The time of year it feels like we’ve waited a lifetime for… summer! Every cyclist knows the winter slog, the dreams we have about cycling in minimal layers and being able to roll out without spending 40 minutes dressing yourself.
You’re probably wondering why a grown person would wear something named ‘bib’ and have most likely heard the term from friends, but never had the confidence to query such a term. Well let us clear it up for you.
Bib shorts are regular padded cycling shorts with a built in suspender to help hold the shorts up and avoid any ruffling or falling down – A* for comfort gains.
Okay, so you might wonder why anyone would wear such an item of clothing. But the reality is, if you’re willing to wear padded shorts which is similar to wearing a nappy, then this is by no means as scary as it sounds. Plus, think of comfort rather than fashion… cycling has its own fashion and this is a part of it.
- Chamois will stay put – a shifting chamois is a cyclist’s worst nightmare, the discomfort and rub is an experience that will scare you forever more. However, if you’re wearing the correct size bibs, the suspenders hold the shorts in place much more securely, decreasing the chance of this happening.
- No waistband – we’ve all felt that discomfort of eating a little too much, or drinking enough to form a ‘pee’ belly bloat and your waistband starts to dig in and cause pressure. Well, with bibs there is no waistband for this to happen! So add an extra slice of cake at your cafe stop, because you can.
- No bunching – ok, so we have all experienced the bunching up of clothing around your derriere and the discomfort it brings, the chaffing and saddle sores is outrageous. This happens because there wasn’t anything holding them securely in place – until the bib short came along.
A traditional item of clothing, often chosen by those newer to the sport, due to its familiarity. Cycling shorts will also come padded with a chamois to protect your derriere.
More experienced cyclists who opt for these might choose them for specific reasons, maybe they have a shoulder/neck injury which prevents them from wearing a suspender, maybe the waist of bib shorts don’t come up high enough to avoid a sensitive area for them i.e. scar or sensitive stomach area.
Why Waistband Shorts
- Chamois provides comfort, even for those who can’t use the shoulder suspenders, though you should make sure to choose the right size to avoid movement.
- No suspender – if you have shoulder or neck problems it might be uncomfortable to wear straps, or even a back problem and if you opt for a smaller size they can leave you hunching over a bit due to not being stretchy enough.
- Often a bit cheaper than bib-shorts and a good option for new cyclists to try out before investing in more expensive kit.
- Easier for comfort breaks in the wild for women – no need to strip off any top half layers to release that derrière! Although some bib shorts have nifty designs for such purposes.
We don’t know anyone that prefers winter layering to summer layering, it’s incredibly motivating to put a few items of clothing on to get outside rather than your whole wardrobe. However, you must remember to stay safe in the sun – hydration is key as is sunscreen… that wonderful duey melting feeling is back.
To find some waistband shorts or bib shorts at reasonable prices check out the following links:
For sunscreen recommendations why not try out one of the following:
- Lifesystems Sports Suncream
- SolRX Active Zinc
- Premax Sports Sunscreen
- Aptonia Sports Sunscreen
- Heliocare 360
Shorts and more shorts, there are so many brands and types out there. Not all shorts and chamois are created equally and our bodies are all different, so what suits one derrière might not suit another. Listen to recommendations from friends, scan reviews and choose what suits you best.