If we talk about performance in the cycling’s field, one of the main elements to take into account is the bib shorts. Its design and composition will determine our experience on wheels, so it is especially necessary to pay attention to some aspects. Therefore, to achieve optimal comfort for the cyclist, this garment must meet several characteristics:
BIB SHORTS CHARACTERISTICS:
- Perfect fitting: First of all, it is necessary that the garment fits perfectly to the body to avoid friction and irritation. This is achieved with an elastic and compressive fabric that adapts and grips well to the rider’s shapes. Furthermore, this types of fabrics will help improve the athlete’s performance since compression promotes blood circulation together with faster and more effective muscle recovery during the physical effort. The grip can also be improved by adding grippers or straps that increase the support of the cycling shorts.
And, when talking about comfort, we cannot forget about the seams, which can lead to annoying chafing. Therefore, we must prioritize clean cut fabrics or go for flat seams.
- Freedom of movement: On second place, the bib shorts must provide freedom of movement to the rider. If the fabric is not elastic enough, it will limit your mobility and therefore affect the pedaling. In addition, the pad, designed to provide comfort and protection to the rear area, will need to have good padding and a soft, resistant to abrasion, to pilling and breathable fabric for the covering. As we all know, this area is subject to a lot of pressure and friction, which is why it is especially convenient to maximize its comfort.
- Breathability: breathable fabrics will improve the comfort of our garment, prevent excessive sweating and help wicking it away, avoiding discomfort and irritation. Fabrics with antibacterial treatments will also help combating sweat problems.
- Second skin: Since most cyclists do not wear underwear, it is necessary the cycling shorts to be made of soft fabrics or fabrics with special treatments such as micro-brushed, brushed or microfiber fabrics.
- Coverage: To protect the cyclist from elements such as temperature, sun, water or to avoid transparency, the bib shorts needs to provide a coverage. This is achieved with fine-gauge fabrics (light fabrics but with more compact meshes), fabrics with UV protection, waterproof fabrics, thick fabrics or dark color fabrics.
- Resistance: Finally, a resistant fabric is necessary to, as far as possible, protect the cyclist from falling.
Therefore, choosing a good fabric will be a key aspect when designing and making the perfect bib shorts, as comfort and the experience on wheels will depend on it.
THE BEST FABRICS FOR BIB SHORTS:
At SPW Fabrics we develop and manufacture technical sports fabrics. We are experts in cycling fabrics and we have a wide specific range for bib shorts.
Our top fabric for cycling shorts is Bogota, a high-performance microfiber elastic polyamide with great compression strength and equipped with our Clean Cut technology, to make softer and more comfortable garments. It has a high resistance to pilling and abrasion. This version is available in basic colours such as Blue, Navy, Red and Anthracite, although it is possible to make custom colours. For the black colour we have developed the Bogota Black version with Lycra® Black technology, an article created exclusively for this colour and thus guarantee the deepest and most wear-resistant black.
Other similar fabrics that also use Clean Cut technology are Sonder and Bruce. These two fine-gauge stretch polyester fabrics also provide, as Bogota does, high compression and comfort to the garment. Bruce would be a heavier option, 260g / m2, which would provide much more coverage and protection.
There are other special fabric options such as Francis or Benji, two bicolour fabrics. They consist on a double face fabric with one side of polyamide and the other of polyester. This allows one side to be black faced, which provides a higher quality sensation to the garment, as well as greater coverage and protection from UV rays; and the other one white faced, which allows the exterior to be customizable / printable.
In addition, we also developed two fabrics for the straps: Miky and Randal. Two spacers developed specifically for straps and other cycling accessories, with an optimal weight and strength to guarantee perfect support.
For the pads we have developed the micro-brushed fabrics Nava Suede, Gorka Suede and Ravenna Suede which, with their peach skin touch, provide the greatest comfort and softness in sensitive and highly contact areas.
To complete our “bib shorts pack”, we have developed Gripper 7.5 and Gripper 4.5 fabrics. As the name suggests, those are Grippers of different sizes (7.5cm and 4.5cm) to finish off the end of the garment and provide grip, preventing the bib shorts from moving.
QUALITIES OF FABRICS FOR CYCLING SHORTS:
- Clean Cut fabrics without seams
- Fine-gauge fabrics, high coverage and without transparency
- Fabrics with high UV protection
- High compressive and elastic fabrics.
- Abrasion and pilling resistant fabrics.
- Customizable / printable fabrics.
- Breathable and quick-drying fabrics.
- Fabrics with a pleasant touch and soft on the skin.
- Resistant fabrics.
Now that you discovered the necessary qualities of a fabric for cycling shorts, which one do you need to develop yours? Get in touch with us and we will answer your queries.