Taking the Plunge
This girl is very happy that bicycle clothing retailers are finally making great products for women. Reviews of bib shorts for women are being posted by the biggest names in outdoor sports and shared liberally on social media. The media attention helped me finally take the plunge and try bib shorts, but the main impetus was a pain in the ass (well, not technically the ass, but…) and the advice from one of my male cycling buddies.
I ride year round, so I don’t have “seasonal” issues with re-acquaintance with my saddle. Still, I was having some soreness this winter and early spring that made me begin to question the quality of the chamois in my newest cycling shorts. I tried adding more, and then different, lubrication, to no avail. Then I began to examine each chamois with relation to the problem area. This helped me narrow down the culprits who shall remain un-named.
At about the same time that this problem arose, I began following a start-up company named Velocio. I found the company through one of my favorite food bar retailers, Ally’s Bar. I watched with great interest as news of the Super-Fly bibs came out. I was intrigued by the rear zip feature.
Then, my riding buddy Jeff, showed up on a ride with new shorts from Assos. Jeff is not the spendy type so I interviewed him about the decision to purchase a high-end short. Jeff has worn Assos gear for more than one season and he loves the quality. Although he was skeptical at first, after wearing Assos shorts for several months, he returned to an old pair of another brand and realized the difference in quality and comfort. He went into great detail about specifically how the chamois makes a difference, but you will have to ride with him yourself to get the full scoop. I am not really a southern belle, but I have my limits on divulging such personal and gender specific details.
Still, the detail of Jeff’s testimonial convinced me that I was suffering from an inferior chamois problem. Rather than wait for the Super-Fly bib to be released, I purchased the Velocio Signature Bib Short 2.0.
At first, I thought that the bibs were too small. I struggled to get my quads to cooperate with the tight fabric. I contacted Velocio customer service to exchange for a larger pair and was told that the bibs would relax a bit after wearing and washing. They send the larger size for comparison purposes, but the advice was spot on.
Adjusting to bibs was not difficult for me. I have plenty of full-zip jerseys and bathroom breaks are just slightly longer than normal. I do wonder what “civilian” restroom users are thinking when they hear the sound of a cheap strip-tease happening in the next stall.
The bib panel is stretchy and breathable and the shoulder straps snug themselves at my waist when not in use instead of hanging down below my jersey to announce to the world that I am a bib short wearer. Classy.
After riding in my new bibs on several long and challenging rides – including one of my Western North Carolina favorites called Our Assault on Mt Mitchell (91 miles and 9,650’ of elevation gain), I was in love. Truly, all my issues have been resolved and I am ready to marry these bibs.
If you are ready to take the next step in women’s cycling by trying a pair of bib shorts, I highly recommend the Velocio Signature Bib Short 2.0. I will post about the Super-Fly Bibs soon.