Cycling shorts are skin-tight, and intended to improve comfort and efficiency. The natural evolution of this is the ‘bib’ short. These are cut higher than a traditional cycling short ensuring there is no gap between your jersey and shorts, and they also feature integral suspenders/straps to keep them in place (rather than an elasticated waistband, which can be uncomfortable).
Cycling shorts have a whole host of features to make riding more enjoyable. They will be fitted with a chamois – a padded section offering comfort for your bum – and can have moisture wicking properties, offer compression, have SPF, improved aerodynamics, protection from road rash, waterproof, windproof, storage etc etc.
We have compiled the latest and best bib cycling shorts available on the market, from £50 right through to £235.
The Swiss brand produce high quality cycling gear and are particularly known for their cycling shorts, and these – their entry level bibs – still offer a superior product at a relatively affordable price.
The feel of the lyrca fabric is top drawer (it’s a nice matt finish and feels durable yet comfy too) – it’s nicely supportive, and the cut is perfect in terms of leg length, deep grooves on the sides and it cuts nicely below the belly button (good when nature calls) with no fuss comfy straps. The pad is super comfy – the distinctive purple pad ‘floats’ (it’s only attached at the front and back) and features 3 layers of memory foam totalling 8mm.
£100 | Wiggle | Buy it now
Rapha Core Bib Shorts
For the last 15 years, Rapha have been at the fore of stylish, well made and capable gear, and these shorts – from the Core range – are their more simple no frills entry level affordable option. However, don’t think they’re light on performance or comfort. The bib straps are high stretch and comfortable which accommodates different lengths of torso nicely, and the quality chamois delivers a particularly pleasant ride. The silicone leg grippers are just the job, the fit and cut is second to none, and they have a nice understated and subtle styling.
£100 | Rapha | Buy it now
CHPT3 Origin 1.11 Shorts
Founded by cycling legend David Millar, CHPT3 positions itself as a cycling ‘design lab’, and makes products inspired from pro life, but reintroduces those touches of luxury we – let’s face it – are grateful for. Manufactured by Castelli, these bibs are constructed from a single piece of high quality lycra, a slightly thicker feel, and they have a compression quality to them too. They’re fitted with a Tour de France standard seat pad, so the ride is second to none. The bib straps are made from the same fabric (for durability and comfort), and the styling is beautifully simple – not cheap but they’re the business.
£200 | CHPT3 | Buy it now
POC AVIP Ceramic VPDs Bib Shorts
The Volvo of gravity sports apparel wear, this Swedish brand has a focus on reducing the consequences of accidents, and their AVIP (standing for Attention, Visibility, Interaction, Protection) line in particular builds on this. These shorts have ceramic detailing on the side panels which, in the case of a fall, are intended to reduce friction allowing you to slide and avoid road rash and cuts. On the back, the mesh goes all the way to your upper back, however this is a breathable mesh so you won’t overheat, and it also features a rather handy pocket to stash your house keys / a backup energy gel.
£210 | POC Sports | Buy it now
LeCol By Wiggins HC Bib Shorts Black
Would Wiggins put his name to something that wasn’t the best? Not if these top of the range ‘HC’ bib shorts are anything to go by – they’re pure class. The high quality Italian fabric feels luxury (note, not a compressive style), and particularly noticeable when you put them on are the light and airy bib straps which stay securely in place but don’t compress too much. They’re minimal with regards to coming up the body which make them feel nice and minimal. The high quality gel chamois is quite dense yet really comfortable on the saddle, and the gold detailing and embroidered ‘WIGGINS’ on the back mean they look great too.
£185 | LeCol | Buy it now
Ashmei Bib Short
From the premium British apparel brand Ashmei, these top of the range bibs are packed with features and just as suited to racing as for rainy Sunday morning club rides. Made from a stretchy yet compressive fabric (slightly textured, but you quickly get used to it), they’re also water and wind resistant, which is more unusual for a race ready, lightweight, breathable and comfortable set of bibs. With a quality high density foam chamois, the ride is very comfortable too, and the straps and upper parts of the shorts are well executed. Top grade materials, built to last and comfortable – if you have deep pockets, their price is justified.
£235 | Ashmei | Buy it now
Specialized SL Pro Bib Shorts
These eye catching, great fitting and supportive shorts, with a nice level of compression to them (but not too much), use a great moisture wicking fabric which is also SPF50 – handy on those hot and sunny overseas weekends away. The chamois pad is really comfy, and features varying densities in different areas as required. The bib straps are joined at the upper back but a cut out in the centre back area ensures good airflow where you need it.
£130 | Specialized | Buy it now
dhb Aeron Lab Raceline Bib Short
Two years in the making, this is dhb’s top end lightweight racing gear. Made from premium fabrics, the luxury feel textured mesh side panels are especially minimal, breathable and also have good aerodynamics qualities. The silky feeling panels on the inside leg are akin to a second skin – super thin, light and feel amazing – and the pad is made in conjunction with Italian specialists and delivers a super comfy ride with three different densities. The shorts section comes a little higher (around belly button level), and there is an extra strap on the back although offset by a cut out to keep ventilation good.
£130 | Wiggle | Buy it now
2XU Steel X Compression Bib Shorts
The Aussie/Kiwi brand 2XU, synonymous for turning out high quality compression orientated sports gear, has done just that with these bibs. Made from a moisture-wicking, antibacterial, and SPF 50+ fabric, they’re a practical choice too, and the fabric is stretchy for sure. They feature super durable fabric panels placed on the hips, so should you take a slide, and being 15x stronger than steel, you – and the shorts – should be unscathed. With a high quality and dense foam chamois, indeed one of the thickest in this selection, you’ve more than ample cushioning for your rear, and hours of comfortable riding will be in the bag.
£112 | 2XU | Buy it now
B’Twin Road R 500 Cycling Bib Shorts
If you’re looking decent cycling gear on a budget, B’Twin should be top of your radar. At this price level – less than a quarter of some other options – these offer great value for money, and the best feature of these are the triple density pad with gel inserts – a surprisingly comfortable ride. The straps can bunch up a little, and they’re ever so slightly short on the leg compared to others, but this is a capable product at a very affordable price point.
£49.99 | Decathlon | Buy it now
Endura Pro SL Bib Shorts
This Scottish cycling apparel brand turns out real quality gear at prices that won’t make your eyes water. Made from a high quality Italian 50SPF lycra, these feature a comfy seat pad (which comes in 3 sizes; narrow, medium and wide) with a varying density of foam which gradually varies for added comfort, rather than step changes in thickness (which is the norm). To the front of these understated bibs, the section that rises up from the shorts over the stomach comes quite high which some might like – well above the belly button – but the straps are nice and breathable and not too tight, and there’s a nice cutout on the upper back, so they’re well balanced.
£119.99 | Endura Sport | Buy it now
The Assos offer the best round package – a reasonable price point, superior comfort and material, long lasting construction and great looking.
ES Best product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.
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