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Datlas' Guide To Short/Bib Selection

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Datlas' Guide To Short/Bib Selection

Old 06-27-11, 06:48 PM
  #1  
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Datlas' Guide To Short/Bib Selection

I have been at this road cycling thing for a long time now, and I have found a "system" that works very well for me. I am hoping the BF collective, especially relative newbies, may find this useful. However what works for me might not work for you.

And no way am I getting into the "bibs vs shorts" debate - highly personal.

Below are Four general classifications of rides and suggested shorts/bibs and their respective price.

Remember I am a cheapskate so if you have money to burn by all means ride your Assos for every ride.

1. Very short rides <5 miles - wear whatever you want. Jorts. Pants. Skorts. It doesn't matter. Even street clothes with underwear.

For the rest of the classes below, remember kids...NO UNDERWEAR. No joking.

2. Moderately short rides. 5-30 miles, like a commute or short ride. I like Performance Century or Elites. These can be had, on sale, for approx 35 bucks or less. Do not get the GEL shorts!!!

3. Medium Ride 30-65 miles. These are my most typical rides. I like the Performance Ultra. The shorts can be had for approx 40 bucks on sale, the bibs maybe 50. These are the workhorse of my stable of shorts. I prefer the grey chamois ones from 2 years ago but the green chamois ones they sell now are still decent.

4. Longer rides of 65+ miles, Like the 108 mile ride I just did from West Chester PA to the Poconos. Epic rides, centuries, etc. Break out the Assos. I use the bottom of the line Uno's. which can be had for about 200 bucks if you shop the sales carefully.

I hope you kids find this info useful. I know it's not sticky-worthy but maybe of use to some of you.

If you have your own "system" feel free to post. If you disagree with me, feel free to say so too.
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Old 06-27-11, 07:11 PM
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I've had a pair of the Ultra bibs since '08 or '09, I forget which. I will agree that for the price, they're a great value. I wouldn't wear them for rides of more than 50 miles though. I've never owned Assos, someday maybe.
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Old 06-27-11, 07:19 PM
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Thanks for the thread D.
Right now, I"m using Louis Garneau shorts which I like.
I've been wondering if Assos H FI.Uno S5 Shorts are worth the 2 c-notes.
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Old 06-27-11, 07:24 PM
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I always wear cycling shorts 5 miles or 50 miles Just so used to them.
I do wear different shirts for different circumstances. I always clip in
mainly because of the pedals, I like that secure feeling.
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Old 06-27-11, 10:02 PM
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my system is for rides
<5 miles: team kit
>5 miles but <50 miles: team kit
ride >50 but <100: team kit
rides >100 miles: team kit


man i wish i could use what ever bib i wanted to use
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Old 06-27-11, 10:14 PM
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thanks for pointers,Im a noob and dont know which ones to get first so I will try and remember or look this back up
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Old 06-27-11, 10:16 PM
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I've learned that if you find something you like, buying the same size, from the same manufacturer, from a different line/level, will not necessarily fit you.
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Old 06-27-11, 10:21 PM
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Assos FI.S5 Milles great for daily 50-100 mi rides, 1500-2000 monthly mileage. Milles be found for as low as $205. GBW Ozons are excellent long-mileage bibs, $150 list, discounted to $110-120 end-of-season. Both are durable shorts. Assos/Cytech EIT chamois pads are smooth and low-abrasion, and they can be found on several shorts brands. If you aren't getting saddle-sore abrasions, stick with what you have.
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Old 06-28-11, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by 2ndGen View Post
Thanks for the thread D.
Right now, I"m using Louis Garneau shorts which I like.
I've been wondering if Assos H FI.Uno S5 Shorts are worth the 2 c-notes.
They are. You don't need 40 bibs. Just a few high quality pairs.
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Old 06-28-11, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Silvercivic27 View Post
They are. You don't need 40 bibs. Just a few high quality pairs.
Correct.

What I like about my "system" is I have about 4 pairs of shorts under category 2, 4 pairs under category 3, and two pairs of Assos.

These last for years even though I ride 3-4 times/week, year round.
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Old 06-28-11, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Silvercivic27 View Post
They are. You don't need 40 bibs. Just a few high quality pairs.
That's all I try to do. I'd rather have fewer high quality things than more lesser quality things.
My first set was a pair of Nike cycling shorts. They were better than nothing. The LG's were much better.
If Assos is better than LG, then, I want at least 1 pair of Assos for longer rides.
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Old 06-28-11, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by 2ndGen View Post
That's all I try to do. I'd rather have fewer high quality things than more lesser quality things.
My first set was a pair of Nike cycling shorts. They were better than nothing. The LG's were much better.
If Assos is better than LG, then, I want at least 1 pair of Assos for longer rides.
I think you should buy at least one pair of Assos so you can judge for yourself.

Yes, you could buy 4 pairs of Performance Ultra's at the same price, and no, the Assos is not 4 times better than the Ultra's...but for a long epic ride having the Assos in the "stable" is worth having, IMO.

YMMV, of course.
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Old 06-28-11, 09:43 AM
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Assos makes a great bib short, and I say that after buying a pair and using them on long rides. The chamois is very comfortable and stable which feels great when on the saddle for hours at a time. The straps sit well and aren't noticable, plus they hug the body well. The other kits I have are Capo which I really like too, they've been on me for long rides with no complaints but there is a better feel to the Assos.
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Old 06-28-11, 10:13 AM
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Assos is not the end-all-be-all of shorts for comfort.

They have GREAT workmanship and materials, and that's what you pay for. But unless they specifically fit you best, they are not necessarily the best bibshort for you.

I agree roughly with the OP's pointers, but honestly, with training, you can adapt to most bike shorts, even the cheaper ones. I wore $35 Canari shorts that had virtually no pad, and were 2 sizes too large for half a year, riding close to 150mpw with routine 60-90 mile weekend mountainous rides of 4-6 hrs successfully. The Assos I got were a better fit in size, but the thicker pad didn't help at all at that point, since I'd gotten my rear end used to riding with a thinner pad. Actually, I had some initial problems for 4 weeks with new chafe spots with the Assos that I weirdly didn't get with the Canaris.

Triguys training for Ironman races routinely do 112+ mile training rides in a triathlon-style kit which only has a thin fleece pad - less than 1/3rd the thickness of an Assos bib pad. And most of them do fine once they're used to it. (Train in what your race in.) So pricey bibs aren't necessarily required, although I'd definitely avoid the cheapo stuff just for durability sake.
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Old 06-28-11, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by ILUVUK View Post
I've had a pair of the Ultra bibs since '08 or '09, I forget which. I will agree that for the price, they're a great value. I wouldn't wear them for rides of more than 50 miles though. I've never owned Assos, someday maybe.
I am a recent convert to the Ultra II. I could ride these things on RAAM. Everyone's ass is different, but thankfully it doesn't take a 401k loan for me to find a comfy bib. Just make sure it fits. I recently went from XL to M - world of difference and should have been in a snug L for starters, plus a 25 lb weight loss = M.
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Old 06-28-11, 10:47 AM
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Primal Evo Corsa bibs @ $150 are better than the Assos Uno's I used to own.

You can thank me later.
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Old 06-28-11, 02:18 PM
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to make this thread even more useful, perhaps someone could add the comparative sizing of different brands such as

Performance L = Assos ? = PI ? etc
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Old 06-28-11, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by dbf73 View Post
to make this thread even more useful, perhaps someone could add the comparative sizing of different brands such as

Performance L = Assos ? = PI ? etc
This, IMO, is the number one issue with buying bibs. For instance, my recent Ultra II purchase states that M is 32-34 waist, and I am 36-37. A proper sizing chart would do wonders.
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Old 06-28-11, 04:07 PM
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Hey, datlas!

Please compare the Performance Elite to the Ultra II for me.

I grew up using real chamois in wool shorts. Then I went through a succession of shorts and bibs that just didn't work well for me. Was in Chapel Hill at the Performance store one day and bought a pair of the Elites and that's all I've used since.

The price difference isn't very much between the two and I am very happy with the pad in the Elites. Is the Ultra pad better? I see the Ultra has more panels than the Elite but again, I'm satisfied with the Elites.
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Old 06-28-11, 04:25 PM
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-<5 miles = anything or nothing! Even a speedo will do.
-5-45 miles = Assos S5 or Unos.
->45 miles = Assos Mille.

I think the ultimate and best advice is to try different ones and stick with what ultimately works for you. This works best for me.
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Old 06-28-11, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
Hey, datlas!

Please compare the Performance Elite to the Ultra II for me.

I grew up using real chamois in wool shorts. Then I went through a succession of shorts and bibs that just didn't work well for me. Was in Chapel Hill at the Performance store one day and bought a pair of the Elites and that's all I've used since.

The price difference isn't very much between the two and I am very happy with the pad in the Elites. Is the Ultra pad better? I see the Ultra has more panels than the Elite but again, I'm satisfied with the Elites.
I have both. I think the Ultra II is a slightly snugger fit, the spandex has this "slippery" feel to it and the transition zone from chamois to short is better with the Ultra...the Ultra chamois itself is a little softer and more "anatomical."

That said, the Elite is a fine short and I have no problem using it.

So I think the Ultra is worth paying an extra 10 bucks IMO but really they are priced so reasonably you should just get a pair and try yourself....I think the 50% off sale is over but watch for a sale and you should pay a decent price...don't pay above 60% of "sticker" price for performance house-brand clothes if you can help it.
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Old 06-28-11, 05:00 PM
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Thanks, datlas.

Yeah, I never buy them unless they're on sale.

But you've planted the seed for some higher end shorts. Maybe I'll start looking up the scale for a change...
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Old 06-28-11, 06:32 PM
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I've got a similar system:
Under 1.5 hours of ridie time: PI shorts;
Over 1.5 hours of ride time: Hammer, Assos or PI bibs;
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Old 06-28-11, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
I use the bottom of the line Uno's. which can be had for about 200 bucks if you shop the sales carefully.

.
I got mine for about $135ish....keep an eye on e-bay, and the English on-line stores such as Wiggle, Ribble etc.
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Old 06-28-11, 07:09 PM
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The Performance Ultra's I have are pretty comfortable, but the new pair of Castelli Velocissimo bibs I just bought are leaps and bounds more comfortable. Only $100 at the local mail order warehouse.
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