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Preferred brand of shorts/bibs?(43 posts)

Preferred brand of shorts/bibs?MVN
Dec 13, 2001 10:01 PM
Please help educate me about shorts and bibs. I was just wondering if there's a brand of shorts/bibs that is better/more preferred than any other. I just can't see paying $110 for Pearl Izumi bibs (just an example) when I can get virtually the same thing from Voler for $55. The difference in cost doesn't seem justifiable to me. Any thoughts, comments?
re: Preferred brand of shorts/bibs?Bruno S
Dec 13, 2001 10:21 PM
I paid 90 for my PI shorts and I would again. There is a huge difference between those and my old 30 bucks shorts from Supergo. I heard very good things about Voler but I haven't tried them. With PI you can't go wrong but they are indeed very expensive.
Wait For Discountszelig1
Dec 14, 2001 2:56 AM
If you don't mind waiting until the end of each season, you can find most brands discounted at that time. The exceptions is Assos which I've seen on sale twice in 15+ years. For the top brands such as Assos, Castelli, PI, Nalini, Giordana, Biemme, Garneau, etc., there's not a lot of difference in the quality of materials or workmanship so it's really a matter of what fits best.

In the UK, you can get last year's pro team bibs for $20-35 US, net of VAT but not including shipping. These are generally top of the line Nalini, Giordana, PI, Biemme, etc. Some riders don't like riding in pro team wear but I don't care as long as it fits and it's a good value.

Take a look at the following site. Unfortunately they've been selling the stuff at a discount since September so the stocks are depleted.

No experience with PI . . .DCW
Dec 14, 2001 3:16 AM
but I've been very happy with both Voler cantara pad shorts and Performance Elites with a similar pad. Both have a fairly heavy lycra and good construction. I buy both at discount, so I usually pay in the $35-45 range for shorts, about $10 more for bibs.

I've bought some pro kit, but find the quality no better, sometimes worse. The ones I have feature lighter lycra (good for summer) and spongier, lighter pads.
re: Preferred brand of shorts/bibs?DrD
Dec 14, 2001 4:02 AM
I highly recommend Voler - very nice stuff, and very well priced! I haven't used their bibs, but have a number of pairs of their shorts, and they are very comfortable and seem to be wearing very well. Much nicer than the lower end PI stuff, in my experience - the upper end PI stuff does look pretty nice though (I just can't bring myself to cough up $80-90 for shorts when I can get some which work for me for $30-40...)
2nd the Voler Recommendation...(nm)PsyDoc
Dec 14, 2001 4:06 AM
I agree with youpmf1
Dec 14, 2001 5:18 AM
Voler bib shorts are a good buy. I like the chamois they used to use better, but the new one is comfortable too. Performance bibs are also nice and use what appears to be the same chamois as Voler uses. I wear medium in either. The Performance run a bit big (long) while the Voler run a bit small (short).

I have a pair of PI bibs, nice, but just not worth $100. PI stuff has gotten so expensive lately. They're going to price themselves out of the market soon.
where can I find these?badgerbike
Dec 14, 2001 6:06 AM
Where can I purchase Voler shorts? nmJs Haiku Shop
Dec 14, 2001 6:12 AM
Performance for fit, Voler for colorElefantino
Dec 14, 2001 6:19 AM
They're essentially the same (same chamois, similar material), although I wear a Large in Performance and XL in Voler.

BTW, the Performance Elite is the best one, not the Pro. The Pro has thinner material.

One nice thing about Voler: They don't charge you shipping if you order the wrong size. Performance does (but I buy my Performance bibs at their retail stores.)
Plus ...pmf1
Dec 14, 2001 6:22 AM
Voler sends a postage paid envelope with the order. If they don't fit, stick them in the envelope and drop them in a postal box. Very convenient.

And they include some tootsie rolls with the order.
Tootsie Rolls included with shorts???biknben
Dec 14, 2001 10:26 AM
Are you SURE those were Tootsie Rolls???

Sorry couldn't resist.
They are carefulpmf1
Dec 14, 2001 11:53 AM
not to send you brown ones. They're always some other color. I always wondered why this was ... now I know.
voler...Js Haiku Shop
Dec 14, 2001 6:15 AM
went from nashbar shorts with the chamois pad to voler shorts with the synthetic "baseball" pad. the XLs fit pretty well; i now have about a 36" waist these days. they're long on the thighs, and the opening above the knee is snug but not tight (actually a little loose at first).

another thing about voler: they ship fast (quick turnaround), confirm electronic orders with e-mail, send you a pre-paid return shipping envelope in case the shorts don't fit (wow!), voler stickers and some tootsie rolls in the package. what a deal.

haven't tried the bibs. and no, i can't bring myself to spend $100+ on shorts...
Dec 14, 2001 6:17 AM
I have both Voler and PI shorts. Both are quite good, but my wife hates the Voler shorts because you cannot put them in the dryer, but you can with the PI shorts. Actually I put the Voler shorts in the dryer. The chamois started to separate from the fabric; not a good idea. I don't know about the others. You can buy PI Ultrasensor shorts (not bibs) from for $65 with free shipping so the price difference to Voler isn't large if you can find the right discount.

I do like that Voler has several colors available and their service was first rate.
i delicate wash/cold and hang dry all my bike cr@p. nmJs Haiku Shop
Dec 14, 2001 6:22 AM
I wouldn't put either in the dryer ...pmf1
Dec 14, 2001 6:25 AM
Best to handwash and hang dry. OK ... that's a pain ... so wash in machine on delicate and hang dry. Drying in the dryer is bad. They dry in a day hung up. Give your wife a break and wash your own clothes.
re: give your wife a breakJs Haiku Shop
Dec 14, 2001 6:28 AM
"Give your wife a break and wash your own clothes."

Give your wife a break and wash all the clothes. It's an easy, brainless task, and accrues 'ride tickets.' Learn from tha masta! ;o)
Couldn't agree morepmf1
Dec 14, 2001 6:32 AM
However, I wash everything (except cycling clothes) in warm cotton cycle. After ruining some of her stuff, I am not allowed to wash her clothes.

And since mine is a terrible cook, I do most of that too.

Now if only I could get her to clean my bike for me while I'm making dinner ...
Laundry and dishessalmonwheel
Dec 14, 2001 10:16 AM
Chores a man can do to win time points and avoid cleaning the bathroom.
Cleaning the bathroompmf1
Dec 14, 2001 12:05 PM
Having been married twice, and always avoided cleaning the bathroom, I've found that the best way out of this is to offer to do this and then do a really terrible job.

"Whaddya mean the toilets dirty, those streaks give the bowl character"
you're all thinking about this WRONGJs Haiku Shop
Dec 14, 2001 12:20 PM
how do you think i scored a garage full of bikes? the "some guys have bass boats, some guys have a cabinet full of guns, some guys have harleys" argument never works at my house. cleaning and washing clothes gets mucho mileage.

cleaning the bathroom, running the vacuum, sweeping and mopping, washing and putting away dishes, washing and folding clothes, yardwork...these are all transient things. think about it this way: they'll improve your mental endurance, better you at turning off your head for the long haul.

the ONE thing i learned from my father's rantings: you're never too good to do *any* job. besides, what's so bad about cleaning the bathroom? hands wash off afterwards, and it only takes ten minutes.
Spouse RelationsDCP
Dec 14, 2001 7:20 AM
PI's web site says machine drying is good for their stuff.

Just a little presumptous of you on that give your wife a break comment. Yeah, she washes my clothes, but I do my share of tasks. Man, I can just hear the comments I would get if I hung drying cycling duds around the small laundry room we have.

She prefers I not buy stuff that cannot be machine dryed. Its the least I can do.
re: Spouse RelationsElefantino
Dec 14, 2001 7:57 AM
I hang mine in the laundry room and there are no complaints. In fact, she tells me NOT to dry them.

Now, I suppose she'd be angry if I didn't do my share of tasks, too, or if I bought a third bike without telling her ...
um, never mind.
No insult intendedpmf1
Dec 14, 2001 9:11 AM
You sexist pig :}
I am a victim of my genderDCP
Dec 14, 2001 11:58 AM
and, of course, proud of it (but don't tell my wife I said that).
It's her domainMcAndrus
Dec 14, 2001 8:08 AM
Mine considers the laundry room her domain. I gentle wash my cycling duds and hang dry them because she says so. She thinks I'm an ape with a washer and dryer.

On the other hand .... I'm not sure I'd wanter her adjusting my derailleurs either.
PI shorts like the dryer....Bruno S
Dec 14, 2001 8:26 AM
From PI web site:

2. Don't be afraid of the dryer:
To reinforce what is written above, unless you are using a commercial "incinerator" dryer, the dryer is good for your garments at the proper heat setting.

Again, it restores the memory of synthetic fibers and for woven products it actually can restore the water repellent and wind repellent qualities.
Me too. Cold wash, hang dry. nmElefantino
Dec 14, 2001 6:29 AM
I noticed some Castelli bibs for $39 at that site . . .DCW
Dec 14, 2001 7:28 AM
(the sportsbasement) in a few sizes.
Machine Wash - Dry in the DryerPack Meat
Dec 14, 2001 7:38 AM
I bouhgt four pairs of bibs last year cause it was such a good deal. I bought one at first and like them so much I bought 3 more. Rode on them all season and macine washed (cold) and dried in the dryer (but not over dry, it only takes about 10 minutes for them to be mostly dry). They are still in great shape with no obvious signs of wear. I put on about 5000 miles this year and that doesn't include indoor time and no problems yet.
How is this so complicated...TJeanloz
Dec 14, 2001 8:16 AM
You mean that people actually read those care tags inside of clothing? I never do. Put 'em in the washer, put 'em in the dryer; high heat if you're in a hurry. I've never had any problems with that. On the other hand, I don't typically have to pay for my cycling clothing...
How is this so complicated...pmf1
Dec 14, 2001 9:10 AM
Read the tag ... you must be joking.

I used to handwash all my stuff. Since I got lazy and started machine washing it, I've noticed that jerseys get stretched out and shorts don't seem to last as long. If I got the stuff for free, I'd be tossing it in the dryer too.
It's really simplecioccman
Dec 14, 2001 10:06 AM
Call the pick up and delivery laundry people. You don't even need a hamper. I just tell them, get it all. They pick it all up from wherever it is, bag it, take it away and return a couple of days later with it all folded, sorted, wrapped up, hung, etc.

I DO NOT do laundry.
It's really REALLY simplegrzy
Dec 14, 2001 10:28 AM
I just buy new ones when things get dirty.

I DO NOT make phone calls. ;-)

I DO NOT do laundry - my wife does. She won't let me b/c I separate the colors from the whites and the poly!!
Dec 14, 2001 11:38 AM
Most of the lint on the trap in your dryer used to be your clothes' fibers!
Why wash them?Pack Meat
Dec 14, 2001 12:06 PM
Stinky Don used to say that people don't wear their cloths out they wash them out. By midsummer ol'Don was ripe.
re: Preferred brand of shorts/bibs?Lone Gunman
Dec 14, 2001 6:58 AM
My first choice is Santini or Nalini from, can get pro kit or all black. Second choice is Voler but my jury is stil out on them as the chamois has some stitches and ridges that have NOT caused any skin problems but then I have not ridden same brand several days in a row (not same pair!!). Zona bici has Castelli at a decent price. And by the way I NEVER pay more than $50 for a pair of bibs, I don't wear shorts.
One thing you've got to remember about PIcioccman
Dec 14, 2001 9:52 AM
is that they make different levels of gear. They have what's essentially a low a medium and a high end of their products. I believe their high end is the super duper microsensor or something.

I've had just about every type of stuff. I like PI because it will last. I love my Voler stuff but the stitching aroung the bottom of the short will obviously not last as long as some of my Izumi or Castelli stuff. In my opinion, those two win this ballgame. I really like my Sugoi bibs as well.
I swear by Performance EliteMel Erickson
Dec 14, 2001 10:06 AM
I have two pair of Performance Elite bibs and an older pair of shorts. They have given me great service and are very comfortable. I machine wash cold and throw them in the dryer with no problem. I refuse to hand wash and hang dry. The shorts are 5? years old and still going, although I can almost see through them and the pad is somewhat flat. The elastics and fabric still hold their shape. I wear them on hot days for shorter rides and it feels like I have nothing on.
Ones w/Skid Marksgrzy
Dec 14, 2001 10:24 AM
Those are my favorite since no one can tell if I did it or they came that way.

Seriously, go to and you can get a good deal on their shorts. I'll ride anything that has a pad and will cover my Johnson. Ain't no reason in my mind why we should pay such ridiculous prices for something (clothing) that has a huge mark-up. After all, they're just going to get marked up. Besides, that fancy little PI logo will come off after being washed a while and no one will know that you actualy run the PI ones. Nor will they care. Some folks run the $160 shorts and feel they're worth every penny. What does that mean when they go on sale?
8 panel with a good padTig
Dec 14, 2001 11:06 AM
The middle range PI's are 8 panel and have the same padded insert that their top ends have, but for about 1/2 the price. I have an older pair of Aussie shorts that are not as comfie, but have survived crashes without much damage. The Performance Elites sound like a good deal. I'll have to give them a try. No need spending $100 on something that might get destroyed on the next crash (there will ALWAYS be another crash!).
Voler Bib Shorts on sale forMel Erickson
Dec 14, 2001 6:05 PM
$44.95. It's their flag short, blue with a very small flag on the lower left leg. 8 panel, cantara pad, 8oz. fabric, very nice. Here's the link:

They have their regular flag short also on sale for $34.95, same as bib only no straps (duh).