At the start of Lockdown I suddenly found myself in the enviable position of being able to ride my bike every day and consequently dramatically increase my weekly mileage. This was all great but put such a sudden demand on my bib shorts requirements that I needed to supplement my wardrobe. I duly shopped around for new bib shorts; after my horror at the top end prices and, being a bit tight, I decided to go for ‘cheap as chips’ shorts. I chose bottom of the range, female specific bib shorts (for obvious reasons!). They fitted fine, looked alright (being plain black they would match any of my racing jerseys) and off I went. To begin with everything was quite good; admittedly there was no muscle compression and the leg gripper was quite good at gripping my leg – so good in fact that often my skin would go with the gripper and that wasn’t so good! However, I quickly realised that my increase in mileage came with an increase in hours in the saddle and now all my rides were longer than 2 hours. This meant that ‘cheap as chips’ shorts were out of their comfort range and the crown jewels were out of their comfort range too! When I hit an hour and a half I would find myself needing to lift out of the saddle as the pressure built up, and this feeling would progressively get worse - even riding on the flat I would need to stand on the pedals for short bursts. Fortunately, as a racing cyclist, my new team kit arrived and with it were a pair of premium bib shorts from a classic premium brand (hurrah for a decent racing team!). These were now my go-to pair of shorts for any ride of any length – my tender nether regions were beautifully enthroned!
So, what have I learnt?
First of all, as club cyclist in my early days, club kit only came in male cut bib shorts. But it did teach me that bib shorts are a must – even as a female on a café ride – I would never consider wearing just basic shorts because bibs hold everything in place without the need for a tight waist band to hold the shorts up.
Secondly, male and female cuts do make a difference. Just as the male and female anatomy are different, so too are the pad designs. Whilst it’s not essential, it’s well worth it if the option is there.
Thirdly, a really decent pair of bib shorts with a properly comfy pad are worth their weight in gold. You’ll find yourself rummaging through the washing to wear them again and again because only the best will do. It’s everything from the way they feel to wear, the way they look, the muscle compression on the legs, pressure but no bulging, and a nice firm and comfortable pad that will still be comfy when you get home hours later. The more expensive the pair of bib shorts, the better the compression on the pad, the more comfortable you will be for longer. Somehow, feeling great and looking great equate to a great ride – there’s no going back!
Fourthly, you have to search quite hard to find bib shorts made entirely from recycled fabrics - and they usually come with a super-premium price. Rest assured, our Pritygrity Bib Shorts are manufactured entirely using recycled materials, including the pad – worth every penny in more ways than one!