The best cycling bib shorts for warmer rides

The weather is turning from a rainy winter to a sunny spring and summer; as the temperature rises, we look at the best bib shorts to wear this season.

Cyclists enjoying a warm sunny ride

by Myles Warwood |

It's around March that things usually start feeling like summer; the storms, wind and general greyness that start the year seem to be on their way out. It's this time that we cyclists can start looking forward to summer and with that, casting off bib tights and leg warmers.

A good pair of bib shorts will make any ride more comfortable. It’s not just about how well they fit and feel on your legs, but there’s also something to be said about how they fit your waist, ride over your tummy and feel over your shoulders. Not only does the chamois have to be comfortable for the ride but it must be comfortable for ride after ride after ride.

Then we can get on to the fit, length, feel and materials used on bib shorts to help you make sure that you’re making the best-informed choice at your price point.

At What’s The Best, we’ve been through the best bib shorts on the market right now that will not only help you keep your tan lines sharp and cultivated (rule of cycling number seven) but also quickly become your favourite pair.

Rapha

Rapha has been a mainstay of the professional peloton since 2013 when it started work with Team Sky, now INEOS. Since then, its have gone on to sponsor EF Education-EasyPost in the men’s peloton, and before working with EF education EasyPost in the women’s pro peloton, it even sponsored Canyon//SRAM.

All the information that's given to Rapha by professional riders and teams since 2013 has trickled down into these, the entry-level Core bib shorts at Rapha. A high-stretch lycra fabric gives support and modesty with laser-cut, low profile leg grippers to hold the shorts in place.

The uppers are supportive, lightweight and breathable with a central cut out for excellent temperature regulation.

Rapha Performance Trailwear (MTB shorts)

Rapha Men's Trail Cargo Bib Liner Shorts

Rapha Men's Trail Cargo Bib Liner Shorts

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Tried and tested by Commercial Content Editor Adam Binnie: "Mountain bikers have been stealing the best kit from other sports for decades - baggy jerseys from motocross, dirt jump helmets from skateboarding, and protective body armour from the ski slopes.

"Road cycling is another discipline we've started pinching things from more recently - with downhill racing kit getting tighter, stretchier, and less like a wind-sock thanks to clever technical fabrics.

"Roadie bib shorts may still be a bit controversial, but once you try a pair you will be converted, particularly now there are trail-specific ones like these from Rapha. No more dreaded droopy shorts getting caught on your saddle nose as you try to get over the back wheel, no more hitching up your pants every time you stop for a drink.

"The chamois pad in these is a game-changer when it comes to long-ride comfort, and the construction features huge mesh panels to help channel cooling air. They are lightweight and stretchy and after a short time, you forget you've even got them on.

"Your riding mates won't know they're there either (unless you tell them you're wearing bibs every ride, as I do) thanks to low-profile seams and thigh grippers, which are invisible under a pair of shorts and a loose-fit top. A pair of cargo pockets on the back adds practicality too."

Paria

Do you want something a bit more colourful and out there for your bike rides? Paria has a selection of bib shorts that do just that, not just in block colours but bringing bold graphic designs to their clothing.

With Flat Lock stitching throughout there is no chaffing and the silicon grippers work well on your thighs. These have a foam chamois that will absorb the vibrations of the road offering more comfort for long days in the saddle.

Lusso

Lusso has been making cycling apparel for two decades now, based in Manchester they make products for cyclists by cyclists.

The men’s Lusso Pro Gel Shorts use a gel chamois to provide comfort for up to four hours in the saddle. With a high waist and sides for extra protection from wind and to save modesty if your jersey rides up, these bib shorts are made with Italian cooltech Fabric for added comfort.

The women’s bibs use a different chamois, made from a ladies specific seamless antibacterial pad which should be good for up to six-hour rides. Offering wider shoulder straps for added comfort and antistatic materials and 50UV ray protection.

dhb

Dhb has been brand operated by online superstore Wiggle since its inception. Since then, like Rapha, dhb (which stands for 'don’t hold back') has gone on to sponsor professional teams, not in the World Tour, but Continental teams. Think of it as the European Cup and not the Champions League.

In the early days of dhb, its clothes were a little baggy and not very well fitted. Since the innovations and information from the professional riders have started to make their way down to its clothing available to buy, too.

The Aeron collection is the go-to dhb collection for bib shorts - they’re incredibly well priced for what they offer.

Castelli

If you don’t want black or graphical print but just a nice bit of colour, Castelli offers the Competizione in Military Green.

If you’re unfamiliar with the brand Castelli, they have been a mainstay in cycling apparel since 1935 and can trace its roots back to 1876 and tailor Vittore Gianni. Providing clothing to some of the biggest names in cycling, Castelli has possibly been worn and raced at more Grand Tours than any other clothing brand.

In the Competizione, we have that trickle-down effect of technical know-how with the Kiss Air2 seat pad. A Chamois comes from the range-topping Progetto X2 but at a much more affordable price bracket.

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Myles is a Commercial Content Writer for What's The Best, Parkers and CAR. His areas of expertise include cycling, fitness tech and hot hatches.

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