2017 Bib Shorts Guide
Drawing both form and function from Castelli’s top-tier Mondiale bib shorts, the Premio offer a nearly identical race-derived fit at a more modest price. These slim-fitting bib shorts are fast becoming a favorite among racers and discerning recreational riders for their firm compressive hold, medium-weight material, and refined Progetto X2 Air chamois, all of which work in concert to deliver supportive comfort for hard rides of a moderate length.
As the most affordable bib shorts bearing Assos’s esteemed _s7 moniker, the T.milleshorts_s7 make a legitimate claim to being the finest sub-$200 bib shorts available. Built with the signature Assos “click” fit, these lightly compressive masterpieces are built to eliminate bunching or flapping. This impressive package is rounded out with the mille_s7 chamois and its freedom-enhancing goldenGate construction, which provides a pleasant perch for longer rides.
The Lungo bib shorts are direct descendants of Giordana’s beloved FormaRed Carbon bib shorts. So then, what’s the difference? The Lungos forgo the aggressive compression of their FormaRed Carbon counterparts in favor of a lightly compressive race fit that’s more appropriate for rides exceeding the four hour mark. Minimized seams courtesy of Giordana’s 1on1 construction and the luxurious Cirro S chamois further ensure all-day comfort.
Louis Garneau Course LGneer Race
The Course LGneer Race bib shorts are tailor-made for peak efforts on the hottest days. They start with an aggressive race fit, which delivers compressive hold on the quadriceps and a sleek, aerodynamically efficient profile. They get better with a pattern that minimizes seams to effectively eliminate chafing, while the light, airy feel of the LGneer and CB Lazer Rev fabrics is enhanced with a Coldblack treatment that blocks UV rays.
Capo Padrone Aero
The Padrone Aero bib shorts occupy the uppermost echelon of this assortment, due in no small part to their category-leading materials. Their proprietary EIT chamois is designed to nearly eliminate both vibration and chafing. The superior fit and precision construction serve to showcase the Swiss-made Schoeller fabrics, treated with UV-blocking Coldblack, that lend these premium bib shorts the versatility to handle the full spectrum of summer rides.
Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Escape
While many bibs in this collection feature decidedly slim cuts, the P.R.O. Escape bib shorts are built to provide a somewhat more relaxed fit. The upshot is that many riders will find them a go-to piece for longer training rides, and they’re an outstanding summer-weight race short for those with a Clydesdale build. The P.R.O. Transfer material offers excellent wicking abilities and a luxuriously soft touch, while reflective accents enhance evening ride safety.
Don’t let the name fool you—the Fondo bibs are a step more aggressive than their name suggests. The slim race fit and minimal seams provide ample comfort, while their conspicuous reflective panels add significant visibility near dawn and dusk. Although POC is comparatively new to cycling apparel, the Fondo bib shorts prove that the Swedish safety experts have done their research and produced one of our new favorite bib shorts for riding in hot weather.
GORE BIKE WEAR Oxygen Roubaix GWS
While the other pieces in this guide skew summer-friendly, the Oxygen Roubaix is the go-to for wet rides and cooler temperatures. Gore’s WindStopper material blocks both wind and rain, while the baselayer-style upper simplifies layering on shoulder-season training rides. The generous Oxygen Light Men chamois is ideal for long training rides, while the longer inseam ensures that your quadriceps are protected from foul weather, with or without knee warmers.
Castelli Omloop Thermal
Representing a sweet spot between bib shorts and knickers, the Omloop Thermal bib shorts are built for chilly days punctuated by light precipitation. Their longer cut protects but doesn’t cover the knee, which is easily appreciated during the shoulder seasons or morning rides along the coast. Their low-profile Progetto X2 Air Women chamois is primed for rides of moderate duration, while carefully placed reflective hits enhance safety in low-light situations.
Assos T.laalaLaiShorts_S7 Lady
Assos bib shorts are considered by many the world’s best, and the T.LaalalaiShorts_s7 represent their finest women’s offering. The signature “click” fit conforms perfectly to the body while in the cycling position, yet the aggressive fit is nevertheless outstandingly comfortable as the miles add up. The superlative _s7 Lady chamois benefits from Assos’s goldenGate construction, while the sternum clip eases the process of taking nature breaks.
The Silverline bib shorts benefit from a trickle-down of technology from Giordana’s race-focused pieces by borrowing materials and fit. The slim race fit forgoes compression found in the lauded FormaRed Carbon line for increased comfort on longer rides, making these ideal for training and daily use. This functionality is mirrored by the supportive Cirro S-W chamois, which has been carefully crafted to maximize comfort for long days in the saddle.
Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Escape
The P.R.O. Escape bib shorts offer premium materials and construction in a fit that’s less aggressive than some others in the category. That combination makes them a popular training piece, as well as a go-to race day option for those with larger, more powerful quads. The P.R.O. Transfer fabric used in the lower portion offers a soft feel and exceptional moisture wicking, while the stretchy bib straps include clip at the shoulders that simplifies roadside pit stops.
Louis Garneau Neo Power Motion
The value focused Neo Power Motion bibs masterfully blend a more relaxed fit with the blood flow-enhancing, muscle fatigue-reducing benefits of compressive materials. The roomier cut is enhanced by a slightly longer inseam, which ensures the benefits of a compressive hold is enjoyed over the majority of the quadriceps. The plush Motion AirGel chamois works in concert with the moisture-wicking Power+ Lycra panels to eliminate discomfort on medium-length rides.
Gore Bike Wear Power Lady
The Power Lady bib shorts are best described as no-nonsense, and that’s meant as a compliment. The relaxed club fit and shorter inseam accommodates a wide range of body types, while the generous Power Women chamois is best suited to medium-length rides. The wind- blocking front panel fights off chills on long descents, while the summer-weight construction lends the requisite versatility for commuting, training, or just enjoying the miles.