Looking for peoples experiences with different bib shorts I'm having a frustrating time with them!

Lozi

Senior Member
Location
Northants
I realise this is a tired subject I think I have even had a previous thread about it but I am having a tough time with comfort on the bike and have been for a while, having bought 3 different pairs of bib shorts I'm still having constant issues so I'm looking for other people opinions on what they have or where i may be going wrong.

I am 5'9 and around 75Kg i would estimate around a 34" waist so not a really skinny build as such i would say i am basically a M sized human being, my experience with shorts has been:

Castelli endurance 3 with the progetto x2 air pad was my first purchase in a size L which i feel is a size up which most people and website sizing guides recommend, i love these bibs they are great quality and feel great and the comfort from the pad is amazing but they give me pretty bad sores so i can't use them with or without cream makes no difference. They are a snug fit even being a L in my opinion.

Attacus bib shorts in a L were my next purchase as i couldn't handle the saddle sores, these are lower quality in my opinion and although they don't seem to give me sores the pad doesn't offer much comfort for me so i cannot do many miles in them without a numb bum. I used these quite a bit for a month or so and they fell apart the stitching has come out in various places including the pad where it has unravelled so its not attached now towards the front. These fit way looser and the bib straps became pretty loose and ineffective pretty quickly.

Castelli competizione in a L with the kiss 2 pad, these are also great quality and feel and are in between the other 2, not to bad for sores and a little more comfy than the Attacus ones but quite a bit less comfy than the other castelli pad.

I am wondering if i should be going for an XL in castelli bibs and maybe that would help or perhaps try something new i am cycling through the Attacus and competiziones at the moment and not really having a great time in either with the endurance 3's getting the odd ride but instantly giving me sores and getting forgotten about for a while.

Its an expensive conundrum for me as once you've purchased and used them for a while your kinda stuck with them and they aren't cheap!
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
You sure the problem is your shorts and not your saddle?
(Sorry, I don't have any useful advice beyond posing a rather pointless question)
 

FishFright

More wheels than sense
Obvious stuff first;
Could your saddle sores be linked to any underlying health issues?
And do you wear nothing under the shorts ?
 
OP
Lozi

Lozi

Senior Member
Location
Northants
You sure the problem is your shorts and not your saddle?
(Sorry, I don't have any useful advice beyond posing a rather pointless question)
I have a few bikes and a few different seats i have bought i get a similar result with all combinations.


Obvious stuff first;
Could your saddle sores be linked to any underlying health issues?
And do you wear nothing under the shorts ?
2 of the 3 shorts i get little to no sores so im not sure about that. Also i should add i have Castelli bib tights with the kiss pad i used throughout winter with no sores whatsoever with no cream used at all but again with these im not that comfy on the pad.

I don't wear anything under the shorts.
 
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iluvmybike

Über Member
Going to larger sizes may not be the answer. Bib tights need to be a snug fit so that the pad doesn't move around as you ride. The whole point of having the bib is to pull the shorts up close and snug - not 'tight' though!. I assume you are not wearing any underwear with the shorts. But from your post it is more likely to be a saddle problem if you have tried different pairs of bibs. I had this issue recently and having now changed my saddle the issue has been solved. You haven't mentioned the make of saddle but you need one which is wide enough for your sit bones to support you rather than any soft tisue areas. If your saddle is too narrow this will be the case. Some saddle manufacturers such as Specialized do saddles in different widths to accommodate differences. Everyone is different. And they do have some stores where you can go and get sit bone width measured. You could also consider the use of a decent chamois cream or similar like sudocrem applied to your nethers especially when it is hot to give a waterproof layer and reduce possible irritation
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
Its an expensive conundrum for me as once you've purchased and used them for a while your kinda stuck with them and they aren't cheap!
A cheaper way to experiment would be to try some cheaper options to see if they suit. I wear waisted shorts from Decathlon and they are cheap as chips. You could try them. If they don't suit, you've only lost £20 or so. If they do, then you have some shorts ... and if you definitely want bibs then see if you can get some similar.
 

Venod

Eh up
Location
Yorkshire
I have done many miles in OnOne shorts from Planet X, cheap but comfortable and a good fit, a medium would suit you.

Saddle sores are a pain, and can flare up unexpectedly, I did 8000 plus miles last year without problem, this year I have had a saddle sore.
I kept riding with the sore by wearing some seamless under shorts under my bibs, its the same principle as double skinned hiking socks, ie the shorts rub against one another and not your skin.
 

iluvmybike

Über Member
It is important to address the issue if you are getting sores. A friend of mine guides cylists on cycling holidays and a saddle sore created an internal abcess which took 4 unpleasant operations and a long time off the bike to sort out
 
Bib tights need to be a snug fit so that the pad doesn't move around as you ride. The whole point of having the bib is to pull the shorts up close and snug - not 'tight' though!.
+1
A loose pad can "ruck up" which is almost a guarantee of sores after enough miles.

(Actually I think too tight might never create skin/contact issues, you would just feel uncomfortable in other ways from mile1 ... but I'm not keen to test this ... )

It can be helpful to identify what TYPE of sore you are getting - is it due to overly-localised pressure, or a friction-type thing? (not always easy to tell, but worth a thought ... )
And is it in a sit-bone area? i.e. where you are DESIGNED to take weight
Or in a ...er ... secondary area (e.g. saddle edge, or betwixt legs and groin)
 
OP
Lozi

Lozi

Senior Member
Location
Northants
Going to larger sizes may not be the answer. Bib tights need to be a snug fit so that the pad doesn't move around as you ride. The whole point of having the bib is to pull the shorts up close and snug - not 'tight' though!. I assume you are not wearing any underwear with the shorts. But from your post it is more likely to be a saddle problem if you have tried different pairs of bibs. I had this issue recently and having now changed my saddle the issue has been solved. You haven't mentioned the make of saddle but you need one which is wide enough for your sit bones to support you rather than any soft tisue areas. If your saddle is too narrow this will be the case. Some saddle manufacturers such as Specialized do saddles in different widths to accommodate differences. Everyone is different. And they do have some stores where you can go and get sit bone width measured. You could also consider the use of a decent chamois cream or similar like sudocrem applied to your nethers especially when it is hot to give a waterproof layer and reduce possible irritation

The Castelli shorts are a very snug fit getting them up into position takes some moving and pulling about which is why i think they may be too snug as the Attacus ones with fit a bit looser slip straight on and don't give me the sores.

No underwear under them.

I measured my sit bones they are about as narrow as it gets for a man at 100mm if i remember correctly, i have various saddles i have bought and tried on my bikes and I'm getting very similar issues the only thing i have noticed is the wider short nosed saddles seem to rub my legs a bit i have quite big thighs so i stick to narrower ones.

I tried chamois cream etc i still get rubbed raw with the progetto pad unfortunately as the actual sit comfort is pretty good in these! it seems i can have either comfort or no sores but not both lol
 
OP
Lozi

Lozi

Senior Member
Location
Northants
+1
A loose pad can "ruck up" which is almost a guarantee of sores after enough miles.

(Actually I think too tight might never create skin/contact issues, you would just feel uncomfortable in other ways from mile1 ... but I'm not keen to test this ... )

It can be helpful to identify what TYPE of sore you are getting - is it due to overly-localised pressure, or a friction-type thing? (not always easy to tell, but worth a thought ... )
And is it in a sit-bone area? i.e. where you are DESIGNED to take weight
Or in a ...er ... secondary area (e.g. saddle edge, or betwixt legs and groin)

The sores are rubbing issues i can feel it happening its where the top of the leg meets the....arse cheeks...
 
OP
Lozi

Lozi

Senior Member
Location
Northants
I have done many miles in OnOne shorts from Planet X, cheap but comfortable and a good fit, a medium would suit you.

Saddle sores are a pain, and can flare up unexpectedly, I did 8000 plus miles last year without problem, this year I have had a saddle sore.
I kept riding with the sore by wearing some seamless under shorts under my bibs, its the same principle as double skinned hiking socks, ie the shorts rub against one another and not your skin.
I have done roughly 4000 miles since starting back up in September last year and i have only started getting sores recently, i don't get sores with all my options and i get over them pretty quickly but most of the bibs i have i struggle to spend more than an hour or so on the bike its ruining my ability to move forward with what I'm trying to do!
 
The sores are rubbing issues i can feel it happening its where the top of the leg meets the....arse cheeks...
Ah OK .... haven't had that one yet. I was partly asking out of curiosity to be honest :P But it does rule out some things (e.g. lack of padding, that sort of thing).

(But FWIW, I'd stick to saying "tighter better than looser" for that sort of problem. Sadly that may not be the whole answer ... :-/ )
 
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