Best Road Shorts

by SammyG   April 12, 2013  

What are the best bib shorts to buy, I will be using them for training and racing.


32 user comments

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I've got a pair of Santini bibs that a far more comfortable than the DHB and Altura shorts I started out with.

posted by abandoneur [18 posts]
12th April 2013 - 10:18


Castelli would be my recommendation too - great quality and certainly not cheap but good value compared to similar quality brands.

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posted by CraigS [135 posts]
12th April 2013 - 10:34


Assos are generally considered the best,

I ride castelli as they are just a bit cheaper

posted by titusrider [26 posts]
12th April 2013 - 10:50


Yep, Castelli are great.....

posted by jimmo62 [59 posts]
12th April 2013 - 10:57

ColT's picture

posted by ColT [225 posts]
12th April 2013 - 11:26


Another vote for Assos. I've bought other, cheaper shorts before, and have worn them maybe just a few times.

Buy Assos, buy once.

posted by bashthebox [647 posts]
12th April 2013 - 12:01


Shutt Velo Rapide. Club for training, Pro for racing.

Really, though?

posted by workhard [389 posts]
12th April 2013 - 12:59


Castelli Free Aero race

Now close the argument

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1733 posts]
12th April 2013 - 13:11


Rapha Classic bibs I own and are great to wear and last forever - also got a De Marchi pair which are also ace and pricey - De Marchi come up small (as with most Italian kit) so get a size bigger. As several others have mentioned, try some on because I found Gore did not fit right, despite being well-made. Pearl Izumi I own, too - good bet - similar sizing to De Marchi.

Cycling - not just a pastime or sport - free your soul on the open road.

timbola's picture

posted by timbola [211 posts]
12th April 2013 - 14:14


Raleigh wrote:
Castelli Free Aero race

Now close the argument

I have a pair of these and the chamois is great. You do get value the more you pay (despite what some may say). Although I did get some wear on my shorts from the RAB. I think Castelli offer value at a more affordable price, but I've never worn Assos.

I hate my original Gore bib shorts after wearing Castelli.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1199 posts]
12th April 2013 - 14:30


Another vote for Assos. But Guy hit the nail on the head completely. Horses for courses innit?

Martin Thomas's picture

posted by Martin Thomas [584 posts]
12th April 2013 - 15:08


Cheers for the advice, I'm looking at some Assos and the Castelli Aero ones.

I was hoping that someone was going to say dhb Aeron Pro as there is a 20% off coupon on dhb gear at the mo making them £53!

But I will look at making an investment in looking cool and being comfy.

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
12th April 2013 - 18:58


OK then, dhb Aeron Pro. I have four, they are comfortable all day and I ride over 8000 miles a year. I haven't tried any other bib shorts but then I've never considered needing to get anything more expensive. Give them a try, they work for me.

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [326 posts]
12th April 2013 - 21:05


+1 for the DHB's, which I wasn't going to mention among all the talk of Assos and Rapha..

I've had their bibs in both short and tight form and they're well made, well padded (aeron pro, particularly) and CHEAP!

4-5 hr rides no problem on a very thin saddle..

Never worn Assos which I suspect would be even better fitting and designed, but a lot pricier.

posted by 700c [587 posts]
12th April 2013 - 21:28


I've got both the dhb Aeron Pro's and the Castelli Free Aero Race. The Castellis are far and away the better shorts - the chamois is superb and they are super comfy. The dhb's are very good as well but they, um, don't leave much to the imagination up front due to the position of the pad.

Swami Dave's picture

posted by Swami Dave [51 posts]
13th April 2013 - 8:22



posted by Jaltham [67 posts]
13th April 2013 - 12:37


Thanks Dave, I'll keep an eye out for the Castelli shorts and make sure I stick to wearing my dhb on the bike only!

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [326 posts]
13th April 2013 - 13:16


The heart of any bib shorts is the chamois, so check that part of the shorts first of all, then it's getting the correct size which can be a bit of a minefield as sizing varies so much between manufacturers - I always think that Northern European and American brands are more suited to our body types whereas Southern European sizes come up a bit smaller, meaning that you'll have to "go up a size".
As far as brands go, i think Gore Bike Wear is as good as it gets without being ripped off by "paying for the brand" by certain brands. Always Riding were doing a good deal on Summatory stuff last year and it's also highly recommended. I've Assos F1_13_S5 too but the laws of diminishing returns kicks in big time with these so you'd need to get them at a discount.

posted by PRINCIPIA PHIL [52 posts]
13th April 2013 - 17:28


just something to think about, elastic Interface make the Assos pads they also make the DHB ones and Gore i believe.

I suspect the exact model will vary by brand and for some it will be custom, but i would expect that over the course of a couple of years the best features will filter from the custom pads to the OE pads.

What the manufacturer does with the pad well....

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posted by mrmo [1357 posts]
14th April 2013 - 13:16


I have a pair of ASSOS and whilst they are super comfy to ride in, after a couple of years the material is starting to get a bit thin and see-thru to the extent they may soon become turbo trainer only. Not super impressed to be honest and I dont think I'll be buying another pair.

posted by rockfield [68 posts]
14th April 2013 - 18:54

1 Like

Very little between Assos, Rapha and Castelli in terms of comfort, main difference is that Assos/Rapha are a touch pricier and are better made. Assos also come with a lifetime repair service which I have used and is brilliant.

Castelli are the raciest IMO but it is worth bearing in mind that Sportful (who are owned by Castelli) make bibs that are cheaper still and just about as good. Give them a go if Castelli prices still make your eyes water.

posted by Winton [66 posts]
14th April 2013 - 21:52


Etxeondo make fantastic shorts. I have two pairs and cannot fault them.

posted by paslemeilleur [57 posts]
4th June 2013 - 13:47


I just took a bit of a risk and got a pair of the new howies leadout bibs for £59. Lovely 'no seams' process they have for putting them together and they look and feel great quality. They have simple styling and a matt black finish that I prefer to the sometimes shiney effect you can get from cheaper lycra. First ride today and very impressed...


posted by malcolmclayton [37 posts]
4th June 2013 - 18:29


I've been using DHB Roubaix 3/4 Bibs solidly for 8 months - 1 long ride and 4 days of commuting. Amazing and I'll get another pair if they ever wear out.

I thought I would treat myself to a pair of Assos bib shorts yesterday and have just ridden home from work in them. They feel weird compared to the dhb's - the grippers niggle a little and they pull a bit when you first put em on. I was a bit disappointed tbh.

However its when you are riding in the blazing sun and sweating like a pig, it's then that you realise why people love them. Quite frankly they are worth every penny. My undermeats feel like I have been to a spa. The pad grips the seat and the material wicks and keeps you feeling ace

In addition I averaged 17.9 mph which is a new record for me.

In conclusion. Buy some!

posted by dunnoh [177 posts]
4th June 2013 - 19:13


I did all the research and chose DHB Pro bib shorts, ordered them and when they arrived they didn't fit.

The thing I learnt is that you have to get a good fit. I visited a bike store that had half a dossen pairs. I tried Castelli and they didn't fit. I didn't like the Gore ones in the flesh. I ended up with Lou Garneau bib shorts which had a good pad and fit me well.

At the end of the day its all about fit, which you can't get buying online.

posted by Sensible [60 posts]
19th June 2013 - 20:49


Castelli body paint 2, I've got garmin team ones in discount, awesome kit,

posted by blablablacksheep20 [50 posts]
19th June 2013 - 22:38


GBW "Xenon 2.0 Bibtights short+" are just the best you can get!

posted by NoWorries [10 posts]
22nd June 2013 - 12:24


You are going to get as many answers here as there are people I think.

I used to only use Castelli, but then I switched to Morvélo. To me - they are way more comfortable. They are longer in the legs and quite tight which suits my body shape. I find the Chamoix to be more "firm-gel like" while Castelli are more spongy.

But then again, thats my opinion. I have several Morvélo shorts by now. They are quite stylish too.

seabass89's picture

posted by seabass89 [235 posts]
22nd June 2013 - 14:48


Surprised nobody has mentioned Giordana.

In my view their top-of-the-line stuff is as good quality and comfort as Castelli, Rapha, Assos etc usually for about two thirds of the price.

But it is true that you just have to try stuff. I have never been happy with any bit of Assos kit I've bought, but love Castelli, Rapha and Giordana.

Santini very good too.

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [566 posts]
22nd June 2013 - 15:25


As the 2nd poster said, which ever ones fit you and are comfortable to ride distances in.

For me I am happy with dhb for 100km or so, longer & particularly in summer, craft or sportful (but those are kits, lighter coloured than DHB shorts and I live down under ie bloody hot 30C for 7am morning commutes).

Santani knicks I find uncomfortable after 30 minutes in the saddle.

posted by nickobec [261 posts]
23rd June 2013 - 1:50