The quality and comfort of the sports gear and the right form can make all the difference whether you’re playing for fun or training for a championship. Cycling is no different than any sport, thus the clothes you choose will determine if you’ll return content and refreshed from the ride or tired with an aching body partly caused by discomfort. While the classic cycling suit with bib shorts has been a cult favorite for as long as cycling has been recognized as a professional sport, there is a contradiction among the cyclists who prefer cycling waist shorts better. Let’s explore why?

The reign of bib shorts.

Since the early fashion eras when the clothing manufacturing process and techniques were less refined, bibs were more of a necessity than a style choice to include suspenders to hold the shorts up. At the time, this style became the norm and a standardised uniform for all cycling enthusiasts to wear cycling suits with bib shorts all the way from road riders to championship contestants.

The straps or suspenders in the bib shorts have sustained the test of time even with newer, more innovative styles and fabric variations have been introduced.

  • The biggest advantage that bib shorts have been adding to the cyclists’ comfort through the years is the way they eliminate the need for the waistband. With the straps that go over the shoulders, there is no need for an elastic to go around the waist, thus restricting diaphragmatic (belly) breathing.
  • Moreover, the bib shorts in a cycling suit is a seamless gear for the onlooker, while underneath, the snug fit aids in holding the chamois precisely where it should be. Hence, there is a significant safeguard from chafing for riders who get used to bib shorts.
  • Lastly, the double layering of the jersey on top of the bib shorts’ fabric on the lower back helps prevent sunburn and also provides warmth when needed.

How well do the waist shorts fit in?

The casual style shorts or the cycling version waist shorts are the modern cyclist’s gear minus the bibs. It is important to note that these shorts are not to be confused with conventional loungewear shorts, as they are made for cycling. Strategically tailored into a cut design that comes up a bit higher and grips the hip bone, leaving no room for sliding or chafing, waist shorts are the new and upgraded gear of your favorite gym shorts.

Although the waist shorts don’t guarantee a secure fit like that of bib shorts, the waistbands of these styles are made from a higher gauge material that provides adequate structure and support that keeps them from sliding down.

  • Waist shorts are ideal for long summer rides as they’re more comfortable without the extra layer of fabric at the back, and also, there are no straps digging into your shoulders. This allows your body to have more room to breathe and keep cool.
  • Unlike bib straps, waist shorts can be versatile in their usage, allowing for a dual-function of indoor and outdoor cycling in addition to cardio exercising at the gym.
  • Lastly, for obvious reasons, waist shorts are more convenient for the leisure rider or a beginner who may find toilet breaks a hassle with bib shorts.

Hence, when choosing a cycling suit with or without bib shorts, take your experience, passion, and comfort into account, and then pick your ideal size for truly enjoyable cycling rides ahead!