I’m envious of the guys who can down a water bottle and then quickly pull off behind a tree without missing a beat. But for women it’s not so easy, especially with bib shorts. When I bought my first bibs, a pair of sleek (and expensive) Giordana Silverlines, I knew I’d either have to carefully ration my water bottles or memorize every rural gas station in the county.
If you’ve never tried bibs, I’ll warn you right now: They will change your life. If regular lycra shorts are a Trek 1000, then bibs are a SuperSix Evo, baby. There’s no fabric slipping, bunching or gaping and no elastic band to put a stranglehold on your stomach. The only problem is that bib straps severely interfere with bathroom breaks, forcing women to shed their jerseys and bottoms first.
Enter the Pearl Izumi Drop Tail Cycling Bib Shorts. At first glance the back of the bibs appears to be one piece, made from a light mesh fabric. But that fabric tucks into the short, allowing you to pull the back down. While accessing the drop tail takes some getting used to (practice at home first, ladies), it is a clever and quick way to get the job done.
Flatlock seems, soft, breathable fabric and Pearl Izumi’s Elite 3D chamois make these a great choice for long rides and hot days. I also appreciate the leg grippers, made from a plush elastic that doesn’t dig into my legs, even after seven hours in the saddle.
An eight-inch inseam makes these shorts a little on the long side and the clasp between the bib straps feels unnecessary. But these are the only minor gripes I have. Overall, the drop tails are one comfy bib short.