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Old 06-01-06, 07:10 PM   #1
DavidLee
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First commute in bike shorts.

I've been wearing some cycling briefs from Price Point under my regular shorts for about a month now & last week decided to try some real bike shorts. I hop on over to Nashbar and order a couple, along with some new gloves, reflective ankle bands, rain jacket, road morph pump, ok ok I digress. I picked up a pair of Canari Commuter Shorts & Nashbar Liquicell 8 Panel Shorts, everything came in yesterday. I try them on, "ok this is different" I say. I go out the door this morning with my Canaris on and about 5 minutes into the ride decide that I will never ever commute with nothing less than a decent pair of bike shorts or pants depending on the weather again.

I couldn't believe how much better my ride was, both in terms of comfort & it seems I moved at a much better pace. A few people at work snickered like little school kids but I could care less, just the guys, the girls were quite happy seeing my lycra clad self. I once stated that I would never buy cycling shorts or spend a good bit of money on "unnecessary" gear. No longer my friends as I'm now a "lycra/nylon/poly" convert.

The ride home was 69 in a pretty decent thunderstorm. No way would a regular pair of shorts had been comfortable, nor rain pants. My shorts were comfy all through the ride, wet and all. Yeah ok, this is nothing new to those that have been cycling for years, I know that. But this is a bit of a cycling epiphany for me & thought I'd share it anyway for those that might be leaning toward bike shorts but maybe need that extra push.

Last edited by DavidLee; 06-01-06 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 06-01-06, 08:03 PM   #2
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Did you freeball it?

Make sure you "pump" yourself up good just before you reach the office, show them who's the boss.
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Old 06-01-06, 08:21 PM   #3
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You see this thread Why Larger People Don't Exercise where we debate the aesthetics of lycra/spandex?

I am firmly in the they are comfortable-on-a-bike, cool, fast, but-look-good-on-no-one camp.

Might have to try those "Commuter Shorts." Thanks for pointing those out. Have you tried MTB shorts? Barring rain, MTB shorts give you the best of both worlds.
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Old 06-01-06, 08:22 PM   #4
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I have been delighted with the expedition shorts I recently bought at REI. They are essentially nylon walk shorts with regular chamois-crotch bike shorts sewn inside. I wear them for shopping and general transportation cycling, saving the regular cycling shorts (same thing without the outer casing) for club and solo recreational riding.
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Old 06-01-06, 09:54 PM   #5
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I bought a couple of pairs of REI or Novarasomething bike underwear. Essentially they are lycra boxer briefs with a chamois. I wore them maybe four times under regular shorts. Horrible. They creep up your thighs. They don't breathe. There's no extra room in the crotch, so at every stoplight, I'm digging around like David Wells on a humid day at Fenway. (That's an unpleasant image, I'm sorry. But accurate.)
I'll believe you that regular bicycle shorts are comfortable. But I just can't.... Are MTB with built-in chamois really worth it?
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Old 06-02-06, 02:14 AM   #6
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Americans are so provincial. Who cares. If they do, so what.. Living in France for awhile, 90% of cyclists wear bike shorts/jerseys. I was riding at night. Wonder what the heck kind of flashing light I was seeing ahead on passing cyclists.
The French National bike team kit has a reflecting stripe running parallel to one's arse. Very effective at being seen, though. I at first thought the stripe to be some kind of flashing light attached to one's saddle. No it is attached to one's arse in a most embarassing manner. Oh, well, I am sure the Italians are even more blatant.
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Old 06-02-06, 05:28 AM   #7
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Yea they are nice.

My personal favorite are the Performance century shorts. I picked them up for about $35 on sale.

Yea that was a nice storm last night. We needed the rain.

-D
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Old 06-02-06, 05:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidLee
I've been wearing some cycling briefs from Price Point under my regular shorts for about a month now & last week decided to try some real bike shorts.
I couldn't believe how much better my ride was, both in terms of comfort & it seems I moved at a much better pace.
Congrats to another convert.

Now that you've spent a few dollars on something respectable, it's time to move up to the best -- BIBS.

I gave away all my shorts in June 2003. Last count I had 12 pairs of bibs (I think - maybe 13) -- 6 pairs for commuting (Voler, Bellwether, and inexpensive Etxe Ondo) and 6 pairs for weekend rides (Voler and Etxe Ondo).

For times when "modesty" is a concern I have one pair of PI Canyon shorts. I hate wearing those things.
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Old 06-02-06, 05:47 AM   #9
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I guess I find it a little odd that people who ride bikes in the US would worry about looking strange because thay wear a particular type of clothing while riding. Most non riders in the US find adults riding bikes pecular in itself; so your not going to please them no matter how you dress. I wear what is most functional and basicly ignore how others percieve my outfit and form of transportation.
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Old 06-02-06, 06:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclezealot
Americans are so provincial. Who cares. If they do, so what.. Living in France for awhile, 90% of cyclists wear bike shorts/jerseys.
I believe you are the one with the provincial attitude, defining cyclists by the club cycling enthusiasts with whom you associate and identify yourself.

Please expand on your definition of "cyclists." I've been in France many times and don't recall ever seeing a person cycling in the city wearing a bicycle costume.

Does your definition of "90% of cyclists" include utility or commute cyclists?
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Old 06-02-06, 07:09 AM   #11
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Obviously, this is a subject about which reasonable people may disagree. You bike shorts folk sound like club kids who've taken ecstasy for the first time: It's amazing! I believe you.
But I'm with Like to Bike on this one. Americans may certainly be provincial, but being hesitant to dress in a clown suit to commute to work doesn't prove this thesis.
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Old 06-02-06, 08:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonH
Now that you've spent a few dollars on something respectable, it's time to move up to the best -- BIBS.
+1 for that! I never wore bicycle "shorts" but bought a couple pairs of performance ultra bib shorts, great deal if you catch them on sale (often on sale) I got two pare for about $70. Best thing I've bought since my road bike! :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bklyn
Obviously, this is a subject about which reasonable people may disagree. You bike shorts folk sound like club kids who've taken ecstasy for the first time: It's amazing! I believe you.
But I'm with Like to Bike on this one. Americans may certainly be provincial, but being hesitant to dress in a clown suit to commute to work doesn't prove this thesis.
I used to be of the "OMG how can you wear that in public" group...I still basically am. I can't bring myself to commute in 100% cycle gear, I just don't wanna walk in the building where I work with my junk on display. So I wear my bib shorts under a pair of baggy shorts, it causes the "seems" to rub a little, but it's only a minor annoyance. I also wear running shirts usually instead of a jersey, cuz my backpack covers my pockets on a jersey AND a running shirt is more baggy and doesn't show all my "curves"

I do however have some jersey's and wear them and my bib shorts (sans baggy's) on weekend rides or when I'm out with roadies. I guess you could say I just want to "fit in" in general.
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Old 06-02-06, 09:05 AM   #13
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I'm personally going to travel and hunt down every anti cycling short zealot in this thread.

<-- needs donations for multiple plane tickets.

Then I will locate each one and ride in front of y'all while wearing a thong.
Deal with the blinding sightof my extremely white buttocks! You will quickly learn how nice cyling shorts are.

Seriously, who cares? Wear what you want. I'm mostly staring at the ground anyhow.
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Old 06-02-06, 09:18 AM   #14
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I have one pair of Nashbar cheapies, but the rest are some very nice Ascent shorts I picked up on eBay for $18 each. They are 8 panel, and pretty heavy, I think 8oz fabric. They're about a year old, and still look new after twice weekly washing (I only have 3 pair of shorts). Can't beat 'em. I'm going to buy a few more so I can wash only once a week.
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Old 06-02-06, 09:32 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by DataJunkie
Seriously, who cares? Wear what you want. I'm mostly staring at the ground anyhow.
Don't get me started on how ridiculous/impractical drop bars and associated goofy racer posture are for city commuters.
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Old 06-02-06, 09:35 AM   #16
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He he

*breaks out the boxing gloves*
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Old 06-02-06, 09:40 AM   #17
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I love my bike shorts (lycra/spandex) and can't for the life of me imagine wearing anything else. I am reluctant to do the full jersey that way as I'm self conscience of my stomach. Welcome to the land of comfortable riding.
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Old 06-02-06, 09:52 AM   #18
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You get over the jersey thing. I know I did.
However, I ride with a club fit jersey (as tight as I can stand). I do not yet have the stomach to wear a form fitted jersey.
I love my jerseys. Heck, the back pockets almost make the $50-$70 I spend on mine worthwhile. Nothing like having to dig around in a pannier for my bus ticket.
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Old 06-02-06, 09:52 AM   #19
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funny how in the road bike forums, roadies who do not wear lycra are scoffed at as being "freds"

While I agree with the spirit of your post, I never saw anyone in Paris riding in anything but street clothes as they COMMUTED.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclezealot
Americans are so provincial. Who cares. If they do, so what.. Living in France for awhile, 90% of cyclists wear bike shorts/jerseys. I was riding at night. Wonder what the heck kind of flashing light I was seeing ahead on passing cyclists.
The French National bike team kit has a reflecting stripe running parallel to one's arse. Very effective at being seen, though. I at first thought the stripe to be some kind of flashing light attached to one's saddle. No it is attached to one's arse in a most embarassing manner. Oh, well, I am sure the Italians are even more blatant.
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Old 06-02-06, 09:56 AM   #20
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I carry my street clothes, I'm one of the fortunate ones that gets to shower at work. Pants and underwear on my bike? No flippin' way.
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Old 06-02-06, 10:13 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
I believe you are the one with the provincial attitude, defining cyclists by the club cycling enthusiasts with whom you associate and identify yourself.

Please expand on your definition of "cyclists." I've been in France many times and don't recall ever seeing a person cycling in the city wearing a bicycle costume.

Does your definition of "90% of cyclists" include utility or commute cyclists?
THe fact that it's a topic at all is what makes it provincial. I agree to, it does not matter. Maybe, it is the area we live in. So many retired people here. Plus so many race teams. Plus, like California, so many pros train here because of the nice weather most of the year. Yeah- I am adamant, the vast majority wear team gear. And each town has a town club with a velo clubhouse, usually provided by the mairie, and that club has a club kit. (Heck , when our town's club sponsored a regional cyclist's breakfast, our town's village government gave 500 euros' to help pay for the event for cyclists from other villages." ) Can't imagine that elsewhere.
I see them each Sunday. Hardly any do not wear anything but the needed bike gear. Maybe it is because when the club goes out it is a long arduous ride. Not pansy stuff. Mountains, at least metric centuries- each and every Sunday. And each town's club has a sense of pride in affiliating with that given club.
And there is such a herd of riders on Sunday, it is wise to wear your team gear, because it is like being amongst a herd of zebra's. You can't find your own team mates among the crowd. Reason for that.
Each Sunday some club holds a petit breakfast in their club house for the rest of the clubs in the Roussillon area. When all the towns various clubs descent upon that given town it is like a swarm of locusts'.Just the two larger nearby cities. Elne and Argeles, club membership between the two clubs is over 300. I can easily count at least 6 other villages with over 100 members.
Maybe I should hang around the few large towns where yes, there are commuters. My unofficial average might change.
I very much disagree that anyone here judges anyone for not wearing team gear, it is just the pride and serious nature of being a club rider; they wear what is needed.
TO belong to a club here, you must be licensed with the department and carry extra medical insurance. My club also insures my bike. We must carry a department license when we ride.
I very much disagree, anyone is infantile about what one must wear. And no the club rules don't say you must ride in club gear.
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Old 06-02-06, 10:25 AM   #22
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I thought the OP was posting about comfort not conformity.
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Old 06-02-06, 10:28 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclezealot
Yeah- I am adamant, the vast majority wear team gear. And each town has a town club with a velo clubhouse, usually provided by the mairie, and that club has a club kit... [Blah, blah, blah my club this, that club that]...Not pansy stuff. Mountains, at least metric centuries- each and every Sunday. And each town's club has a sense of pride in affiliating with that given club.
Yup, no f-ing pansy cycling commuters in this bunch. The 90% of cyclists who comprise our comrade's vision of Real/Serious/True Cyclists. What is the name of this list again?

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 06-02-06 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 06-02-06, 11:55 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shakeNbake
Did you freeball it?

Make sure you "pump" yourself up good just before you reach the office, show them who's the boss.
Thanks to the Underwear Nazi on this forum, yes ... yes I did freeball it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bklyn
I bought a couple of pairs of REI or Novarasomething bike underwear. Essentially they are lycra boxer briefs with a chamois. I wore them maybe four times under regular shorts. Horrible. They creep up your thighs. They don't breathe. There's no extra room in the crotch...
Precisely the reason why I wanted to try some cycling shorts. Those briefs added some comfort at first but soon became more irritating than comforting. My "boys" were hurting something horrible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonH
Congrats to another convert.

Now that you've spent a few dollars on something respectable, it's time to move up to the best -- BIBS.
Cheers.

Hmmm, maybe someday, next up for me is trying some cycling jerseys. Bibs seem pretty nice, one day I'll give them a try.

Last edited by DavidLee; 06-02-06 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 06-02-06, 01:01 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidLee
Precisely the reason why I wanted to try some cycling shorts. Those briefs added some comfort at first but soon became more irritating than comforting. My "boys" were hurting something horrible.
Interesting. Maybe someday. I bet it's like wearing a kilt. Once you commit, you feel great, and to hell with the rest of the world.
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