I bought two more bibs from TheBlackBibs after some research I did the other day. The honest assessment of the off-brand, no-name bibs is that they’re no match for the upper-level brands, like Specialized bibs for example. Specialized has a Chinese company manufacture some impressive bibs, there’s no doubt about it. When I’m looking at a century (US, not metric), I’m reaching for the Specialized bibs every time. On the other hand, at just $40 a pair, BlackBibs simply can’t be beat. There’s no inexpensive brand I know of that feels so good after 60 miles. I don’t think the best testing field for bibs is the road, though. When I want to put a pair of shorts through the wringer, I like the trainer where you’re stuck sitting for most of the ride (if not all).
The main problem with low-end bibs comes in the form of hot spots. Higher-end bibs have a way of keeping everything where it belongs so rubbing doesn’t cause irritation that leads to a most uncomfortable first 20 seconds in the shower. Low-end bibs have always caused problems for me. Except BlackBibs. Somehow, they got it right. I can ride as long as I want, on the trainer or outdoors, without having to worry about that first minute in the shower. In fact, I even opted for the cheaper $40 pair over the upgraded $65 pair with the silicone leg gripper seam. I very much like the no-grip seams… not great for the tan line if they ride up but the comfort factor is excellent. Another big plus is the material choice, both for the straps and shorts. I have a problem with the straps some brands use. I have actual, real pecs, so certain brands can rub me raw within 30 miles. I don’t have any problems with TBB bibs, on the road or on the trainer.
Since way back in 2011 when I first started this blog, I’ve always sought to aid in the approach to cycling as an “every person’s” sport, even if it can be (and I’ve often enjoyed it as such) prohibitively expensive. I’ve always tried to share good deals as a way of helping others enjoy the sport without having to blow an outstanding amount of money. In this case, on bibs and shorts that would normally cost four times more per pair if sold by a major manufacturer.
TheBlackBibs.com does bibs right.