Old 08-11-11, 11:22 PM   #14
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On hot days, I don't want anything extra on my back (not even mesh straps). Even Assos say that for "Hot Summer", you should use their non-bib shorts even though their bibs have a light mesh upper.
I don't know how hot it gets where you ride (Switzerland?) but here in Western Australia I have ridden with the temperature over 50 C on the bike and worrying about the bib shorts making me "hotter" is the last thing on my mind so for me that is a serious non-issue.

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Old 08-12-11, 11:20 AM   #15
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So, aside from the old comment that the "waistband is uncomfortable" on regular shorts (which does not apply to me) - why else should I use bibs?
I find bib shorts keep the chamois in place better. Also recommend a sleeveless undershirt to keep the straps from chafing on longer rides.
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Old 08-28-11, 07:24 PM   #16
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I used regular shorts for quite a while and then I got talked into buying a pair of bibs. Stopping for a nature break is definitely more challenging (and, really, pretty annoying), but I found the bibs to be a whole lot more comfortable. Having said all of that, I've been thinking of going back to regular shorts for a bit, just to confirm. My abilities and physique have changed a lot over the last year and I'm curious to see how regular shorts might fair now.
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Old 08-29-11, 10:49 PM   #17
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Switched from shorts to bib and would never go back - going #1 is not bad, even in my highest high top bibs. I strongly suggest that you buy top quality ones - I have one cheap pair, which i never wear because i bought some nice ones that are 100 times better quality (Hincapie and PI).
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Old 09-11-11, 11:14 PM   #18
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I've been a true cyclist since the mid 80s when I raced Cat III.

Last year was the first year I bought and tried bibs.

After I recovered from beating the crap out of myself for not trying them almost 20 years earlier, I bought 3 more pairs.

This year I added bib tights to my collection.

I'll never wear regular cycling shorts. Again.
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Old 09-17-11, 11:37 AM   #19
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I bought my first pair of bibs last year, and loved them, especially when standing to pedal.

I bought a pair of Performance Ultra bibs for the first pair. I got them on sale for about $60. I liked them, and bought a pair of Pearl Izumi Elite bibs a couple of months later. I bought another pair of PI Elite bibs this year to wear in the Grand Tour lowland route.
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Old 09-17-11, 11:49 AM   #20
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Still wear the shorts I have. I like them for short rides and trainer riding in winter.
Prefer my Cannondale bibs for long rides. Pearl Izumi bibs for everyday.
#1 requires one hand for holding the front of the bibs and the other for myself. This could inhibit those who p while riding.
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Old 09-17-11, 11:33 PM   #21
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Bottomline, bibs and cycling belong together. I've been using them for 1 1/2 years and will never buy shorts again. "Bathroom" concerns are insignificant.
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Old 09-18-11, 06:58 PM   #22
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I've tried a couple of them. Two things: they yank up on my nuts in a totally uncomfortable manner. Pull down on the legs and they're right back up there again. I hate that. And if you're on a long event and have been working with a paceline, and it's not the height of summer, you will not get your card signed, get your bottles watered, get something to eat, do a #2, and ever see your fellow riders again. It's kind of funny, really. We'll see the Porta-Potti rocking back and forth, screams of frustration issuing forth. Pretty hard to get all that soaking wet crap off over your head and then back on again without losing your pocket contents down the hole, assuming the usual level of hypoxia. Never had a problem with shorts. They stay where I put them and I forget about them.
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Old 09-18-11, 07:11 PM   #23
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And if you're on a long event and have been working with a paceline, and it's not the height of summer, you will not get your card signed, get your bottles watered, get something to eat, and ever see your fellow riders again.
Whaaa...?
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Old 09-18-11, 08:01 PM   #24
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if they are pulling on the "boys" they are too small. I have some that fit fairly well except they are too short. Probably going to have the straps lengthened.
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Old 09-19-11, 10:00 AM   #25
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From the waist down my bibs dont fit differently than my shorts; they just stay in place better
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