Functional Design in our Bib Shorts
Functional Design Leads
In the modern pursuit of the perfect “on-bike” look, we often forget the highly detailed little things that go a great piece of kit that makes it perform as well (if not better), than how it looks. True, looking great on the bike does give you a great psychological boost whilst on the bike, but we must spare some thought for the highly functional aspects of clothing design that make a cycling kit truly great.
We are proud to say that at RedWhite, function leads the design process in all our bib shorts. With the bottoms of many riders at stake, we take functional design very seriously. Our bib shorts are designed to be tools. Tools that help you achieve your intended mileage without compromising comfort. Our bib shorts are certainly not fashion accessories.
Each bib short serves a specific purpose. The RACE was designed for the rider who wants a bib short that provides excellent bottom coverage for longer rides, but is still lightweight enough to allow for aggressive riding and racing. The lightened chamois allows the rider to quickly get into a forward position, and just as quickly shift back in the saddle.
The BIBS are our signature bib short. A long distance cruiser designed for taking on long brevets, Audax events and ultra distance training rides. It’s been races at the Paris-Brest-Paris, The ABSA Cape Epic and will be ridden in the Transcontinental and TransAm races in 2016.
Both bib shorts are designed with pure functionality in mind.
Sorry, It Only Comes in Black
“Why don’t you have beautiful graphics and design on your bibshorts at all? Why is it only in black?”
We get asked this a lot. But we choose to follow function rather than aesthetics in our design process.
There is a reason why a RedWhite Bib Short only ever comes in black lycra. We use a luxurious nylon based lycra that’s made by MITI of Italy. It comes in standard black and one can’t print any additional graphics on it due to it being nylon based.
A nylon based lycra is superior in hand-feel and comfort to a typical polyester-based lycra — commonly used in bib shorts that have graphics printed on them. The reason is simple — a nylon based lycra can’t handle the high temperatures in the printing process that a polyester lycra can. We chose to sacrifice graphics for comfort, a decision that our customers enjoy on all our bib shorts.
Super Wide Grippers
“Sometimes, I struggle to slip my RedWhites on. The grippers are just so huge! Would making it shorter be better?”
Yes, our bib short feature a massive gripper. In fact, it actually makes putting our bib shorts on a tiny bit of a challenge. But trust us, we designed it as such for a good reason.
We use an innovative Silicone Microdot Gripper. Its a piece of lycra that pre-impregnated with hundreds of tiny silicone dots that work collectively to grip your thighs and prevent the bib short from moving when on the bike.
To make the gripper work well, we had an option of designing it tighter while halving its size. This would have definitely saved us on material cost per bib short. However, we wanted a RedWhite to feel like a 2nd skin when a customer is wearing this. Having a tight gripper certainly does not help. So we almost doubled the gripper’s size and kept it slightly loose, allowing the greater surface area of microdots to work their magic in providing the necessary extra grip (to compensate for the slightly looser fit). The result was a bib short that gripped your skin without constricting it.
A Meaty Chamois.
“Could you make your Chamois smaller?”
Yes we can. But then it won’t be a RedWhite. A RedWhite is built for long distance riding. When we first designed The BIBS, we used what was the largest and plushest chamois we could find on the market. Our customers loved it, but then they wanted something lighter.
So we made The RACE
We use a custom chamois for both our bib shorts. Each one has features that enable them both to do certain specific things really well. Let’s first start with the similarities.
Both bib shorts use a chamois that has an identical “coverage“. Meaning, the surface area of the chamois’ are identical and they both provide the same coverage of a cyclists’ bottom. This ensures both The RACE & The BIBS feel meaty and plush. A very important factor for long hours spent on the road.
The similarities end there.
The BIBS’ chamois is 30% thicker and 16% denser than The RACE’s chamois. This is to allow for greater long hour support. The result is a chamois that doesn’t compress and flatten out before you’re done with your 300km ride — a common issue our customers encountered before trying out our bib shorts. The surface of the bib short is kept smooth to allow for greater uniform contact surface. This allows the chamois to mould to the natural contours of your body as your ride progresses.
The BIBS actually get comfortable with repeated use.
The RACE on the other hand is 30% thinner and 16% less dense. This decreases it’s range and we recommend this bib short for mileage that does not exceed 120km (3–4 hours of riding). The plus side is that the slimmer profile and softer feel of the chamois allows the rider to move easily with the bike, whether to get into an aggressive forward position, or to get off the saddle for an attack or to close a gap. We went a step further and added perforations on the top surface of the chamois to allow for quick heat dissipation during a hot and hard race.
The RACE is a racer bib short that still allows you to clock the long miles required.
Originally published at www.redwhite.cc on April 8, 2016.