Bib shorts for LEJOG

by pcj2000   November 21, 2013  

I am planning on doing Land End - John O'Groats next year and one of the things that I have been advised to do is get decent bib shorts.

I am currently thinking of something in the region of £60-100 but have a couple of questions.

Is this the right amount - or is it worth spending more?

Any suggested brands/pairs of shorts I should look at or avoid?

Is it worth waiting until January to try and get something in the sales (I am not up to speed on when cycling shops do their sales - it seems like Wiggle and Chain Reaction constantly have sales on!)?

Many thanks for any advice (and any general tips on equipment for LEJOG will be gratefully received!)


12 user comments

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More than one pair is also a good idea.
I did it as part of RAB, so we could get them washed, I took 4 pairs with me that I knew I could do 100+ mile days in no problem.

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [233 posts]
21st November 2013 - 18:09

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Agreed on breaking them in, no point in taking a new pair to find they aren't comfy.

I actually did it using Endura Humvee baggies, combined with 2/3 pairs of their liner short. Comfy when covering 60-70 miles a day, very lightweight and fast-drying.

Gore are good, although I think the lycra is a bit on the thin side. I have a couple of pairs of Rapha shorts/three quarters, and although they are more expensive they have an exceptionally comfortable chamois pad and are very well constructed.

posted by thereandbackagain [152 posts]
21st November 2013 - 18:21

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Would definitely recommend De Soto 400 mile bib shorts, they're pricey but by far the best I've ever used for distance cycling. Wore one pair during this years Transcontinental Race (2100 miles in under 10 days) — no problems at all.

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posted by pickupel [1 posts]
21st November 2013 - 18:25

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Having been witness to two Lejog's this year.

You are going to want the best that you can afford. You are going to need a few pairs. Plenty of chamois cream, plus you are going to want the SAME brand of bib tights, so you can switch between in dodgy weather and not notice the difference.

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posted by Gkam84 [8645 posts]
21st November 2013 - 19:59

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I did it in a combination of Castelli Free Aero and Velocissimo. It really is important to make sure you have a good pair. Any chaffing on day 1 will be horrendous by day 9 (or however, long you're going for).

You have to plan for all weather combinations. We started off in brilliant sunshine, cloudless skies, moved into 24hr rain festivals and ended up with 50-60mph winds. My pop up tent was being pushed into my head at night. So good windstopper and rain wear is essential - don't skimp on that either as if you are spending 6-10 hours in rain day-in-day out you'll need it.

The Rapha rain jacket is good, or the Castelli pocket liner. In fact the long-sleeve Gabba is excellent too for mixed weather. Shoe covers, arm warmers and leg warmers etc. Two to three changes of kit are also useful - if you get one piece extremely wet then you can rotate between the others and hope it gets dry. More important if you're going to rely on cheap rain wear too. One chap I know was under prepared and kept on having to stop in out of the way places to pick up extra kit.

The roads in Scotland (especially between the border and Glasgow, assuming you're heading that way) are atrocious so you may want to think about 25mm tyres.

The best thing I purchased on LEJOG a roll of plastic bags and elastic bands. You lob dirty stuff in the them and keep wet kit and dry kit separate. You can even stick them on your feet if you are camping in a muddy field. You may also like to get some ear plugs.

I did it in September, so the weather was more changeable, but if you're doing it in summer you may require less. Though midge nets might be required north of the border depending on where you are staying.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1059 posts]
21st November 2013 - 20:38

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Thanks for all your tips and advice. I will have a look into the various suggestions.

I have seen some very positive things about the De Soto shorts but I cannot see any suppliers in the UK. Does anyone know where I can get some (or at least try them on)?

posted by pcj2000 [2 posts]
22nd November 2013 - 13:37

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Never done anything like Lejog, but I've been commuting most of this year using Howies shorts. The initial version did have a pad issue (the pad fell apart after about 1500 miles), but they replaced them with a fixed version (I think I wasn't the first with this problem) which also had the "radio pocket" removed and the material of the back bib strap section lightened. They've been great since- and were great before the problem.

posted by Al__S [480 posts]
22nd November 2013 - 15:39

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I had always worked on the opposite assumption to using the same brand on multiple days - using different brands may mean the seams are in different places and are stitched differently, meaning that you are less likely to get chafing over an extended period.

That was just advice I was given though, when I did an endurance event I wore RH+ the whole time for budget reasons and washed them each night in the sink. No sores or chafing.

I use Assos Mille at the moment (can't remember the exact model) and they're amazing but slightly above your budget unless you (likely this time of year) find them in a sale somewhere.

posted by turboprannet [41 posts]
22nd November 2013 - 15:51

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If you can, go for two pairs - swapping them about every day. DHB shorts are good value and feature a Cytech pad, which is one of the best. Also consider a pair in fleecy-backed 'roubaix' fabric for colder days / use with leg warmers - unless you're going in mid-summer? Take plenty of chamois cream and make sure you wash/shower every day to avoid skin inflammations.

Make mine an Italian with Campagnolo on the side

posted by monty dog [358 posts]
23rd November 2013 - 18:05

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I did London to Paris over 2 days, and used castelli body paint. Fabulous pad, and I've since bought sorpasso bib tights for winter use, which have the same pad.

Good advice on changes of clothes etc. it also made me buy arm warmers, great for the early morning, take them off when it gets warm, put them back on again in the evening. Could also do the same with leg warmers, but a bit less convenient

posted by Stratman [36 posts]
28th November 2013 - 21:38

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Also if you can't stretch to having a roubaix fleece type second pair there is always the route of embrocation (not sure if it's a false warmth akin to drinking whiskey to warm you up though).

+1 on the chamois cream too. it's made a huge difference on long rides i've been on and that difference mainly being between having a pain-free "seat area" or an agonising inferno of pummeled and chafed junk.

posted by turboprannet [41 posts]
29th November 2013 - 8:24

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Did it this July over 9 days, used a combination of Assos, Rapha and Castelli bibs. Having read blogs of the Divide Race, took the advice of different pads and fits to minimise pressure points, sores etc. Worked well, not an issue with saddle sores. Used a load of kit in the main, mixtures of jerseys, mesh base layers were great. Warmers, another vote for a Gabba too, was fabulous when it was warm and wet through Scotland and decent waterproof, have a Rapha one just great balance of breathability and waterproof for extended wear. As above, I wish I'd put my 25mm tyres on going through Scotland. The surfaces are terrible in places.

Have fun training and riding. Was an amazing experience.

posted by Spud [47 posts]
29th November 2013 - 21:11

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