One of the things I love about biking is that if you do it for long enough you are bound to have some humbling moments and some revelatory ones. I’ll save the humbling stuff for another post, because I want to share my latest revelation.


For those of you who are well acquainted with the joys of bibs, I applaud you. Keep on rockin’. But for those of you who don’t have some bibs among your riding collection, we need to have a little talk.

Bibs are high-waisted bike shorts with built in suspenders. They come in womens and mens sizing, shorts, knickers, tights and the usual array of technical materials. And like many good products, it is what you don’t see that you are going to love. Specifically, you won’t see my lower back when I’m tucked into an otherwise dignified and racey position. You won’t see my belly button, as adorable as it is, when I am off the bike and distributing high fives (see below).

The advantages go beyond modesty. There is no waistband to tug on and no waistband to tug back at you. And have you ever had a chamois that had the tendency to head south in any season? Not with bibs to keep it all in check. Furthermore, in the winter you won’t have unpleasant gusts of air assailing the tummy region. And when the sunshine returns, you won’t have the funky lower lumbar tan line that has become my signature summer look.

Lady bib-deniers may bring up two issues, which I will now address and dismiss.

  1. Bibs make it a bit trickier to go pee. Okay, maybe true. But we’re adults, we can figure it out.
  2. Suspenders and boobs? Jeez, don’t ask me! But I have seen women of all shapes and sizes making it look easy.

At this point, you are almost sold on the merits of the bibs, but you may ask yourself “Aren’t these just for serious racer types?” Oh, gosh no. In fact, I find myself looking at pants and undies and thinking, those would be even more awesome as bibs.

Let me leave you with one thought. When you head into your favorite bike shop for your spring chamois fix, reach for the bibs. I dare you NOT to be as evangelical as I am.

From → Bike Love, Random


  1. uma

    Right on! You make me want to write an Ode to le Bib. Or would it be La Bib? Hmmm… Either way, I feel poetic today. Get the coffeepot goin, there’s some poetic clay to be throwin’! Thanks for the inspiration, Austin.

  2. uma

    Whups… I meant… Natalie!

  3. Welcome to the bright side of the moon, baby.
    You said it better than I ever could have.

  4. Appreciating your blog for some time now — keep it comin’. As to bibs, I like ’em — but don’t love ’em. My mileage my vary by dint of being a guy, but I have a long waist and find that the straps exert a constant, slightly uncomfortable pull on the shorts, and also slightly (and constantly) constrict my ribs. I do wear them for lengthy rides, and appreciate the benefits you’ve named above. But it’s with mixed feelings.

    Maybe I just need to splurge on some Assos…

  5. Velosopher, I’m no doctor, but I’d prescribe that Assos upgrade. Stat!

  6. Natalie, you’re probably as right as rain in every way — except financially. It’s really hard to justify spending twice what “really good” bib shorts cost in order to get what will undoubtedly convert me for life. And that’s for one pair, forget having a back-up.

    Maybe I could get some kind of charity-type sponsorship going for people who work on the front lines of public mental health — something like, “Keep my bum comfy, I’ll keep your neighbor from driving his car off a cliff.” :-) Hmm…

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