First, a very compressed history lessonIn the early 20th century (essentially the dawn of cycling and racing as we know it) cyclists wore black, close fitting wool shorts. Black to hide oil (saddle) stains. Wool for a close antimicrobial fit. That was that for over a hundred years until 1980, when the modern black bib short—shoulder straps, a synthetic chamois, made from lycra— was, thankfully, born.
Fast forward to now and we can confidently say that black bibs are the single most iconic, ubiquitous, and useful piece of cycling kit of all time. Consider the universal pre-ride ritual of kitting up, the first piece of kit you ever bought, or the piece you constantly reach for. Black bib shorts? Same here.
Quickly though, did you learn to actively appreciate the subtle differences in fit, material, elasticity, and even color (that’s right, over time you learned to see the millions of shades, sheens, and tones of black lycra)? Same here. However many rides, miles, and years later do you see a vast spectrum of technology, comfort, and performance? Same here. Do you wish somebody would, once and for all, pay homage to the breadth and range of possibility contained within the simple shape and perfect color of the black bib short? Same here.