Riding a bike is a great way to enjoy nature and discover new and fascinating places, but spending long hours sitting uncomfortably on the saddle can quickly take all the fun out of it and leave you just yearning to get home. The best cycling bib shorts are an excellent way to avoid this, letting you stay comfortable and focused on enjoying the ride. When you find the right combination of padding and leg length, the best bib shorts for cycling can make even a hard climb feel easier to tackle.
Finding the best cycling bib shorts for you, however, is no easy task, especially if you are new to the world of bike riding. The market is brimming with compelling options which may be hard to tell apart from one another. In this article, we will present you with a list of the best bib shorts for cycling that money can buy, so you can make an accurate and informed choice and be rapidly on your way to hours of comfortable riding, towards inspiring and unknown destinations.
How To Choose Bib Shorts For Cycling – Buying Guide
The padding that your pair of bib shorts can provide is arguably the most important part of the whole piece of kit. There is nothing that can distract you more from the road that lies ahead than a constant pain in your backside, which will not subside until you stop and get off the pedals. Luckily, there are many good options on the market today to protect you and your rear end from the shocks of the road. They are made with a variety of different materials that range from foam to gel to silicone, and you can consider yourself to be lucky since, in the past, you had to work with leather.
The padding in the bibs is usually made up of pads, which are designed to perfectly adapt to the shape of the human body and also feature special stitching to avoid unwanted chafing and irritations. The best ones are made with a perforated, high-density foam that works wonders in reducing the shocks from the road, although they do tend to come at a higher cost. This is usually worth the extra effort, though, since it will pay off in the long run, especially if you are riding for many miles. Brands also place a lot of effort in reducing their weight and letting them breathe, so to avoid the build-up of moisture in what is already a delicate area.
Panels are used to make bib shorts fir better around the human body, which is constantly changing in shape and can quickly feel constrained if dressed inappropriately. The risk of having many panels, however, is that the seams that hold them together can become a nuisance as they rub on your skin. Manufacturers have solved this problem by using flatlock stitching, but the risk is always there and is likely to come up especially if you are riding for a very long time.
Panels can also be made from a variety of different materials since bibs come in all sorts of different kinds to adapt to the particular riding situations you want to put them through. Most of them make use of some sort of Lycra or elastane, to tightly wrap around the legs and slightly compress them, which has been proven to increase the effectiveness of your movement and the power you can generate.
Straps and Grips
We have said that the most important part of bibs is the padding, and that may be true to some extent, but the straps and grips that are attached to your shorts are not something to be overlooked. This is because even the best padding in the world won’t end up being very useful if it doesn’t stay in place, twisting and turning at the slightest movement and ending up where it is not supposed to be.
Straps and grips are there to prevent this. Straps go all the way up to the shoulders and are designed as to not cut into the skin, even if their success usually varies from brand to brand. Grips, on the other hand, are usually placed inside the legs of the shorts and made from silicone. Their job is to adhere to the skin and keep the pants in place. The only downside to this is that they sometimes leave a trace of their presence on your skin, and some manufacturers avoid that by using different sorts of elastic material, to grip tightly without stifling and constraining.
Comfort And Fit
When you’ve found the shorts that have a good amount of padding and comfortable straps, the next thing you need to evaluate is what kind of fit you are looking for. This will mostly depend on what kind of riding you plan to do, and what performance you are hoping to achieve. Bibs that are designed for road riders will fit tighter and closer to the skin, to help you get the least aerodynamic drag when you ride, while for mountain bikers, for which air resistance is less a concern, they can fit a little wider and not be a nuisance to your enjoyment.
In any case, much of the comfort you will get from your pair of bibs will depend on the thickness and the amount of padding and if this fits well with your body shape and your needs. Another thing to consider is their durability, and how comfortable they feel around your legs. Since you will be wearing them for long hours, we recommend that you try them out before getting on the bike and return them if you feel the slightest sign of discomfort.
As with most items of cycling apparel, bib shorts are made from a combination of polyester and elastane, or Lycra. This is because these materials are lightweight, durable, stretchy enough to adapt perfectly to the shape of your body, and most of all very easy and quick to clean and dry. This can be especially useful if you are planning a longer trip, where you will spend several nights away from home. To ensure breathability and comfort, most of the time some kind of mesh is used, to not impede the constant flow of air that is necessary for a comfortable ride.
Cycling produces a lot of airflow, but if this doesn’t reach the parts where it is needed the most, then it will not help much in providing a comfortable ride. Most bib shorts, luckily, are designed with this in mind and go to great lengths to ensure that, despite their tight fit around your body, enough air can reach your private parts to keep them from drowning in moisture. This is usually achieved by using a mesh texture, and many models also have excellent moisture-wicking capabilities, to keep sweat and humidity away from the areas where they could do the most damage.
Q: What Is The Difference Between Shorts And Bibs?
Regular cycling shorts only come up to the waist, and don't have the system of straps that secures them to your shoulders, as bibs do. This means that they often have to be tied in position or kept stable in some way, instead of just sliding a pair of bibs on and being ready for the ride.
Q: Why Choose Bike Bibs?
Bike bibs are an excellent purchase or gift for any cyclist because they make your ride much more comfortable and enjoyable by reducing the shock of the impacts with the road. They are small, lightweight, and easy to carry, but the difference they can make to your riding is huge.
Q: Are Cycling Bibs Comfortable?
Yes, they are. If you have never worn dedicated cycling gear, then they might feel a little tight in the beginning, but you will soon get used to and start feeling the benefits of having a good pair of bibs between you and your saddle.
Globo Surf Overview
Cycling bibs are an often overlooked but crucial part of any biking setup, and their choice deserves some careful consideration. In our cycling bib shorts reviews, we have shown you what are the best cycling bib shorts on the market, so you can make an informed choice and be well on your way towards many hours of fun, comfortable, riding.