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The top 9 best high end cycling bibs

This article will provide you with an overview of some of the best high end cycling bibs worth your money.

Brands that specialize in cycling apparel have come a long way when it comes to create highly innovative products. In the competitive cycling business literally every second counts, and it’s here you will find the best cycling bibs.

Though we’re not all pro peleton riders, the best-of-the-best high end cycling bibs will always have a certain allure for those willing to spend the money on them. And for your hard-earned cash, you’ll get the latest in aerodynamic fabrics, heat managing materials, multiple layered chamois with strategically placed inserts for long-distance comfort, and compression characteristics to optimize your output and recovery.

So without further ado, here’s my list of the very best high end cycling bibs.

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.

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.

Castelli Free Protect Race Bibshort

Castelli Free Protect Race Bibshort
Castelli Free Protect Race Bibshort

The Castelli Free Protect Race Bibshort is a cycling short meant for riders who appreciate added level of protection in case of a crash.

It features Castelli’s top-of-the-line Progetto X2 Air chamois made for comfort for ambitious cyclists. Men’s specific pressure points are more supported with an added layer of perforated padding, besides a skin layer, and dual density foam layer. This means a further reduction of saddle soreness when riding for many hours.

Mesh straps are attached to bibs made from compression fabric and having strengthened side panels made from DyneemaComposite Fabric, which is stronger, lighter, and more abbrasion resistant than comparable nylon fabrics. So should you ever fall with this fairly expensive piece of cycling apparel, chances of you actually tearing them are significantly reduced.

If you take your riding and safety serious and you want a exquisitely designed cycling bib, the Castelli Free Protect Race Bibshort should be at the top of your list.

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.

Sportful Ltd Shield Bibshort

Sportful Ltd Shield Bibshort
Sportful Ltd Shield Bibshort

The Sportful Ltd Shield Bibshort provides the ultimate solution in for road crashes with a cycling bib built to last.

Anyone who’s ever been in a high-speed crash knows that besides bruises and fractures, it’s actually road rash that can be exceptionally painful. Sportful decided to create a cycling bib which specifically protects against this.

Panels made from Cordura are attached to elastic micromesh. This synthetic material was developed for the military and has now found its use for both ambitious road and gravel riders. Elastic mesh straps and panel keep the bib in the correct place.

The TC Pro chamois offers the best in performance-oriented comfort with multi-density foam layer following the male anatomy, and alleviating pressure where it matters.

A premium cycling bib for those who demand nothing less.

Gore C5 Opti Bib Shorts+

Gore C5 Opti Bib Shorts+
Gore C5 Opti Bib Shorts+

The Gore C5 Opti Bib Shorts+ are unique in that the Swedish brand offers temperature protection for your groin.

While this might sound trivial at first, it totally isn’t. Anyone who’s ridden in chilly or windy conditions knows how cold this area can get, with constant winds sapping heat away from your body. Obviously this leads to energy otherwise used for cycling being diverted, and an allround uncomfortable feeling where you don’t want it to.

The Men Advanced chamois features an extended cup at the front of a double-layered pad, made from GORE WINDSTOPPER fabric. Suffice to say this significantly reduces the risk of numbness in the genital area because of cold. The multi-density foam furthermore is anatomically shaped with open-cell foam padding to negate pressure points.

A serious chamois innovation worth consideration.

POC Ceramic Vpds Bib Shorts

POC Ceramic Vpds Bib Shorts
POC Ceramic Vpds Bib Shorts

The POC Ceramic Vpds Bib Shorts sits at the top of the Swedish brand’s cycling bibs.

The VPDS Contour pad has all the bells and wistles other pads provide as well, including added sillicone pads for maximum shock absorption and road buzz reduction. It means that these shorts are meant for those who like long hours in the saddle with possibly less than ideal road conditions.

The long leg grippers in combination with the large back panel makes sure the short always stays in place.

The cycling bibs get’s bonus points for it’s design, with the ceramic reinforced material, not only being abbrasive resistant, but also featuring a delicate ringed pattern. POC claims that should you ever find yourself in a crash, this helps to slide the material along instead of ripping. Truth be told I haven’t tested this.

POC is known for making high-quality products and these shorts certainly look and feel that way, as it should for the price they charge for these premium cycling bibs.

Specifications best high end cycling bibs

NamePriceChamoisStrapsMaterialHemsPocketsDisciplineBuy at AmazonBuy at Ebay
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
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
Castelli Free Protect Race Bibshort250 USDProgetto X2 Airmesh straps w. mesh back panelForza fabric w. Vortex panelsGIRO4 leg grippernoneroad, gravellinklink
Sportful Total Comfort Bibshort230 USDTotal Comfortperforated straps w. back panellaser cutnoneroadlinklink
Sportful Ltd Shield Bibshort240 USDTC Promesh straps w. mesh back panelCorduralaser-cut micromeshnoneroad, gravellinklink
Gore C5 Opti Bib Shorts+120 USDMen Advancedmesh straps w. mesh back panelGORE Selected Fabricsstretch wovennoneroadlinklink
POC Ceramic Vpds Bib Shorts250 eurosVPDS Contourmesh straps w. mesh back panelstretch wovennoneroad, gravellinklink