I always opt for comfortable cycling clothing. In fact, I go so far back that I remember wearing black wool cycling shorts with glitzy, Campanola, snap-on suspenders. This was the rage in my time. So when lycra bib shorts were introduced, I was an early adopter. My friends and family ridiculed me saying “it is not appropriate for a man your age”. Say what? They were more comfortable and efficient than anything I wore previously and that is all that mattered. The gallery above is a sampling of what I wear these days.
Here are 10 reasons you need to purchase a pair of bib shorts.
- There is no draw string or tight elastic waist cutting into your abdomen. This improves oxygen intake and blood flow.
- They do not ride down so the chamois stays in place on your sits bones. Don’t underestimate chamois in the right place on a long ride.
- They are aerodynamic. There is no loose fabric flapping in the wind or slapping against your thighs.
- The tight fits means there is no chafing.
- They are designed to wick perspiration away from your body keeping you cool and dry at the same time.
- For guys, they function like a jock strap. The ladies may not understand but it can be painful otherwise.
- They are made from multiple panels that mold the shorts to the body like a glove making for unrestricted movement.
- The compression fit reduces muscle fatigue.
- The seams are flattened so they do not rub against the skin.
- They come in an assortment of colours and styles appropriate for men, women, roadies, commuters, and Fred & Doris.
Fit is important. I have discovered some manufacturers fit me better than others, most notably Louis Garneau. Make certain the straps are the correct length so that they are neither too short so they cut into your shoulders or too long so they ride down. Also, some are designed with either a higher or lower abdominal cut-out. Guys, make certain you can relieve yourself without having to remove both your top and straps. Ladies, there are models made for you with panels properly proportioned and chamois cut specifically for you.
Comfort is what matters most whether I am on a long ride or commuting to the office. In fact, I frequently wear bibs as an undergarment when heading to the office with a pair of shorts or pants over top. They are comfortable throughout the day and I am ready for a training ride on the way home.