The BIB Cargo : Prototype #2

Cargo bibshorts with pockets

**Due to manufacturing delays, this project is currently on hold. Expect to see this product only in 2021.

In early 2020, I started developing a new cargo bibshort called The BIB Cargo. You can read about Prototype #1 here.

It is a version of my current popular long-distance bibshorts, with tough mesh pockets for all your nutrition, loose items, phones, keys and whatever else you carry on your long rides that you need quick and easy access to.

Prototype #1 only had pockets on the legs. These worked really well. I've put about 500km into Prototype #1 and the pockets were a treat. I used mine mainly for my phone, keys, cash and food. My jerseys pockets were stuffed with tyre levers, spare inner-tubes, a pump and an extra water bottle.

Based on feedback on the article about Prototype #1, I made Prototype #2 with a rear pocket :

Rear pocket on cargo bibshorts

The Rear Pocket

The design of the rear pocket was something I gave a lot of thought to. A pocket is only truly useful if you have easy access to it. This automatically meant it had to satisfy 2 criteria :

  1. Allow you to easily reach behind to grab stuff from the pocket.
  2. The pocket has to be below your jersey's gripper line so your jersey doesn't cover it and get in the way. This is important because this will make the rear pocket convenient to use, complementing your jerseys rear pockets. 

Cargo bibshorts filled

Rear pocket filled with a spare inner tube (700c) and 2 tyre levers. The jersey gripper sits about 1-2 inches (when stretched out while worn) above this pocket.

Inner tube and tyre levers

I used the rear pocket to carry this inner tube and tyre lever. This measures 4 inches by 7 inches and fits just nicely in the pocket. Arguably they should go into your jersey pocket since the rear pocket is better suited for gels and food that require easy access.

The rear pocket is a simple one with no partitions. This simplifies manufacturing. Simplified manufacturing = fewer labour hours required = lower manufacturing cost = lower price for the consumer. 

The lack of partitions also means customers have a single large pocket that is easier to throw stuff into and get stuff from. When you wear these shorts, the rear panel stretches out, creating tension within the pocket that holds everything in place. Partitions are unnecessary as a result of this. The cost savings is definitely a perk as well.

The focus on manufacturing cost and end price is critical because bibshorts typically last about 1-1.5 years under heavy use. If these shorts end up costing an obscene amount of money, customers simply can't afford to replace them every year or own multiple pairs of them for a typical weekly rotation.

There will be a Women's Version

In the last blog post about Prototype #1, Melanie (who owns The BIB Women) asked about a women's model. I am happy to announce that a women's version has also been designed. The dimensions remain identical to the standard women's bibshorts, with an addition of the same leg and rear pockets. The pocket dimensions are smaller since the women's bibshorts are smaller than the men's. Despite this, the pockets remain useful. 

My wife has a size XS in The BIB Women Cargo and she can easily fit a Samsung S9+ into the leg pocket.

What's next?

I will be testing these for at least another 200km to see if the rear pockets need any additional work. From my last 2 rides, there appear to be no issue other than me simply wanting the rear pocket to taller. This is a minor issue though since the rear pocket is predominantly meant for nutrition and small items, freeing up your jersey pockets for larger stuff.

I will also be working on a Thermal Cargo Bibshort. This will be my current Thermal Bibshort, with these 3 added pockets. The purpose of this model will be for gravel riding in winter and for colder AUDAX rides such as Paris-Brest-Paris.

* * * * *

As always, please leave your comments below. If you think I should be designing these differently for your use case, please leave a detailed comment about what I should be doing differently. Also, please share this with friends who have wanted a bibshort with pockets. Invite them to join this product development conversation.

Do you want these cargo pockets on the Thermal Bibshort? Let me know below.


Glad to see you’re doing this and that the back pocket is being re-thought according to the other comments.

Only thing I’d add is I like that some manufacturers tout a faster drying version of the chamois on their cargo shorts. I don’t think that would be worth sacrificing comfort, but if there’s a way to do it then these are the shorts to do it in. Handy for multi-day stuff where you might be washing your bibs in a stream or a public restroom and drying them overnight to wear the next morning.

This is why my current cargo bibs come with me on overnighters, even though I’d rather be riding in the RedWhites. But maybe that’s just a Scottish problem and normal shorts dry just fine overnight in less rainy parts of the world!

Alex Fthenakis September 17, 2020

Not sure about having pockets in the bibs.. but knowing that you do a great product very interested. Currently doing 100 to 200km on my Zwift. I am looking at a super comfortable bibs as having trouble, with every type of bibs including your alas, although using Thermal Bib shorts seem to work out better . Very interested in anything you can do to stop saddle soars. I would even buy some to test…. cheers …. John

John Nagle September 05, 2020

Thank you everyone for the comments. It appears that I have a long way to go to get these right. The side pockets certainly work and the majority of the 20 comments below talk about the rear pocket and how they ought to be higher up and larger. This will take some work because the bibshorts rear panel fabric pattern would have to change to allow for a pocket to be repositioned higher up. I will be taking this project back to the drawing board to specifically solve for this.

I will also be replying to some comments below :

@GERALD MILFORD, @NEIL HYDE : These shorts will have all 3 pockets (sides + rear).

@NIGEL RUDD : The pockets are made of a toughened mesh fabric. It can be easily sewn onto existing Thermal and Summer bibshorts.

@IAN MICHAEL YOVDOSHUK : The new 2020 bibshorts (The BIB range) use a lycra that is both light, breathable and tougher than the 2019 and earlier ones. You really can’t use a traditional heavy duty fabric because you’d end up sacrificing next-to-skin comfort which defeats the purpose of using lycra in the first place. The toughest fabric I’ve experiemented with is Dyneema, but this is only strategically used on your haunches for abrasion resistance. It is nose-bleedingly expensive (you’d end up with a bibshort costing above $200). It would be arguably cheaper to just buy new bibshorts under my Crash Replacement Programme

@GARY KEARNS : You seem to be right about this. The need to access every pocket is also questioned by most of the commenters here who want pockets higher up and hidden away. I will be taking this project back to the drawing board.


Yes! In my opinion the single catch-all pockets in the back of the bib is better than 2 0r 3 partitioned but smaller pockets.

Eugene September 05, 2020

Currently, my “go to” bibs are a pair of Specialized enduro bibs, enduro as in mountain biking. They have low cut cargo pockets, and three pockets across the small of the back. Because hey are designed to be worn under a pair of baggy mtb shorts, these three pockets are well above the waist line. I generally use these extra pockets to replace my saddle bag, so I only expect to be accessing them while stopped. They carry spares, additional food, sun screen, bum cream, maybe a vest if I don’t really think I’ll need it, but just in case… So Ihave five pockets that are accessible while riding. Three on the back of my jersey, and one on each leg. I have three additional pockets on my bibs, across the small of my back, that I can access while not riding. As long as I pack accordingly, I never have a problem. So In a long winded way, I guess I’m questioning the absolute need to access every pocket while riding


Gary KEARNS September 05, 2020

Another vote for higher up on the rear! The rear pocket is less crucial than the side pockets and really is only a supplement to jersey pockets IMO (so it should be fairly/completely hidden).

Also, I certainly wouldn’t call PBP a cold randonée – It’s in the height of summer!

ET September 05, 2020
I just have a couple of points about cargo shorts .

If the bottom of the pockets of the cargo shorts are slightly more reinforced. If you can have a different type of material on the outside so you can have two types of cargo bib shorts.
If you can have a summer light cargo bibs and heavier thermal set of bibs cargo shorts as people who live in a different part of the world.
You may consider branding some three-quarter cargo bibs ,as some of us do you like wearing 3/4 Bib shorts.

Nigel Rudd September 05, 2020

Perhaps a blog about the durability of the fabrics being considered would be helpful? I’ve noticed some brands advertising their all-road kit as being more durable that pure-road kit: better snag resistance, tougher, more durable, etc.
Oh, and I vote for higher stronger pockets that can stow 2-liter bottles of water for those days without a jersey… :)

Ian Michael Yovdoshuk September 04, 2020

Another vote for putting the pocket right in line with where a jersey would sit. I really wouldn’t want a pocket down lower on my backside for both comfort and look. No issues to me with having a pocket under jersey as typical access would be upon stopping somewhere and not while on the ride. Would rather have a bump under jersey vs looking like a closet organizer from behind.

Ben D September 04, 2020

I like this idea for mountain bike riding as well as road . Sometimes my jersey pockets get loaded up with items that I would like to stash somewhere else. This often makes the jersey either stretched out or baggy looking. I like the idea of snug side pockets for small items as well.

Robert Cole September 04, 2020

Another vote for cover them up. For me, they would be used only on longer rides. I have the Jersey pockets for quick access. After I have taken off my arm warmers/leg warmers I don’t need access to them again (hopefully). Likewise, I always stop to put on a jacket, so no problem if that is not easily accessible. The pocket would also be good for the extra foodstuffs only needed for the 2nd half of the trip, at which time, they could be rotated into the jersey pockets.

Bruce September 04, 2020

Sounds great. I could really use them on long MTB rides.

Catherine Hinton September 04, 2020

Was hoping to get these for Taiwan Kom, if it is even on. Guess they will be out too late . Would help with getting nutrition easily which is always a problem for me with so much in my jersey pockets .

James @taiwanroadrider September 04, 2020

Was hoping to get these for Taiwan Kom, if it is even on. Guess they will be out too late . Would help with getting nutrition easily which is always a problem for me with so much in my jersey pockets .

James @taiwanroadrider September 04, 2020

Love the cargo concept…especially in the thermal bibs, since many lightweight wind/ rain jackets have NO pockets (thus nixxing the jersey pockets). One thing I have found in the warmer seasons here (South Korea) is that my wallet/ phone or anything, gets soaked in sweat in the jersey pockets. Messes with touch control and makes them slick (easy to drop). Did you notice that issue with the leg and/ or rear pockets on the prototypes? Either way, the added space is a great idea, as long as it doesn’t affect the saddle contact point. Excited to try out a pair.

Jake Preston September 04, 2020

Personally I’d want the back pocket taller and higher up. I’d use that pocket instead of wearing a cycling jersey with pockets. It would be nice to be able to have a usable back pocket while wearing a t shirt on casual rides.

Brian September 04, 2020

These bibs look amazing. You and I have shared emails regarding what size is appropriate for me. Sadly costs prevent me from using your bibs.

The pockets on the thighs vs a larger marsupial style pocket on the back starts a debate. The back pocket cannot be so big that fellow rider will think of you as a hunch back. The bibs should help with carrying not become a solution. Too many pockets will end up looking like a soldier entering battle.

I still think you need a tester who can really put these bibs to the test. Urban riding shouldn’t be over looked.

Gerald Milford September 04, 2020

I would like to see pictures of them on a person with stuff in the pockets.

Reuben McFadden September 04, 2020

I don’t like the single rear pocket being low below jersey line, I have two pairs of Morvelos Cargo shorts with three rear pockets all covered by jersey, that is the point for me, they replace jersey pockets. For me this is best for two reasons, I have large shoulders but regular height, so XXL jersey designs presume your tal also, so stuff in pockets of jersey makes it hang down, plus I regularly ride mountain and gravel bikes too, so like a merino looser top, then the shorts pockets hold everything and are covered by jersey which feels secure.. a god send on long Bikepacking events

Paul Whitlock September 04, 2020

I look forward to sliding in to these and filling them up with goods. Riding and testing. Im stoked for the development. And the stoke is high!!! I also look forward to ordering thermals!!! Thanks for working hard to bring quality to us and affordable gear in mind. Well done!

Shannon Petitjean September 04, 2020

The leg pockets on the sides of the Rapha cargo bibs really work well in my opinion and are not obvious when not in use – I would definitely consider adding these. As Rapha don’t do a women version – you have a winner on your hands

Neil Hyde September 04, 2020

They look great, my only concern is with wet weather. The chances of flicking water and mud into the pocket if its below the jersey line, chance would be quite high I imagine.

Wayne Strong September 04, 2020

I don’t think there’s a need for the rear pocket to be lower than your jersey line for two reasons.

1. Many people want a bib that they can wear with a casual top with no pockets (gravel, audax), in which case they would need the rear pocket to be bigger and be capable of carrying more.

2. Jersey pockets are accessible enough as they are, so you can always put gels and food in the jersey pockets and use the bib pocket for less frequent items.

For me the main reason to get a cargo bib would be for reason #1, for rides where looser fitting clothes are more appropriate, but I don’t want to lose cargo space. In that case, the bigger and taller the back pocket, the better.

Avi September 04, 2020

Excellent, love the rear pocket idea, a single one also means cape or gillet fits in easily. The thermal ones will be awesome for winter, so stoked to get my hands on these!

Matt Donaldson September 04, 2020

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