OK, a bit ago I informed you that the tight ass cycling gear was a necessity. Hopefully you are already sold on that. If not, grab a pair and give it a try. Like I said, I recommend bibs over regular shorts, especially if you have a gut like I do. It’s just much more comfortable when your shorts don’t roll down. YOu do have to plan a bit – if you are prone to code brown attacks, plan ahead. You have to get out of your jersey to get the bibs down. I know a few friends who don’t like the hassle, but after 2 years, I’m much happier.
So, on to actually listing some brands. The first brand I’m going to recommend is Louis Garneau. These are a bit of a trade-off. The ones I get aren’t necessarily top of the line, and I do wear through them, but they don’t cost an arm and a leg. I’ll get some details out of the way first, then let you know what problems I’ve had.
So, for people trying to decide what size they wear – it can be hard with this type of stuff – I’m 5′ 9″ and weigh around 235. I have a 40″ waist and larger than usual thighs from years of rowing, rugby, etc. in my younger days. I’ve bought 2 pairs of LG bibs – the Garneau Equipe and the Garneau Neo Power Motion (The links go to the Amazon listings I bought from). Both of these bibs fit me great. The Equipe were a little tighter to get over my thighs, this may or may not be an issue for you, like I said, my legs are a bit bigger than a lot of folks. The Equipe were also a bit long for my taste, I just didn’t like the way it felt to have a hem right on the back of my knee.
Both of these bibs come in right around the $100 mark. I think that’s a pretty good deal, you do get what you pay for, generally. Both of these bibs have quality padding; although it may not be the thickest or the most firm. Obviously the kind of padding you need is a personal choice. I generally have 2 sets of bibs at any time, and I rotate them daily. The Equipe bibs lasted me exactly one season. I don’t think it’s a fault of the bibs as I wore through 2 different sets last season. My saddle had some texturing on it that I believe is to blame, and I’ll post about that later. This year I used the Neo Powerbibs and they are showing just a little wear, but have not worn through. With those Equipe bibs that wore through, it was on the inside thigh area, right where I make contact with the saddle. But, I continue to wear the ruined bibs as my indoor gear for riding on the trainer and they are still holding up.
Last year I rode about 4500 miles and this year is shaping up to be about the same. So, with rotating bibs, these probably saw at least 2000 miles before they wore through.
So there you have it. LG bibs will probably remain my choice for less expensive, comfortable bibs that I will keep on hand. They look decent, they feel good, they seem to last (when I don’t have a jacked up saddle).
Any other FGOBs out there have recommendations? Help a fellow rider out and give your stats, and the brand and size you wear! A bit down the road I’ll try to link everything up for a decent resource that didn’t exist when I was looking for my data!