Bibs for winter riding

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Bibs for winter riding

Postby Highlander » October 10th, 2018, 9:53 am

I am thinking of getting bibs for this winter season. Currently I have been wearing shorts with chamois & long insulated pants for cold rides & long non-insulated pants for fall riding. This works good, but pants keep falling down & taking a nature break is a pain.

Question is, new bibs with or without chamois? I think that if I get bibs without chamois & still wear shorts underneath, the bibs will keep the pants from falling down. There’s still the nature break problem with the 2 layers though.

Seems that the bibs would be very warm.

What do you wear?
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Re: Bibs for winter riding

Postby c0nsumer » October 10th, 2018, 9:54 am

I've had great luck with both Pearl Izumi AmFib tights and Voler thermal tights.
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Re: Bibs for winter riding

Postby bbender785 » October 10th, 2018, 11:52 am

to maximize versatility/minimize spending, i have a thermal pair of 3/4 length "knicker" bibs if you will, that i just add thermal leg warmers under when the temps warrant. just a side thought i'd share since it works well for me.
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Re: Bibs for winter riding

Postby The RideR » October 10th, 2018, 1:52 pm

I'll second AmFib tights. Got them couple years ago and never looked back. They come with chamois.
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Re: Bibs for winter riding

Postby Rickwetherald » October 10th, 2018, 2:10 pm

I've ridden in quite a few brands of thermal bibs for winter riding, and am generally a fan of all of the name brands. Regardless of brand, consider the number of layers you'll be wearing...

I usually train (lower intensity, less risk of overheating) with bib tights plus looser shorts or pants over top. This is usually a pair of summer MTB baggies with the chamois shorts removed (because the chamois is already in the bib tights) or a pair of Sugoi Firewall 180 pants (a personal favorite for winter aerobic activities). For racing, I usually wear non-chamois, thinner fabric tights with my normal summer bibs over top.

Two years ago, for a colder-than-normal and windy fat bike race, I opted of my bib tights, reasoning that the thicker fabric would keep me warmer than that of my thinner tights. Since the bib tights have a chamois, I didn't wear the second pair of bib shorts over top. I paid dearly for this, in the form of frost bitten mini-carrot that took an agonizing 30 painful minutes to "thaw" after the race. The pain was crazy - like getting kicked in the nether region, but lasting for a half hour. I was literally in tears in a stall in the bathroom. Through this lesson, I learned the value of two layers of fabric over the crotch.

Even if the layers are thin, the doubled-up fabric keeps wind from hammering through the chamois. In your lower leg, this doesn't matter, but above the thigh, it's very important. If the first layer is a pair of shorts, not bibs, the nature break issue is not so bad, because you're only dealing with one set of bib straps. Whatever system you go for, make sure your outer tight layer has bib straps, to keep everything up.

So, long story short... I like bib tights with chamois with an additional baggy layer on top, which can be changed based on temperature. Your idea of shorts with chamois under bib tights without chamois is great, too.
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Re: Bibs for winter riding

Postby Rickwetherald » October 10th, 2018, 2:19 pm

One other point...

If you wear winter boots that come up the ankle higher than normal summer shoes (Lake MXZ303, 45Nrth Wolvhammer, Bontrager OMW, Northwave Arctic, etc), I would either avoid bibs with a zip ankle, or consider even cutting the zipper out of the fabric. While the zipper can be pushed a bit to either side of your achilles tendon, I've found that it inevitably creeps around and gets annoyingly pushed into your ankle by the boot, making pedling uncomfortable. I have some tights that have a simple elastic cuff at the ankle, some that have a stirrup-style bottom with no zipper, and some that have zippers at the ankle. The zipper tights are reserved for use without the MTB boots, and I even cut one pair into knickers because the zipper was annoying me so much (and also because I had lots of tights and no knickers).
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Re: Bibs for winter riding

Postby c0nsumer » October 10th, 2018, 2:29 pm

Rickwetherald wrote:Even if the layers are thin, the doubled-up fabric keeps wind from hammering through the chamois. In your lower leg, this doesn't matter, but above the thigh, it's very important. If the first layer is a pair of shorts, not bibs, the nature break issue is not so bad, because you're only dealing with one set of bib straps. Whatever system you go for, make sure your outer tight layer has bib straps, to keep everything up.


I've found that, pretty much no matter how cold it is out, unless I'm absolutely puttering along, the front of my crotch will end up sweaty. Just tossing baggies (or when it's really cold, some cheap Amazon thermal cycling pants) over my tights makes a world of difference.
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Re: Bibs for winter riding

Postby chris_werth » October 10th, 2018, 2:42 pm

"Frost bitten mini carrot" made me laugh out loud. :D
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Re: Bibs for winter riding

Postby poirier » October 10th, 2018, 2:50 pm

no matter what you do, avoid a loose fit. The last thing you want is that cold air swirling around between your shorts and your wanger. With bibs you can snug them up tight.

For sub 30 degree days, the winning combination is a pair of insulated pants, pulled up nice and tight. Then, over top of those I throw on my summer bib shorts. Some may not like the skin contact with fleece lined pants, but it works for me. When it's in the 30-40's I just wear my summer shorts with leg warmers pulled ALLLLL the way up.
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Re: Bibs for winter riding

Postby flamingo » October 10th, 2018, 3:10 pm

For years I have been using Pearl Izumi Elite hermal bibs witch chamois. When it gets below 20 I would also put on top pair of windbreaker pants. I have ridden in single digit temperatures.
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Re: Bibs for winter riding

Postby amadkins » October 10th, 2018, 3:15 pm

Picked up some Baleaf bibs on Amazon for really cheap, and they’ve been great for me.

Prior to that I was using Aero tech designs, but those were a little too hot for me.

I find that I don’t really need a ton once I get pedaling.
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Re: Bibs for winter riding

Postby b_b » October 10th, 2018, 7:47 pm

Holy crap yeah I've experienced cold numb mini carrot but not frost bite, dang! Good point about extra protection for man parts. For me legs rarely need or want more than thin tights and I find thicker ones more restrictive.
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Re: Bibs for winter riding

Postby Highlander » October 11th, 2018, 10:37 am

I was thinking about the AmFib bibs, just was not sure of chamois or not. I guess if I wear shorts with chamois, then I get the dual layer protection for the man parts.
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Re: Bibs for winter riding

Postby bikeguy4life » October 11th, 2018, 11:45 am

I've had good luck w/ Performance cold-weather products - they work well, have lasted a long time and are affordable. For temps down to 30ish degrees, I can get away w/ regular bib shorts with the Performance leg warmers and good wool socks. Anything colder, I have a pair of the shammy-less Performance Roubiax tights that I wear over my bib shorts. They are pretty heavy duty - they are heavier duty in the front to block the wind and lighter in the back to breath, they are pretty darn warm - I'll also run my Roubaix tights for Nordic skiing and they work awesome. I do agree w/ poster above about zippers in the ankle areas, my Roubaix tights have them and they do get in the way, especially in ski boots. My only major complaints about the Roubaix tights is they aren't bibs, so they tend to creep down a bit around the waist and sag a little in the saddle area - bibs would solve this.
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Re: Bibs for winter riding

Postby Chi » October 11th, 2018, 3:59 pm

I've got nothing constructive to add...other than the replies in this post are absolutely hilarious. Frost bitten mini-carrot, that's priceless.
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