Bib shorts are a common sight for roadies, but even among the lycra set can elicit some strong opinions both for and against. Within the baggy short mountain biking brigade, bib shorts would normally be seen as an abomination against the sport. So imagine the stir created when Southern California company Dirtbaggies entered the scene, trying to convert the dirt riding masses over to the bib mountain bike short.
Although conjuring up images of hairy greco roman wrestlers, bib shorts do have their benefits. With no elastic waistband to dig into your gut, bib shorts are more comfortable on long rides. They also do a better job at keeping your chamois in place, cutting down on the possibility of saddle sores or chaffing.
Most mountain bike shorts are constructed with an outer shell attached to the waistband of the inner liner. Dirtbaggies founder Tim Lane argues that the heavy outer shell causes the inner liner to fall down as you ride, pushing the chamois further away from your body.
The chamois on mountain bike short liners is also generally thinner than road bike shorts so as not to contribute to this problem. Tim saw a simple solution- create a lightweight bib liner that would work better with the outer shell short and ultimately offer a more comfortable ride.
The DirtBaggies bib liner uses a thick, pro road quality, multi-density Cytech chamois pad, designed for long distance riding. To keep you cool, the bibs are made mostly of wicking mesh, with the crotch and inner thigh panels non-mesh to slide easily over your saddle for less friction and chaffing.
To combat the obvious mid-ride pee issue, the DirtBaggies bib liner features a fly that’s aligned with the fly in the outer shell short. The bibs also have pockets on the straps for storing items close to your body rather than in your bike short pockets.
The two pieces are joined by removable tethers that prevent the outer short from sliding down over your torso and from twisting uncomfortably around your body. Because the outer shell short is kept in place by the tethers, the mountain bike shorts don't need a tight waistband that would just dig into your gut.
The Dirtbaggies Bib Liner ($179.99) and Shell Short ($69.99) are sold separately, both available from the company website.