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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 11-04-08, 10:47 AM   #1
md250r
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Apparel Alternatives

I am 6' 215 lbs (down from 260 4 months ago). I have been riding my mountain bike around town(ususally with my 2yr. old in his seat on the back. This exercise along with healthier diet has been awesome. I am really thinking hard about getting a road bike to start doing some longer distance riding and give myself a change of scenery. My main hold up( I am sure this sounds stupid) is if their are any alternatives to skin tight riding shorts for road riding. It is not that I am self concious because of my weight, I just don't care for that look. I tight jersey doesn't really bother me, but are their more baggy shorts that can been worn without looking like a complete fool to other road riders? I know there are benfits as far a chaffing for tight shorts, but is it unheard of to wear tight shorts under more losse fitting clothing for road riding? I know i am setting myself up for some ribbing here, but any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-04-08, 10:51 AM   #2
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mtn bike shorts are typically baggy on the outside, padded tightness underneath. They'll work, but if you get into longer and longer distances (I'd say past a couple hours or 30mi or so) then you may want to reconsider.

No shame in riding in baggies, and no shame riding in bibs Do what makes you get out there--
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Old 11-04-08, 10:55 AM   #3
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While I don't ride a bike (recumbent trike), I actually tend to wear nice breathable tight leggings under looser running shorts. As a larger girl, I'm a bit self-conscious about running around in second skin spandex. I cycled that way all through summer and never really felt overheated from it either.
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Old 11-04-08, 10:58 AM   #4
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md - in addition to the baggy MTB shorts, there are padded under shorts you wear and then put whatever pair of shorts or pants over the top you want.


Last edited by dbikingman; 11-04-08 at 11:00 AM. Reason: PS - great job on the weight loss
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Old 11-04-08, 11:00 AM   #5
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I am 6' 215 lbs (down from 260 4 months ago). I have been riding my mountain bike around town(ususally with my 2yr. old in his seat on the back. This exercise along with healthier diet has been awesome. I am really thinking hard about getting a road bike to start doing some longer distance riding and give myself a change of scenery. My main hold up( I am sure this sounds stupid) is if their are any alternatives to skin tight riding shorts for road riding. It is not that I am self concious because of my weight, I just don't care for that look. I tight jersey doesn't really bother me, but are their more baggy shorts that can been worn without looking like a complete fool to other road riders? I know there are benfits as far a chaffing for tight shorts, but is it unheard of to wear tight shorts under more losse fitting clothing for road riding? I know i am setting myself up for some ribbing here, but any help would be greatly appreciated.
I see people on road bikes all the time wearing all sorts of clothing, including a lot of stuff that's not specifically for cycling. Wear what you want, and let others deal with their problems. That said, folks sometimes wear loose shorts over lycra. I've done it when I commute, since I work for a company that would frown on my walking in the door in tight shorts.

Personally, I think skin-fitting Lycra is very comfortable for cycling, and I couldn't care less what other cyclists think.

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Old 11-04-08, 11:06 AM   #6
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You can easily ride long distances on a properly fitted bike with a good saddle (Brooks B17 for example) that is also properly adjusted, a pair of wool or poly boxer briefs with flat seams and a decent pair of shorts/pants...again with flat seams or a gusseted crotch.

Yes, I prefer a nice set of lycra bib shorts or knickers, but they are hardly a requirement and I rode long distances for many years without them.
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Old 11-04-08, 11:25 AM   #7
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Thanks for the input. The lycra under regular shorts is a really appealing idea. It is place to start anyway. My next challenge is to convince my wife that I need about grand to drop on a new bike. I am thinking a saving up some cash until the spring when time and weather will be better for long distance riding anyway. In the meantime I will keep attacking town on the trusty MTB and jumping some ditches along the way. Thanks again for the feedback and giving me something to look for. Some shorts like pictured above would proably be a welcome addition to riding the MTB also.
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Old 11-04-08, 11:43 AM   #8
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Except the bibs go under the shirt (or at least they're 'posed to)
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Old 11-04-08, 11:50 AM   #9
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Except the bibs go under the shirt (or at least they're 'posed to)
That's a compression shirt to keep my loose skin in check. My jersey is unzipped - and yes, it will close.
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Old 11-04-08, 12:11 PM   #10
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Overall I think you need to worry less about looks and more about functionality.

That being said, there are mountain bike style shorts that are baggy on the outside. I personally don't find them as comfortable, but YMMV.
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Old 11-04-08, 12:31 PM   #11
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That's a compression shirt to keep my loose skin in check. My jersey is unzipped - and yes, it will close.
no worries
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Old 11-04-08, 01:08 PM   #12
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I used to think the same way about the tight spandex look. When I started riding longer distances I changed my way of thinking. One year I did 23 centuries and eveyone of those miles, I could care less what anyone thought, or what the silly shorts looked like, my butt was happy.

I still don't care for the look but comfort is way more important if you want to be happy on long rides, IMO.

I don't really care for jerseys either but sometimes they are the best choice!
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Old 11-04-08, 01:55 PM   #13
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It's the Bee piping in on mens road biking fashion - go figure! http://www.aerotechdesigns.com/baggy_bike_shorts.htm
Try one of these...in any case aerotech designs is great for bigger sized people... Like me.


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Old 11-04-08, 05:24 PM   #14
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The tight lycra padded shorts really make a ride more pleasurable. But, I also wear loose shorts, wind pants... over them.
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Old 11-04-08, 05:58 PM   #15
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Just my 2 cents. I ride in lycra with shorts or wind pants depending on the weather. My Dad, 70 years old, rides 17 to 22 miles everyday, in jeans and a polo shirt and is perfectly happy. As someone else wrote earlier, do what works for you and let others think what they may.
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Old 11-04-08, 07:01 PM   #16
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To my way of thinking, the padded bike shorts are intended to solve a problem, and if you don't have the problem, there's no real reason to bother. The longest I've ridden was 102 miles/7.5 hours saddle time on a cruiser seat in tighty whities and cotton shorts, and didn't have any problems at all with seat issues or chafing. Obviously, that is a lot different for many people, and if you have problems, you have to do something.

As far as fashion goes, it just absolutely doesn't matter. If you show up at a charity ride wearing regular shorts or blue jeans, and you're slow, nobody's going to think anything of it because that's what they'd expect from somebody wearing that. And if you pass 'em all, they sure as heck aren't going to start criticizing what you wore to do it. For that matter, a lot of roadies would wear gorilla suits if they thought it was faster. ("The aero-fur causes an earlier transition from laminar to turbulent flow, similar to that around a golf ball...")

I was on the local bike shop's no-drop ride this last week, and a youngish guy from the bike shop was one of the riders. He mentioned something about riding mountain bikes, though he was on a road bike at the time. I noticed later, though, that he had the baggy mountain-biking shorts and the BMX-style helmet. That's the first time I've really noticed somebody wearing those shorts.
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Old 11-05-08, 08:10 PM   #17
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+1 Skin tight lycra is the clothing of choice. Don't worry about what other people think. You will find it so much more comfortable that it just doesn't matter.

Heck, I wear whatever gear I find at a thrift store, so I really look goofy. Probably scare away small children and animals too.

Here I am on a recent tour (start of I & M canal), in close to full thrift store regalia. Troy Lee Design Jacket/Jersey: 50 cents, New Balance athletic shirt: 25 cents, performance lycra shorts: 50 cents, Long Cycle socks: $3, (OK, I actually bought the socks), and an old pair of Rockport shoes (source unknown). I do have a better jersey (cost me $2). Water bottles: 25 cents each, Trek 950: $75 C/L find.

Gray hair: priceless.....
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Old 11-06-08, 06:59 AM   #18
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There IS a pitbull that keeps bugging me... I'm gonna hafta check out some local thrift stores!
Nice CL find btw!
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Old 11-06-08, 10:32 AM   #19
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Yup, do what makes you happy! I am not big on the lycra scene myself, but when I do the long rides I have a pair, I just throw some basketball shorts or such over them!
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Old 11-06-08, 12:41 PM   #20
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I ordered a pair if the lycra undershorts yesterday to try out. I am not having any issues with chaffing or discomfort noe, but simply wanting to be readly. I figure as I ride longer and longer distances this will become an issue. The baggy shorts with the built in liners are pretty cool to. Again thank all of you for your help. I am now doing about 10-12 miles a day after work on a mountain bike with 35 lbs of 2yr. old riding on back. This is up from a max of about 4 miles two or three days a week a month ago. The more I ride the more I want to ride. It is also very nice to be new at a sport/hobby and have such a supportive group of people to help me learn.
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Old 11-06-08, 04:00 PM   #21
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Wear whatever you're comfortable with and to hell with what anyone else thinks.
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Old 11-11-08, 09:19 PM   #22
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I got the shorts in and tried them out today. It is amazing what difference they make. Dbikingman you were right on the money with that suggestion. Not only does the padding in the seat add to your comfort level, but the shorts do a great job of keeping bits and pieces out of harms way. Thanks again for the suggestions from everyone and I am knocking i=on the door of 210 now. Up to about 15 miles a day and wanting to go further. I just have to come home at some point to see the family and eat dinner.
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