Saturday, 30 April 2011

Pro Rider Secrets - Part one

This is not a drugs expose and will have no reference to dogs, wifes or dentists magic sweets. I am going to try and bring to light things that make the 'Supermen' of the peloton seem a little more human. I don't know how many of these I'll be able to do in a series but this one is about shorts.


PRO Teams always have a a clothing sponsor who will provide the Team with all their togs for the season. Unlike many sports, cycling is open to all elements from snow to the crazy heat of the Alpine slopes. Contrary to popular belief 'the one short for all seasons' does not exist.

Slowly we are seeing the emergence of the Roubaix bib short. I am aware of three Brands that are selling this product at the moment, Hincapie Sports, Northwave and Santini (although I couldn't find it on their website but I have seen them). I am sure there are a few more companies producing them for sale, but nearly all make these shorts for the Teams.

I have had chance to test some recently, and frankly they are nothing short of a revelation. It is rare that a full tight or a 3/4 can offer the fit of a good pair of bib shorts paired with either knee or leg warmers. Of course there are some exceptions to the rule but generalisations exist for a reason. Many people will never quite get the concept, but trust me when I say this, they are incredibly useful in conditions from 12-0 degrees.


My three favourite short brands don't make a pair of these shorts, probably insisting that the 3/4 bib or a pair of bib tights would fit the bill. In my experience (and of course that can change with new products) I am yet to receive a truly excellent fit.

What it offers the racer or sportive rider is a pair of shorts that can tackle the coldest mornings before a ride or competition starts. Pair them with a good pair of Belgium Knee Warmers and you are onto a winner (don't know what they are see here).


I tried getting some responses from PRO riders and the best I could get was 'that they used them in training', but hey that is better than nothing. It seems that on many subjects that surround the life of a professional rider this is still to remain a secret of the peloton.




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