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  1. #1
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    Question about shorts

    I'm 5'10" and weigh 320. I ride a 88/89 Schwinn Voyageur with a brooks b-17 as my commuter bike. So far the only thing that is comfortable to ride in are bib shorts. I don't mind this when I'm just going for a ride, but when I commute I'd love to not have to change. Especially the two days I attend classes (college campus), or when I shop with my bike. I've tried compression shorts under cargo shorts. This is okay, but I seem to miss the bib's padding. I've tried bibs under shorts and this doesn't work. Especially after walking around campus and then returning to the bike. The "fellas" tend to shift and getting everything to line up isn't easy.

    So my questions:
    Given my experience with bibs under shorts is it worth the financial investment to try a mountain bike short that has a liner sewn into a regular short or will this just feel like the bibs under regular shorts?

    Would a more modern padded saddle be a better choice for commuting in compression shorts under regular shorts?

    Oh and I do sometimes just ride in regular street clothes. This isn't awesome either.

  2. #2
    Senior Member JReade's Avatar
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    The MTB shorts feel a lot like bike shorts under regular basketball shorts in my opinion.
    Jesse

  3. #3
    Senior Member JerrySTL's Avatar
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    Give the MTB shorts a try. That's what I use when doing a little casual riding or on the stationary bikes at the gym.

  4. #4
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    depending on how long your rides are, greater then 30min I use MTB baggy shorts over normal bibs, less padding on the MTB shorts the better. You can breathe more. Less then 30min rides, lightly padded MTB shorts only.

  5. #5
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    Proper bike fit and a well fitting saddle can make a big difference, but don't make the mistake that "padded" makes them more comfortable, it can actually make things worse. The B-17 is popular and many find it comfortable, but no single saddle is right for everyone.

    You can get liner style cycling shorts with a thin chamois that can be worn like regular underwear under athletic or casual clothing. I do this quite often when wearing trekking or jean shorts and t-shirts for casual riding. Combined with laced MTB shoes I look pretty much like everyone else at the cafe's and c-stores where I stop. The only way to tell I'm wearing anything cycling specific is the tell-tale click of my cleats on tile or concrete floors.
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

  6. #6
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    I use the aerotech house brand bibs. The pad in the chamois is dense and not terribly thick, but seems to make all the difference in the world.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JReade View Post
    The MTB shorts feel a lot like bike shorts under regular basketball shorts in my opinion.
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
    You can get liner style cycling shorts with a thin chamois that can be worn like regular underwear under athletic or casual clothing.
    I haven't had much success with liner shorts, but I was also going to suggest that they might be the ideal solution to the OP's problem...

  8. #8
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    The ones I use aren't really liner shorts, but just regular bike shorts with a short inseam and lightweight chamois. I bought a couple of Storm Skin shorts on closeout and found the fabric a bit thin to wear as outerwear and started wearing them under other shorts. I haven't seen that brand around for a while but these from Aerotech appear similar http://www.aerotechdesigns.com/mebap...Fa9aMgodVC8AVA

    Here is how I dress for day tours when I want to walk trails, visit shops, and do other touristy things without looking like a roadie who lost his bike. I'm wearing Storm Skins under the trekking shorts.

    Itasca 2012.jpg
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  9. #9
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    I have gone into grocery stores and other such places fully kitted out. I have lived too long to care whether other people think I look silly.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  10. #10
    Senior Member JReade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
    I have gone into grocery stores and other such places fully kitted out. I have lived too long to care whether other people think I look silly.
    +1, if they want my money, they won't care.
    Jesse

  11. #11
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    Doesn't sound like he cares about looks, but rather convenience and comfort. I wouldn't want to walk around in bibs or "half shorts" at school (or work) for an extended period.

    OP: How long would it take you to change? A couple of minutes? For years I commuted in bibs and changed into full business casual. Didn't take that long. Build an extra five minutes into your routine.

  12. #12
    Senior Member the fly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    I wouldn't want to walk around in bibs or "half shorts" at school (or work) for an extended period.
    If I were Mario Cipolini, I'd probably wear bike shorts wherever I went, regardless of my transportation. Alas, I look more like a hairless Ron Jeremy. I bought a pair of liner shorts for the same reasons as the OP.

  13. #13
    Big Boned Biker IAMAMRA's Avatar
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    I have been learning to ride without padded shorts..did a 7+ hour ride last year in just compression shorts..I don't know how long your commute is but it might be one of those things to build up tolerance.
    www.BigBonedBiker.Wordpress.com

  14. #14
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    Yes its not looks per se, but rather I don't think bibs and jerseys are appropriate classroom attire. And also I weigh 320. The reality is that when I ride I'm looking for exercise and not attention and its not every body else's fault that a 300 + pound dude in spandex is kind of an attention getter.

    As far as changing I have done it, but I sometimes do a lot of running around on my bike, such as school followed by errands followed by work. I'd like a simpler solution than always carrying a full change of clothes. On days like that I also have to carry my iPad in a small carrying bag, bike emergency repair kit, a notebook, food for 1 to 2 meals. It starts to be a lot. I have two panniers and a trunk bag, but as safe as school is I still believe you shouldn't leave anything on the bike that you can't afford to replace. It starts to be a lot to carry around.

    Thank you for the pic Myosmith, and the link. Those are fairly cheep shorts so I may try a pair.

    Slightly off topic, but I am currently working on a back up bike. I'm wondering if their is a good non tentioned leather saddle for the kinds of rides I am talking about that I could put on this bike to make it my official "city bike". I have a bell saddle that I put on yesterday just to try out and it was awful. I am talking about short rides for this type of day. not more than 3 miles at a time, but sometimes as much as 15 miles total for the day. So essentially a bunch of 2 or 3 mile legs with an hour or more between legs.

  15. #15
    Senior Member mrodgers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
    The ones I use aren't really liner shorts, but just regular bike shorts with a short inseam and lightweight chamois. I bought a couple of Storm Skin shorts on closeout and found the fabric a bit thin to wear as outerwear and started wearing them under other shorts. I haven't seen that brand around for a while but these from Aerotech appear similar http://www.aerotechdesigns.com/mebap...Fa9aMgodVC8AVA

    Here is how I dress for day tours when I want to walk trails, visit shops, and do other touristy things without looking like a roadie who lost his bike. I'm wearing Storm Skins under the trekking shorts.

    Itasca 2012.jpg
    I've been looking at shorts on Amazon and ones I was looking at with another name were pictured exactly what was in your link. I think they were listed for $11 or so. Can't remember the name, it wasn't Aerotech but the pictures were the exact pictures as in the Aerotech link.

    Oh, I'm on the tablet and thought I'd lose this post switching to the Amazon app. They are Aerotech shorts I have in my Amazon wish list. $19.95 at least for the XL size.
    Ride no faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!

  16. #16
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
    I've been looking at shorts on Amazon and ones I was looking at with another name were pictured exactly what was in your link. I think they were listed for $11 or so. Can't remember the name, it wasn't Aerotech but the pictures were the exact pictures as in the Aerotech link.

    Oh, I'm on the tablet and thought I'd lose this post switching to the Amazon app. They are Aerotech shorts I have in my Amazon wish list. $19.95 at least for the XL size.
    Pretty much every company has an entry level basic bike short that is similar. Beware that some of the off brands are knock offs and not necessarily well constructed. While everyone has his/her preferences, I've found that Aerotech makes some decent shorts in the >$35 price range. I've also got a couple of pair of Primal shorts that I really like, but they have a longer inseam so I have to wear them under longer jean or baggy shorts if I'm going stealth.
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  17. #17
    Big Boned Biker IAMAMRA's Avatar
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    It sounds like your not riding to far, would it be possible to just forgo the shorts?
    www.BigBonedBiker.Wordpress.com

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by the fly View Post
    If I were Mario Cipolini, I'd probably wear bike shorts wherever I went, regardless of my transportation. Alas, I look more like a hairless Ron Jeremy. I bought a pair of liner shorts for the same reasons as the OP.
    Again, it doesn't sound like the OP is concerned with appearences but rather comfort. And since Marios is Italian, I'll bet he dresses fashionably whenever he can.
    "I've wanted you to succeed, but watching you find excuse after excuse after excuse and then laugh it off as the loveable, quirky, chubby guy is getting old."--Ill.Clyde

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