If comfort and performance is your aim then check out these top end bib shorts, not cheap but they’ll be worth every penny and will pay you back with years of comfortable riding. Long rides and hours in saddle can cause discomfort even for hardened riders, so treat your bits to some TLC in the shorts department and allow your legs to feel the pain instead.
Here are our top 10 performance bib shorts for women…
[part title="Castelli Body Paint 2.0 Women Bib Short"]
Castelli claim that these shorts have ‘the most comfortable seat pad on the planet’, well that depends on personal taste of course, but we can confirm the technical properties are pretty special. The multi-density padding focuses on protection and cushioning and there’s extra where it’s needed most. Airflow and evaporation are integral to the Progetto X2 Air Seat Pad’s ability to keep you dry and hygienic for longer, the seamless pad has an anti-bacteriostatic layer too.
Best of all, the soft touch Body Paint fabric and engineered knit fabric construction of the bib and legs means fewer seams and greater comfort on the bike.
Price: £175.00, available from Castelli.
[part title="Louis Garneau Women’s Mondo Evo Bib Short"]
Seamless fabrics make for the most comfortable shorts and reduce irritation. The high Spandex content of the Mondo Evo bib short allows for a pre-shaped fit, maximum stretch and all the benefits of compression too. A single-piece leg band is a good example of laser cut fabric not needing a clumsy hem and yet staying firmly in place.
Bottom comfort is taken care of with the Innovative 4Motion pad, 3D pre-shaped wings and split at the rear to allow flex, mesh vents at the front allow good ventilation and facilitate drying.
There’s even a pocket on the rear mesh panel for your phone, music or gel supplies, seems a bit close to bra area though.
Price: £103.61, available from Garneau.
[part title="Rapha Classic Women’s Bib Short "]
So comfortable with the quality of their product, Rapha offer a 30 day refund if you’re not 100% satisfied. The Classic bibs are designed for summer use, they’re lightweight, very breathable and have great moisture transfer. The chamois is large in area with a panelled construction, designed for long days in the saddle. Unlike most other bib shorts the bib section is more like a stylish skin-suit, with a cut away at the rear to avoid any conflict with bra fastenings – a great idea!
So good they’ve temporarily sold out – more stock soon though!
Price: £160, from Rapha.
[part title="Specialized Womens SL Pro Bib Short"]
Boasting compression and flat locked seams, there are few points to spoil the smooth lines of these pro standard bibs. Wide leg hems in microfiber elastic with subtle silicone grips keep legs securely in place. The bib straps are laser-cut for a clean edge and sit smoothly against the body, making them a comfy and flexible choice. Body Geometry padding gives a well-padded short for a snug fit and is designed to work best with Specialized saddles.
Price: £130.00, Specialized.
Best Price: 109.99, available from Cycle Surgery.
[part title="Etxeondo Women's Olaia Bib Short"]
Designed for long days in the saddle the Olaia bib shorts are have a one piece seamless bib which runs up the middle of the chest for a sleek and comfortable fit. The three layer chamois is a unique design based around a women’s body, shock absorbing properties and topped with microfiber fabric to ensure fast drying and breathability. These are well constructed shorts with nice detail around the leg grippers too - a choice of striking colours to brighten up your ride too.
Best Price: £77.99, available from Merlin Cycles.
[part title="Gore Bike Wear Women's Xenon 2 Bib Shorts"]
With a high density pad and Anti-Vibration System these Xenon 2 shorts will keep you in the saddle comfortably and for longer. Longer rides mean more chance of needing a pee break so they are designed with a two-zip system at the waist to save you undressing at the roadside. The bib straps connect at the breast so they stay central and there’s a cut away section at the rear to avoid interference with your bra. Nice wide gripper elastic, abrasive resistance fabric on the inside leg and lots of reflective inserts finish off the Xenon 2’s list of attributes.
Price: £149.99, available from Gore.
Best Price: £139.9, available from Sigma Sport.
[part title="Sportful BodyFit Pro Women's Bib Short "]
Another seat pad that focusses on stretch and three layers of padding, the seat bones are treated to a special 4mm layer of Poron for extra shock absorption. Fabric on the legs is designed to give muscle compression and support whilst other panels offer a high degree of stretch for freedom of movement. The bib straps a sleek and without any seams, so they lay flat against the body and don’t interfere with your bra. The grippers are a stretch mesh for a soft grip that stays in place without digging in.
Price: £109.99, available from Sportful
Best Price: £85.50, available from Merlin Cycles.
[part title="Sugoi Womens RSE Bib Short"]
The RSE bib shorts have slender straps and run down the side of the chest and cross at the back and the short effectively continues up beyond the waist for a snug and sleek fit. There are plenty of reflective panels that look subtle during the daytime and add to the overall design. The legs don’t have conventional gripper elastic, instead there have integrated silicone panels which look sleek and elegant. The pad is Sugoi’s Formula FXE, reliably comfortable with good longevity too.
Price: £107.98, available from Wheelies.
[part title="Odlo Womens Galibier Bib Shorts"]
A lightweight bib short with a bias towards long and hard riding, the Endurance 2 Super Air padding has high density foam and a double layer structure. Odlo have kept the bib section sleek and minimal to avoid the bra area at the rear, plus the straps are constructed from flexible mesh for added comfort. The legs have minimal seams and laser-cut hems with anti-slip silicone tape for a smooth, comfortable and secure fit.
Price: £108.00, available from Wiggle.
[part title="Assos Women's T F1.13 Lady S5 Bib Short"]
After you’ve gasped at the price tag, have a think about the many years of wear you’ll get out of a quality bib short and you can rest assured that Assos have a reputation for good quality and longevity. The Lady S5 has a large ergonomic high density foam pad and unique front closing bib mechanism. The rear bib-section is designed in a vest shape with a mesh central panel, whilst at the front the straps join at the bust and attach to the short at the belly button. It works with a monocup sports bra or a traditional cupped bra in most cases. Top end construction, quality and performance are what you pay the extra for.
Price: £185.00, available from Wiggle.
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