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I posted this on the Serotta forum and got some good replies. But, you can't have too many opinions so I'm asking here also.

I finally settled on the Assos F1 S2 bib shorts a couple years back and have been reasonably happy. I love the fabric but they run small vertically and are thus a bit tight on the shoulders. The leg bands are also tight on me ( I have bigger thighs than many).

I have found that I like a one piece molded chamois with no seams between the center section and the "wings" that go in the leg area. This is requirement.

What I've tried in the past:
Castelli Dome and another older model--Didn't like the chamois in either
DeMarchi-Chamois looked perfect on paper but didn't work very well in practice. The material is rather rough and not very stretchy.
Assos F1 S2: Current short. I bought them new in the package for $90 which has turned out to be an amazing value.

What I'm looking at:

Another pair of Assos in a XL with the hopes that they aren't too big in the middle but correct vertically and in the leg band area. totalcycling has them for $199 shipped from the UK. Still expensive.

Pearl Izumi Microsensor or Aerosensor: I read many complaints on the roadbikereview site about the chamois. I tried on a pair of mediums at the LBS. They fit but the material was just alright and the bib straps seemed narrow.

Giordana: Their newest chamois looks like a winner but I've never seen them in person. The top model is $230 which is high to me. Anyone have experience with the Tenax or new models?

Descente: The Aero X looks pretty good. Haven't tried them on yet.

Santini Fluid Twist with Gel insert. I have a Santini jacket that I bought this winter and really like the quality of it. Not sure about the Gel insert idea though.

Any others I should consider?
 

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DeMarchi Baby

they are the ones who invented the pad that Assos uses. when they had the big review a few years back the deMarchi and Santini twists got the 'about as good as the Assos and way cheaper nod'.You sound like you have similar fit issues that I do (long torso?). I found that the Castellis in the right 'size' were too loose, Assos as you stated a tad short. Been happiest with Santini, De Marchi and Pearl Izumi.
oh and BTW www.worldcycling.com has the DeMarchis on sale.you can get 2 pair for the price of a pair of F-13s.
Voler makes a nice inexpensive bib as well.
 

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Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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Though it looks like you're not interested in budget bibs, I humbly recommend the Voler Avanti or Titano bibs from velowear.com. They're not very expensive, and have a pretty thin pad, which I like a lot. Come to think of it, though, I don't think it's a seamless pad, so I guess that puts them out.

But you can get three pairs of the Avantis for less than you'd pay for a pair of Assos bibs, I think. Something to consider.
 

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wasfast said:
Giordana: Their newest chamois looks like a winner but I've never seen them in person. The top model is $230 which is high to me. Anyone have experience with the Tenax or new models?

I have four pairs of the "05" Tenax bibs and I think they are great. The Lycra isn't as nice but I still prefer them over the Assos bibs. One problem for you though, the thigh area is a little more snug than the Assos bibs are. The bib straps are about the same. I wear an XL in both Giordana and Assos.
 

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Tom said:
I have four pairs of the "05" Tenax bibs and I think they are great. The Lycra isn't as nice but I still prefer them over the Assos bibs. One problem for you though, the thigh area is a little more snug than the Assos bibs are. The bib straps are about the same. I wear an XL in both Giordana and Assos.
I'll second this. I dumped all of my Assos last year and picked up several pairs of the Tenax Laser as well as a pair of MaxO2 and Forma. I am MUCH happier with Giordana as I find that they aren't as tight vertically and I also prefer a thinner pad (the FI.13 S2 bibs always felt like I was wearing a diaper). If the leg holes on the Tenax aren't to your liking you may prefer the "liquid elastic" treatment on the forma or MaxO2.
 

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goodbye fraudriguez
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Santini and giordana

I have both the new giordana (body clone) and Santini (twist gel fluid). Both are great. Depends on the thickness of pad that you like. Santini are thinner and are my favorite ( I have one of every color !). Body clone bibs are "taller", but the leg grippers are a little tight and don't stretch as well as others. You can't go wrong with either.
 

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wasfast said:
I posted this on the Serotta forum and got some good replies. But, you can't have too many opinions so I'm asking here also.

I finally settled on the Assos F1 S2 bib shorts a couple years back and have been reasonably happy. I love the fabric but they run small vertically and are thus a bit tight on the shoulders. The leg bands are also tight on me ( I have bigger thighs than many).

I have found that I like a one piece molded chamois with no seams between the center section and the "wings" that go in the leg area. This is requirement.

What I've tried in the past:
Castelli Dome and another older model--Didn't like the chamois in either
DeMarchi-Chamois looked perfect on paper but didn't work very well in practice. The material is rather rough and not very stretchy.
Assos F1 S2: Current short. I bought them new in the package for $90 which has turned out to be an amazing value.

What I'm looking at:

Another pair of Assos in a XL with the hopes that they aren't too big in the middle but correct vertically and in the leg band area. totalcycling has them for $199 shipped from the UK. Still expensive.

Pearl Izumi Microsensor or Aerosensor: I read many complaints on the roadbikereview site about the chamois. I tried on a pair of mediums at the LBS. They fit but the material was just alright and the bib straps seemed narrow.

Giordana: Their newest chamois looks like a winner but I've never seen them in person. The top model is $230 which is high to me. Anyone have experience with the Tenax or new models?

Descente: The Aero X looks pretty good. Haven't tried them on yet.

Santini Fluid Twist with Gel insert. I have a Santini jacket that I bought this winter and really like the quality of it. Not sure about the Gel insert idea though.

Any others I should consider?
I've been using the Santini Twist Gel for the last 3 years. I love them, they are the most comfortable thing I've ever worn. I recently got a pair of Hincapies, but I've only worn them twice. I keep going back to the Santini's. The last two pair I got, I got on sale at Performance for $80. Can't beat that.

Mark
 

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chamois creme addict
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Giordana better than Pearl

My pockets aren't deep enough for Assos, but I have ridden in the Pearl Microsensor 3D, the Giordana Tenax, and the Giordana Laser Tenax.

The PI Micro are average. I can ride them with an Aliante saddle, but when I used them with a harder saddle like a Flite I hated them.

The Giordana Tenax were from 2004 and they used the Stratus OF chamois. I quite like the shorts, the chamois does have seams though and while I have not had problems others have. Good fit, good durability - two pair of these have been my main shorts for the past 7 months.

The Giordana Laser Tenax are 2005 and I got them on sale at Competitive Cyclist (they still have them on sale, BTW). I have only worn them 5x in warm weather while in Hawaii. The chamois is the 3D-OF and it is seamless and quite comfortable without feeling too thick (I hate thick chamois). They are also nice, the lycra is a little more compressive in the 2005 Laser versus the 2004 Tenax and that makes them fit a little more snugly. The size L is pretty taut on me, at 6' and 168 lbs.

Other bib shorts to consider are the Sugoi RS Flex and Louis Garneau Lycra Power. Both Canadian made. The Sugoi has a very thick chamois, too thick for me but others swear by its padding.
 

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I second the Santini

mvnbykes said:
I've been using the Santini Twist Gel for the last 3 years. I love them, they are the most comfortable thing I've ever worn. I recently got a pair of Hincapies, but I've only worn them twice. I keep going back to the Santini's. The last two pair I got, I got on sale at Performance for $80. Can't beat that.

Mark
The thing I really like about the Twist Gel is that the chamois is stitched in from the outside. This eliminates the problem I always have with chafing from heavy stitching. To me that is more improtant that the pad. There are a couple of manufactures that bond in the pad which I would think is a good idea, but I have not tried them. I have also had decent success with the cheaper Giordana's. They are thinner but seem to wear very well
 

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i agree too that the Assos FI UNO is not as snug vertically as the rest of the ASSOS line. its one of my favorites to wear. i currently have the Assos: FI 13 S2, MILLE, and UNO, as well as the Giordana FORMA(more flexible fitting vertically, super soft material, sweet pad but the MILLE is better for long distances), and the Izumi Microsensors( nice breathable and durable material but pad doesn't come close to the comfort of the others. dunno what they were thinking putting most of the pad behind the sit bones).
 

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In-House Counsel
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I have a pair of Descente bib shorts, Giordana Tenax shorts, and Santini twist gel too. I like them all very much. My favorites are the descente and giordana. Just wanted to add that. :)
 

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eminence grease
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It all depends on what kind of material you like in the pad.

I've tried and dismissed Assos, Castelli, various incarnations of Pearl, Nike and DeMarchi.

I used to really like the Santini Twist Gel, but they all fell apart.

These days, I use Nalini Base. They're just like the good old PI pads before they went modern. Synthetic, baseball cut chamois. And better yet, you can find them for $50-$80.

The more modern materials just don't work for me. I find them hot and abrassive. But, like saddles, to each his own. I like the Nalinis so much, I've stocked 5 pairs for when my current stash wears out. And based on the price I've been getting them for, those 5 cost about as much as 1-1/2 of Assos.
 

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Another vote for the Giordana Laser Tenax. I ordered a pair, loved them so much that I ordered another pair. Another one of my favorites is the Castelli Y Five. I prefer the material of the Laser Tenax but the Y five is quite comfy. I have several mid level bibs and the Laser's are my favorite. My other bibs that I compare them to are: Hincapie Power Bib, Specialized Pro Bibs, PI Microsensor 3D, PI Ultrasensor.

I absolutely love the material of the Specialized Pro bib but I am still not too sure about the chamois. If Competitive still has the Giordana for $100, it is a GREAT buy!!!
 

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PI Microsensor 3D Pro

I did a ride this morning with a new pair of PI Microsensor 3D Pro bib shorts. Likes: the material of the short,/bib, the feeling of the chamois, the overall fit. Dislike: the unfinished edge of the chamois that tore up the skin on the back of both legs and where the thick part of the chamois rides...past the place where it would be most useful. Until PI can actually finish the edge of their chamois, I would not recommend this product line.
 

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bad pair of bibs?

I think your pair of bibs are defective...the finish on my chamois is just fine. I say take them back and see if you can get a better pair.
 
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