Why You Should Check Out Women’s Specific Bibs
By Tara R. McKee
Many guys I know who wear bib shorts instead of regular cycling shorts swear that once you try the bib shorts, you’ll never go back to just shorts again. They say they like them because bibs are much more comfortable than regular shorts, they like how they stay in place and the chamois doesn’t shift and there is less chaffing. Let’s face it; if you ride behind a guy with shorts that are sagging down in the back, well, you know another good reason for bibs.
I had been curious enough about whether I would like them, so I talked to Alison Littlefield, a former bike racer and now co-owner of Contender Bicycles. I knew she preferred bibs and it was because of her recommendation that I finally bought my first bib shorts (which, by the way, I really like!)
These are the reasons that women ought to check out the latest women’s specific bib shorts:
- Bibs are more comfortable. Alison: “I personally didn’t like shorts cutting into my stomach especially when going hard and breathing deeply.”
- Women’s bike jerseys tend to have shorter cuts—on the back or the front. “A lot of time when you ride your jersey hikes up and there is a gap in between the jersey and the short. This can also happen on the front a lot. When the jerseys are cut to be more ergonomical for riding, the front of the jersey is shorter than the back of the jersey. So when you are standing up, the jersey definitely is a little too short and a lot of time gaps.”
- The new women’s specific bibs have remedied a problem that existed when bib straps hit the wrong spots for women with larger chests. “Usually these either have a clip that pulls the straps into the center of the chest or the strap itself runs up the center of your chest and then splits on your shoulders into two straps.”
- Ok, it’s true that it isn’t so easy to use the restroom quickly: “It is a little bit more of a hassle because you have to take off your jersey. I always like using full zip jerseys so it isn’t much of an issue. Even if it is a half zip, it still isn’t that big of a deal in my opinion. Some manufacturers are trying to deal with this issue by using a drop-tail bottom (Pearl Izumi) or a zipper (GORE). Personally, I don’t think it is that big of a problem. I have tried on both the drop-tail and zipper ladies bibs and I would rather just use a regular bib.”
If you are getting more serious about your road bike sport, you may want to check out the latest women’s cycling bibs and give them a try! Make sure they fit right–sizing can vary between companies.
A big thank you to Alison Littlefield of Contender Bicycles!