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How to Buy Bibs

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How to Buy Bibs

Old 06-29-15, 09:58 AM
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How to Buy Bibs

I know there are a bunch of threads about bib shorts here, and they continue to pop up. After reviewing a bunch, I am still seeking some advice...

How should I go about buying by first pair of bibs? On-line or in a store? How much roughly should I spend?


I currently have one pair of shorts. I am doing a century in less then a month. I have noticed a little chaffing on my last two long rides (60+ and 70+ miles respectively). It is nothing bad, but I think riding another 1.5 to 2 hours would start to really get me. I am looking for another pair with more padding perhaps and I like the idea of bibs. I have noticed on long rides I am a lot more comfortable for a few miles after stopping to "hike" my shorts up. I think bibs will help avoid the need to do that.

I want to purchase soon so I have time to train in the new pair before the century. I am really not sure on how much I need to spend, but obviously want to limit my expenditure (for some reason I cannot stop spending money on biking!) Recommendations would be great. I would do on-line but I an concerned about fit... I have an average frame and wear large shorts, so I would assume I would get large bibs, but curious if the risks of buying on-line are worth it.


As a follow up discussion, what are your thoughts on chamois cream? I have never used it but I am thinking of trying it on my next couple training rides... I would not say I have a chaffing problem, but I could certainly be more comfortable after 40-50 miles then I am now, although I assume some discomfort is expected.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-29-15, 10:06 AM
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Chafing is not about too little padding. In fact it can be about too much. First start using a skin lubricant like Chamois Butter or Body Glide. That will take away a lot of the concern about chafing. From then on it is a strictly personal issue. Much like with saddles trial and error is all you can do, particularly is you want to maximize value and not overpay. Try on the popular shorts in various price ranges like the Performance Ultras for about $60 (on sale) and Assos for much much more. You will have to guess at first, because you can't take them for a test ride. Well that's not true about the Performance products. Those can be returned at any time.

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Old 06-29-15, 10:09 AM
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If you have a performance bike near you, go there and try on some of their better bibs (ultra?). They always seem to garner positive reports around here and they're reasonably priced. It took me a little bit to get used to bibs but I'll never go back.

I do like a good glop of chamois cream for long rides... don't really care for rides < 3 hours.

As with everything before a century, make sure you've tested the gear first - don't be using a new chamois cream the day of a century!
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Old 06-29-15, 10:10 AM
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I really like Gore Power bibs and you can get them for $80. Performance are too long in the leg for my tastes (as are Garneau) but that all depends on your build and preference and lots of guys like them. I'm 6' 160-ish and wear a Medium in most brands I've tried.
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Old 06-29-15, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Chafing is not about too little padding. In fact it can be about too much.
Yep, definitely something that alot of people get wrong though.
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