Finding a quality pair of bib shorts that fit well can make all the difference when it comes to cycling comfort. However, a lot of the Best Women’s Bib Shorts we’ve reviewed (and we’ve tested a lot) are also some of the most expensive. So what bibs should you buy if spending half your wages on cycling clothes is out of the question?
We tested over 20 pairs of women’s bib shorts in search of the best options for cyclists on a budget. Through our testing, we discovered that a hefty price tag doesn’t necessarily mean better bibs. While companies like Rapha, Castelli, and Velocio charge a premium for these performance bibs, other companies such as Giro and Bontrager are producing sufficiently comfortable bibs at a fraction of the cost.
With this in mind, we reckoned it was time to round up the top bibs costing under USD $150 / GBP £100 / AU $200.
Coming in first for comfort and performance are the Giro Women’s Ride Halter bibs, followed by the Etxeondo Olaia bibs. The DHB Women’s Aeron Pro Halterneck bibs may be the cheapest but we were seriously impressed with their fit and performance, so they win our Best Value vote.
Want to find out which bib shorts were the best of the best? Check out our Best women’s bib shorts group test.
BikeRadar tester: Our BikeRadar product tester Kristen Legan is a highly experienced road cyclist. In 2012, she was one of six women to ride the entire Tour de France route as part of the women’s Rêve Team, and she recently placed 2nd in the 2015 Dirty Kanza 200 gravel race in Kansas, US.
Tester vital statistics: Height 5’10/178cm, weight 140lb/63.5kg, dress size US 4-6/UK & Aus 8-10
We tested bib shorts from 20 different companies, including the majority of the big cycling brands. The bib shorts were put through their paces on rides of similar duration, distances and conditions, and we rated them on overall comfort, chamois construction, leg hems and strap design.
The products tested below were all a size medium or UK10, and in our opinion came up true to size. For riders with bigger busts, we believe that the DHB Aeron bib shorts and Bontrager Race bib shorts would be the most comfortable in terms of strap placement.
Best women’s mid-range bib shorts
Giro Ride Halter Bibs
- Price: $150 / £98 / AU$175
- Highs: Halter-top design makes bathroom breaks a snap
- Lows: Leg material is too loose and allows for some unflattering bulges
Verdict: Giro’s Ride Halter Bibs easily made the cut in our best bibs (at any price) grouptest – so after facing off against some of the market’s more premium products, it’s no surprise to see them scooping top spot of this more budget-friendly roundup. The Ride Halter bibs are an excellent choice for any cyclist looking for a quality pair of shorts without the heavy price tag. Not only are they extremely comfortable and bathroom break friendly, but they also look and feel great as well.
Etxeondo Women’s Olaia bib shorts
- Price: $140 / £89 / AU$182
- Highs: Comfortable and secure leg bands keep everything in place, even leg warmers
- Lows: A single front strap that travels up the midline of the body looks and feels awkward
Verdict: Etxeondo Women’s Olaia Bib Shorts stand out because of the flattering leg bands that kept the bibs from riding up without squeezing or pulling on the skin. A medium thickness chamois meant these were comfortable for all kinds of riding, but the laser-cut Olaia strap design didn’t work for us.
DHB Women’s Aeron Pro Halterneck bib shorts
- Price: $90 / £67 / AU$118
- Highs: Comfortable halter-top bibs design at a great price
- Lows: Chamois wasn’t quite as comfy, because of its multiple padding densities
Verdict: DHB’s Aeron Pro Halterneck Bibs offer the same bathroom break accessibility as Giro’s Ride Halter Bibs but with an even smaller price tag. The halter-top strap design lets you keep your jersey on when stopping for a nature break so you can get back to riding more quickly. These are an all-round middling pair of bibs, but as one of the least expensive pairs we tested, they represent great value for comfortable everyday riding.
Bontrager Race Women’s bib shorts
- Price: $90 / £58 / AU$117
- Highs: Great value for a quality pair of bibs
- Lows: Materials are not as soft and luxurious as more expensive bib options
Verdict: Bontrager continues to wow us with quality cycling clothing at extremely affordable prices. The Race Women’s Bib Shorts are no exception to this standard and we would certainly recommend these bibs to any of our budget-minded cycling friends.
Chapeau Ladies Classic Bib Shorts
- Price: $108 / £70 / AU$139
- Highs: Super soft material and polka dots design
- Lows: Leg bands don’t hold the bibs in place very well
Verdict: These bibs are both fun and flattering, but importantly they are also very comfortable, with some of the softest materials of all the bibs tested for this roundup – but the leg bands weren’t so impressive.