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  1. #1
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    Shorts vs. Bibs?

    So, another potentially stupid question from the new guy but, what is the difference between shorts and bib shorts other than the rather obvious additional material (the suspender like part)? Does the extra material that loops up over your shoulders really make them much better/more desirable? I would think that bibs would be a giant pain in the ass if you needed to go to the washroom while you were wearing them...

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    In my experience, bibs tend to fit a bit better since the suspenders don't let the shorts sag or shift during your ride. That being said, I've owned a few pairs of high end bibs and I always have the same problem on long rides- chafed nipples! The straps rub them until they bleed on long rides. Yeah, you can solve that problem with a couple bandaids, but I have moved back to shorts. A good pair of shorts won't shift or sag on you anyways, at least in my experience which includes 8+ hour days in the saddle.

  3. #3
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    Bibs. Now pearl izumi elite or ale prr 2. I like the pearl izumis - can find them for $75 on amazon, they last for a long time, and are pretty comfortable. The ale are nice, but expensive. Mine have not worn as well as some other bibs I have used in the past.

    Spend a lot of time of the bike. Usually about 220 to 300 miles per week. Ride 5-6 days per week for 8 months of the year. Nine centuries this year and one double. Never had a problem with chapped nips.

  4. #4
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    Bibs are generally more comfortable but as someone who has developed a middle aged bladder I can't wear them anymore. It is too much of a pain having to undress just to pee.
    Life is short... enjoy the ride.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradkay View Post
    Bibs are generally more comfortable but as someone who has developed a middle aged bladder I can't wear them anymore. It is too much of a pain having to undress just to pee.
    If you have to undress to pee while wearing bibs then you must have a very short willie or simply shouldn't be in charge of one of any length.
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    There's a reason virtually 0% of people who log significant miles use bibs and not shorts. All else equal they are just far better.
    The key to the pad working is it fitting snug to the skin and staying in place. Bibs are better for that. Even if you don't have a gut shorts can be uncomfortable around the waist band. I'd imagine extremely so with a gut.

    Taking a wizz is a non issue. #2 is inconvenient only if you carry a lot of stuff in your pockets AND don't have a full length zipper on your jersey. Even then we are talking about 4 seconds of extra time. Hardly worth considering relative to the time on the bike.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradkay View Post
    Bibs are generally more comfortable but as someone who has developed a middle aged bladder I can't wear them anymore. It is too much of a pain having to undress just to pee.
    This shouldn't be that big of an issue. They are two techniques. The fastest is to pull down the bibs in front and run the plumbing over top. This works fine unless the bibs are cut really high. Option two is roll up one leg and go under

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by noOriginalNames View Post
    So, another potentially stupid question from the new guy but, what is the difference between shorts and bib shorts other than the rather obvious additional material (the suspender like part)? Does the extra material that loops up over your shoulders really make them much better/more desirable? I would think that bibs would be a giant pain in the ass if you needed to go to the washroom while you were wearing them...
    Bibs are far superior. With shorts, they can tend to ride down. Unless you're super thin and have 0% belly. And even then, they don't stay up as well as bibs.
    If you have a short torso though, bibs may not be any better unless you get the straps shortened. My wife has this problem. She's thin and short so she prefers shorts. Bibs never fit her.

    Quote Originally Posted by TDFbound View Post
    I always have the same problem on long rides- chafed nipples! The straps rub them until they bleed on long rides.
    What... wait.. what?? You might want to get that looked at by a Dr.
    I have sensitive nipples and I've NEVER had them irritated by straps, let alone bleed! I've used most of the major bib brands. Never a sore nipple. Nor have I ever heard someone complain about that problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by bradkay View Post
    Bibs are generally more comfortable but as someone who has developed a middle aged bladder I can't wear them anymore. It is too much of a pain having to undress just to pee.
    Undress to pee. Huh? You pull them down and hang it out. Hell, the pros do it while riding.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    You pull them down and hang it out. Hell, the pros do it while riding.
    I thought it was bad riding behind someone who spits or discharges a nostril. I'll add to the list of jobs I don't want- washing bikes for the pros!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    This shouldn't be that big of an issue. They are two techniques. The fastest is to pull down the bibs in front and run the plumbing over top. This works fine unless the bibs are cut really high. Option two is roll up one leg and go under
    Pro racers don't seem to have any problem at all.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post

    Undress to pee. Huh? You pull them down and hang it out. Hell, the pros do it while riding.
    Holy ****. If I tried that I would wreck either from not being coordinated enough or dying of laughter.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T. View Post
    If you have to undress to pee while wearing bibs then you must have a very short willie or simply shouldn't be in charge of one of any length.

    And that is an LOL IRL...
    "Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies Of Veracity "

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T. View Post
    If you have to undress to pee while wearing bibs then you must have a very short willie or simply shouldn't be in charge of one of any length.
    Well I am not John Dillinger...
    Life is short... enjoy the ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HyperCycle View Post
    Holy ****. If I tried that I would wreck either from not being coordinated enough or dying of laughter.
    To say nothing of getting it caught in the spokes or cranks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lallement View Post
    To say nothing of getting it caught in the spokes or cranks!
    I have never had that issue, but having it drag across the road is really unpleasant

  16. #16
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    I'm in the minority here, but I much prefer shorts. I've tried bibs and I couldn't deal with the chafing on my shoulders. Not to mention in warmer weather, it's just extra and unwelcome clothing on my back that is uncomfortably hot. I won't even get into the restroom break debate.

    My shorts of choice are now Assos H.milleshorts_S7. I used to wear Pearl Izumi's top of the line shorts, but was getting saddle rash, so I decided to try something else. Problem gone! I don't know whether it is the quality of the chamois or the fact that the chamois in these are not stitched on the sides - this allows to chamois to stay with YOU even if the shorts shift. All I know is that they work. At $150 a pop, they're pricey, but worth it!
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    I have never had that issue, but having it drag across the road is really unpleasant

    So DaveG is a pseudonym?

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  18. #18
    tlg
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  19. #19
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    I've used both and don't really have a preference. Currently, I have all shorts. Quality, comfortable versions of either are what you should aim for. I've never had an issue with good, properly fitting shorts working themselves down while riding though, which seems to be the chief benefit to bibs. Shorts are also a little less expensive, so it may allow for a nicer pair vs. bibs. As has been mentioned, a bib also has more material to hold in just that little bit more heat. It's minor, sure, but on a 100+ degree day, I'll take all the help I can get. My current favorite is the Performance Ultra (which is also available with built-in suspenders).

    But... it you want to do it "properly", get bibs. That's what all the cool people are supposed to wear.

  20. #20
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    I'm kinda long in the trunk, and the 1 pair if bibs I own nearly strangle my cojones when I wear them. I even bought a 'cup' to use with them.......
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  21. #21
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    Thanks for the input guys, picked up a pair of Specialized bibs on sale today to give them a shot. Going to go for a ride tomorrow and see how it goes!

  22. #22
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    Half shorts are fine if you only ride 100 miles a week, and if you are a thin guy with no gut (or a beginner). Combine a gut with half shorts, and you end up with the dreaded "roll over", where the waist band rolls over double (very uncomfortable).
    If you have to stop at the side of the road to pee, just pull the leg up until you have room.....Nobody has to worry about peeing on the bike unless you are doing 100+ mile road races. (Not 100 mile invitational rides with rest stops)
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    I'm kinda long in the trunk,...
    Me too. My perfect bibs would be L bottom and XL top, which does not exist. So I go with L.

    Bib strap vary quite a bit. Length, stretch, and attachment points all matter. I have an old RBR voler kit, and the straps are a bit too widely placed, and don't have much stretch. Annoys the F out of me, since they pull down towards my arms and bite in a bit too much over time (at least I paid $0 to find that out). Currently I have both PI and Performance in the rotation, and both are fine for comfort on the straps.

    Product reviews for how things fit can give you a clue about the straps for any given bibs. As can a well stocked LBS where you can try on a couple brands.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by noOriginalNames View Post
    So, another potentially stupid question from the new guy but, what is the difference between shorts and bib shorts other than the rather obvious additional material (the suspender like part)? Does the extra material that loops up over your shoulders really make them much better/more desirable? I would think that bibs would be a giant pain in the ass if you needed to go to the washroom while you were wearing them...
    I remember asking this exact question on this forum about two years ago. One great response, which I'll never forget: "Try them and you'll understand"

    I eventually got around to trying them and "understood" a couple things:

    * Your Junk stays in place; i can't say this enough, but I used to be have to be careful sitting back down after I got out of the saddle (even smashed my boys a couple times). Never a problem again.

    * Compression: I've found better compression on legs vs just shorts. Subtle, but on long rides it helps.

    * Breathing: Shorts constrict the abdomen. In particular for me, since I have had two abdominal surgeries, there is significant relief and comfort in the abdomen.

    Finally, the nipple thing is about design. After a while I discovered that some designers actually make shorts that go over the torso outside the nipples. Endura FS260 Pro SL and SL2 models fit all my needs, including price, fit (they don't leave gaps around my skinny legs) and above all else--comfort. Google them and you'll find some great reviews as well as bargain prices (relative to other top brands, that is).

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR_GRUMPY View Post
    Combine a gut with half shorts, and you end up with the dreaded "roll over", where the waist band rolls over double (very uncomfortable).
    I have no guts, so I don't have this problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by dnice View Post
    I remember asking this exact question on this forum about two years ago. One great response, which I'll never forget:
    Quote Originally Posted by dnice View Post
    "Try them and you'll understand"
    I did and they're not for me. But to each their own.
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