Gore Alp-X Lady bibs
The Alp-X shorts unzip from both sides, starting in the back, so they can be pulled down and put back on without removing your jersey. A mesh panel runs up the spine and onto the straps to help keep you cool. Photo: Emily Zinn | www.VeloNews.com
Pearl Izumi Women's P.R.O. In-R-Cool bib short
You can put the In-R-Cool on like a standard bib, but can remove them by unsnapping the clasps between the shoulder blades. That allows the tail to drop, but they are so high up your back it is very challenging to clasp them again. Photo: Emily Zinn | www.VeloNews.com
Ladies' bib shorts
The Gore Alp-X Lady bibs and the Pearl Izumi Women's P.R.O. In-R-Cool. Photo: Emily Zinn | www.VeloNews.com
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.