Hot summer weather has returned to central Texas. My ride yesterday was in 93F heat, with a stiff southerly wind and a burning sun. After 18 miles, I was done in, and slept for an hour and a half after supper.
I don’t know if this had anything to do with it, but I wore my pair of bibs on the ride. In the past, I’ve complained about my bibs, mainly because I didn’t like the feel of the straps over my shoulders, and the mesh top added another layer of clothing, which on hot days didn’t help.
For the most part, I’m over those complaints. I’ll grab the bibs as quickly as any other pair of bottoms in the drawer. I guess I’ve gotten used to them, and the additional support I get around the midsection does feel better. Still, in hot weather they’re not my first choice, especially after the reminder I got yesterday.
Reader Don from California says he much prefers his bibs — but he has a problem. A seam in the chamois pad hardened up after the bibs were washed, and now causes him discomfort. He admits these bibs were inexpensive, and is now looking for a new, better pair. So he’s asking Bike Noob readers for advice: “If I were buying shorts or bibs for the first time, what should I look for?”
I’ll be the first to weigh in: go for quality. I have two pair of cheap Nashbar shorts. They’ve held together for almost two years, but the chamois on one pair is ripped along much of its seam, and the fabric on the other is losing its compression and bunching on the leg. I still wear them for rides of under an hour, but lately, I spend real money to buy my bottoms.
What else can we advise about bibs and shorts? What are the must-have features you look for?