If you’re in the market for a new (or first) pair of bib shorts, the Specialized RBX bib shorts should be on your short list for consideration. Why?
Well, when it comes to cycling bib shorts for women, it is safe to say that no two bib shorts are alike. Every premium cycling brand that creates a bib short goes through a process of research and development. They work to come up with the right combination of fabrics and thickness for the bib short and chamois. (A chamois is the padded part that protects your sit bones and soft tissue).
As a result, when you are in the market for a new bib short the options can quickly become overwhelming. Just about every premium cycling brand offers a bib short. And then each of those brands offers at least a few different choices of bib shorts in a range of prices!
It can be tough to figure out the right brand and the right price range of bib short for you.
The Specialized Women’s RBX Bib Short is a unique, comfortable, and affordable bib short. It does an amazing job ticking off the boxes of what a girl needs when she’s riding.
Easy nature breaks? Check!
Sit bone and soft tissue protection? Check!
If you are looking for a solid, affordable, and functional pair of bib shorts, look no further than the Specialized Women’s RBX bib short. If you would like to know more about the ins and outs of these bibs, keep scrolling for all of the reasons we recommend it to the Femme Cyclist Community.
Review in a Nutshell
- Material of the short portion of the bib is comfortable and of good quality.
- Grippy leg cuffs don’t roll up but also don’t constrict.
- True to size and come in a range of sizes (x-small to xx-large).
- Chamois is substantial but not too thick. It is also breathable and comfortable.
- Price! These bibs are AMAZINGLY cheap for what they offer.
- Unique design in the back allows for a strong magnetic closure for nature breaks. Unlike some bib shorts this complete separation (instead of a drop-tail style) makes them VERY easy to get down and up.
- Specialized makes a focused effort to create bib shorts with a chamois that compliments their line of saddles. I use these these bib shorts with the Specialized Power Mimic Saddle and can say the combination is VERY comfortable.
- Specialized also makes an effort to create products specific to women. These bibs show evidence of that effort.
- Some of seams in the shorts may cause discomfort/chafing, though I did not experience this.
- Chamois is a bit stiff at first, though I imagine it will “break in” over time.
- The seams and material of the straps are a bit itchy at first, though after a couple washings this seems to have dissipated.
- The straps feel a bit long for my rather normal torso length. If you have a shorter torso they may slide off.
- The magnetic back closure is a little awkward to get closed.
- Currently these are offered in one color, black. If you like a fancy, matching kit this might not be a good choice.
Overall, Specialized Women’s RBX Bib Shorts Have a Comfortable and Breathable Fit
The number one thing I need from a bib short is comfort, and overall the Specialized Women’s RBX Bib Short delivers.
The material of the short itself is very comfortable and breathable. It is lightweight and perfect for those summer rides when it is just SO hot outside!
There is not too much compression to these shorts so that adds to the comfort level in my book. Additionally, the leg band is not too constricting. It’s just strong enough to stay in place without rolling up.
The white straps are made of a more mesh-like material, and I did find this to be a little bit itchy at first. After a couple of washings the itch didn’t bother me as much.
Finally, it’s important to note that these bibs do not have a clasp in the middle, and the straps run along either side of your chest. I tend to prefer a style that has the option to clasp in the middle.
These straps are a little bit long. They don’t slide down my arms, but I do feel them bunch a bit under my jersey. This is great, however, for women with longer torsos.
Specialized Women’s RBX Bib Shorts Have The Same “Body Geometry” Technology As Their Saddles
The Specialized bibs and saddles are designed to compliment one-another using their “body geometry” technology. This attention to detail is evident in the product Specialized produces. Their Power Mimic saddle paired with the RBX Bib Short DOES provide a very comfortable and pleasing ride.
The chamois itself is also made of a very comfortable and breathable foam. I noticed with some brands that their lower priced bibs/shorts have a chamois that is a bit sweatier and less breathable. I was delighted to find this is NOT the case with the RBX bib shorts.
Also, the chamois is substantial enough but not so much that you feel like you are wearing a diaper, or that it’s drooping a lot between your legs. I have some bibs that do this, and it’s really not my favorite sensation!
Specialized Really Makes An Effort To Create Products For Women’s Bodies
As a female cyclist, I always find myself gravitating towards women’s specific brands like Terry or Machines For Freedom. When a cycling brand like Specialized starts focusing on creating cycling clothing and saddles for women, I can’t help but stand up and cheer!
Women’s bodies are different and should be treated as such. I will never forget when I tried to borrow my husband’s cycling jacket (we are the same size for tops). I couldn’t get the darn thing around my hips!
When it comes to the lower half of our bodies, so many women have been suffering with soft tissue pain from chamois and saddles for so long. Specialized not only took note, but they talked to women, created prototypes, and developed a saddle just for women’s bodies.
The chamois of the RBX Bib Short is designed to compliment this saddle and vice versa, and I have to say that the combination of the two makes for one incredibly comfortable ride.
LOVE the Magnetic Clasp In The Back For Nature Breaks!
The magnetic back clasp is very strong. I have never had it come apart unless I wanted to. I do wish that the design was reversed, however, and the clasp was in the front so it is a bit easier to reach.
It’s located pretty much right where you would reach around to clasp a bra, so it is doable and reachable, it’s just not the easiest.
It’s a bit of a struggle to do this under a jersey, so I just pull my jersey up to get at it. The great part, though, is that because of the design and because this is a complete separation of the bottom and top of the bibs you can easily get the bibs down far enough.
I mention this because I have a pair of drop tail bibs that I love, but I am always struggling to drop them properly. Let’s just say there is a bit more contorting going on than is particularly comfortable!
Also, the magnetic clasp is very smooth and otherwise undetectable, so there is no irritation or pressure at this point like you may get with a more traditional bra-style clasp.
The Straps Were a Bit Long for Me, and a Bit Itchy
I do have to mention that the straps did seem to be a bit long. I have a pretty normal sized torso, so I would expect that they would be a little bit more snug than they are. Still, if you have a long torso, this could be a plus for you.
Also, unlike some higher end bibs I own, the strap material is different from the short material. It is more of a mesh, and the seams were a little bit itchy. The itch did seem to lesson after a wash or two, so that was definitely a relief.
Finally, this is a personal preference, but I like it better when women’s bibs have the option of clasping the two straps in front of the chest. This ensures the straps will not slide down your arms, and effectively solves the problem of a strap being too long as well.
The Specialized Women’s RBX Bib Short straps sit on either side of the chest, and I did find the fit on top a bit awkward.
Bottom-Line: An Exceptional Entry-Level Bib Short
These bib shorts are solid. At this price point, I have not found a short to rival it.
With most cycling brands, their more entry-level bibs tend to be a solid step down, but I don’t feel this way about the Specialized Women’s RBX Bib Short.
I am especially impressed with the quality of the chamois in these lower-priced bibs. It is substantial but not too thick, the material is of great quality, and it is incredibly breathable which is just so important, especially on longer rides.
The only place where I feel they may have skimped a bit on quality is with the mesh and seams on the straps. A more higher-end short will tend to have a more seamless experience between the bib straps and the shorts.
At the end of the day, though, I am very happy Specialized chose to emphasize the chamois over the straps. It was the right choice, and as a result I know I will find myself reaching for these bibs time and time again.
More Short Options & Help Staying Comfortable Down There
- 9 Best Padded Bike Shorts (Cycling Shorts) For Women
- Don’t Wear Underwear With Bike Shorts & 5 Other Tips About How To Wear Bike Shorts
- 7 Best Chamois Creams for Women & How To Use It!
About The Reviewer
Stacy Ann Smith is a New England-based cyclist who strives to stay upright on her bike. She is the founder of Sascy Cycling, and her mission is to encourage women to love their body and focus on what it can do, not what it looks like. When Stacy’s not cycling she is teaching high school history and eating pizza with her husband and son. For awesome women’s cycling tips and to learn more about Stacy, visit Sascy Cycling at www.sascy.com.