Perhaps this is an obscure kit question, but thought I’d see if anyone can help…
Does anyone else need to, or has anyone had any success stretching out bib shoulder straps to loosen them up?
It seems that a peculiarity of my body is that I’m comfortable with most brands ‘medium’ chamois size down below, but much prefer the feel of the ‘large’ fit of the shoulder straps.
My problem isn’t with the medium shoulder straps pulling the shorts too tight, but rather I notice a much more pronounced fatiguing of my trapezius muscles that leads to neck pain on rides over 2 hours.
When I wear large sized bib shorts, my shoulders are much, much more comfortable but there is also more, um, ‘swishing’ and/or movement of material in the saddle region that requires me to constantly readjust everything and also leads to chafing.
If I could get longer, or less tight straps on a medium sized chamois/short … that would solve the problem. I want to stretch out the straps without damaging the rest of the garment.
For reference, my favorite bibs are probable 7mesh. But I also like Assos and Velocio and have had similar issues with being in-between sizes in relation to the strap/chamois combination.
I have also tried Rapha, POC and TwinSix over the years. But prefer the aforementioned brands overall.
I don’t know what has changed (maybe I’ve simply lost height with age over the last 18 years) but although similarly a small was good in the waist in some brands I couldn’t stand up. I usually hang my bibs up to dry on the end of a rack like this and it stretches the straps out so I can have better fitting shorts but everything fits straight out of the box for me these days anyway.
I remember seeing a behind the scenes video with Groupama FDJ I believe and a couple riders cut their bibs, in what I’m guessing was an attempt to lengthen them. Basically, there a cut horizontally halfway through alternating sides every few inches. I’ll try to find a picture. Seemed weird for a pro team to do it when I would think it would only cost a few bucks to lengthen it at a tailor.
From what little I know about sewing, lengthening (or shortening) bib straps should be so ridiculously easy that anyone who can thread a needle should be able to do a passible job. Your work does not show and you don’t have to disassemble/reassemble anything like you do when altering a suit jacket or dress pants. Assuming a tailor has suitable fabric laying around its a 2 minute job or even less.
Passable in terms of holding together, perhaps…but in terms of material overlap or the stitching causing irritation is likely a different issue. Taking it to a tailor can help ensure the seams are smooth and free of irritation.
I’m sure I could do it, but I’d be more than happy to pay my guy Mike the Tailor to do it right ;-). I’ve never taken cycling clothes to him but my guess he’d do bibs for $15-20, it would take him less than 5 minutes and he’d be happy for the easy money!
FWIW, my cycling club recently switched to Cuore for our kit and for team orders they offer custom tailoring options (but they don’t include bib straps which would be a nice option). You can lengthen or shorten the jersey hem length and there are several sleeve length options as well as some leg length options on the bibs. Its really nice to get a semi custom fit.
I’ve taken a few different pieces of cycling kit to the tailor…pair of bibs that I wanted the front lower on, skinsuits / tri suits that I wanted tighter across the shoulders, etc. Everything has always come out great…
a good tailor and a good cobbler are essentials, IMO!!
So glad this thread popped up right this moment - I switched from small to medium size bibs in part due to the straps being too short (a bit less compression in the legs was also a factor). That said, I STILL feel like I could use an extra couple inches in the medium straps.
The reason timing was key was that I’d finally, after a year of sitting in my closet, put my worn small bibs in the garbage this week, which is due to be picked up any moment - I can hear the truck in my neighborhood somewhere. But reading this thread made me realize the straps from my small bibs would be the perfect material to extend my mediums. Just got back inside from running out and cutting the straps off the ones in the trash can!! Thanks, OP!
I’d suggest to give Le Col a try. I bought a pair of bibs from them and didn’t work me at all because the straps where too long and loose on me.
For reference, I usually wear Rapha Pro Team or Rapha Classics in small size. I felt that Le Col runs big and long. I purchased a small from Le Col and exchanged to XS. The fit on the legs was better on the XS, but still the straps were way too loose.
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