Best bib short 2018: padded and streamlined bib shorts for the ultimate blend of comfort and aero

Fashion tip: bib shorts without a jersey is not a good look

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They amy look like something from Magic Mike but bib shorts do serve a purpose other than showing off your chiselled abs, defined pecs and pert glutes. MAMILs, pros and even some normal people swear by bib shorts for their comfort as well as their streamlining, wind-defeating qualities. We mean wind as in the weather, there. If even the best bib shorts are just to specialist for you, fear not as we also have a guide to the best cycling shorts, which anyone can wear.

What are the best cycling bib shorts?

As shown in a way that leaves little to the imagination in our main image, the Assos T.Equipe_s7 Bib Shorts provides an excellent level of comfort and stretch with nine artfully arrayed panels of purest manmade fibre.

The best bib shorts for cycling, in order

Assos T.Equipe_s7 Bib Shorts

1. Assos T.Equipe_s7 Bib Shorts

These racer-approved shorts let you move in all manner of ways

Specifications
Best for: Race fit
Sizes: XS, L, XL
Material: Nylon, polyester, Spandex
Reasons to buy
+Light and comfortable compression+Excellent foam padding

The Equipe has a lot to recommend it, not least the fact that it’s the chosen short of the BMS Racing pro team. Nine panels ensure optimum range of movement no matter the twists and turns, and this complex construction conspires with the light compression fabric to make one of the most comfortable cycling shorts out there. 

The padding is ingenious too, with what reviewers called “spot-on” memory foam placement and variable compression for maximum comfort.

Endura Pro SL II Bib Shorts

2. Endura Pro SL II Bib Shorts

Look cool, and stay cool, in these shorts that have an option for all shapes and sizes

Specifications
Best for: Padding
Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
Material: Nylon, polyester, elastane
Reasons to buy
+Non-IR-absorbent material+Three pad options

Featuring something intriguingly called ‘coldblack’ technology, these shorts are ideal for use as a single layer in warm weather. The clever material means that these black shorts absorb less infrared than regular ones, keeping you cooler, and also provide minimum UPF 30 protection from the sun. 

It’s the fit that sets them apart though: in a great range of sizes from the oft-neglected XS to XXL, three different pad width options to suit all hip bone configurations, and two leg lengths, there are options in the range for riders of all shapes and sizes.

Giro Chrono Sport Bib Short

3. Giro Chrono Sport Bib Short

Super stretchy spandex offers maximum range of movement in this highly rated shorts

Specifications
Best for: All distances
Sizes: S, M, L, XL
Material: Nylon, Spandex
Reasons to buy
+Close-fitting but stretchy+Holds shape well

While the Pro version of Giro’s Chrono Sport short costs a good deal more, its little brother comes up trumps with some pretty premium features of its own. As a first pair, or mid-level option for cycling wardrobes of all sizes, reviewers say the nylon-spandex blend is like a second skin, the perfect combination of form-fitting and comfortable in a thin fabric that’s pliable enough to move with you but holds its shape after washing. 

The chamois is said to be comfortable across long distances too: supportive, pressure-relieving and breathable.

dhb Aeron Speed Bib Shorts

4. dhb Aeron Speed Bib Shorts

Stay-cool shorts that leave wiggle room in the budget

Specifications
Best for: Warm weather
Sizes: S, M, L, XL
Material: Nylon, Spandex
Reasons to buy
+Great performance for the price+Comfortable compressing

Expert testers found these inexpensive cycle shorts to be well in the realms, performance-wise, of much more expensive options. 

Their use of the aforementioned coldblack fabric and a mesh panel at the rear means that they’re a good summer option, preventing overheating and promoting breathability. While said to be compressive, testers found that these shorts were close-fitting but not overly tight, and that the silicone grips around the leg cuffs stayed put without rubbing or discomfort.