In this article I’m going to give you the best women’s cycling bibs for long distance riding.
The ultimate goal of cycling bibs (shorts with straps) is to combine characteristics of comfort, durability, and give you a flattering look while riding.
Your saddle is one of three touch points between you and your bike, and you might argue it’s the most important one as well. All shorts on this list offer high quality chamois with various technologies. And it’s this part of the shorts that is by far the most important element.
What I’ve done is to represent brands with a known track record when it comes to comfort for long distance epic rides. Some women prefer a really cushioned feel of a thicker pad (16 to 18 mm.) while others prefer a thinner more performance-oriented feel (11 mm).
A thicker pad doesn’t necessarily mean more comfort. Thin multi-layered pads with varying densities for pressure points, tapered edges and seamlessly welded together, together with a great-fitting short always does the trick for those of you who like long hours in the saddle.
Furthermore a number of these shorts offer drop tail designs for easy bathroom stops. Either with more elastic straps or with a horizontal opening. The list offers classic designs as well, if you don’t mind undressing or are used to riding without any stops at all.
Either way, there’s bound to be a solid choice for you in this overview of the best women’s cycling bibs for long distance riding.
Pearl Izumi Women’s PRO Bib Short
The Pearl Izumi Women’s PRO Bib Short sits at the top of the range of this Japanese brand. What you get in return is one of the most comfortable cycling bibs money can buy with a number of other fantastic features.
The short comes with the Womens Levitate PRO chamois, which is a 3-layer setup of various densities. What this accomplishes is that it gradually spreads the pressure on the sit bones to a larger area, and absorbs standard road vibrations.
Taking a cue from saddle design, the chamois also has a female specific pressure relief channel. Layers are connected at the front and back, introducing flexibility and reducing body friction. Finally, the entire chamois is tapered at the edge and attached to the bib seamlessly.
All that technology pays dividends on the road, giving you that no-feel fit without the need to constantly adjust the seat of your pants.
Furthermore, the cycling bibs have a drop-tail design. It’s a large horizontal cut at the lower-back, which enables bathroom stops without the need to completely undress. Simply pull down the lower part of the shorts and you’re ready to answer nature’s calling. A small, but great bib innovation for female road cyclists.
The shorts are made from Italian PRO Transfer fabric, which creates moderate compression and an allround superb fit. The laser cut hems are finished with silicone grippers that ensure they stay in place without seams created that dreaded sausage look.
Last but not least, the cycling bibs feature 2 large thigh pockets, and 2 smaller back pockets. So plenty of cargo space to accommodate either your phone or energy bars.
The Pearl Izumi Women’s PRO Bib Short are the perfect shorts for female cyclist that want the best and are willing to pay for it.
Pearl Izumi Women’s INTERVAL Bib Short
The Pearl Izumi Women’s INTERVAL Bib Short are high-quality cycling bibs offering a wealth of comfort for long rides.
The shorts has the dual-layer ELITE Escape 1:1 chamois, which sits one level below their pro offerings. It means there are dual layers with different densities to spread load away from the sit bones.
Attached front and back they can move independant from each other, offering flexiblity while riding while at the same time reducing friction.
The Elite chamois does not have an added soft top layer for the longest of rides. But the pad does offer tapered edges sealed seamlessly where it connects to the bib.
The INTERVAL bib short is made from ELITE Transfer In-R-Cool fabric, which is a cool name to describe a material that transfers heat and adds added sun reflectiveness.
It also features the drop tail technology, a horizontal cut at the lower back to enable a quick bathroom stop without the need to take of your cycling jersey and undo the straps. The cut is wide enough to uncover that part of the body you wish to uncover when nature calls.
The hems are laser cut and seamless, so the short doesn’t pinch your thighs, but do stay in place thanks to the silicone gripper.
Castelli Endurance W Bibshort
Targeting towards ultimate comfort, the Castelli Endurance W Bibshort offers the most protection on longer rides.
It has the Progetto X2 Air Donna chamois, where a soft skin-layer sits atop a perforated foam layer. This multi-stretch comfort layer is totally seamless, offers different densities to provide the most damping where needed, and has padded inserts. What all this technology does is provide a carefree fit with loads of comfort for arduous multi-hour rides.
The Italian brand always offers flattering designs, and it’s no different with this short. They forgo the droptail design with the horizontal slit other brands incorporate for bathroom stops, and instead opt for extra elastic straps that can be easily pulled down.
The Endurance Evolution compression fabric sits snugly without hampering movement and even with the all-black color, does a good job of keeping you cool and evaporating sweat.
I’ve been a favorite of this brand for years and this affordable short does nothing to change that point of view. Providing great value-for-money in a short that offers the best in the area of comfort for epic rides.
Castelli Velocissima 3 Bibshort
The Castelli Velocissima 3 Bibshort offers a slim feel while still offering enough protection to keep you in the saddle comfortably for many hours.
The KISS Air2 Donna chamois is a multi-layered pad with differently gender-specific densities offering moisture-wicking and ventilation aspects in its durable microfiber.
The popularity of Castelli lies in the fact that they offer excellent quality in affordable packages. The Castelli Velocissima 3 Bibshort is a great example of this, with a premium-looking short offering the right amount of comfort.
The drop tail straps are extremely elastic, making it easy to pull down the shorts for bathroom stops. And the elegantly striped legs end in firm leg grippers that keep them in place without making you look like something you can buy at your local butcher shop.
The straps can be worn in a standard straight fashion or crossed both front and back to suit your personal preference. And the cooling Endurance Evolution compression fabric is available in a number of gorgeous colors other than your standard black.
Craft Adv Unbound Bib Shorts
The Craft Adv Unbound Bib Shorts is another gravel-oriented cargo short that takes its name from the popular Kansas gravel event.
It holds the C1 chamois reserved for their premium lineup. It’s an impressive 16 mm thick pad made from recycled polyamide that has 4-way stretch to it, with a varying density. Craft is big into sustainability and they have a proprietary way of creating their chamois in such a way it reduces waste material.
The straps cross at the back and have a front panel that sits very high on the waist. There are both stretch and zippered pockets. The stretch pockets sit at the legs, with the zippered pockets at the back. Obviously zippered pockets take greater care of what you put into them, but can be a nuisance when trying to open and close while riding.
Craft Adv Endurance Lumen Bib Shorts
The Craft Adv Endurance Lumen Bib Shorts are more than excellent shorts for a very reasonable price.
Beautifully designed, they offer a form-fitting mesh back panel that wraps around your body into a high waist, ensuring a great look with comfortable straps at the front.
The C2 pad has three layers of various densities made in a way that reduces waste. The thickest parts sits at the sit bones offering necessary damping qualities.
The shorts themselves are made from recycled polyamide, so you know Craft is big into sustainability. The brand is know for creating very durable products.
A great product for female road cyclist who can appreciate high-quality comfortable bib shorts for a decent enough price.
Giordana Women’s SilverLine Bib Short
The Giordana Women’s SilverLine Bib Short is an extremely durable bib short with a great fit for a reasonable price.
It has their 3-layer 13 mm. Cirro-W chamois. It’s a top-of-the-line chamois for female cyclists. While I’m unsure whether it actually heals skin, courtesy of the Aloe Vera layer, the comfort of various waffle-textured open cell layers is unmistakable. And as with other high-end chamois, it has tapered edges seamlessly connected to your bib.
The clipless straps are wide and comfortable and end in a large back panel to ensure a smooth and comfortable fit without any rideup.
The hems are made from an elastic woven fabric to keep them in place without digging in, and they do so perfectly.
For a respectable price the Silverline bib short is a great choice to obtain characteristics of quality, durability and comfort in a fashionable package.
Giordana Women’s Fusion Bib Short
The Giordana Women’s Fusion Bib Short offers their thicker 3-layer 13 m. Cirro-W chamois.
The rest of the shorts offer a lot of the same characteristics. The same overall shape with clipless straps ending in a comfortable large back panel, with tall laser cut hems that grip comfortably. It’s a high-waist short to provide appropriate coverage and support for a flattering figure.
The chamois has an Aloe Vera infused layer that prevents bacteria build-up and offers cooling factors, is sewn atop a tick 8mm. layer of memory foam. This open waffle-textured layer offers excellent moisture-wicking and ventilation properties, preventing it from becoming a damp, attention-grabbing patch on longer rides.
A bit less performance oriented for the casual rider, these shorts will still amaze should when staying many hours in the saddle.
Sportful Total Comfort W Bibshort
In every category there are products that sit at the right end of the specific spectrum and the Sportful Total Comfort W 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 women 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 Supergiara W Bibshort
The Sportful Supergiara W Bibshort is a more traditional bib short from the Italian brand, which also caters to the gravel community by offering bibs with pockets.
It’s meant for race-day with a tight compression fabric but still holds their impressively comfortable 18 mm. Total Comfort W chamois. Such a pad does make a difference when traversing less than ideal road conditions for longer periods.
The entire back panel and front straps are created from mesh fabric, with a large side section connecting front and back. Together with the fabric you get a pair of shorts that stay in place, look flattering and feel comfortable.
There are 3 pockets. One located at the left leg and two in the back, measuring 10 x 13 cm each, with the one on the leg being 16 x 11 cm. With today’s huge phones, especially when sleeved, you might still opt to place them somewhere else. But they perform adequately for energy bars.
The shorts are beautifully crafted and fit your average built perfectly, but as far as cargo shorts go, there’s room for improvement.
Specifications best women’s cycling bibs for long distance
|Name||Price||Chamois||Straps||Material||Hems||Pockets||Discipline||Buy at Amazon||Buy at Ebay|
|Pearl Izumi Women’s PRO Bib Short||225 USD||triple-density Womens Levitate PRO||clipped straps w. drop tail||Italian PRO Transfer fabric||laser-cut w. silicone gripper||none||road||link||link|
|Pearl Izumi Women’s INTERVAL Bib Short||150 USD||dual-density Women’s ELITE Escape 1:1||clipped straps w. drop tail||ELITE Transfer In-R-Cool fabric||laser-cut w. silicone gripper||none||road||link||link|
|Castelli Endurance W Bibshort||160 USD||Progetto X2 Air Donna||drop tail bib straps||Endurance Evolution compression fabric||GIRO3 leg gripper||none||road||link||link|
|Castelli Velocissima 3 Bibshort||140 USD||KISS Air2 Donna||drop tail bib straps||Endurance Evolution compression fabric||raw-cut w. silicone||none||road||link||link|
|Craft Adv Unbound Bib Shorts||160 euros||16 mm. C1||mesh straps||Lycra Sport Energy||elastic woven w. silicone||Stretch pockets at legs, zip back pocket||gravel, MTB||link||link|
|Craft Adv Endurance Lumen Bib Shorts||120 euros||12 mm. 3-layer C2||mesh straps w. mesh back panel||recycled polyamide||elastic woven w. silicone||none||road||link||link|
|Giordana Women’s SilverLine Bib Short||150 USD||3-layer 13 mm. Cirro-W||seamless straps w. mesh back panel||elastic woven||none||road||link||link|
|Giordana Women’s Fusion Bib Short||130 USD||3-layer 13 mm. Cirro-W||seamless straps w. mesh back panel||Lycra||tall laser-cut||none||road||link||link|
|Sportful Total Comfort W Bibshort||230 USD||18 mm. Total Comfort W||perforated straps w. back panel||laser cut||none||road||link|
|Sportful Supergiara W Bibshort||195 USD||18 mm. Total Comfort W||mesh straps w. mesh back panel||Compression fabric||elastic woven||1 mesh cargo pocket on left leg and 2 mesh pockets on back||road, gravel||link||link|