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Cycling shorts are arguably one of the most important things you should have while you’re riding. Having a next-to-skin short helps prevent chafing and with the built in chamois, you’ll have an extra layer of padding to keep you comfortable on those long rides. Bib shorts add an extra layer of comfort that regular cycling shorts don’t have and that is the added suspenders. With the suspenders on the bib shorts, this eliminates the waistband and drawstring which makes them much more comfortable around the waist. Don’t worry about looking like a 1970’s wrestler while wearing these though since you’re supposed to wear a jersey over the suspenders. Many riders are concerned with the comfort of the straps around the shoulders but they will disappear from thought after a couple of rides.
Not all cycling bibs are created equal though. There are cycling bib shorts that are created specifically for mountain biking and bib shorts created for road biking. Some mountain biking bibs, like the Sombrio Smuggler, are designed to be liners that you wear underneath your baggy mountain biking shorts and come with rear pockets so you can store your riding essentials. Road biking bib shorts don’t come with rear pockets and are often designed to be worn on their own without wearing shorts over them. Brands like Pearl Izumi feature different levels of chamois inside their shorts. These chamois have different levels of densities designed for riding shorter or longer distances.
Not only do bib shorts vary with the type of chamois they use, they also vary with the type of weather you wear them in too. A lot of bib shorts are designed to be worn in warmer weather and have fabric that will wick moisture away and help keep you cool, but there are some bib shorts that are designed for cold weather riding and often have longer legs for full coverage. Cold weather cycling bibs, like the bibs from Castelli, have Thermoflex fabric that provide exceptional warmth while remaining stretchy and breathable.
If you’re having trouble finding the perfect cycling bib shorts to fit your style of riding, then let our Gear Advisors know. Our Gear Advisors will provide expert advice on which bib shorts go with the style of riding you prefer. Email, chat, or call them at 888-880-3811.