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Old 08-27-10, 03:23 PM   #1
Sundance89
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Whatever happened to cotton/spandex bike shorts?

I much prefer cotton/spandex bike shorts and actually detest nylon/lycra. But for the past several years all the bike shorts are made out of nylon/lycra. What gives? I'm sure some test showed that they might wick slightly better or have some other slight edge. But for me, cotton/spandex is far more comfortable and keeps me from sliding around on my saddle.

With nylon/lycra I'm always sliding around my saddle to the point where I can't settle in on my sit bones. And no offense to those that like how they look, but the shiny material for nylon/lycra looks like a bad 70's concert with Donna Summer. Really, I don't like 'em, and I cannot find simple cotton/spandex bike shorts anywhere anymore. I'm going to wear the last 3 remaining pair I have straight through if I can't find a source soon.
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Old 08-27-10, 03:31 PM   #2
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(Meant to post in Roadie forum, sorry. Delete if necessary moderators unless there are contributors.)
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Old 08-27-10, 03:32 PM   #3
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Don't know why for sure but it could be because cotton retains moisture and doesn't really wick at all.
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Old 08-27-10, 03:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
Don't know why for sure but it could be because cotton retains moisture and doesn't really wick at all.
I'm with the OP on hating the synthetic stuff, but what i want is wool since it wicks and breaths.
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Old 08-27-10, 05:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Sundance89 View Post
I much prefer cotton/spandex bike shorts and actually detest nylon/lycra. But for the past several years all the bike shorts are made out of nylon/lycra. What gives? I'm sure some test showed that they might wick slightly better or have some other slight edge. But for me, cotton/spandex is far more comfortable and keeps me from sliding around on my saddle.

With nylon/lycra I'm always sliding around my saddle to the point where I can't settle in on my sit bones. And no offense to those that like how they look, but the shiny material for nylon/lycra looks like a bad 70's concert with Donna Summer. Really, I don't like 'em, and I cannot find simple cotton/spandex bike shorts anywhere anymore. I'm going to wear the last 3 remaining pair I have straight through if I can't find a source soon.
If you're looking for a decent pair with chamois or padding, you won't find it. Anything cotton/spandex now sold as "bike shorts" is crap like the stretch denim junk from American Apparel. It's fashion gear.
The performance crowd realized that cotton is a horrible fabric; it retains moisture and loses insulation properties when wet, so it's not good for evaporating anything on a hot day or keeping you warm on a cool wet day. Even the softest cotton fabric becomes harsh against the skin when wet because the fibers stick when saturated. Nylon blends became the norm to replace wool blends based on price.

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I'm with the OP on hating the synthetic stuff, but what i want is wool since it wicks and breaths.
Ibex, Boure and Kucharik still make decent wool shorts, bibs and tights. With Kucharik you can even still get an old school real leather chamois.
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Old 08-27-10, 10:08 PM   #6
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I'm sure some test showed that they might wick slightly better or have some other slight edge. But for me, cotton/spandex is far more comfortable and keeps me from sliding around on my saddle.
The edge isn't slight, it's huge. In the outdoors world (backpacking, winter camping, etc.) the motto is simply "cotton kills!" It's performance when it gets even slightly damp is that bad.
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