Cait Dooley is an advocate for Velocio, a cyclocross racer, an industry veteran with Vittoria and a fan of all things bike. She breaks down some Twitter based “science” around bibs vs. shorts, her own personal preference (bibs) and the fact that it comes down to feel. Peek at the Signature Bib Guarantee for a chance to try out our bibs. If your studies lead you to shorts, peek at ours over here.
This completely unscientific report surveyed a number of women on their riding clothing preferences: bibs or shorts? It was hypothesized that bibs are, in fact, best.
The question was asked on Twitter. The author rode in shorts and then bibs. The author asked friends to do the same and explain what they preferred.
The above data gathered represents poll results from twitter and real life female cyclists. Probably biased. Anonymous quotes from female cyclists on bibs vs. shorts:
“The only time I wear shorts is commuting in the rain so I can change easily. Otherwise, always bibs.”
“I also like non-bibs in the winter, when I put 10,000 layers on and then immediately have to pee.”
“I feel like women end up in men’s bibs maybe 60% because lack of women’s kit availability & 40% of the time because better fit.”
“Bibs. But sometimes I’ll wear shorts on the trainer? And non-bib winter tights are nice for ease of peeing with layers on.”
“Shorts are cheaper, and easier to pee in. And I’m a triathlete. But bibs feel nice on my body. Ooooh…”
Overall, it seems like women like bibs when a properly fitting option is available. Shorts have their place for certain situations, like layering, short trips, and training inside.
This is where the science report ends. It had been so long since I had ridden in shorts, I had to look in the depths of my kit box to find a pair to test out again. I re-learned all the reasons I don’t like riding in shorts: chamois shifting; stomach discomfort; and the general inability of shorts to stay in pace. It is incredibly un-fun hoping that your sagging shorts don’t catch on your saddle when you stand up or sit back down. Also, with all the shifting that comes with shorts, I have scientifically proven there is no smooth way to adjust your chamois mid-ride. Really. I know it can be quite inconvenient to make a restroom pit stop with bibs, but I spend more time riding than in the bathroom when I’m kitted up.
The clothes you wear while riding are supposed to enhance your experience, and even more ideally, you’re not supposed to notice that they’re there. You’re too busy enjoying your bike ride and not worrying about your waistband squeezing the ice cream you just stopped for.
And that’s why I unscientifically prefer bibs.
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