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Bibs or Shorts? Cycling’s Biggest Conundrum Next to Shaving the Guns


I endeavor to never buy another pair of cycling shorts until I hit 65 107 (the fossil cyclist informed me that I should make it to being 107 before I get that crotchety).  That’s 20 62 years.

Have you ever thought, “Damn, I wish my gut always looked like it does when I’m wearing bibs.”?


The truth is, bibs are more comfortable, by a long shot, because they better keep everything where it should be.  They look better, they feel better, they work better…  My friends, they are better.  Comparatively there is only one major problem with bibs and that’s obviously when you’ve gotta go.

My friends, there’s no way around it.  It just is what it is, a struggle.  Bibs are still worth it.  I just wish they put a little thought into men’s bibs like they do for the ladies.

Now admittedly, I used to be a shorts guy, not because of the aforementioned necessity of urination but because they’re cheaper. I’d have been just fine too, had I not tried a pair of bibs. Once I bought one pair, I had to have another… and I’ll be going for another before long, too.

In my humble opinion there are only two other cycling controversies that could come close to being as controversial as the shorts or bibs debate.  To shave, or not to shave, the guns (I absolutely do, in case you missed it).  Second is sock length, which will never be settled properly.  Maybe.

I could have put doping down as the single-greatest controversy but I don’t think there’s a controversy.  It’s pretty much, if you dope, you’re a whore.  It is what it is.  In other words, it’s not like there’s someone out there sticking up for doping, so it’s not a controversy.

Sound off!


  1. bibs 100% i wore shorts for about a month when i first started riding and hated it, then switched and never looked back. Way more comfortable and i don’t have the feeling of the plumbers crack sneaking out

  2. Haha there’s no conundrum…

    1) Wear bibs
    2) Shave those guns


    Actually I wore shorts for a little while for similar reasons, they were cheaper and a good introduction to the world of cycling clothing. There really is no comparison though and a quality pair of bibs/tights are worth their weight in gold! Plus like fatbeardedandtattooedcyclist’s has pointed out there’s nothing that yells out “chopper” like plumbers crack on the cyclist in front.

  3. No need to stop at 65!!

  4. theturtletriathlete says:

    Bibs for the win! I used to wear shorts

  5. theturtletriathlete says:

    Til I discovered how comfy bibs are- the shorts are used now for trainer rides 😀

  6. I bought a pair of those bibs with a panel in the back and two buttons, kind of like those pajamas kids wore in the 50s. They work swell, and look great

  7. Dan says:

    Maybe I’ll have to try them now given ya’all’s glowing reviews! I’m afraid my ego won’t like the look of my belly! As to shaving my legs….. Not happening. That’s not an ego thing; it’s a hassle thing. I barely like shaving my face!

    • bgddyjim says:

      Bibs are WAY more comfortable than shorts. You know by now that, unless you pull your shorts up way passed where they belong, your gut will hang over the edge just a little bit with anything less than a six pack. Bibs fix that.

      Now for the legs… Shaving the legs is pretty useless but they look awesome, clean. It just is what it is. That said, once you get to a place where that doesn’t matter, you’re absolutely right. It’s a hassle. That said, my wife is extremely on board with my gleaming guns so I stick with it. 😉

  8. ekels22 says:

    I bought my first road bike last year i’m around 5 10 and about 155 pounds. It still took me some time to get used to being comfortable in lycra. It helped has time went on and inches started to come off my gut. Originally I bought Pearl Izumi shorts and “attack” jersey’s which I was happy with for a couple months. My next purchase was a Matching kit of Pearl Izumi Elite LTD Bibs and Jersey. It felt like putting on a custom made Italian suit. I felt so much better in the bibs looks wise and comfort. A nice kit is worth every penny to the avid cyclist.

  9. Sheree says:

    I only ever wear bib shorts, so much more comfortable than shorts.

  10. Bibs all the way! Even just for the security that they can’t slip down! Does it haaavvvve to be so expensive to look good cycling though!

    • bgddyjim says:

      I know… but to look at your remark as a question, yes it does have to be so expensive to look good cycling. It doesn’t, or maybe shouldn’t, but I’ve tried to go cheap and there aren’t any two ways about it, to go cheap gets one ugly options. It just is what it is. That said, joining clubs has its benefits. I belong to the Cycle Fit club in Fenton, MI and they offer their top-of-the-line kit at cost. Bibs and jersey for just over $110 (and it is REALLY nice stuff).

  11. bonnev659 says:

    I use both and do not mind ether. depending on where and how long of a ride. i only have 2 bibs and 3 shorts (not counting 2 tri outfits)

    I got 1 of my bibs on clarence and it was awesome from one of the 4 usa made companies which I proudly support.

    happy riding

  12. Sandra says:

    I never had bibs til last year when I bought a pair of Nuun team bibs. They do keep that gut in place, as well as other lumpies. I don’t think they’re any more comfortable than shorts–and shorts are a LOT easier for the defecatin’, but that’s not a huge issue for me. I ain’t gone in the wild off the edge of a trail or road yet.

    What I find annoying, though, is that the middle of my back gets really hot with bibs–that extra layer of fabric does me in. And my bibs are mesh!

    Damned menopause. . . .

    • bgddyjim says:

      LOL! Yes, I definitely didn’t take menopause into account. There’s no doubt they do have their downsides (for guys with actual pecs, like me, the straps do gnarly things to the nips as well – it takes me a month or two of the season for them to toughen up enough, and that month is fairly painful).

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