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Adidas has some bib shorts that aren’t bib shorts

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After a lengthy hiatus from the sport, Adidas has spent the last year courting the cyclist dollar. The German sports titan has trickled out a steady run of simplistically named cycling footwear that has whipped the market into a lather: we’re talking zingers like the Road Cycling Shoe, the Gravel Cycling Shoe, and the Indoor Training Shoe.

Each of these products does exactly what it says on the tin, because Adidas knows what’s what when it comes to cycling. 

Or does it?

Dear reader, I present to you the Strapless Cycling Bib Shorts

Form-fitting, but to a different form.

Now, I’ll caveat all I’m about to say with this: if you are riding any bike, in any clothing, you are doing it right. If Adidas bike shorts tick the box for you, have at it. But let’s not kid ourselves: a marketer at Adidas – after studiously titling multiple cycling shoes as exactly what they are – has made a grave naming error. 

As supporting evidence, allow me to direct you to a little-known website called Wikipedia.org. After a brief introduction that alleges that “cycling shorts [are] also known as bike shorts, bicycling shorts, chamois, knicks, or spats or thigh cling shorts”, we get to section 1: bib shorts.

First line: “Bib shorts are cycling shorts that are held up by a bib (integral suspenders/braces) instead of an elastic waistband.” There’s even a helpful image – which has since been immortalised by BikeSnobNYC – provided for reference:

Caption: “An example of bibshorts and an undershirt. Normally a jersey would be worn on top.”
Image credit: Hustvedt, “a computer scientist with a camera”, WikiCommons.
Time and date of image capture: 11:35 PM, 14 January 2011 (a Friday).
“Big Night In” vibes: 10/10

Hold the Wikipedia description in your mind as you mentally flick tabs back to the Adidas Strapless Cycling Bib Shorts. They feature a “stretch waist” and not a whisper of an integral set of suspenders and/or braces. They are strapless. They might even be spats, or thigh cling shorts, or chamois, or whatever else some maniac on Wikipedia wants to call them. But they are not bib shorts. 

Title aside, the Strapless Cycling Bib Shorts seem a bit of a mixed bag as a product. On the upside, they are environmentally friendly-ish, being made out of 50% Parley Ocean Plastic. They have “unaggressive leg grippers” (which checks out, given their billowy appearance on the model). They offer “six-hour-plus saddle time”. They are available in black and in “shadow navy”. They cost US$100.

Most particularly, they are not bib shorts.

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