Bike Shorts Vs. Cycling Bib Shorts: Which should you choose?
24 mai, 2024
Bike Shorts Vs. Cycling Bib Shorts: Which should you choose?
If you are a passionate bike rider but are tired of wearing your normal pants while cycling and want to try new, trendy bike shorts, you have come to the right spot. This article will introduce you to all the necessary details about bike shorts and bib shorts, including their pros, cons, and more. So keep learning and start a happy ride!


“Cyclic shorts are aerodynamic (they can cross/cut air easily ) and skin-tight knee-length shorts, particularly designed to provide comfortable riding.”
Apparently, it feels like what a difference it will make to wear specific cyclic shorts or usual pants during cycling. Yes! It means a lot because the quality and fitness of a cycling outfit can make your ride enjoyable or miserable. So, cyclic shorts are planned especially with the best riding requirements in mind, like stretching and sweat-absorbing power, comforts, and the ability to reduce drag force ( to cut air for fast riding ) etc.
There are two types of cyclic shorts:
Both of these shorts are different in style and texture. So, it is a fundamental decision for passionate cyclers to choose the right one to make their ride delightful. Therefore, to help you make the right decision, we will learn about the main specifications and differences between these cycling shorts one by one.

What are Bike Shorts?

“Bike shorts are aerodynamic, breathable, and skin-tight garments specially designed for a convenient riding experience.”
These cyclic shorts are padded with chamois in the area that comes in contact with the saddle to prevent chafing and discomfort.
  • “Chamois is a pad made of cushioning foam with high ventilation power sewn inside the shorts. It also has an antibacterial nanosize carbon particles sheet, protecting riders from skin allergies.”
Moreover, these shorts have an elastic waist and leg bands made of higher gauge material, which doesn’t let them displace their position as you pedal, ultimately making you feel free and comfortable while cycling.
One more thing needs to be mentioned here: the fabric of these shorts has high absorbing power, so it absorbs all moisture and sweat from attached body parts, preventing irritation, rashes, and smells. Moreover, if we talk about stitching, bike shorts have flat-lock covers on the seams, which gives a smooth and restful feel and prevents skin from rubbing and friction.
Apart from this, bike shorts have SPF 50+ ( Sun Protection Factor is a way to measure the ability of a material to protect from UVB radiations. ), which means it can filter out 98% of the total UVB radiation striking the skin; therefore, protecting your skin from harmful radiations.

What are Bib Shorts?

“Bib shorts are somewhat different from regular bike shorts as they have suspenders-like straps extending from the bottom of the shorts to the shoulders.”
Just imagine a baby bib dressing for a while, which crosses over both shoulders and extends to belts, preventing baby pants from creeping down. Similarly, when you paddle your bike, the straps of bib shorts hold on to the bottom part of your shorts tightly to restrict them from displacing their position.
Additionally, like biking shorts, bib shorts are skin-tight and have aerodynamic properties. So, they help reduce drag and cut the air faster, automatically increasing the bike's speed and making your ride joyful.
The straps of bib shorts are made of elastic and soft mesh material that doesn’t put pressure/burden on shoulders. They will work as comfortable support, and you can easily take them on and off due to their elasticity.

Bike shorts vs Cycling bib shorts

One can say that it doesn't make much difference whether you wear bike shorts or bib shorts. But only an expert cyclist knows that even a minor detail can make a hell of a difference in your cycling performance. Therefore, it’s not pointless to discuss the distinctions between bike shorts and bib shorts, so let’s talk about the pros and cons of both types;
i) Bike shorts pros and cons
ii) Bib shorts pros and cons

Bike Shorts Pros and Cons


  • Comfortable: As we have discussed, Bike shorts have chamois that reduce the friction between saddle and body, which makes them soft. So, bike shorts are pretty comfortable and bearable for a long ride.
  • Cooling effect: As bike shorts don’t have any layer of fabric on the chest and midriff, you can easily wear them in summer without any tension.
  • Free arms: You know well that bike shorts don’t have any extended straps. So, your arms feel free to move without restriction, making your cycling more delightful.
  • Easy to wear on and off: Bike shorts are designed simply without entangling belts or strips, so it’s a no-minute game to wear them on and off.
  • Less expensive: Bike shorts are less expensive than bib shorts because their manufacturing doesn’t involve as many complexities as bib shorts'.


  • Comfortless waistband: Sometimes, the waistband imposes pressure on the belly and digs into the waist, which creates breathing difficulties. That’s why, for long rides, you should avoid using bike shorts.
  • Displacing of chamois: During cycling, you often lift yourself from the saddle for a second and sit back to get set, which can displace chamois because bike shorts don’t have any shoulder straps that can hold on shorts in their original position.
  • Slipping shorts: For some people, it’s perfect, while for others, the shorts keep on slipping, and they can expose your body parts, which can be irritating and cause a lot of nuisance during riding.

Bib Shorts Pros and Cons


  • Free from waistband: Bib straps are the best replacement for a waistband to restrict shorts from displacing. Therefore, there is no extra elastic tension in bib shorts that will cause inconvenience to your abdomen. So, bib shorts provide you with a deep breathing room with extra comfort.
  • Provides body coverage: It is often seen that fast bike riders raise their arms to enjoy cycling, mostly when they are about to win near the finish line. But this can uncover their belly part, while bib shorts keep your body covered and allow you to enjoy your moments with a free mind; that’s why women’s bike bibs are most trending among female cyclists.
  • Best for winters: As you know, bib shorts cover your shoulders and most of your abdomen parts. So, it is considered a preferable choice for winter. Moreover, its extra layer of material is somewhat insulating, providing extra warmth.
  • Fixed chamois: Bib shorts have shoulder straps that fit with your body and keep the chamois in place. You won’t have to worry about fixing it again and again while cycling, making them a top choice for long rides and cycling competitions. The above is why you should wear cycling bibs.


You should be aware that bib shorts are not only centered around advantages but also have some limitations, so let’s explore some negative aspects of bib shorts.
  • Warmth: Due to an extra layer of skin-tight fabric on the belly and shoulders, bib shorts are a bit uncomfortable for summer because they cause warmness and sweating in the covered area ultimately causing irritation and bad smell.
  • Difficult to wear on and off: During long bike riding, sometimes you need to take a rest or bath break, but bib shorts are not friendly at that time, because it’s a hassle to pull them down due to shoulder straps, so, its a bit annoying.
  • Uncomfortable loose straps: Some people carry shoulder straps well, but for some, bib shorts ( especially women’s bike bibs) are sort of a problem to keep them adjusted, which may be due to the physique of the person, or non-compatible size, so there’s an additional task with bib shorts that you must have to check its fitness before starting your ride.
  • Digging of straps in the skin: These shorts introduce you to a new problem. Sometimes, the shoulder straps pinch and dig on the shoulder and chest, creating discomfort.

Which is Right for You?

You should first consider your comfort because if you don’t feel adjusted, you can’t perform well while riding.
So, if you get warm and start sweating easily, bike shorts will be more appropriate. In contrast, if bike shorts are slippery, consider bib shorts because slipping shorts is a bit more embarrassing than facing warmth. You are not forced to pick one; you can wear your choice!
Speaking unbiasedly, you don’t have to choose. Keep both types of shorts in your wardrobe and wear them according to events and weather conditions. For example, wear your bike shorts if it is hot in summer; if it is winter, wear bib shorts.
Please note that when you buy shorts for yourself, be sure to look at the sizing chart as a well-fitting jersey will make you feel comfortable and allow you to move better.


  1. What makes good cycling shorts?
As you know, all cyclic shorts are designed specially to enhance your cycling experience, and some factors play a crucial role in approving the best cycling shorts, such as:
  • Extra pockets
  • Ergonomic fitness
  • Super ventilation power
  • High-quality chamois with anti-microbial properties
  • Vibration-dampening chamois ( helpful for bumpy road riding )
  • Consider density zones (measuring how much fabric is in one square meter).
So, when you discover these properties in cycling shorts, you will realize they are the best.
  1. How can I prevent chafing?
Tip 1: First, ensure your hygiene. Wash and dry your shorts well after every use, and then keep them in a specific drawer.
Tip 2: Moreover, some cyclists don’t use undergarments, so when chamois come directly in contact with your skin, it causes friction, which ultimately causes chafing and nuisance.
Tip 3: There’s one more solution for chafing: you can use antifriction cream ( petroleum jelly, anti-chafing cream, etc. ), which will reduce the abrasion and give you a soft and smooth feel.
Tip 4: Last but not least, non-compatible-sized shorts can also be the reason for chafing because loose shorts can fold or wrinkle the chamois inside, which causes pinching and irritation, so make sure of the size to avoid any inconvenience.

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