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The top 5 best compression cycling bibs

In this article I’m going to give you the best compression cycling bibs worth your money.

Although research on the effects of compression fabrics on athlete performance and recovery varies, it’s generally understood that wearing compression fabric increases blood flow. And with increased blood flow the bodies ability to output at peak performance increases as well.

Besides performing better, other factors such as higher levels of muscle power and stamina, a decrease in muscle fatique, and a better ability for the body to recover are also contributed to wearing compression fabric.

Compression fabric in cycling bibs is an almost universally accepted way to create premium brand offerings, since the tight fitting of this type of sports apparel lends itself greatly for this purpose. That’s whay almost all, if not all big brand names using some form of compression fabric in their product lineup.

And the way they do so determines largely the price point, which is why the most expensive cycling bibs can be found in exactly this category.

So with all that out of the way, let’s take a look at the best compression cycling bibs money can buy.

Castelli Premio Black Bibshort

Castelli Premio Black Bibshort
Castelli Premio Black Bibshort

The Castelli Premio Black Bibshort are the most expensive shorts in the Italian brand’s lineup.

The first thing, is that Castelli did away with the traditional silicone strips or dots in the leg gripper. This makes them far more comfortable, especially if you don’t shave your legs.

Furthermore the gradient stretch woven fabric has varying degrees of thickness, with thicker bands wrapping themselves around the quads, achieving superb levels of compression without intricate panneling.

The bibs come with their best Progetto X2 Air, a pad that features inserts at pressures points, an soft skin layer, multi-density foam layer with varying thickness and great ventilation properties. It’s one of the most comfortable long distance pads on the market.

Castelli always make great-looking products, and this cycling bib is no exception. Combine that with outstanding compression and comfort qualities and you’ve got yourself one of the best cycling bibs for long distance riding.

Castelli Superleggera Bibshort

Castelli Superleggera Bibshort
Castelli Superleggera Bibshort

Yes there are cycling bibs for weight weenies, and one of the best is the Castelli Superleggera Bibshort.

Weighing in at less than half of more traditional cycling bibs, the short still delivers the best-of-the-best in terms of comfort.

It does so with the help of Castelli’s top-tier Progetto X2 Air chamois, which is a multi-layered, multi-density pad with added inserts for pressure relief.

Made from the same compression fabric as it’s heavier brother, the Premio Black bib short, the fabric has varying levels of thickness. The further down the leg you move the thinner it becomes, without becoming akwardly transparent in the back.

It also has the same innovative leg gripper, with an elastic band woven into the fabric itself.

Maximum levels of moisture-wicking and breathability in an extremely lightweight package made from the best compression fabric worth your money. The Castelli Superleggera Bibshort is the ultimate hot weather cycling bib.

Pearl Izumi Men’s PRO Air Bib Short

Pearl Izumi Men's PRO Air Bib Short
Pearl Izumi Men's PRO Air Bib Short

The Pearl Izumi Men’s PRO Air Bib Short is their premium offering made from PRO Transfer fabric compression fabric.

The cycling bib has an amazing fit with fantastic cooling capabilities, thanks to the coldblack technology, which reduces the buildup of heat, is UV resistant, and transfers heat better than traditional fabrics.

The soft PRO transfer fabric might feel a little tight when pulling on the shorts, but this feeling is gone once you’re in the saddle. What remains is an overall great feel with the same fabric being used in the back panel and straps as well.

The chamois is the top-of-the-line PRO Escape 1:1, the best they have to offer, with a total of 3 distinct layers distributing pressure away from the sit bones across a larger area. Logically these chamois are purpose-built for long hours in the saddle and they perform brilliantly in that respect, reducing chances of saddle sores.

Premium fabrics, a top notch chamois, in an overall great package make these compression cycling bibs hard to beat.

Giordana Men’s FR-C Pro Bib Short

Giordana Men's FR-C Pro Bib Short
Giordana Men's FR-C Pro Bib Short

Well made and hard-wearing is what the Giordana Men’s FR-C Pro Bib Short is.

Made from HC50 High Compression Power Lycra, it basically means they used more treads per inch than in your standard material. As with other well-made compression fabric, the cycling bib feels tight initially, but is soon forgotten after you start pedalling.

Their top-level Cirro-S chamois ensures comfort for long distance touring, with an incredibly thin 4-layer construction. This cycling bib offers an ultra-soft top layer followed by an open-cell foam layer for moisture management, and memory foam for pressure relief.

Soft elastic leg cuffs keep the short in place, and elastic straps attached to a mesh back ensure perspiration can evaporate quickly and effectively. Reflective elements finish the bib.

While not the most expensive in Giordana’s lineup, this short does make sure you get pro peleton worthy apparel from the Italian brand.

Sportful Total Comfort Bibshort

Sportful Total Comfort Bibshort
Sportful Total Comfort Bibshort

In every category there are products that sit at the right end of the specific spectrum and the Sportful Total Comfort Bibshort does this in the area of their chamois. The biggest question that needs answering when offering a product that promises unparalleled levels of comfort, is whether it performs as expected. The answer to that question is yes, with a slight caveat.

With the 18 mm. Total Comfort W pad it’s by far the thickest and widest pad on this list, which will suit riders who failed to find comfort in other premium offerings. So for those who prefer triple-digits rides, these are the perfect shorts for you. There’s loads of comfort to be found in a pad that feels like your riding on a pillow.

To ensure a design that doesn’t look like you’re wearing diapers, the incredibly thick pad is strongly tapered and has a variable thickness. Once in the saddle they don’t feel any different from pads that are almost half this one.

These are not shorts for men who like to ride aggressively in a forward position for longer stretches. The thickest area of the pad is located at the back, preferring a more upright position. So not only will these shorts provide high levels of comfort in a more relaxed position, they’re also a perfect choice for gravel afficionados, where damping features are more highly appreciated.

The rest of the shorts are of a quality appropriate for it’s steep price, with the entire upper part of the shorts and wide straps made from breathable mesh. It all means these shorts targets a distinctive audience with specific needs, but it does so excellently.

Specifications best compression cycling bibs

NamePriceChamoisStrapsMaterialHemsPocketsDisciplineBuy at AmazonBuy at Ebay
Castelli Premio Black Bibshort300 USDProgetto X2 Airstraps w. perforated back panelgradient stretch woven fabricintegrated gripper elasticnoneroadlink
Castelli Superleggera Bibshort240 USDProgetto X2 Airstraps w. mesh back panelgradient stretch woven fabricintegrated gripper elasticnoneroadlinklink
Pearl Izumi Men’s PRO Air Bib Short275 USDPRO Escape 1:1PRO Transfer fabric with In-R-Cool and coldblacklaser-cut w. siliconenoneroadlink
Giordana Men’s FR-C Pro Bib Short250 USDCirro SHC50 High Compression Power Lycraelastic wovennoneroadlinklink
Sportful Total Comfort Bibshort230 USD18 mm. Total Comfort Wperforated straps w. back panellaser cutnoneroadlinklink