October 26, 2014 Login  


Bib shorts. Bit of a rant
Last Post 02/23/2014 02:17 PM by Kenny Gonzales. 22 Replies.
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79pmooney

Posts:1164

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02/10/2014 03:31 PM
Just read the Velonews review of Velocio clothes for women.  They rave about the feel of the fabrics and fit.  Also mention the improvements to the bibs to make them more comfortable for women.  But ... what's the deal with shorts that require you to pull off your jersey in a Porta Potty just to take a leak?  That's good design?  Sure, all men like it when that same rider has to do her business in a field of 30" grass.

I really don't get it.  Why haven't designers come up with a good way to detach the bib suspenders front and rear?  Hit the stall, pop loose the suspenders, do your business, pull up, hook up and go.  No dropping wallet and Powerbars on the stall floor.  (Or whole jersey.)  And stalls without hooks?  No problem.

I know everyone (except me) is in love with bib shorts.  I get 95% of the benefit of the bibs with simple clip-on suspenders and all the benefits of those clips every time my body calls.  (Even at urinals and in the woods, undoing the front clips makes for a more pleasant, better job.)

How many more decades are we going to go before some clothing "designer" designs clothes to fit the realities of cycling life?

Ben
THE SKINNY

Posts:409

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02/10/2014 03:57 PM
i never got the bib thing either. i've got 3 good pairs of shorts and no problems with them not staying put. i've got some tights that wander a bit but the suspender thing sounds about like what i need. i bet if you could get rapha to make them the would sell like hotcakes.
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
vtguy

Posts:243

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02/10/2014 04:00 PM
Count me amoung the doubters that bibs are the way to go. They always struck me as more trouble than they're worth.
Dale

Posts:495

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02/10/2014 04:07 PM
If you want real grief, try wearing a long sleeved skin suit and hitting the port-potties

Some women's snowmobile bibs have a zipper on the side that comes up and over the bum and down the other side for potty stops.
79pmooney

Posts:1164

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02/10/2014 04:25 PM
I love suspenders for the snug chamois fit. Learned about them my first season of racing, 1976. Sold from the first ride. I can probably count on one hand the rides I have done without since. Bibs on the bike when new are nicer, but after a year or two, not even close. (There was a Velonews forumite who would pull out needle and thread and "shorten his bib straps as they aged, but shortening suspenders is a LOT easier!)

I was racing the Boston era in the John Allis days. He was the godfather of Boston area racing. Had an Olympic medal, had raced in Europe and founded the Raleigh Cycling team. Also taught a generation of racers how to ride competitively, how to dress, eat, drink, train, ride in close quarters and a lot more. Many of us who never rode with him still learned from him through those who did. And John Allis wore suspenders.

Ben
Master50

Posts:235

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02/10/2014 06:24 PM
have always been surprised to see bibs as popular with racing women as they are. Some ladies like regular shorts and suspenders because the suspenders can be detached. Only a few shorts accommodate potty stops for girls There is a stand up urination device for women and a few of the ladies can actually pee between the legs of their shorts and themselves but that looks like a high risk of getting hands and legs wet too.
As a man I would never ride anything else, as bibs are the most comfortable shorts. Still there are occasions when the shorts must drop and at those times I see the issues girls face all the time. Another reason to love full zippers on jerseys
Nick A

Posts:119

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02/10/2014 06:46 PM
So much of cycling stuff, is inventing fixes for invented problems. Used to be you had shorts, then tights over the shorts, with suspenders. You could even wear the tights a couple of days without washing them since your shorts were under them.

N
THE SKINNY

Posts:409

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02/10/2014 07:45 PM
another reason to wear your bibs over your jersey.
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
79pmooney

Posts:1164

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02/10/2014 08:05 PM
Nick, I buy tights w/o chamois. Wear cycling briefs under or shorts on those 'tween days when the tights are going to come off, but those days are usually legwarmer days. In really cold weather I can wear two pairs of thermals between and still not have too much padding on my seat. (Thin cycling briefs have a real place.)

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1164

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02/10/2014 08:15 PM
A trick to keep suspender (bib) straps off your nipples in cold weather. Run them through an elastic. I've been doing that forever. (In the days before synthetics, I wore cotton fishnet tees. But I learned early on that suspenders over fishnet over cold, erect nipples meant being sore for days. I just run the straps through a good elastic and just toss the whole in the wash. Pretty easy.

Always seemed to me that the same trick would work for many women, but haven't worked out an approach that would be welcomed. (And haven't tried. Still zero for zero.)

Ben
longslowdistance

Posts:697

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02/10/2014 08:23 PM
Warning: retro/geezer history to follow!
Ben,
I am also a big John Allis fan, super nice guy and a trail blazer that on the path that lead to Greg LeMond. FWIW, John did indeed ride in the Olympic games, three times if I recall correctly, but I don't believe he ever broke the top 60, and certainly no medal. This was when doped Iron Curtain "people's heroes" rode as amateurs. John was tough and super strong, but he lacked the top end speed to make the elite ranks.
His US club, the Century Road Club of America (CRC of A) existed before John was born - he did not found the club. Way back in the bone shaker era riding 100m (a century) was a huge accomplishment and before the automobile took over the American imagination, bikes were big (think Major Taylor). (NYC had Century Road Club Association (different CRCA), same idea.) These cycling clubs somehow survived, and were rejuvenated by the bike boom of the 60s and 70s. The Raleigh sponsorship of CRC of A in the 70s transformed the team from a very strong local club into a National powerhouse by adding John Howard among others. Remember the Competitive Cyclist headline when Allis wheelsucked Tom Officer to his only rainbow jersey in 74? "Allis in Wonderland! 7 Raleighs in Top 11!" . (Howard gave up his chance to win by containing future pro Mike Neel, who had a better sprint. Howard got won his 4th rainbow jersey next year, with Officer 2nd again after Marc Thompson couldn't pull through and it was all over. John Howard was "the cannibal" of US road cycling for 10 years).
cycling chick

Posts:68

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02/10/2014 08:29 PM
I have a couple of Gore Bib Tights that have a zipper at the waist. Just unzip, drop, take care of business, and I am good to go.

As seen here: --> Gore Bibs at a ridiculously low price
Cosmic Kid

Posts:1137

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02/10/2014 11:09 PM
Specialized is supposedly coming out with new bibs that use a hidden zipper (ala what jerseys use) for fast access for guys.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
79pmooney

Posts:1164

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02/11/2014 12:56 AM
lsd, I thought Allis got a silver in pursuit in Mexico, '68. Long before I was racing. I started in '78 so I knew nothing of the '74 Nationals. (You said rainbow, but you meant Nationals, did you not?). I understood Allis raced for CRC in New York, went to Europe and came back to Boston and founded the Boston based Raleigh sponsored team that I knew.

I raced against him several times or should I say we both happened be in the same race. I never saw him. I did finish 12th in a race he DNF'd, but he initiated the winning break to set up his rookie teammate to win the state championship. I missed the big break, couldn't quite close a lap and a half later and watched several more catch and pass a wasted me.

My claim to (very small time) fame? Finishing under John Howard's record time at the Maine International by hanging (barely) with the 30 man split in a very fast race. (I was told Howard and Allis went away perhaps mid-race and that Howard dropped Allis and soloed in for the win and record.)

Those were the days!

Ben
Ron

Posts:34

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02/11/2014 12:42 PM
What I like about bib shorts is not having elastic/tightness around my waist. That can be annoying when out for a few hours at a time.

Hmm, pulling them down has never been an issue. #1 I just pull from the front and lean over a bit. I can count on one hand the number of times I've need to do more than rock a piss when cycling. If so, I pull of my full zip jersey (all I'll wear) and it's off with the braces. It takes all of a few seconds.

Upsides far outweigh the downsides of bib shorts for me. My gal, a very recreational cyclist, only wears shorts, not bibs. Can't really weigh in on the issue of bibs for women.

No matter what, wear what you like and what works for you.
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