How long do bibs/shorts last?

I would assume that the chamois in bike shorts will eventually lose its effectiveness. Are there any general guidelines as to how many rides/years/miles a good pair is expected to last?

I’ve tried to search the web but I get all sorts of inconclusive and contradictory stuff that does not inspire trust.


I find the rest of the bibs fall apart before the chamois



My first two pair from 2016 are getting replaced, the chamois is getting compressed. Otherwise they look almost new. These were club branded from Voler with high-end fabric and chamois. Got a ton of use commuting, they were rated at 6+ hours and they’ve been comfortable on 10-16 hours days.

I’m probably not going to like the answers in this thread…

I’ve got a pair from circa 2002 with a fairly significant hole smack dab in the center of the crotch…and a holenin the right thigh that my dog chewed through (oddly, trying to get to a clif bar wrapper in a POCKET, which Rapha somehow thinks is revolutionary now…).

These still get regular use :joy:

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my oldest are from 2006 and they’re not really wearable anymore. They are so faded that otuside they are downright indecent and indoors they chafe super hard because the fabric is so degraded, it doesn’t wick or move like it’s supposed to.

Bottom line, i get at least a good couple years of use out of each chamois, and this is pretty regular use, pretty hard use.

I’m riding on average three times (maybe 5 hours) per week, and I’ve ridden just over 3,000 km since I started cycling one year ago, so I don’t expect to need new shorts for a while yet… but I want to know what I should be looking for to see when I do need to change my shorts, especially since I’m substantially overweight and figure that may make a difference.

Thanks for the comments, I appreciate the input.

When your riding partners can start to see through to your butt, that’s a good sign they’re worn out.

For things you might notice: pilling fabric, stretched out fabric, chamois feels uncomfortable. If you’re losing weight too, you might find them too baggy in which case you’ll want to get a smaller set.


Now is the perfect time to bring out all your sheer shorts. #soloride

Yes. I’ve made the mistake of ordering based on winter weight. Things were a bit sloppy on race day.

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Quality can vary tremendously for different garments.

I had a kit custom made by an outfit in Columbia in 2015. The bibs just wore out this year.

I bought a coure silver speedsuit in 2018. It’s just about worn out now.

I bought some cheap Chinese spexcel bibs in 2017 & they’re still going strong after being worn ~twice a week for all that time.

It’s kinda crap shoot…

When you can’t find anyone who will stay behind you, it’s time to change them.

“If you can see these shorts are too thin, you are not social distancing.”

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On the topic, how does everyone else wash their bibs?

Mine go in a 30°C wash cycle, inside out and without softener.

Yep - it is usually the lycra that goes first so when they can see your arse - replace. I have 2 pairs of Caratti bibs with the same chamois as used by Giordanna and they have 5 years use with many 4 hour rides and they are still great. My turbo bibs - usually DHB get about 3 - 4 years use (but they are used more often even though it’s only a short session - I imagine washing has an effect as well) and then I replace them. But then I use decent chamois cream and weigh 61kg so I’m not beating them up…if that is possible!

My good ones, like Assos or Santini, lasted 3-4 years in a temperate climate. Now I’m living in a hot humid climate. Lucky to get 2-3 years now but I also cycle through about 3 different bibs at any one period of time. I ride about 15,000 - 20,000 kms a year, weigh 70 kg, wash in a wash bag after every ride, and air dry afterwards away from direct sunlight. For me most often the lycra stays ok, though it can get a little thin, but mostly it’s the chamois that loses it’s supportive padding.

I used to ride with a dude who insisted on wearing a solid white kit on the biggest group ride of the week. It showed…a lot. :grimacing:

And to stay in topic with the thread, it depends. I have some nicer bibs that are a few years old and still feel brand new (at least to my ass) and some more affordable ones that haven’t held up as well. Trainer rides, especially long ones, are definitely “nicer bibs” rides for me.

I just threw away a pair of Giordana bibs from my old racing team. This was the 2008 team kit or so. I used to keep them around because they could be worn outdoors, but gave me saddle sores indoors (less compensatory motion, more sweating).

But today, they gave me saddle sores on an outdoor ride in temperate weather. RIP shorts.