To be a strong rider, you need saddle time.
To get saddle time, you need to be comfortable.
To get comfortable, you need the right shorts (bibs).
To find the right saddle and shorts (bibs), you need to experiment.
Or be lucky.
When I resumed my riding in 2003 after a long layoff, I chose a Fizik Arione saddle. It was the right choice.
I paired Fizik with Pearl Izumi bibs in the Microsensor flavor. Again, luck trumped science.
Only in the last year, I began to mix in a few other bibs varieties, like Nike, Voler, and now a high-end Assos.
But just a handful. As the trusty Pearl Izumis go threadbare, I tell myself I’m not being unfaitful to the brand.
Truth be told? I think my secret to comfort is chamois creme. No kidding. Anti-bacterial. Cooling. A damn jar, for crying out loud. How important could it be?
After 100 miles, saddles never feel the same as they did at mile 10. Bibs, meanwhile, have done all they can. At this point, your choice of chamois creme may be the most important decision you’ve made.