Indoor training would be much more pleasant if saddle discomfort during and saddle sores afterwards wasn’t such a constant concern. Especially at low intensities.
I get the feeling that high-end bibs (e.g. Assos) might actually make the most sense when riding indoors or on extremely long rides, rather than everyday rides or racing.
Has anyone found that taking their bibs up a few notches made a difference when riding indoors?
Also, is there much of a difference in chamois comfort within the highest-end brands? Or would even they’re relatively affordable (*only" $130+) models suffice, when you’re comparing them to, say, $80 DHB Aeron bibs? I think the pads are all made by the same company, but they’re all built to the specs of the bib brands.
A difference? Yes. Enough of a difference to make a 4-5 hour ride pleasant? Not in the least
I would suggest switching up your cadence, standing, getting off to stretch and even changing bibs mid-ride. In the end a couple minute pause has no real effect on how much you get out of that ride, but it will make some comfort difference.
Yeah, one of my issues is that my upper thighs are too thick for two out of three of my current bibs (all different Aeron models), so that probably causes excess friction. I hate to retire bibs that aren’t worn out if I don’t at least have something much, much better.
The one that fits perfectly could still be improved upon with a softer top layer. I know Castelli bibs have a much more plush fabric on their pads. I suspect Assos does as well.
I love Assos - 13mm pad on the newer GTS/GTO. I won’t ride anything else after years of riding $125ish shorts like Pearl Izumi or Castelli. I can usually pick up Assos shorts on sale. The most I’ve ever paid is $175. Still worth every penny.
Mid range ($150-$200 USD) bibs will be a game changer for you either indoors or out. I’ve got great bibs in this range from Assos, Castelli and DNA Cycling. They really do make a huge difference over low end bibs or shorts. Chamois is more comfortable, lycra fits better, less moving around and adjusting required.
I’d suggest trying a pair of Assos as a start. It’s alot of money to plunk down on bibs but once you do, you won’t go back.
If you have friction/irritation in upper thigh area, especially even on “short”-ish ride, you probably have fitting issue. I once have similar problem, and it’s fixed by lowering my saddle by 0.5 cm and moving it forward by 1-2 cm.
As for bib comfort, I found the higher-end tend to fare better especially on longer rides (indoor). Below are (my) rough maximum indoor duration for my bibs, along with their approx age and price:
MAAP Pro 2.0, 2y, $335: 4h+
Attaquer A-Line, 2y, $150: 3h+
The Black Bibs (shorts), 2y, $50: 2h
CCN Training bib, 2y, $50: 1.5h
Santic Dante, 2y, $40: 1h
Van Rysel (Elastic Interface 2.5 HD padding, supposedly for 3h+ endurance ride), 1mo, $50: 1h
I discovered in hindsight that my first Aeron bibs (vanilla Aeron bibs) were a size too small, according to the size chart. I ordered a different model (Aeron Speed) in a size bigger, but the fabric was far less stretchy, so they were still a little tight around the tights. I ordered another model (Aeron LAB) in that size and they fit just right (except being a little loose around the knees).
Hopefully I won’t have to send back both Assos bibs and get a size larger (since that would be two sizes bigger than the size they recommended).
For me it wouldn’t be worth it, I prefer something I am not precious about throwing in the wash after a sweaty session and quickly becoming threadbare. I rotate between pairs of Decathlon bib I actually picked up for 40p. I wish I bought more of them now as they are actually very comfy and have never went threadbare.
My experience is that the sweat does do damage to the material (even with 3 air movers going), so I’d personally be reluctant to wear my best on the turbo.
I’d look at the fit of the bibs - look at sites that give you a proper size guide. And as others have said, the bike fit, saddle etc. I had to change out a saddle that was causing sores inside, which was never an issue outside on much longer rides (swapped it for an mtb saddle I had knocking around the shed, and it solved my issue).
Also, I built a rocker plate (based on the original rockit launcher), which gives a little movement. Definitely makes a difference on the long endurance workouts where you’re kinda noodling in the same position.
I’d personally go with the opposite - wear your best/most comfortable one in situations that require the most comfort, which to me is indoors. Sure, they’ll wear more if I wear/wash them more, but that’s the point of buying bibs. Riding on the trainer is already inherently painful, I don’t need to make it worse by using old bibs that cause more discomfort.
This is a typical situation where folks underestimate the value of good equipment in some situations versus others. I’ve long heard of folks using their worn out bibs or cheap bibs on the trainer and saving their best stuff for outdoors. My question is, is that so you can look good outside or impress someone? I spend much more time on the trainer than outside. I may be an anomoly in that regard, but I do buy nice bibs for my trainer and I replace them regularly. It makes a difference.
Related to this, I have found that switching to a lower cadence for low power can help with comfort. The slower cadence demands higher force at the pedals, which alters our loading on the saddle and handlebars. It’s about load distribution, and generally when you have higher force at the pedals, the saddle & hand pressure is lower.
No one sees them indoors (especially as I live alone) so I wouldn’t mind if they became threadbare, so it is a touch of vanity yes. Whilst I wouldn’t use my best bibs on the trainer, I wouldn’t use uncomfortable ones however. Before I started training I bought some very cheap bibs which have actually turned out to very comfortable and robust but their colour scheme probably wasn’t fashionable, hence their cheapness. Once I started training though I found them ideal. I wish I’d bought more of them now On the other hand theres several pairs of more expensive bibs that I should just throw out as I’ll never wear them again as they’d be too uncomfortable on the trainer.
I don’t save my well worn bibs, generally season old (when I wouldn’t wear them outside and/or get out even once a week). But at the same time, I don’t have the necessity to use premium gear. It’s very much n=1, some of my most comfortable bibs for indoors are from Ali, whereas the same pairs don’t work as well for me outside. Biggest difference for me was nailing my indoor fit and changing a problematic saddle*
*I actually didn’t have discomfort (I’m lucky to be ambivalent to saddles) but was having sores that were caused by (or at least solved by) a change of saddle.