The Value of Field Testing
The Black Bibs is a side project of Starlight Custom Apparel. Why is that important? Well, our experience in the world elite racing is what has made the Black Bibs a better value than anything in the price range. Field testing is essential to having a great pair of bibs. The Black Bibs (and especially the Black Bibs Plus) are very similar to the Starlight Pro+ Bibs that are used by all of our sponsored riders. They may not be Chris Froome (we're still a small brand), but we've had multiple UCI professional teams, plus national and world champions in our bibs.
We started with our Pro+ pattern in 2011. Back then we called it the F1 and it used a silicon leg gripper. They fit like a decent pair of bibs in 2011 should have, but that doesn't cut it for 2018. Almost every year the fit of our bibs has improved due to tweaks in the pattern. We've also improved fabrics, power band, chamois, and stitching. The zig-zag stitch of the power band is one of our favorite parts (also used on the Black Bibs Plus). Most brands use a flat stitch there. This can cause a binding feel like a rubber band around your thigh. By using the zig-zag stitch the power band and lycra can stretch as much as they want.
Some riders are choosing between the Black Bibs and straight from China bibs through Amazon or Ali Express. True, those bibs are very very cheap. They also often are sublimated with stolen designs (we've had our custom designs show up there). Do you think those bibs have gone through almost a decade of updates and testing? Ever been ridden in the Dirty Kanza 200, Redlands Stage Race, or to multiple National Marathon MTB titles? Doubtful.
Check out the gallery below for some pictures of how we got there.