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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-18-08, 09:00 AM   #1
zoste
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Shorts

've been wearing cycling shorts for several months now, but only on my longer weekend rides, not my 45 minute rides around my neighborhood. I've also been increasing the length/distance as I get ready for a couple of centuries. Last week I rode 60 miles along a local MUP; most of the trail is gravel and the ride took over five hours. When I got home and peeled off the shorts I had a rash all over my abdomen and *ahem* cheeks. It was not chafing...it was an itchy, blotchy, red rash.

I never had any sensitive skin issues in the past with any type of fabric, or with the shorts on shorter rides.

Has anybody ever heard of such a thing? I have two pairs of shorts, both are polyester/Lycra blends (93%-7% and 88%-12%). I had no problems wearing polyester in the 1970's...well, other than the obvious problem of looking like a dork while wearing a leisure suit ...so I'm pretty sure the culprit is the Lycra.

Is there such a thing as hypo-allergenic cycling shorts? How about some sort of liner (hmmmm...silk would feel good ). I'm going out tomorrow, and plan on doing close to 70 miles, about 6 hours in the saddle. Should I just douse myself with Gold Bond baby powder and see if it happens again? Any thoughts?

Thanks.
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Old 07-18-08, 09:02 AM   #2
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Have you switched detergents lately?

I recently bought two pair falconi baggy shorts with an inner liner off the 'Bay (aerotech was a bit pricey yet) for 60 bucks. Ill weigh in 'ahem' on them in a few days with what I think.
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Old 07-18-08, 09:06 AM   #3
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I've gotten a heat rash if I was sensitive to the detergent after the wife switched. You might also try a little talcum powder in the belly.
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Old 07-18-08, 09:46 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies - I haven't switched detergents lately. It's possible that it's no more than a heat rash and not an allergic reaction, so I'm leaning toward just using the talc.
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Old 07-18-08, 09:54 AM   #5
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I'm guessing it's a heat/sweat rash. Some people do get an allergic-type reaction to their own sweat after prolonged contact like you'd have while wearing bike shorts.

Pick up some baby powder meant to combat diaper rash, and see if that solves the problem.

Something else to consider is a wicking fabric bike short. I find that regular old lycra blend, plain-jane bike shorts don't offer enough evaporation for me. (I sweat like a hog.) I wear Performance Ultra bibs, which are a wicking fabric bottom and a mesh upper. I spent over 13 hours on the bike last weekend, with much of it in 90+ degree heat, and I didn't have any problems with rash or overheating.
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Old 07-18-08, 12:42 PM   #6
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I'll stop by the pharmacy tonight...

I have a mental picture of me asking a woman salesclerk to direct me to where they keep the baby powder and her saying "Walk this way"

Lady, if I could walk that way I wouldn't need the baby powder

Badump-ksh
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Old 07-18-08, 01:31 PM   #7
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Might want to use a really mild detergent on your riding gear. Wash them separately on gentle.
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Old 07-18-08, 06:42 PM   #8
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I have this problem too. I'm either mildly allergic to synthetics or I don't take a shower quickly enough after my harder workouts.

I recently bought a few merino wool shirts from icebreaker and I've noticed that they don't cause a problem at all. Maybe I'll become an old-fashioned wool-wearing retro grouch.
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Old 07-18-08, 06:52 PM   #9
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wool is awesome. I worked in CO for a summer near the Poudre and had wool and fleece and loved most ever watershedding minute of it. I wore wool socks in the Army too (2002) and they were great-a little hot sometimes, but the breathability was uncompared. Ive owned underarmour and all that stuff, and it has its place, but Ill bet that merino shirt feels like butter.
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Old 07-18-08, 07:28 PM   #10
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I know that Rivendell used to carry wool undershorts - sort of like boxer briefs - that could be worn under gym shorts. They don't have them on their site anymore, though. If anyone knows where to grab some, I'd sure like to know (although the shorts might be a little too itchy).

As an update...my washing machine has a "second rinse" option, which I always use. I threw both pairs of shorts (clean) into the machine without soap. BOTH rinse cycles produced soap residue I am now running them through another wash without soap and finally, on the second cycle, the rinse water is clean. For those of you keeping score at home, that is six rinse cycles to get all of the detergent out of the shorts...wow...I think I might be using just a weeeee bit too much ALL.

Armed with this knowledge, I'm going to attempt my long ride tomorrow wearing the shorts and the baby powder.
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Old 07-18-08, 07:34 PM   #11
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Are you using the concentrated by mistake, or that stuff for front loaders instead of top loaders? I usually use about 1/2 of what the label says to use on my and my kid's stuff.
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Old 07-18-08, 07:52 PM   #12
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Are you using the concentrated by mistake, or that stuff for front loaders instead of top loaders? I usually use about 1/2 of what the label says to use on my and my kid's stuff.
Nope - just regular, and I'm at the end of a 300 ounce mega size jug of the stuff, so I've done quite a few loads with it. No noticeable effect on my street clothes. Guess I'll start using half doses too
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Old 07-18-08, 08:43 PM   #13
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I switched to the free and clear type detergents a few years ago, and it has made a bit of difference with my allergies. I personally use ALL small and mighty (3x concentrate, small bottle less room needed to store) in the white bottle (no dyes or perfumes). I was switching between brands on a monthly basis to find the free and clear i preferred and I like the ALL, gets clothes very clean and they are left smelling clean, but not like roses or summer rain or anything annoying

we also have hard water, I dont use ANY softeners, liquid or dryer sheets, and my clothes are SOFT. My mom swears by softner and dryer sheets, but I have a feeling my clothes are softer.
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Old 07-19-08, 07:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoste View Post
her saying "Walk this way"

Lady, if I could walk that way I wouldn't need the baby powder

Badump-ksh

Ah! reminds me of something Mel Brooks would write or say! ahhahah
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Old 07-19-08, 07:57 PM   #15
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I had this image of Steven Tyler having the same problem with the leather and snakeskin and whatever he wears in concert.

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Ah! reminds me of something Mel Brooks would write or say! ahhahah
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Old 07-19-08, 11:32 PM   #16
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I switched to the free and clear type detergents a few years ago, and it has made a bit of difference with my allergies. I personally use ALL small and mighty (3x concentrate, small bottle less room needed to store) in the white bottle (no dyes or perfumes). I was switching between brands on a monthly basis to find the free and clear i preferred and I like the ALL, gets clothes very clean and they are left smelling clean, but not like roses or summer rain or anything annoying

we also have hard water, I dont use ANY softeners, liquid or dryer sheets, and my clothes are SOFT. My mom swears by softner and dryer sheets, but I have a feeling my clothes are softer.
Me too! I can't stand perfumed stuff. I also use the free and clear dryer sheets.
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Old 07-19-08, 11:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
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wool is awesome. I worked in CO for a summer near the Poudre and had wool and fleece and loved most ever watershedding minute of it. I wore wool socks in the Army too (2002) and they were great-a little hot sometimes, but the breathability was uncompared. Ive owned underarmour and all that stuff, and it has its place, but Ill bet that merino shirt feels like butter.
Yeah, these Icebreaker shirts are incredible! I think they are going to be my TX uniform for most of the year. Too bad they're $75/t-shirt at full MSRP. I found mine on Sierra Trading Post for $40, but that is still pretty outrageous. Their saving grace is that you can basically wear them forever and then hand wash them in between activities.

I come from up north so I've been wearing wool socks for years, even for summer hiking. Cotton kills!
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Old 07-20-08, 05:34 AM   #18
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Boure has wool shorts.
http://www.boure.com/shortsmen.html
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Old 07-20-08, 05:58 PM   #19
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All I know is I have a working combo, Pearl Izsumi's and ASSOS shamois cream.
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Old 07-21-08, 05:01 AM   #20
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As a quick update...I did 60 miles on Saturday with virtually no problem. I'm not sure if it was the detergent or the Gold Bond, but I was fine.

Thanks for the link to the wool shorts, but I have my fingers crossed that the problem is solved.

Oh, yeh..."walk this way" is an old vaudeville gag and Mel Brooks used it a lot. Oddly enough, the Aerosmith song "Walk this Way" was said to be inspired by the gag in "Young Frankenstein", so there's the Steven Tyler tie-in.
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