After hundreds — if not thousands — of miles of saddle time, and two comprehensive reviews (Part 1, Part 2) our discerning team of testers have selected their favorites. Top of the heap goes to the Rapha Team Sky Women’s Bib Shorts, which narrowly beat out the Assos T.Lady_S5. Here’s what our quartet of testers had to say about their favorites — and second favorites. Also be sure to check out Page 2 where we reveal the Best Women’s Bibshorts for $200 or less, Page 3 to find out which bibs made nature calls the easiest, and of course you can Meet the Testers on Page 4.
Overall Best In Test
The Rapha Team Sky Women’s Bib Shorts took a narrow win based on one first place vote and one-and-a-half seconds.
Kate: Rapha Team Sky Women’s Bib Shorts — It’s so much easier to enjoy long rides when you are comfortable. Remember when you learned how to actually eat and drink on the bike? These bibs set a whole new standard of comfort for me. If you regularly enjoy long (3-plus hour) weekend rides, I think your money is well-spent ponying up for a premium short like this.
Lisa: Assos T.Lady_S5 — These bibs just fit me best. The straps are adjustable to the appropriate length, the chamois fit my body, the legs are a good mid-thigh length and the leg bands are an adequate tightness for my body. The material feels nice on my skin, it’s breathable and durable. Although these bibs had a mechanism to use the restroom without taking my jersey off, I made my decision mostly on overall comfort because in the long run that’s what matters most to me. These bibs are the most expensive of the ones tested, but when I find a piece of clothing that is comfortable and fits well, be it jeans or cycling bibs, I’m willing to pay a higher price because that means I can stop shopping. And I tend to wear items for their entire lifespan, so I know I’ll get a good return on my investment.
Elizabeth: Capo Cipressa Bibshort 2.0 — For me, the Capo bibs are the best all-around. They’re mid-priced (within the test), flattering, comfortable and unique without being over-designed. I love these bibs.
Liz: Primal Elita Women’s Helix Bib Shorts — This short has turned into one of my go-to’s because it’s comfortable, easy to get on and off, and I like the blue color pop.
The Assos T.Lady_S5 did well, but lost ground due to its hefty $279 price tag.
Liz: Assos T.Lady_S5 — I love the feel of this short and chamois, but it’s a the runner up because it’s expensive and I don’t like the single bib strap that wraps around my neck.
Lisa: Rapha Team Sky Women’s Bib Shorts — The material is luxurious and soft, the chamois fits well, does its job, and they are very comfortable and flattering when on. They finished as a close runner up because I didn’t like the ‘bodysuit’ style bib as much as a bib with straps, and the leg bands are just slightly tighter than I prefer. These bibs are very expensive, but like the Assos, I look at them as an investment since I envision wearing them on many rides.
Kate: Castelli Palmares Due Bibshort — You almost forget there are straps on these minimal, summer-weight bib shorts. If you are a bib short skeptic, try these!
Elizabeth: (Tie) Rapha Team Sky Women’s Bib Shorts — I loved these, too. They’re elegant and look and feel great. But for me, the zipper in back makes these a road-only pair of bibs — no camelback, no commuting with a backpack — which makes them less versatile. They’re also price-prohibitive. It would be dangerous to get hooked on these shorts.
Elizabeth: (Tie) Primal Elita Women’s Helix Bib Shorts — While the fit is great (again, these have become my go-to mountain bike bibs) the design/color/fabric scheme makes them much less versatile — and much less flattering — than my other favorites. They’re also pretty expensive for a basic bib.