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Take a look at the budget cycling bib shorts here :
CAD : https://amzn.to/3kEEEr1
Thanks to Baleaf for sponsoring this video!
High-end cycling bibs are an amazing purchase, they will make you ride longer, faster and most importantly in style. But when it comes to indoor cycling, when you ride shorter distances and alone in your pain cave, do you really need to wear your top-of-the-line bibs?
With winter here in Canada, I am riding my bike on the indoor trainer four to five times a week, usually in shorter 25 to 50 kilometers rides. What I’ve realized is that I was going through all my favorite bibs all the time, washing them after every ride. The problem with that is bibs wears out with repetitive usage and repetitive washing. The sticky fabric on the quads becomes less and less sticky, the colors start to fade out, the chamois is a lot less comfortable over time. Knowing this, it would be a smart idea to keep our best bibs for the summertime where we ride outside and don't prematurely wear out our nice, top of line, cycling bibs during the wintertime.
Today’s video sponsor is Balaef, they make inexpensive cycling shorts for casual cyclists out there selling on Amazon. When they initially reached out, I was really on the fence doing this video because their products are not targeted at pure road cyclists like I am and most of you are, and there is absolutely no way I would wear 30$ cycling shorts out there on 100km rides. But for the indoor trainer? alone in my pain cave? There might be a use case for it and I’m here to test it out.
So on Amazon when you type in Cycling shorts, they are usually the first one to pop with fifteen hundred rating with an average of 4.5 stars with the low price of 30$ USD or 37$ Canadian dollars, it is indeed interesting Let’s dive into the details of this bib before testing it out.
So what are the pros of this bib, it packs a 3D gel chamois that is moisture-wicking, breathable and dries quickly, at first touch, it does look fine to me, but definitely on the lower-end. The bib shorts fabric construction is 80% Nylon and 20% spandex and it feels ok and soft. I like the length of this bib with a 9 inch inseam, it sits where a bib should be. There are several colors available, but I’d stick to the plain black or the blue, I don't quite like the design of the other colors. Too funky for me. For the logo, having some minimal branding is always a plus for me, so simply having the small Baleaf reflective logo on the left leg is great, and I like that they matched the right leg with these reflective rectangles, so it is better for symmetric. There is one pocket on each side which you can carry your phone or snacks. I wouldn’t use these pockets for outdoor cycling usage as it looks a bit ugly and bulky, a cycling jersey with back pockets is better to carry thoes. Bbut when you are getting ready for your indoor ride, while filling up water bottles, they can be useful to carry your phone and snacks before jumping on the trainer.
Now the drawbacks of this budget bib. The biggest concern for me is the seams around the elastic waistband. Maybe with repetitive friction this can cause some discomfort during the ride, I’ll have to test it out. Second problem I can see right off the bat is the big seams on the inside of the bib, they are quite thick and along the lenght of the leg. Due to the compression, this will surely leave some marks on the skin after your training, but shouldn’t be too bad. I would have preferred for some bigger outer seams and smaller inner seams, but for a budget bib, it’s totally normal. A great feature they included is some silicone leg gripper, you don’t see those in other budget bibs, but I think there should be more grip. As of right now, there are tiny silicone dots spread out evenly around the leg. I think a full band would have been a better option as the dots will surely wear out faster over time, resulting in a bib that will then start to move up the leg, something we definitely don’t want!
As you probably realize at this point, there are no straps for the shoulders. This is ok for me because riding indoors. The waistband elasticity looks to me that it will be able to hold up the waist properly and not fall down.
For the sizing, I simply looked at the chart height and weight and it fitted me perfectly. I got the Medium because I’m 5’6 and weigh 145 pounds.
Alright enough talking about this bib, let’s jump into training and see how it performs.
Sooo, how does this bib perform on the trainer? Well I think it passes the test. The chamois was ok, I wouldn’t do more than an hour on this especially when you have racing saddles like mine where there isn’t lots of comforts. The fabric felt good, the leg length stayed at the right place, but my guess is that the silicone gripper will wear out quickly and the bib will maybe start to slide up a little bit after some time.
Alright here are my recommendations if you should or shouldn’t get this budget bib shorts from Baleaf. If you only ride long, over 50 kilometers rides outside, avoid this, simply invest in a mainstream cycling apparel brand, you won’t regret the extra money.
If you are riding a lot indoors during the winter time, there is absolutely no reason to wear out your favorite and expensive bibs prematurely with excessive sweating and repetitive washing. So this is why having these shorts can be a great alternative because they are inexpensive, you can throw them several times per week in the washing machine and don’t really care about them being damaged.
And if you are looking at getting into cycling with a limited budget, yes these shorts will do the job to get you started into your first few months on the bike. Afterward if you enjoy the sport, you can always upgrade
Baleaf sells on Amazon with a prime option and one-day shipping. At that price point, you can try one yourself and I’m sure just like me, you’ll realize that these budget bib shorts are a great alternative for indoor cycling, when you are all by yourself, in your paincave, crushing a quick interval session.