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Pearl Izumi v Louis Garneau v Castelli v Other?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Pearl Izumi v Louis Garneau v Castelli v Other?

Old 06-03-19, 05:29 AM
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OUGrad05
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Pearl Izumi v Louis Garneau v Castelli v Other?

I really need to get another pair of bibs, maybe two and a jersey or two. I've got a few Pearl Izumi shorts and a pair of bibs, overall I'm happy with them but not over the top happy. The chamois have some issues with rubbing the inner/upper thigh on longer rides, ultimately I can work around it but a couple friends this past weekend suggested LG and Castelli as better options for the same money.

I've got nothing from either brand was hoping you guys would have some input/feedback on these brands or if there's something else I should consider.
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Old 06-03-19, 06:02 AM
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dmanthree
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Assos makes some nice bibs, but expensive. Also, take a look at Gore's cycling bibs. Hard to make a recommendation since we're all built different and cycle differently.
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Old 06-03-19, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by dmanthree View Post
Assos makes some nice bibs, but expensive. Also, take a look at Gore's cycling bibs. Hard to make a recommendation since we're all built different and cycle differently.
That's fair...

I have a pair of Gore shorts and I LOVE the padding. But it has this knot from a draw string of sorts right in the middle of the waist band, so on rides more than an hour it literally rubs a raw spot on my stomach right below my bellowbutton. Extremely uncomfortable!

Do their other products lack this knot of sorts? If so I'd be willing to give them a try because the chamois and overall fit is quite good.
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Old 06-03-19, 06:22 AM
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Knot?

Originally Posted by OUGrad05 View Post
That's fair...

I have a pair of Gore shorts and I LOVE the padding. But it has this knot from a draw string of sorts right in the middle of the waist band, so on rides more than an hour it literally rubs a raw spot on my stomach right below my bellowbutton. Extremely uncomfortable!

Do their other products lack this knot of sorts? If so I'd be willing to give them a try because the chamois and overall fit is quite good.
Both of my Gore bibs have no strings of any kind. I've never see a proper cycling short with a drawstring.
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Old 06-03-19, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by dmanthree View Post
Both of my Gore bibs have no strings of any kind. I've never see a proper cycling short with a drawstring.
It's my only pair like that. I was surprised as well when I opened them up.
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Old 06-03-19, 06:58 AM
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I just got a pair of Giro Sport Chrono bibs and while I haven't ridden them yet, they are super nice IMO. They were normally $120 and I got them for $60 on sale...google them and see what pops up, they were 50% off all over the internet a week or two ago. I previously was using a pair of Specialized Roubaix Sport shorts and the chamois folded like the roof of a house and stuck straight out from my butt and it looked terrible, and those were $50. The chamois in the Giros is much thicker and actually curves up along my butt like it should.
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Old 06-03-19, 09:19 AM
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If they have a string, they are probably targeted for triathletes, not roadies.

As other have mentioned, you'll inevitably sort out the brands and models that suit you best. For what it's worth, I have always found Garneau and Sugoi to provide good value for money and I've been happy with the fit. Although Giordana and POC make nice bibs, they are too slim fitting for me -- my legs are somewhat more on the muscley side of the scale.

I always hunt sales and check what's available at Steep and Cheap: https://www.steepandcheap.com/mens-r...iscountpercent

Originally Posted by OUGrad05 View Post
That's fair...

I have a pair of Gore shorts and I LOVE the padding. But it has this knot from a draw string of sorts right in the middle of the waist band, so on rides more than an hour it literally rubs a raw spot on my stomach right below my bellowbutton. Extremely uncomfortable!

Do their other products lack this knot of sorts? If so I'd be willing to give them a try because the chamois and overall fit is quite good.
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Old 06-03-19, 09:57 AM
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I own Rapha, Castelli, 7Mesh and Assos bibs.

Rapha Classic are the most comfortable to the point of being luxurious. Rapha Classic are $230 while PI Black are $250 so price is competitive. I don't like the Pro Team as much as it is more restrictive but that's just my preference.

Winter bibs knickers and bib tights are Castelli. Performance in extreme weather is outstanding and comfort is never an issue. Size way up.

7Mesh MK2 and MK3 have a super plush Elastic Interface Space 2 pad. They are not for very hot weather but are super cushy for long gravel rides, like riding on an overstuffed sofa.

Assos Mille are the lower end models. I've never had a problem with these. The front is cut a bit lower than most bibs so nature breaks are a little easier.

I've never had rubbing or chafing issues with any of these. If I had to choose one however, it would be Rapha Classic without a doubt.


-Tim-
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Old 06-03-19, 08:31 PM
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I have tried Sugoi, Louis Garneau, Assos and Rapha (Classic and core). Sugoi are good value Bibs. I prefer the Rapha Core, ok value, comfortable and solid even for 4-6 hours ride. But everybody is different!
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Old 06-03-19, 09:36 PM
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For me Castelli pads are the best. Pricey but worth it. Garneau pads are inferior and a lot of them have the drawstring.
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Old 06-04-19, 03:51 AM
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Put me down for team Garneau. I've tried Pearl Izumi, Sugoi, Nashbar cheapies. My chubby thighs and integral waist carbohydrate storage system are hard on shorts, plus I just throw them in the washing machine vs. hand wash. The Garneaus have been the most comfortable and the most durable. Added bonus - I'm not a big brand name guy and the Louis Garneau letters on the thigh fall off after a number of trips through the washing machine...

I don't need much padding, but would say if that was your top criteria, the Sugoi had the best pad and overall came in second to me - but were usually much more expensive than the Garneau and if I see them on a good sale I try to pick up a pair of them.

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Old 06-04-19, 09:36 AM
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I have two pairs of the 7Mesh MK2 bibs. If you pay attention on their website you can pick them up on sale/clearance. Plus if you are in the US, with your dollar being what it is, you'll score a pretty good deal.
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Old 06-05-19, 03:14 AM
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PI stuff tends to run large, and Rapha for example runs small. So I normally use size large in PI but must use XL in Rapha or Castelli. As for comfort, Rapha, Castelli and Assos are excellent. PI is ok not bad but not quite in the same league. Shop for any brand during sales. Never pay list price, particularly for clothing.
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Old 06-05-19, 11:03 AM
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In my experience, with bibs - much moreso than any other single piece of gear- you truly get what you pay for. It took me only a decade of riding (okay, and a well-paying job) to catch on, but good bibs are absolutely worth paying for.

I steadfastly disagree to only shop sales and never pay full price. Not that you can't find good deals, but it's the wrong mentality to only search deals for something that actually works for you. It's only your prostate health and equipment functionality on the line, you know.

My advice is to try bibs (never shorts) that are designed for 20-30+ weekly hours in the saddle, find what works, and put your own value on it. I used to ride $90 - $150 PI shorts or bibs. Now I've relegated them all to spin class or <2 hr. MTB rides.

My current favorite kits are the Rapha Pro Team and Attaquer Race - both are very compressive and form-fitting with a chamois that's good to go for 8+ hours at a time. I don't know if it's perception or science, but I feel the added compression keeps my legs fresher during long or hard efforts.
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Old 06-05-19, 11:53 AM
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Pearl Izumi Elite bib shorts. Worked fine for me on a 24 hr ride (326 miles), and still in great shape after 10k miles. I only wear other brands when the two pair of PI Elite I own are in the wash.
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Old 06-05-19, 11:55 AM
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Assos are pretty great and also $$$, but once you figure out your sizing you can hunt around for deals - usually in-between seasons or when new models are released, you can score deals on the past season designs. I have the Mille and T.equipe S7, I prefer the T.equipe, mostly for fit reasons, but both are comfortable.

That being said Voler and others make decent bibs. One of my most comfortable bibs and best fitting pairs, was the in-house model from an online shop a couple seasons ago, cost me around $30, made in Europe and were decent quality, sadly I didn't buy several pairs, now no longer made. Doh! Moral of the story?Shop around and you never know!
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Old 06-09-19, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ridethetown View Post
In my experience, with bibs - much moreso than any other single piece of gear- you truly get what you pay for. It took me only a decade of riding (okay, and a well-paying job) to catch on, but good bibs are absolutely worth paying for.

I steadfastly disagree to only shop sales and never pay full price. Not that you can't find good deals, but it's the wrong mentality to only search deals for something that actually works for you. It's only your prostate health and equipment functionality on the line, you know.

My advice is to try bibs (never shorts) that are designed for 20-30+ weekly hours in the saddle, find what works, and put your own value on it. I used to ride $90 - $150 PI shorts or bibs. Now I've relegated them all to spin class or <2 hr. MTB rides.

My current favorite kits are the Rapha Pro Team and Attaquer Race - both are very compressive and form-fitting with a chamois that's good to go for 8+ hours at a time. I don't know if it's perception or science, but I feel the added compression keeps my legs fresher during long or hard efforts.
Your prostate health is on the line if you buy the wrong pair of bibs?
Just wow...
I hope you didn’t damage your prostate too badly in that decade you referenced
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Old 06-09-19, 03:23 PM
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I'm going to update this since I just did a 67 mile ride yesterday that resulted in the back of leg getting rubbed raw. I think this is happening with stitched seams in my various shorts/bibs. The ones without stitching don't seem to cause the issue, at least not the surface based stitching (if that makes sense). The stitching/seam is aligned such that it's right on the edge of my saddle, that creates pressure on the seam and it rubs my the skin raw at least that's my theory at this point.

I'm wondering what if anything I can really do about this. Seems my stuff is a 50/50 mix in the types of seams that may be causing my problem. Saddle swap? But that sucks considering how comfortable I am on this saddle. It really seems like I need about another 1/2 inch in chamois width to get the seams off the pressure points.
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Old 06-09-19, 04:06 PM
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It took me about 3 months to find the brands that work for me. Of course it had to be Rapha and Assos for the long rides (4+ hrs). For shorter: those, plus Black Bibs, and RedWhite bibs work. I initially tried Specialized and almost immediately stitching failed/pulled and they were very uncomfortable. As others have said, don't go cheap on bibs, as it really does matter.
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Old 06-09-19, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by mac_flyer9 View Post
It took me about 3 months to find the brands that work for me. Of course it had to be Rapha and Assos for the long rides (4+ hrs). For shorter: those, plus Black Bibs, and RedWhite bibs work. I initially tried Specialized and almost immediately stitching failed/pulled and they were very uncomfortable. As others have said, don't go cheap on bibs, as it really does matter.
No problem spending $ if it's worth it, oddly though my Gore and Pearl Izumi "select" which is their lower end gear, doesn't rub me raw. Yes the padding isn't as good but the stitching/seams are far less abrasive.
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Old 06-09-19, 05:05 PM
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After developing saddle sore issues I now use only Assos and Giordana bibs. I used to use only Castelli ;the change in bibs though were only part of the answer.
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Old 06-09-19, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by fastcarbon View Post
After developing saddle sore issues I now use only Assos and Giordana bibs. I used to use only Castelli ;the change in bibs though were only part of the answer.
Well what was the rest?
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Old 06-09-19, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by OUGrad05 View Post
Well what was the rest?
The rest was: a shower after the ride using antibacterial soap and applying ASSOS after ride Skin Repair Gel (available from Amazon - expensive but use only a little dab on each affected area). That gel allowed me to ride again the next day. I had a bike fitting by an Olympic coach but I was already spot-on. The coach recommended an SQ Lab seat which I bought that matched my "sit" bones. The seat recommendation was based on a suggestion that older guys should use a "Hammock" seat like an SMP. The SQ Lab saddle was a model 612 active and has worked well. I ride 200 mi weeks with no saddle sore problems. I use Chamois butter every ride. Until a couple years ago I could use any chamois short with no lube.
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Old 06-09-19, 07:10 PM
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Pearl Izumi v Louis Garneau v Castelli v Other?

Originally Posted by OUGrad05 View Post
Well what was the rest?
The rest was: a shower after the ride using antibacterial soap and applying ASSOS after ride Skin Repair Gel (available from Amazon - expensive but use only a little dab on each affected area). That gel allowed me to ride again the next day. I had a bike fitting by an Olympic coach but I was already spot-on. The coach recommended an SQ Lab seat which I bought that matched my "sit" bones. The seat recommendation was based on a suggestion that older guys should use a "Hammock" seat like an SMP. The SQ Lab saddle was a model 612 active and has worked well. I ride 200 mi weeks with no saddle sore problems. I use Chamois butter every ride. Until a couple years ago I could use any chamois short with no lube.
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Old 06-09-19, 07:13 PM
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Besides trying different brands with a more suitable stitching arrangement, another thing to check is to make sure fit is snug enough to make sure everything sits where it was designed too, ie possibly sizing down? Isn't always possible, but something to check especially if you were between 2 sizes or something.

Also, when shopping look for flat-stitched seams and/or like you mentioned construction with fewer of them (seams), which should be found in most mid to high quality bibs.


Originally Posted by OUGrad05 View Post
I'm going to update this since I just did a 67 mile ride yesterday that resulted in the back of leg getting rubbed raw. I think this is happening with stitched seams in my various shorts/bibs. The ones without stitching don't seem to cause the issue, at least not the surface based stitching (if that makes sense). The stitching/seam is aligned such that it's right on the edge of my saddle, that creates pressure on the seam and it rubs my the skin raw at least that's my theory at this point.

I'm wondering what if anything I can really do about this. Seems my stuff is a 50/50 mix in the types of seams that may be causing my problem. Saddle swap? But that sucks considering how comfortable I am on this saddle. It really seems like I need about another 1/2 inch in chamois width to get the seams off the pressure points.
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