I recently bought my first pair of padded bibs. I was riding 15+ miles on average, so when i got them they seemed like a plush different experience. Now, a couple months later, they feel a little cramped up and tight in the crotch region. I'm not sure if they shrank, or if I'm just now noticing that they are the wrong size. Bibs aren't supposed to be super tight in the crotch area, right? It's to the point where I'm uncomfortable on the ride, and feel the need to reposition my boys.

I feel kinda lost; i went through the trouble of measuring myself according to the company's specs and thought i did a good job.

Any info helps, thanks.

  • 3
    They shouldn't be uncomfortable. That said, I prefer snugger to say, having and open volume that facilitates movement and rubbing
    – Paul H
    Oct 6, 2020 at 1:18
  • 1
    @PaulH exactly - chafing leads to open sores which are no fun for anyone. And it doesn't take a lot to cause a heap of pain.
    – Criggie
    Oct 6, 2020 at 7:02
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    Are you a) wearing the bibs without any underwear and b) using chamois cream?
    – Carel
    Oct 6, 2020 at 7:11
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    If you need to reposition your repoductive organs, the shorts are possibly too tight. That happens with only one of my many bib short pairs and that one is clearly too small. But the shorts should be reasonably tight and stay in one place. Oct 6, 2020 at 7:29
  • 2
    @Michael Sorry if I'm telling what you already know, but the most important thing when washing elastic clothes is to not use fabric softener. As far as I know it's also best to wash tights after every use, because salt and other chemicals in sweat damage the fibers.
    – ojs
    Oct 6, 2020 at 7:45

1 Answer 1


We're all adults here.

When wearing well-fitting bib shorts, a male should feel "cupped" The legs of the bib shorts should touch the skin all the way up the thighs, through the "curve at the top of the leg to scrotum" and around the whole area.

Your old-fella should be pointing forward, slightly cupped by the cloth so it points up towards your belly button.

One way to get a good fit is to pull the shorts on, and wearing nothing more, lie on your back on a bed. Pull one knee up to your chin and leave the other leg more horizontal. This will help get the cloth up to the aforementioned curve. Swap legs and repeat. You should be able to do this without cloth sliding past your skin, and without any large air pockets/spaces being formed beside the legs/scrotum.

One possibility is the cuffs of your bibs may be too low down your leg/thighs. You should pull the legs upward to free material for the crotch area.

Also, if you stop for a toilet break, this will disrupt the lay. So do your best to reestablish the cloth up to the curved area.
The padding should be inside the shorts, not on the outside where its visible to the world.
Chamois cream can be helpful too, but I only wear it for long rides of over 100 km. This also goes on the skin, or sometimes on the padding.
Lastly, nothing else goes between padding and skin, so no underwear. The bottom of your T shirt or baselayer is fine to be in the area, but shouldn't be long enough to get that low into your bibs.

There's got to be a better name for "that curved bit between inner thigh and nutsack"

  • 1
    +1. I’ve found that exercise tends to shrink the scrotum and penis, so even if it feels kind of tight at the start (especially if it’s warm) or skin tends to get caught somewhere it gets better after a few minutes of riding. Oh, and of course don’t expect bib tights to be comfortable when walking.
    – Michael
    Oct 6, 2020 at 7:07
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    @Michael true - and the elastic gets a bit stretchier too. Also the whole thing moves up the thighs as you pedal in my experience. But I also had some padded pants that would actively drop themselves over the course of a ride. They were horrible cheap slimy-feeling things.
    – Criggie
    Oct 6, 2020 at 7:36
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    I am wearing them without underwear, with the chamois on the inside, without Chamois cream. I will try Criggie's approach next time I wear them, but I fear Paul and Vlad are right, they feel "tight" not "snug", and further, my "old-fella" does not seem positioned or cupped as Criggie said, but more pinched and smushed. Thanks for all the replies!
    – Squanch
    Oct 7, 2020 at 16:33
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    @Criggie - is there any particular reason why the “old fella” should be pointing up towards the belly button, not down? I have had similar issues regarding bib shorts feeling a bit tight in the crotch area and squishing everything, but have always felt more secure with it pointing down. Cheers
    – Jack
    Jan 6, 2023 at 4:58
  • @Jack do whatever is comfortable for you - personally skin-on-skin friction is to be minimised. I guess your preferred style of underwear also weighs into what you find comfortable while wearing padded riding shorts too.
    – Criggie
    Jan 6, 2023 at 21:18

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