Gear

Tech Podcast: What makes a good pair of bib shorts?

Bibs are surprisingly complex pieces of clothing to design. What makes a good pair? That depends on who you are and what kind of riding you do.

Senior editor Betsy Welch and I have been inundated with bibs lately. With all sorts of claims regarding weatherproofness, waterproofness, breathability, comfort, stability, aerodynamics, and much more, it’s difficult to determine what ultimately makes a good pair of bibs. But that’s exactly what Betsy and I have set out to do.

Related:

Betsy joined me on the tech podcast to talk all things bibs — from pee-friendly features to leg grippers and laser-cut straps. As it turns out, there’s a lot more to women’s bibs than perhaps we guys have realized, and Betsy has gone on a valiant adventure to figure out which pee-friendly bibs work best and which ones could use some work for trail-side pit stops.

And I reveal my absolute must-have feature for any pair of bibs that I intend to keep and ride for the longterm. But ultimately, Betsy and I come to the conclusion that much of what makes good bibs depends on how you’re riding and what you consider comfortable. All-day grind? Multi-day stage race? There are bibs for that — but they may not be the same pair.

Finally, with the burgeoning gravel scene attempting to find itself in terms of functionality and style, Betsy and I chat about what makes a good pair of bibs for off-road riding, and whether you might be better off with shorts instead. Of course, now so many pairs of shorts and bibs come with pockets and cargo features that it’s impossible to ignore them; Betsy has some experience there and shares what she thinks of those nifty cargo pockets on the thighs.

If you’ve got questions about this episode of the VeloNews Tech Podcast, or if you have suggestions for topics you would like us to cover on a future episode, we want to hear from you! Contact tech editor Dan Cavallari via Twitter, Instagram, or e-mail.

And if you haven’t already signed up for the VeloNews QOM newsletter and Facebook group, go ahead and do it to get all the up-to-date women’s gear and cycling news from VeloNews.