Are big brands’ bib shorts worth it?

Which Le Col bibs do people recommend from the current range??

My opinion for what it’s worth - if you find a pair that fit well and a comfy over long rides/races, buy a few pairs. Once you’ve found the right pair you’ll know.

In terms of costs, I’ve tried a few, Rapha I found extremely comfy. Morvelo is probably my own personal favourite, I’ve used them in bibs and tights as the chamois is the same in both sets. At the cheaper end of the market, I’ve found the dearer end of the cheaper brands (hopefully that makes sense :crazy_face:) are pretty good. What I mean by that is DHB as an example, their lower end shorts are not the greatest but once you go up the price range, for example the Aeron DHB bibs, they are excellent but still cheap in comparison to the higher end brands mentioned above. As with most things fit related it’s all personal. You’ll probably find 65 different examples in this thread.

I’ve only had one pear of Assos, II got them for the LBL. I put up with the constant ribbing about that unfortunate look, as they were comfortable. When they were out though I never replaced them :joy:

I’ve been using the ‘Sport’ bibs - as far as I can tell they’re meant for longer rides, the others are more race focussed (and expensive even with the strava discount). So far so good, but I’ve only had them 4 or 5 months. Very comfy (for me at least!).

Here’s how I see it, there are undoubtedly some unicorns out there among the cheaper bibs that will work, but they are few and far between. I’ve used cheap bibs: the chamois breaks down, materials break down, stitching comes apart, etc. using the premium stuff, not had this issue, and a lot of the premium brands are covered against stitch separation for life, AND give discounts if you tear them up in a crash. Personally I’ve not heard anyone I know voice any complaints about Rapha or Pactimo or Assos comfort or durability wise, but reviews about black bibs and other cheaper stuff are very mixed.

Do I want to spend $60 on a pair that I have a 50/50 chance of wearing out quickly or just me not liking, or do I want to spend double that on something that uses better materials, is better constructed, AND longer lasting, AND has a better warranty?

Buy once, cry once, IMO


All though I have bought the higher end stuff at full price; I like to pick it up on discount or buy other brands that are about 2/3 of the price which to me offers vfm. I’d stick away from anything that is too cheap.

I have their Pro bibs, but I’m not sure I would actually recommend them. They happen to fit me very well, but I don’t get on too well with their spongy pad. It feels like a nappy once you sweat into it for more than an hour or two and it has caused sores as a result. Not had that issue with Assos pads. They seem to wick the sweat away from your butt much better and the pad material seems less abrasive on my skin. I won’t be buying another pair of Le Col bibs for this reason. I also have a few of their tops, which are very nice. No complaints there.

Here’s an example of poor quality bibs that aren’t even cheap. As a trek fanboy I loved all things Bontrager, so I figured the top of the line Velocis bibs would be awesome. They looked great, except the chamois was awful, BUT at least the material felt nice and supple. Until it started shedding and revealing my behind for all to see after about 15 months of use. This same thing is happening around the seams on the front of the thigh. These were $169 MSRP at the time, a reminder that price and quality are not always mutual

When I ordered my Pactimo Vector bibs the material felt the same and I returned them in fear. On the other hand my Pactimo Stratos (regularly on sale for 30-35% off) after a year or so are showing nothing remotely close


Every time I see one of these threads, I am always amazed at how few mentions there are for Giordana.

Giordana FRC Pro bibs are the cat’s meow.

Their materials, construction, and chamois are best in class.

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I’ve not got any Giordana shorts but I have had a few of their jerseys and jackets which have all worn well and been technical and priced reasonably.

I think my best Italian purchase though was my couple of pairs of Nalini bib shorts. Roll on 15 years I am still using them on the turbo. The pad is more of a thinner technical cloth, rather than a thicker broken up pad but it really suited me on rides circa 100miles when they were new. IIRC they were circa £20 ($30).

Thanks. Started with the lower end ones, but quickly invested in the Pro bibs. That happened when I joined TR and started putting in more time on a trainer, and I noticed a huge difference in comfort. I’m really seeing if there is another level of comfort to be unlocked above where I’m at because the last change was so significant. Time to get another set of bibs anyways so timing of this discussion seams ideal.

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250 for a bike jersey?

I mean, i may understand the bibs because of chamois and material used, but a SHIRT for 250? seems like a bit too much
But to be fair, i probably the same with most expensive brands…
Their margins has to be huge on them!

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Why? If it feels good and last a decent amount of time then what’s the problem? Little of the cost is related to raw materials in clothing. You pay your money you take your choice. The pricing must be ok as the product is clearly selling and the business continuing to trade, if it was too high they wouldn’t get the sales required to do so.

Because is a shirt?
I have runing shirt that i got 9 years ago… still rocking… And i have never paid more than 50$ for a shirt (and even then, i really think i overpaid for just a tiny piece of shirt) …

In any case, raw materials and things to make a cycling jersey is probably (almost certainty) MUCH MUCH less than 50$
So a 250 price tag is a lot of margin…

It might be the most comfortable jersey (i would probably never know since i will more than likely never pay $100 for a shirt), but you are paying for exclusivity, and the exclusivity comes 100% from the price tag, not really materials.

but to each its own. If you can and are willing to pay, more power to you…
I do not judge people purchasing power or options, people are free to buy whatever they feel they want.

Some people feel like paying more than 30$ for a coffee machine is a waste of money…
I recently paid $2300 for an espresso machine and $400 for a grinder… so… that’s that :man_shrugging:


Often the marketing strategy is to set an initial price to establish the product’s “luxury” status, then to dramatically reduce it later to move volume:

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Oh… for sure. The pricing on some hand-sewn-in-Italy pieces of kit is a bit (er, um… A LOT) too rich for my tastes and budget, but rarely is there a need to buy at retail. Over the years I’ve bought brand new Giordana on eBay, Swiss Iconic, and Sierra Trading Post.

As for coffee, we’re ready when the power goes out:

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No thank you, spam account

No, I managed to score a NIB rapha from a pro rider, it’s well made but not that different.
One pricey but underrated piece of kit : shakedry rain jackets!

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I’ve also got the Sport bibs and I’m getting on very well with them. They are my current “best” pair.

If you want a deep dive into shorts and chamois, you may want to listen to the Velonews Tech Podcast from 8/31/2020. Dan interviews staff from Elastic Interface, the company that actually makes the chamois that go into the shorts of quite a few of the brands mentioned above.

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