Just like some people argue over Coca-Cola over Pepsi, or others vehemently debate over the better condiment (what doesn’t go with ranch?), in our world, it’s bibs versus shorts.
Shorts are the easy way to start; they’re the more familiar—albeit much tighter—version of something you’ve been wearing your entire life. It’s rare that a cyclist jumps straight to a bib without trying shorts first.
But there are others who never venture to Bib Land. Perhaps it’s the leotard, wrestling-uniform-esque look of the bibshort. Or maybe it’s the straps: will they be uncomfortable after hours on the road?
To be sure, there are advantages to both options, so the final decision comes down to your own personal preference.
Shorts are the simplest way to go. Easy to pull on and off during those quick bathroom breaks, they’re often the top choice for women riders. But both genders have their share of complaints about shorts as well, the most common being that as you’re riding down the road, your shorts are riding down your waist and legs. This is less of a concern with Hincapie’s shorts, which feature Pro Grip or Gel Grip leg bands intentionally designed to keep shorts in place.
Shorts can seem like the cooler way to go as well, as you won’t have straps or fabric across your abdomen as you would with bibs. And with several of Hincapie’s short options (the Power Short, for example), you’ll have the added advantage Schoeller coldblack finish technology, which actively reflects heat away from the body.
The majority of cyclists will tell you that once you’ve tried a bib, you won’t go back to shorts. Bibs have their share of advantages over shorts, the main one being the elimination of a waistband that pinches or digs into your skin. Bibs leave your waist completely unrestricted, allowing for better blood flow, dryer skin, and a more comfortable ride.
The strap support of the bib is also great for keeping the chamois in place, meaning less chafing, and a much more comfortable ride. Hincapie’s bibs have the added bonus of straps that act similar to a baselayer, wicking moisture away to help regulate body temperature.
Bibs also eliminate any danger of a bare midriff or “plumber’s crack,” providing a seamless transition between jersey and shorts.
A note to the ladies: We realize a bib may not be the obvious choice for you, considering the potential strap interference. Hincapie has you covered with the Power Bibshort, designed specifically for women. With one front strap running up the center, and a back buckle attachment allowing for ease in removal, you may decide that you should give bibs a try.