Cycling bib shorts are a relatively inexpensive option for those looking to improve comfort on the bike. Bib shorts come in many different guises, for a range of budgets and needs but essentially are made up of the following components - The bib straps, leg grippers, seat pad (otherwise known as the chamois) and the main part of the short, made from Lycra.

Although bib shorts can be used for a variety of cycling disciplines, they are most at home for those that ride road bikes due to their aerodynamic nature and performance cut.

Here's what we'll cover in this guide:

  • Whether you should choose bib shorts or shorts?
  • What to consider when choosing a bib short?
  • Our top bib short picks for 2023

What should I choose, bib shorts or shorts?

The chances are if you are a seasoned road cyclist your default lower bottom choice will be a pair of bib shorts but for those new to the sport, deciding what type of short works best for them may need a bit of thought.

As the name suggests, the main difference between cycling bib shorts and cycling shorts is the bib straps. The pros of having straps are that it keeps the short part in place and stops it from chafing and riding up, it also acts to provide a bit of added comfort and support around the lower back and stomach.

Where the bib-less variety excels is when it comes to versatility. The reduction in straps makes taking the short on and off a much simpler process as you do not need to remove your upper layer to do so. Both options often use the same seat pad, materials and cut, so it just leaves you to decide what suits you better, based on your needs.

Universal Colours Chroma Womens Bib Short Bib Strap
Universal Colours Chroma Womens Bib Short Leg Gripper
Universal Colours Chroma Bib Short Seatpad

What should I consider when choosing a bib short?

There are a vast range of bib shorts on the market and you can pick up a pair from as little as £25 to over £300. When choosing what bib short is right for you there are a number of things to consider:

  • Seat pad - The thickness of the pad (or chamois) is important but thicker doesn't always mean more comfort. A seat pad with features to promote airflow is always worth considering, as is one with a perforated surface. Bib shorts should be worn without underwear, so a soft material here is key
  • Bib straps - Look for seamless or minimal seam designs and if possible mesh construction to enhance breathability
  • Materials - Depending on where and when you want to wear the bib short will be a deciding factor when it comes to the short's material. Looking to ride in hot conditions? Opt for lightweight and UPF-treated material. Wanting extra protection for wet and cold rides? A DWR coated option with a fleece lining may be more up your street

Pas Normal Studios Mechanism Bib Short Riding


Our top bib short picks for 2023

Rather than sifting through a sea of Lycra, we have pulled together a selection of some of our favourite bib shorts for 2023 from some of the best brands. If you can't find what you are looking for in the list below shop our entire cycling short range.

Universal Colours Mono Bib Short

Retail price from - £85

Opening our list of the best bib shorts, we look to the forward-thinking cycle clothing brand Universal Colours and their incredibly popular Mono Bib Short. Designed for the toughest of rides, this bib short uses a hybrid cell pad with high-density perforated foam to provide both support and comfort.

What we love about this bib short -

  • The nod to sustainability. This bib short is made from recycled fabrics 
  • Thoughtful touches to safety in the form of reflective logos
  • Rider-focused cut, with flatlock seams and an offset inseam used to improve comfort
  • Form fit design. Made using compressive warp-knit recycled Nylon, this short is designed to fit closely around the body

Shop the Universal Colours Mono Bib Short


Universal Colours Mono Bib Short

Pas Normal Studios Mechanism Bib Short

Retail price from - £148

Pas Normal Studios is a Copenhagen-based brand whose goal is to 'create technically perfect apparel, combined with visionary aesthetics.' A signature range from the Scandinavian clothing experts, Mechanism is their performance line and their Mechanism Bib Short is the perfect addition to the cyclist who appreciates a race fit with technically advanced fabrics.

What we love about this bib short -

  • Exceptional levels of comfort, provided by a four-layer ultralight foam chamois
  • Quality construction that is second to none, with the use of fully dyed fabrics
  • Subtle graphics and a range of carefully chosen colours to choose from make the short easy to pair with other kit
  • The highly breathable design makes the Mechanism bib short perfect for long and hot days on the bike

Shop the Pas Normal Studios Mechanism Bib Short


Pas Normal Studios Mechanism Bib Short

ASSOS Dyora RS S9 Womens Bib Short

Retail price from - £111

Long heralded as the go to brand for premium cycling shorts, ASSOS employs some of the best materials to create truly sublime garments. Their women's range of bib shorts is a testament to this, with the Dyora RS S9 Womens Bib Short boasting Type.441 fabric and using A-Lock engineering to wrap the leg muscles for a compressive fit. Cut with the female figure in mind, this is a fantastic option for those looking to rack up the miles in comfort.

What we love about this bib short -

  • Easy to pair with other garments in ASSOS' Dyora women's racing range
  • Armchair levels of comfort thanks to a DYORA RS seat pad and external rollBar bib straps
  • The bib straps are positioned slightly wider to accommodate a wider range of body types
  • Carefully considered features such as the raw-cut zeroWaist ensure no excess pressure is put on the stomach

Shop the ASSOS Dyora RS S9 Womens Bib Short


ASSOS Dyora RS S9 Bib Short

MAAP Team Evo Bib Short

Retail price from - £195

From Down Under with strong roots in the world of design, MAAP has been producing cycling clothing from their Melbourne base since 2014 and we have been fans of the brand ever since. Australian designed and manufactured using Italian fabrics, the Team Evo Bib Short is their most popular bib short, and for good reason. As you would expect from a brand that hails from the southern hemisphere, breathability and moisture-wicking are two areas where particular attention has been placed. UPF50+ sun protection and a high airflow back mesh panel are neat additions. Catering for the more unpredictable conditions of the northern hemisphere, the main body of this short uses a DWR (durable water repellent) coating to prevent light rain from soaking in.

What we love about this bib short -

  • The 3D Thermo Moulded seat pad provides an ergonomic and supportive base for transferring the power
  • MAAP's consideration when it comes to durability, using materials that are anti-pilling, highly abrasion resistant, and won’t thin over time
  • All fabrics are Bluesign approved. This means the materials used have been created using chemicals and processes that are safe for people and the environment
  • Elastic leg hem bands with printed silicone grippers ensure the short remains in place throughout your ride

Shop the MAAP Team Evo Bib Short


MAAP Team Evo Bib Short

Universal Colours Chroma Bib Short

Retail price - £165

Optimising the best materials and most advanced production methods, Universal Colours' Chroma range utilises woven rather than knitted fabrics to enhance performance and durability. In this case, the Chroma Bib Short features a compressive French Nylon material that is lightweight, soft against the skin and supports the muscles. The decision to use a woven material also makes the short 7x more durable than its knitted counterparts.

What we love about this bib short -

  • OekoTex® 100 certified, Universal Colours have steered away from using dyes or other chemicals that could prove harmful to your health
  • The nod to sustainability. The bib short is made in Lithuania by BlueSign Accredited and Fair Wear Foundation factory, LTP
  • Part of Universal Colours' sensational Chroma range, so you can combine the short with everything from Chroma short sleeve jerseys to rain jackets

Shop the Universal Colours Chroma Bib Short


Universal Colours Chroma Bib Short

Gore Wear C7 Long Distance Bib Short

Retail price from - £95

Stretchy, supportive, sweat-wicking and super comfortable, Gore Wear's C7 Long Distance Bib Short is a solid choice, regardless of how long you wish to spend in the saddle. If you are looking to take on ultra-endurance events or simply want to get the most out of your long weekend rides, the Expert Long Distance seat pad will give you the confidence you need. Incorporating Gore Wear's party piece, the Gore Windstopper fabric, the short uses this strategically on the front of the garment to provide protection against the wind, without inhibiting breathability.

What we love about this bib short -

  • The ingenious three-point seat pad anchoring system reduces the need to readjust your shorts while riding
  • If you are caught in a shower or are sweating on a hot day, the opaque finish fabric is both fast dry and ultra-wicking
  • Dense knit construction ensures an ultra soft next-to-skin feel and reduces the chances of chafing

Shop the Gore Wear C7 Long Distance Bib Short


Gore Wear C7 Long Distance Bib Short

Castelli Endurance 3 Bib Short

Retail price - £65

A familiar sight for many, the Castelli scorpion can often be seen out on group rides and for good reason. Castelli has built a reputation for producing high-quality cycling clothing, using professional athlete and team feedback. Their Endurance 3 Bib Short uses Endurance Evolution fabric to provide support for the muscles and to optimise breathability. The Anatomic cut caters for those looking for a performance-focused bib short, while the understated and timeless design makes pairing the shorts with your favourite jersey an easy task.

What we love about this bib short -

  • No corners have been cut with the Progetto X2 Air Seamless seat pad, providing excellent comfort and breathability in equal measure
  • A mesh material has been used on the bib straps and back section of the short to improve airflow
  • GIRO leg grippers prevent the shorts from riding up and keep those tan lines looking crisp!

Shop the Castelli Endurance 3 Bib Short


Castelli Endurance 3 Bib Short

ASSOS Mille GT C2 Bib Short

Retail price - £125

A trusted bib short for many, the ASSOS Mille GT C2 is part of the Swiss brand's Mille range that prides itself on offering exceptional levels of comfort and support. This is in no small part down to the C2 AEPD regulaFit and Type.429 fabric. ASSOS are never a brand to sit on its laurels and their redesigned seat pad is now based on 11mm Superair microshock foam.

What we love about this bib short -

  • ASSOS' X-Frame suspension system is a neat addition to the short and stabilises the seat pad
  • The Zero-Pressure waist feature reduces discomfort around the stomach area
  • Inclusion of silicone free, 6cm Ultralight leg grippers, which sit nicely against the skin and prevent the short from riding up

Shop the ASSOS Mille GT C2 Bib Short


ASSOS Mille GT C2 Bib Short