We were the fist company to develop halterneck bib shorts to enable female riders to easily pull their shorts down to take a pee without removing the straps of their shorts. As we were the first to come up with the idea we were able to succesfully apply for patents in Europe. Currently our shorts are sold under license to Wiggle and Chain Reaction via their DHB brand (see
https://www.wiggle.co.uk/dhb-aeron-womens-halterneck-bib-shorts-2018/ ) where they are one of their top rated and best selling bib shorts). They are of course also available to our custom cycling kit clients (and as we are the design patent owners we are the only supplier of custom cycling clothing that can legally supply them in Europe as well as owning design patents in other countries).
Designing our halterneck bib shorts was not as simple as it may appear, but given that pretty much all male riders wear bib shorts, it is clear that there are some important advantages over waist shorts, which are:
– they don’t press on the belly area
– they don’t leave a gap between shorts and the back of the jersey when the rider is in the riding position (i.e. bent forwards)
– they pull the chamois up against the riders backside so that it is held firmly in place, improving the functionality of the chamois and reducing chaffing.
The difficulty of developing the halterneck option was mainly that in order to function correctly, it has to pull the back of the shorts up, so the straps need to be anchored at the rear of the shorts. Meanwhile, the straps could not cover the lower back, otherwise it would be difficult to pull the shorts down far enough when nature calls. Other designs of halterneck have gone for more of a corset type solution, but with the lowerback covered it then means that that halter strap behind the neck has to be removed to allow the shorts to be pulled down far enough.
One of the clever parts of our solution is that the shorts keep a perfect tension on the straps when the rider is in the riding position (bent forwards over the handlebars); however when standing upright, the halter strap is without tenstion so it is not really performing any function, but when the rider squats down for a call of nature, as the neck comes down towards the waist there is sufficient give in the straps for the back of the shorts to be pulled down. So the key to our invention was to understand first that the straps had to be anchored at the back of the shorts to make the shorts function correctly as bib shorts and second to understand how the straps could function completely differently in the riding, standing and squatting position. One additional bonus we discovered from our design is that the anchoring of the straps causes them to be pulled to the side of the breasts, so they are not a source of discomfort here either.
Some female riders have expressed concern that the halter strap would exert pressure on the neck, but we have bypassed this problem by making the strap super stretchy and also widening the strap across the back of the neck.
If your club is interested in using our halterneck design for your female riders (and we hope for the supply of the rest of your club kit also!), then please get in touch. We also will be happy to talk to other manufacturers about licensing agreements.
Here you can see the Wiggle video that explains how the shorts function: