High-end bibs - a worthwhile investment for indoor training?

I generally do much longer outside spins than typical workouts. So it’s not just vanity. Also, not really looking for aero gains from clothing inside!

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don’t get me wrong, I’m all for wearing nice bibs outside. But as far as “longer outside” rides, I don’t think you can compare 1 minute outside to 1 minute on the trainer. I can ride for 4 hours outside with no discomfort wearing just about anything, but the static position inside makes many uncomfortable after 30 minutes. A nice set of bibs inside won’t earn you 4 hours of comfort, but I think it’s worth it.


I can only go on my own experience, but I would think for short choice to be that important, something else might be in the mix as causing the issue(s)?

I think finding comfortable shorts is important, I guess my main disagreement is really that it has to be “premium”. And if something fit related, still might solve it.

Sure, I agree with that. Probably a big difference between “nice” and premium. I’m just saying it makes sense to invest in indoor bibs and not use the bibs you’d throw away otherwise.

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The answer is no. On the trainer, you can probably be just as comfortable in your undies and shorts as a pair of bibs. For example, I can go to the gym and ride a spin bike for 1.5hrs in my gym gear while being less comfortable on my own bike on the trainer.

Try looking at a few things…

  1. Make sure your trainer fit is the same as your outdoor fit. The trainer can tilt your bike up/down just a bit, which has the effect of changing your saddle setback. If your front wheel is higher than normal, your bars are going to be higher and closer - making your bum do more work. Measure the angle of your top tube with wheels on on the floor, then put it on the trainer and adjust. https://www.amazon.com/Protractor-Inclinometer-Measuring-Carpentry-Automobile/dp/B07R12DZQ9/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=digital+inclinometer&qid=1664548337&qu=eyJxc2MiOiI0Ljk4IiwicXNhIjoiNC43OCIsInFzcCI6IjQuNDUifQ%3D%3D&sprefix=digital+inclin%2Caps%2C243&sr=8-5

  2. Get a “trainer saddle”, which would likely be the cheapest saddle you can find at your bike shop. Another option is a Brooks rubber hammock saddle https://www.brooksengland.com/en_us/c15-carved.html specifically the carved one. I haven’t tried the SQlab elastomer ones, but that may work too.

  3. Suspension/flexy seat post - when you ride on the trainer, it is resisting the same 360 of your pedal stroke. In the wild, your bike surges and glides a bit, meaning your quads and hammies are pulling at the same time more. A spin bike or outside ride doesn’t do this, a Direct Drive trainer does. This pulls your bum into saddle. A spung seat post might fix this. An air spring one specifically so you can micro adjust the spring rate and it won’t flex away from the crank. The rubber saddle above should also help here. https://www.bike24.com/p2121072.html https://www.bike24.com/p2643060.html

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I’ve just retired an old pair of Assos s5’s which were fantastic and relegated to indoor cycling when they began to fade, circa 5 years old or so and three years of turbo training. S9’s are a worthy upgrade but overkill for the turbo.

My suggestion is to look for a local cycling club and buy a pair of their branded shorts. Invariably clubs buy their kit well with comfort and price high on the must have list.

I like to use my bibs that I’ve ripped big holes in in crashes on the trainer. They still work, and this way no one except my wife gets to see my badonkadonk.

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That is a good idea. However, I hope you don’t have a lot of crashes.

I wear my new bibs on the trainer where I need the most comfort. I have all kinds of sit bone pain on the trainer, so I do whatever it takes. A good fit. A good saddle. A rocker plate. Good bibs. Chamois cream. And they are all worth every penny.

One comment on high end bibs and comfort. Brands have different chamois, so find the one that works for you and stick with it. Assos chamois is completely different than Rapha is completely different than Castelli.

I love Rapha bibs because they work for me. That doesn’t necessarily mean they will work for you. Some people can wear The Black Bibs for hours. I can’t even wear them sitting around before the ride they hurt me so bad. Sadly, it’s a matter of trying different things until you find the one you like. Just like saddles and shoes. We’re all different.


Lol, twice this year. Both stupid due to zoning out. One of the things that makes me wonder if I have ADD…

I still prefer good bibs for a number of reasons but from my own dealings just adding a rocker plate with side to side and fore/aft movement was a game changer to inside riding. Changing fan placement to have one hit the mid body and lower…so airflow goes through the seated area was another major change for me. My indoor set up just works since getting the rocker plate. Inside or out…no big difference on bib choice or ride enjoyment. I ride inside about 75% of the time so maybe I am just used to it. As to bibs…I have found more comfort from assos or from Le Col. Castelli just doesnt work for me. They felt fine but I kept having saddle sore issues with them.

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Indeed, the faster you ride, and the higher your watts to kilo, the less the saddle matters.
I, too, have found that lower cadence is a must for Z1 riding.

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Pearl Izumi intervals are worth it. I got them for $115 on discount during Xmas. Their ‘attack’ line one notch below are total garbage. I tried them and returned. I bought a $40 bib short (the brand) and it was literally the same thing but for $40 instead of $100. So don’t go too cheap and get midline at least.

Jeez….how often are you crashing on the trainer? :crazy_face::crazy_face::crazy_face:


Yeah, getting a rocker plate has been the single biggest change for me as well, and I noticed the difference pretty much right away. I wear good bibs on the trainer, but the rocker plate adds just enough motion to give me relief from pressure that the static nature of the trainer creates.

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Just a tip … no need to measure the angle of your top tube, saddle or bars. Just measure the height of your axles off the ground front and rear. Assuming same size tires/wheels, they should match. Simple tape measure will do the trick!


Yup, axle height is the quick and easy way.

You can also just use a 4 foot level with the axles as your reference.

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Look at you on your fancy level floor



In general I think you want a great pair of bibs for indoor. The reason being that you have less spontaenous movement on the saddle compared to outdoors.

In practice I feel very little difference between by rapha training bibs and the high-end ones on the trainer. In general, the high end ones feel way better though outside.

What I feel for sure: when the bibs decrease in quality after a few months…

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