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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1

    Can women wear men's bib shorts?

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    I'm having trouble finding women's bib shorts at my local bike shops. I'm wondering if I should just buy a pair of men's. Is that going to be a problem for me?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    931
    Sure, I wear them, no problem. Of course female bibs have more adjusted chamois, but the difference isn't huge.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    510
    They probably work best if you don't have a large bust as the straps tend to sit on them. Ladies bibs are often cut so they sit on the sides of the bust with a central holder in the middle to make sure the bib straps don't slip off. Of course you could just use a velcro strap or similar on a men's bib.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Memphis, TN
    Posts
    996
    I wear men's bibs because I like the length & larger leg openings. Sometimes I have to shorten the bib straps, but otherwise they fit wonderfully (I'm large busted, too).

    Edit: I highly recommend the Hincapie "power" bib. It's reasonably priced & is super comfy (though I had to take about 3" out of the straps for them to fit).
    Because not every fast cyclist is a toothpick...

    Brick House Blog

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    9
    Hi, I've been reading TE forums for some time now, but never really felt the need to post until now...I want to give help as much as I've been helped by all the lovely ladies here!

    Please do not spend the money on Men's bibs, unless you are built more like a Man. Cycling apparel companies are finally putting the time into developing great comfy bibs for Ladies, and we should show them that we are noticing that by supporting Women-specific items. A man's chamois is built to fit differently than a woman's - it's not just a size thing, but an anatomy thing.

    I highly recommend the Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Bib Short. For a little less $$, you can down-grade the chamois (still a great one, though) and add a "drop seat" (for mid-ride potty sessions, I guess) in the Drop Tail Cycling Bib.

    Specialized and Sugoi also offer W's specific bibs, but the Pearl's are sweeet!

    If your local bike shop is not carrying any, ask them if they can special order. If not, shop online. Buy your regular short size, or maybe one size smaller. The compression you get in your mid tummy area from a bib does wonders for your breathing, especially when climbing. Good Luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    1,244
    X2 on the Women's Pearl Izumi P.R.O. bibs...I absolutely LOVE mine!!! I never considered myself a bib-wearing kind of gal, but a male riding buddy of mine wears nothing but bibs and swears by them. He convinced me to give the PRO bibs a try, and I couldn't be happier! I bought mine in a medium, which is the size I usually take in PI bottoms, and they fit perfectly. I love the extra coverage over my lower tummy area (a problem area for me). The only downside that I can see to wearing bibs, is that it takes a tad bit longer during potty stops, but I can live with that. The PRO bibs & shorts also have a really comfortable leg band, that you won't find on their other shorts. It's a nice, smooth band of fabric with really thin silicone strips on the inside to keep the shorts from riding up. MUCH nicer than their "traditional" leg grippers that you'd find on most of their other shorts. I bought mine at Performance on sale for $134.99 with an additional 20% off...so a pretty good deal, IMO.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,083
    Well, I'll be the party pooper and say that I don't really like my PI Microsensor bibs that much. They have some good points, nice detail, thoughtfully made, good straps, but I find the outer material a little too "soft" (it scuffs and pills easily, and the seams tend to indent a little), the white crotch seam is not my favourite fashion statement (gone in this years model, it seems), the leg openings are a wee bit tight and most important - the chamois feels a bit thin and too narrow for me.

    They're perfectly adequate, but I actually prefer my mens club bib-shorts, made by Craft, with a better chamois for my anatomy, for longer rides, and my Gore womens non-bib shorts with a quite firm chamois and a sturdier outer material, for shorter rides.

    Guess you just have to try 'em out and find out what suits you.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    1,999
    Quote Originally Posted by lph View Post
    Well, I'll be the party pooper and say that I don't really like my PI Microsensor bibs that much. They have some good points, nice detail, thoughtfully made, good straps, but I find the outer material a little too "soft" (it scuffs and pills easily, and the seams tend to indent a little), the white crotch seam is not my favourite fashion statement (gone in this years model, it seems), the leg openings are a wee bit tight and most important - the chamois feels a bit thin and too narrow for me.

    .
    I'm with you on the Microsensor bibs. The chamois feels almost like soft cardboard and it hasn't improved with time/use. The short's fabric seems almost baggy---seems like it needs more lycra. Thankfully, the PI bibs that TE carries with the red chamois are MUCH improved. Of course, my sinfully expensive Assos bibs are my favorite.

    I agree with you about the Craft bibs. However, I have a couple pairs of "older model" ones in the ladies version, not the mens.

    Luna Eclipse//Terry B'fly
    Luna Orbit//Sella Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    Bianchi Eros Donna//Terry Falcon
    Seven Alaris//Jett 143
    Terry Isis (Titanium)//Terry B'fly

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    1,244
    Hmm...well my PI PRO Bibshorts do have a "red" chamois(I have the 2009 version)...it's the PRO 3-D chamois...so I'm not sure if we're talking about the same pad or not. I like it just fine. But I'd have to say that my favorite chamois, would be the one that it is in my pair of Sugoi RS shorts...it's lime green in color, and a thinner pad which suits my body and type of riding. If I could get that chamois and put it in every pair of cycling shorts I own...I'd be one happy camper!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    79
    +1 on :
    "Please do not spend the money on Men's bibs, unless you are built more like a Man. Cycling apparel companies are finally putting the time into developing great comfy bibs for Ladies, and we should show them that we are noticing that by supporting Women-specific items."

    Additionally:
    Personally I hate the Pearl Izumi Bibs. I have found that since the chamois isn't sewn down flush with the short, they give me something similar to paper cuts on the inside of my legs. I have had exceptional luck with the Castelli bibs. They are a little more expensive, but WORTH EVERY EXTRA DOLLAR! I bought one pair to see what they were all about and within a few rides, gave all my other pairs away (including all my PI shorts) and bought 2 more pairs.

    I am a smaller rider, and perhaps that is why the PI shorts fit me poorly. I am about 5'3" and wear an XS in both brands.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    9
    I'm going to try the Castelli bibs! I also wear an XS in the Pearls and I feel like I could use XXS...as for them being obnoxiously expensive: "Quality is long remembered after price is soon forgotten"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    931
    Quote Originally Posted by shopGirl View Post
    I'm going to try the Castelli bibs! I also wear an XS in the Pearls and I feel like I could use XXS...as for them being obnoxiously expensive: "Quality is long remembered after price is soon forgotten"
    Castelli is great! But try before you buy!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    1,244
    I haven't tried Castelli bibs, but I have tried a pair of their shorts (Vizio.1) and I ended up returning them because they gave me the dreaded "sausage leg" syndrome. Which was odd, considering that these shorts didn't have a leg-gripper at all, so I thought they would be okay...but the "sausage" effect was WAY worse on these Castelli's without the leg-grippers, than it is with my Pearl's that do have leg-grippers. Go figure...

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by shopGirl View Post

    Please do not spend the money on Men's bibs, unless you are built more like a Man. Cycling apparel companies are finally putting the time into developing great comfy bibs for Ladies, and we should show them that we are noticing that by supporting Women-specific items. A man's chamois is built to fit differently than a woman's - it's not just a size thing, but an anatomy thing.
    I think what shorts you're comfortable in definitely depends on your build. I think I'm probably built more like a man. I have long thighs and a long torso. I have an ecto-mesomorphic build. This means I'm essentially straight up and down - shoulders, stomach, hips, legs - but I'm quite muscular, not small or skinny (5"8', 140, 16% body fat). I will say that men's pants (at least more hipster pants) tend to fit me better than do women's pants. I wear a 30" waist with 32" inseam. So all that said, I tend to prefer men's bibs because they just seem to fit better than do women's, likely due to those dimensions!

    Also, I don't like how short most women's bibs are in the leg. While I like showing my quad muscles in looser shorts, the leg length in a lot of women's bibs, because they're skin tight, can make some women's thighs look really 'bubbly'/'stuffed/however you want to put 'too big for what the packaging they're encased in'. I've heard women go both ways on the leg length. They usually look much better on women with small, really thin thighs (i.e. the type who wear short shorts) ... personal opinion obviously!

    Up top I'm a 34B and seem to have no problem with the straps; but of course someone else might or it may be different for those with different chest sizes. Anyway, my two cents for someone with potentially more of a 'men's build!' Since there are all sorts of body shapes for women, I wouldn't put wearing men's bibs out of the question. Good luck!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    983
    Like kilsilcox, it seems that mens shorts and jerseys fit me much better than womens. I have a long torso, so all of the womens jerseys are never long enough. Again, men's shorts fit me better as well. I'm not a PI fan, but I can say that the Louis Garneau Neopower shorts fit me well and I love them.

    The sad thing to me is this: after ordering some womens jerseys for our team where all of the women are small, all of them wore a size large and XL. In the real world, these women would wear anywhere from a small for one, up to a size medium. Sizing and accommodating people with different shapes is something that our industry should pay attention to and not force folks in one direction or another.

    My .2

 

 

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