So when I got down to one pair of good bibs with no holes a few months ago, I went on high alert to try and get my hands on something to fill the gap until my next team clothing order. This heightened my awareness of clothing ads on cycling websites, and when I saw an ad for a brand that I'd never heard of claiming to be the clothier of Katie Compton, who I perceive to be not only fast but a woman of discerning taste, I did not hesitate to click through. What I landed upon was the site for Pactimo's custom clothing line, but a few more clicks revealed that they had a retail line that included the Women's Summit Bib Short, which looked exactly like a proper women's bib short should look.
It took me a few months to get a hold of a pair, since the line was apparently just launched last winter, but last week I finally got a tip about a bike shop in Colorado who would send me a pair. Today my package arrived from Castle Rock Bicycle Company, and I was ready to test.
The fit was spot on, with the front cut just right, some nifty ventilation holes in the back, and leg holes that weren't too tight. The quality was good, and although I'm still getting used to the waffley fabric, I think they look pretty good. My only criticism would be that the thick part of the chamois is placed too far back. While sitting on my road bike with my hands on the hoods, I had a good two inches of excess padding extending past the back of my saddle, while I barely had enough coverage in the front. It covered enough and worked about as well as most chamois do, but could have been placed better.
Overall, I have to say that these are the best retail women's bib shorts I've ever tried, and another plus is that at $130, they are less expensive than any of the inferior designs offered on Team Estrogen. Ladies, if you need bibs and don't have a custom order in your immediate future, I definitely encourage you to track a pair down.