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What's good about bib shorts?

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What's good about bib shorts?

Old 04-05-20, 02:38 PM
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BCDrums
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What's good about bib shorts?

I have ridden in cycling shorts for decades, have found them fine, but have never tried bib shorts. What do you like about them over regular shorts? Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 04-05-20, 02:57 PM
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79pmooney
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I don't like them. I've bought one pair (of very nice Segois). My gripes - the obvious issues around toilet trips and the process taking far longer for #2 . Also big clothing changes on long days with big temperature changes often require more undressing.

Another issue - the effective suspender length. It needs to be right for the shorts to be (typically) >$100 comfortable. So they need to be tried on. And if you are like me and thrifty, you will find that the bibs stretch and no long have the suspender effect they had new.

Now, I grew my racing wings decades ago in the environment of the Boston racing scene where the local guru was John Allis; a great racer and one of the very first of the modern era to race in Europe. He was a huge proponent of suspenders. Now his were button-on to wool shorts with buttons. Real money. I raced cheap shorts and used clip-on suspenders. The first time I clipped on the suspenders, it was "wow!". I've been using them ever since. Now this was years before bibs took over. Bibs came and they were $10-15 more expensive and I already had the suspenders. 30 years later I am still saving $10-15 a pair and I get roughly 50 % more use out of them because suspender stretch isn't an issue. (Well it is, but the suspenders come with adjustment capability. And when they die, it's $20 or less for another pair that will outlast many pairs of shorts.

Ben

Last edited by 79pmooney; 04-05-20 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 04-05-20, 03:16 PM
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As 79p said, they are a real bear. If you're in a criterium they are OK because you can go before you change or after, but for a long ride with indeterminate toilet stops they are a pain. They have a few advantages, they keep your shorts from sticking onto the end of your saddle when you have to stand and sit a great deal. And they are cheap but have good pads in them from the Chinese. Since I ride a lot on the street I want really bright clothing so that I am easily noticed. Except for a few years most team kit was made to be noticed so that's what I buy. Though my winter kit is a great deal less selective leaning more to the warm than to the Look At Me.
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Old 04-05-20, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I don't like them. I've bought one pair (of very nice Segois). My gripes - the obvious issues around toilet trips and the process taking far longer for #2 . Also big clothing changes on long days with big temperature changes often require more undressing.

Another issue - the effective suspender length. It needs to be right for the shorts to be (typically) >$100 comfortable. So they need to be tried on. And if you are like me and thrifty, you will find that the bibs stretch and no long have the suspender effect they had new.

Now, I grew my racing wings decades ago in the environment of the Boston racing scene where the local guru was John Allis; a great racer and one of the very first of the modern era to race in Europe. He was a huge proponent of suspenders. Now his were button-on to wool shorts with buttons. Real money. I raced cheap shorts and used clip-on suspenders. The first time I clipped on the suspenders, it was "wow!". I've been using them ever since. Now this was years before bibs took over. Bibs came and they were $10-15 more expensive and I already had the suspenders. 30 years later I am still saving $10-15 a pair and I get roughly 50 % more use out of them because suspender stretch isn't an issue. (Well it is, but the suspenders come with adjustment capability. And when they die, it's $20 or less for another pair that will outlast many pairs of shorts.

Ben
All true. I remember using snap-on suspenders in the wool shorts era too and I remember John Allis and the other NEBC riders, but from early Lycra times. I also own a Mooney frame.

I actually like the way bibs fit, but the inability to pee without unshirting is a deal breaker.
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Old 04-05-20, 03:23 PM
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I resisted for a long time but eventually got some to try.

Now I wear them for most outdoor riding, so there must be something better.

One thing is that they hold your junk up better, so when unweighting to go over bumps

you're less likely to get that bad hammering effect on the balls.
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Old 04-05-20, 03:26 PM
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Yes, it's less convenient to do #2 . #1 isn't a problem: I just pull down on the front so the plumbing has a free shot. On the plus side, there's no waistband constricting my abdomen/diaphragm or to roll down when you don't want it to—not that I have a large gut, and the chamois/pad doesn't shift around. I've worn bibs for decades and prefer them to shorts.

To each his own. There's a reason both kinds are on the market.
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Old 04-05-20, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by RiceAWay View Post
And they are cheap but have good pads in them from the Chinese.
???
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Old 04-05-20, 03:38 PM
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I do day rides in bibs. I tour in bibs. I can relieve my bladder on the side of the road wearing bibs. I can squat in the woods wearing bibs after spending sixty seconds unzipping my jersey, taking it off, pulling down the straps and squatting.

I will never go back to NOT bibs.
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Old 04-05-20, 03:43 PM
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They look cooler when I do the Euro pro move and unzip, to reveal bibs and base layer underneath, and let the jersey flap in the wind.
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Old 04-05-20, 04:10 PM
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Protect your junk better when riding in and out of saddle. No pinching around the gut. The real quality ones disappear. The toilet thing is a minor issue, but I’ll grant that shorts do make it easier when one needs to relieve ones self.
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Old 04-05-20, 04:28 PM
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I love my bibs. Elastic waistbands are uncomfortable for me on a bike.

Going to the toilet is certainly less convenient. It's even worse when I'm wearing many layers.
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Old 04-05-20, 04:34 PM
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Especially appreciated by those potbellied road cyclists we have heard about.
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Old 04-05-20, 04:41 PM
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I purchased bib shorts on clearance at the LBS. Much better than regular padded shorts because they don't slide down.
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Old 04-05-20, 05:03 PM
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you won't ever show your crack by accident
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Old 04-05-20, 05:41 PM
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I was a slow convert, but bibs are way more comfortable than shorts especially on long rides.
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Old 04-05-20, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Especially appreciated by those potbellied road cyclists we have heard about.
Yes. Guilty as charged.
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Old 04-05-20, 06:45 PM
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Wouldn't know about the pot belly or the exposed crack, my shorts stay up just fine. I find it hard to get bibs down to where they need to be for clean and clear bladder relief. Here in the busy suburbs you have to pee fast and discretely or risk getting your name and address on the sex offender list.
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Old 04-05-20, 06:52 PM
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Bibs are so much better. Most reasons already posted. Easier for a little gut action. Easier in "man land" in my opinion anyways. They stay where they are supposed to way better than just shorts. No cracks, no on the bike adjusting either.

Downsides, are the infamous #2 , I don't think #1 has ever been an issue. Some brands suspenders are not correctly sized BUT if you find a brand that is feeling good you won't go back. I will not wear shorts ever again if I can help it!

biggest downside IMO is the price!
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Old 04-05-20, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Wouldn't know about the pot belly or the exposed crack, my shorts stay up just fine. I find it hard to get bibs down to where they need to be for clean and clear bladder relief. Here in the busy suburbs you have to pee fast and discretely or risk getting your name and address on the sex offender list.
One of the Castelli product line of bibs where cut slightly lower in the front to help in that situation. I have a few pairs and it works fine except for when you arent on the bike and standing up, there is a gap between the top and jersey.
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Old 04-05-20, 07:03 PM
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3 points. If you always use suspenders it doesn't take long for the waistband to get stretched out. No longer an issue. With clip-ons, unclipping to use the facilities can be done while you are in line and re-clipping after you leave the facility. To do your business - enter, pull down and go. Pull up and leave. There's a line out there thanking you. And you get the same ease, support and protection sitting and standing and going over bumps as bibs.

I feel the same way re: shorts without suspenders and shorts with as you do re: shorts vs bibs. I never ride without suspenders.

Ben
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Old 04-05-20, 07:09 PM
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Basically the only thing shorts are good for is on the trainer.
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Old 04-05-20, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
Basically the only thing shorts are good for is on the trainer.
Wow! So I've learned nothing in 200,000 miles of riding shorts and suspenders. Humbling.

Ben
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Old 04-05-20, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
One of the Castelli product line of bibs where cut slightly lower in the front to help in that situation. I have a few pairs and it works fine except for when you arent on the bike and standing up, there is a gap between the top and jersey.
Noted. Thanks.
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Old 04-05-20, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Wow! So I've learned nothing in 200,000 miles of riding shorts and suspenders. Humbling.

Ben
It's not my fault if you're a slow learner.

Or if you take responses to this topic seriously, after the number of time it's been rehashed.
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Old 04-05-20, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
Basically the only thing shorts are good for is on the trainer.
And in the bathroom.
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