If you're reading this blog you're either new to cycling, you ride so much that your bibs are now seethrough, or your current shorts are causing you all sorts of trouble - down there.
Either way, you're after a pair of shorts that tick the boxes in regards to comfort, durability and also look cool. So, we've rounded up our Best Bib Shorts for 2021 below.
Best Women's Bib Shorts
As cyclists ourselves we understand that women need women's specific shorts to ensure ultimate comfort on the bike. From the shape of the chamois and level of compression around the legs to being easily able to nip to the loo without stripping off completely, we know these padded cycling shorts will help make your long rides the best long rides.
Created specifically for female cyclists, these bibs from Alé feature the Velocity W8H Seat Pad which provides ultimate comfort in the saddle thanks to high-density open-cell foam. The padding will help give you the very best in support and protection and the fabric is also extremely fast-drying so when you sweat, you'll still feel comfortable.
Many women have experienced discomfort when cycling but the Endura Pro SL Bib Shorts are known to alleviate the pressure found in the saddle region thanks to the combination of foam and elastomer found in their padded bib shorts. Not only does this protect sensitive areas, but the pad also comes in a range of width options to suit many different body frames and styles of riding. Their design also makes it incredibly easy and discreet to go to the toilet without having to fully strip off or flash any other cyclists.
You'll notice there's a bit of a trend in the women's bib shorts that we're choosing here. They have female-specific design in place to ensure you avoid saddle sores, swelling or numbness in your lady garden. dhb's Aeron Lab Raceline shorts were vigorously tested by pro riders and are made with high-density foam in all the right places, including for when you're on your drop bars or aero bars. If you're planning a long ride, these beauties will keep you fresh and pain-free for over 7 hours and we think are the best bike shorts for long distance rides.
Best Men's Bib Shorts
As the saddle area is where you'll be resting the majority of your weight, you'll need some shorts that provide some padding to protect your crown jewels. The right shorts will help eliminate chafing and allow you to spend hours in the saddle.
Castelli knows a thing or two about making bib shorts and this pair give you support where you need it. A thicker seat pad around the seat bones and thinner under the perineum results in an extremely comfortable ride. The legs don't ride up but they also don't cut off your circulation, in fact, they're just right.
We often get asked which shorts are great value for money, without jeopardising comfort. The dhb Aeron Bib Shorts are hard to rival, featuring a custom chamois made from Elastic Interface® for unbeatable comfort plus are crafted from breathable fabrics. The bib straps will keep you cool thanks to their moisture-wicking mesh material and the reviews speak for themselves "Great fit, best price, doesn't get as soaked as most shorts or bibs."
Being comfortable in the saddle is important for both men and women and the phrase 'man up' should be thrown out the window immediately. If you're experiencing any numbness or saddle sores, as well as looking to make adjustments to your saddle, finding perfectly fitting bibs will make riding with your pals great again. The Endura Pro SL Bib Shorts offer a choice in the size of pads: narrow, medium and wide. This means they will fit your frame and will eliminate any irritation.
Whether riding to faraway places on the weekends with friends or you've entered a club race, Le Col's Pro Cycling Bib Shorts will help you to perform your best. The shoulder straps don't pull, the stitching doesn't rub and the waistband hugs you in the right places without feeling too tight. The leg length is longer than most and the grippers keep everything in place. These definitely get the thumbs up from us.
Assos give you the luxury treatment with the top-of-the-line MILLE GT Cycling Bib Shorts GTO C2. Also available in a longer length version if that's your style. Warp-knit OSSIDIA fabric provides gentle compression, helping to fight muscle fatigue and the wide flat straps keep your shorts in place with no annoying pressure points. Your delicate bits will be supported by the pre-shaped cup which Assos have named the sunDeck superlight for reasons we didn't want to question.
What causes saddle sores?
Above, we've spoken about saddle sores and the chances are if you've been left feeling uncomfortable in the saddle region after even a short ride, a new pair of bibs will help tremendously. Saddle sores are typically an irritation of the skin caused by one of four things; heat, water, pressure and friction.
This can occur because of your contact on the saddle and so it is important to find breathable, sweat-wicking bib shorts that don't have protruding seams and have a well-designed seat pad. All of the above shorts have been designed carefully to ensure you avoid feeling sore or bruised after your ride, hence why they've made it onto our list of the Best Bib Shorts for 2021.
How do I choose a bike bib?
If you've looked at this list and you're still unsure which bib shorts to go for, there are a few factors to read up on including the type of fit and why a perfect chamois will be your new best friend. You can find these details in our Bib Shorts Buying Guide.