Top 5 Men’s Indoor Cycling Bibs in 2022 By a Professional Bike Fitter
The most important touch point on your bike or spin bike is the saddle. In recent years multiple studies have been performed showing the importance of choosing the right saddle for your unique bone structure and riding posture. The second part to that equation is choosing the right pair of padded cycling shorts to pair with your saddle.
Bib shorts in particular are the standard for endurance cycling as they offer the most comfort when compared to cycling shorts. The bib straps keep the shorts from sliding down and the lack of a waist band prevents pressure around the abdomen as the athlete bends forward at the waist. The chamois adds a padded barrier between your body and the saddle, helping to absorb vibrations as well as absorbing sweat and pulling moisture away from the skin. The chamois is designed to support the sensitive sit-bones or ischial tuberosity as well as relieving pressure from the perineum. New technology and engineering has resulted in compression panels sewn into the bib, designed to reduce swelling and muscle fatigue.
With literally hundreds of models on the market, how do you select the best bib short for indoor cycling? To help narrow your search, we have compiled a list of our top 5 men’s cycling bib shorts based on fabric, fit, stitching and the quality of the chamois. You should also read our guide on what clothing you need for cycling indoors beside a padded bib short.
Assos Mille GT Summer Bib Shorts GTO C2 $350
On the high end of the price list is the Assos Mille GT Summer Bib Shorts. Cycling indoors proves to be warmer than cycling outdoors so having a thinner fabric and breathable chamois was important.
The Mille GT Summer Bib is in Assos’ comfort series line. They are constructed with an ergonomic design to match personal physique and we loved the frictionless, wrinkle-free paneling.
We all know how excessive pressure in the pelvis can result in shortening or ending a ride so the plush and responsive chamois is appreciated. Assos redesigned the idea of a chamois by utilizing reverse-stitching resulting in a more comfortable and form-fitting insert that feels more natural against the skin.
This bib comes in two different lengths, standard and long and the laser-cut hem fits comfortably against the thigh with no pinching or bunching.
While these are the most expensive on our list, if your budget allows for it we recommend owning at least one pair of the Assos Mille GT Summer bib shorts for long, endurance style cycling workouts.
GORE C7 Racing Cycling Bib $195
GORE Bike Wear is part of GOREWEAR, a team of athletes and scientists with headquarters located in the German Alps. The wide range of weather conditions offers a variety of testing possibilities and has resulted in a brand known for quality and enhancing performance.
Another excellent choice for indoor cycling is the Gore C7 Racing cycling bib. The 4-way stretch, compacting fabric provides muscle support and aids in recovery. The wide flat hem silicon leg gripper helps to keep the shorts in place and the moisture-wicking fabric plus the flat-lock stitching prevents rubbing and irritation.
The chamois has been designed with a three-point anchoring system plus central torso architecture in order to keep the chamois in place and remove the need for adjustments when riding.
Rapha Core Men’s Bibshorts $115
Rapha’s roots originated in London, but in 2017 the company was RZC, an investment company founded by two of Sam Walton’s grandsons. In case you don’t know who, Sam Walton is, he’s the founder of Walmart. Rapha has become a leading fashion brand in the cycling world and it’s what the cool kids are wearing these days.
The Core Bib short is Rapha’s entry-level bib short and is a great choice for cycling indoors. The fit is true to size and fits snugly without the tightness of a race-fit bib short. The leg length is longer which would make for a warmer short but the thin, breathable and moisture-wicking material make for a cool training short.
There is a wide gripper on the inside of the hem that holds the shorts securely and prevents having to readjust mid-ride. There’s also a wide and high waist which is optimal for indoor cycling or when bending forward as it keeps the stomach secure and supported and inside the shorts.
Due to the thin material, following washing instructions is very important. Avoid fabric softeners and be sure to hang to dry.
Pearl Izumi Men’s Attack Bib Short $100
These are the ultimate, no-nonsense pair of bibs. The breathable, 3D Chamois is comfort-oriented and offers more support than some of their higher end models. The moisture-wicking material and flat-lock stitching is comfortable against the skin, even into longer hotter rides when sweat has dried and salt crystals form. The 8-panel construction means that these shorts contour to your body and fit like a second skin. The upper part of the legs has been designed with Direct-Vent panels to aid in cooling while the lower part of the leg comes equipped with silicone grippers to prevent movement without pulling on your skin or hair.
These shorts are on the longer side with a 9inch inseam but in addition to the Direct-Vent panels, we found the fabric thin enough to keep us from overheating indoors. However, should you want a pair of bib tights for riding indoors and outdoors, the Attack Bib Short offers reflective hits on the hem of each leg with clever position of the Pearl Izumi logo.
Pearl Izumi is a tried-and-true brand in cycling, and these are our favourite shorts of our Top 5 list because of their quality, durability and price.
Baleaf Men’s Flyleaf Bib Short $38.99
Founded in 2014, Baleaf is a company focussed on providing affordable, quality fitness apparel. The Flyleaf material is a blend of nylon and spandex which translates to a breathable and quick-drying, moisture-wicking fabric.
This multi-panel short offers slight compression and is constructed with flat-lock stitching to hold the material comfortably against the skin. The silicone leg grippers prevent the short for moving around or riding upwards.
The chamois insert is a 3D anatomical and perforated, high-density foam to absorb vibration and prevent skin irritation and is advertised to keep you comfortable for up to 8 hours.
The mesh shoulder-straps and back panel are lightweight and allow for airflow, optimal for warmer indoor rides. The shorts are designed with 4 pockets, 2 side pockets and 2 rear cargo pockets which make them optimal for longer indoor cycling workouts that require refueling with energy gels or chews.
Baleaf has created a product that ideal for indoor cyclists wanting affordable bib shorts without compromising on quality. For the low price of $35, you can’t go wrong with this model.
Written by Ryan Petersen, an NCCP Cycling Coach and IBFI and Retul Level 2 Bike Fitter and a 15-year veteran in bicycle retail and distribution. She has coached beginner and intermediate athletes in road cycling, mountain biking and indoor cycling. She has competed in road cycling, triathlon, cyclocross, ultra endurance cycling, downhill and cross-country but her heart belongs to bike packing and cycle touring. She is shade-grown on the west coast of beautiful British Columbia, Canada.