Clothesline: Two women’s drop-tail bibs put to the test

  • By Emily Zinn
  • Published Oct. 18, 2012
  • Updated Oct. 26, 2012 at 11:35 AM EDT
The Gore Alp-X Lady bibs (L) and the Pearl Izumi Women's P.R.O. In-R-Cool (R). Photo: Emily Zinn |

Call away, Nature. Even if I’m wearing bib shorts.

So the other day I had an experience that I’m sure most 20-something women have had. I showed up to my dad’s house for a bike ride, and he answered the door dressed in the same outfit I was wearing. As all women discuss the fit of their clothing with their fathers as well, so did I as we rolled out.

The jury was decided that the jersey was a showcase of human ability, while the shorts were a train wreck.

“I can’t stand them,” I responded to his question about what I thought about the shorts.

“I know! When you try to go to the bathroom, the bib comes up way too high in the front and you have to take your jersey all the way off to go,” he vented in response.

I blinked at him, awed that he would actually think that would be the reason that I had snubbed the shorts. “Yeah,” I responded slowly, emphasizing the irony in my voice, “but that didn’t really occur to me.”

Neither pair of the bib shorts on review here were those anecdotal shorts, but both have acknowledged the fact that when women wear men’s bibs, we always have to take our jersey all the way off to answer the call of nature, and the designers have taken sympathy on us for the challenges we face when removing layers in a Porta Potty.

Gore and Pearl Izumi have approached the dilemma in two very different ways. Pearl’s Women’s P.R.O. In-R-Cool bib short uses a drop-tail system and the Gore Alp-X Lady bibs use a patented two-zip system.

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FILED UNDER: Bikes and Tech / Clothesline / MTB / Women TAGS: /

Emily Zinn

Emily Zinn

Emily Zinn spent her infancy in the back of a women's team van while the team built wheels around her. She spent part of her pre-teen years in Europe following the major European mountain, road and gravity races and touring cycling product factories. College was the first time she lived in a home without a frame building shop in her garage or basement. Her favorite style of riding is getting lost in singletrack trail networks and taking her time finding her way back.

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