I only recently heard about "Indoor Bib shorts". Initially, I had dismissed it - bib shorts are bib shorts and should fulfil both outdoor and indoor purposes. Why separate the two and create confusion? Come on, we chase the early hours of day in Singapore (and I am not a morning person). Picture me with half an eye opened at 5am fumbling for what to wear before the coffee kicks in. Note to self - always prepare everything the night before - your bike, your gear, your kit.
With the new “stay home” ruling and more riders getting on Zwift, I've decided to revisit this “indoor bib shorts”. However, I still believe any bib shorts should be usable on both occasions and you should not limit yourself and the product. There are however some qualities that make a bib short more suited for indoor than outdoor and here are some of them.
Riding indoors does not require the thinnest lycra or the additional pockets. Temperature can be controlled and the risk of falling on gravel and snagging your kit is rather low. So just focus on getting a pair of bib shorts that is a good fit for your body type and one that comes with a good chamois. Now that should bring the price down. Look for the base model of the various brands and save the money for other upgrades.
Durability / Toughness
We sweat a lot more while riding indoors and perspiration is unable to wick fully from our gear, hence leaving an odour. If you ride often and hard enough at Zwift, you would notice your bib shorts often pooling with sweat. This accumulation wears down the bib short significantly as bacteria consumes the protein left behind. Invest in a pair that is made of durable and tough lycra which will take a longer time to be worn down. While also being hardy enough to endure a hard spin in the washing machine.
While spinning at home, we don’t get those organic breaks like getting off saddle at the traffic light or stopping at the petrol kiosk for a water break. Unconsciously, we are focused on our task at hand - clocking the miles and the hours. It is inevitable that we sit longer while riding at home than when on the road. With an extended duration on the saddle comes extended pressure on your rear end and tailbone. Hence good support with the help of a firm chamois will be able to hold its shape longer and thus less sore on your butt. Take note if you're riding in an aggressive position as a thicker chamois in the front might numb delicate areas. Moral of the story - never discount on a good chamois.
Laundry bag and Sport detergent
Lastly, with all the sweat and proteins stuck in the bib shorts, a hard wash is a must. Remember to use a laundry bag to protect the fabric from tumble and snags; a sport-specific detergent to remove all the sweat, bacteria and proteins stuck in the fabric. This will keep the bib shorts lasting long and smelling good.
Here are some recommendations for indoor bib shorts that you can look at.
Assos Black Mille GT Men's Bib / https://www.velovelocycle.com/collections/assos-mens-bib/products/black-mille-gt-mens-bib
Velocio Black Foundation Men's Bib / https://www.velovelocycle.com/collections/velocio-mens-bib-shorts/products/black-foundation-mens-bib
Peloton de Paris Domestique Men's Bib / https://www.velovelocycle.com/collections/peloton-de-paris-mens-bib
Assos UMA GT Evo Shorts
Velocio Black Foundation Women’s Bib /
Peloton de Paris Domestique Women’s Bib /
Meanwhile what else do you think makes a good indoors bib? Let us know by commenting below