How to Wear Bib Shorts Correctly

Written by : Mr Mamil
Last updated :

You’ve just bought your first pair of bib shorts after a friend told you they increase your bike comfort. They’re expensive, weird-looking clothing, and you’d probably be wondering how to wear the bib shorts correctly with your other cycling clothing.

Stick with one brand

Bib shorts have different lengths, chamois shapes, and thicknesses, leading to a different feel and fit on the bike. Ideally, you want to stick with one brand that you know fits you well.

Once you’ve found the brand that suits you, you can consider buying the low-range models for everyday use and mid to high-range models for longer rides.

More reading : Assos vs Castelli vs Rapha Cycling Clothing Comparison

Flatten the shoulder straps

Make sure the straps sit flat against your shoulder. Use your thumb, gently pull up, and position the straps closer to your neck.

They should feel slightly shorter when you’re standing up, and that’s normal because you’ll spend more time in a riding position where your upper body shortens.

Bib straps over the base layer

Put on your bib shorts, followed by the base layer, and pull up the straps over the base layer.

Your base layer should be the closest fabric to your body, followed by the bib straps and your jersey (and jacket if you’re layering).

Mind the front and back sections

Bib shorts have a front and rear section. The easiest way to determine this is to look at the chamois; the rear is where the chamois is thicker and wider to support your sit bones.

Bib shorts can look funny and don’t fold flat like a pair of pants if placed flat on the surface.

Make the tan lines consistent

Make sure the bib length is up to exactly where your tan line is on your thigh. You don’t want to have multiple shades of tan lines on your thighs.

This is something to note if you have multiple bibs of different brands. Each brand has a slightly different length and could affect the tan lines on your thigh.

No underwear under the bibs

Some cyclists refer to this as going commando. The underwear will absorb (rather than wick away) your sweat and significantly increase the risk of chafing

Conversely, the chamois wicks sweat and dry quickly. It’s snug against your skin to prevent friction (which could lead to saddle sores) and have padding to make you comfortable on the saddle.

Remember to wash your bib shorts immediately once you’re home.

No white bibs

White bibs are an absolute no-no as they can be see-through, especially when they’re wet. Even 3x road world champion Peter Sagan failed to pull this off.

Most cyclists prefer to wear black bibs, although there are variations these days, such as anthracite and dark navy blue. 

No worn-out bib shorts

Bib shorts have a lifespan, and it all depends on how often you wear them and how you care for them. 

As the lycra ages and degrades, it gets thin and becomes see-through. No one wants to be staring at your bum crack while riding behind you.

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