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Old 06-08-11, 08:14 PM   #1
borobike
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I finally gave in...to spandex!

Seriously, I thought I never would. I refused to be one of those guys who wears spandex because I thought everyone who did wore them just because they caused less aerodynamic drag than regular clothes which I thought was silly since I'm not trying to win races or anything.

Well I started doing longer rides. My butt was not happy, and when my butt isn't happy the rest of me isn't happy either. I was constantly shifting around in the seat trying to relieve various pressures or chafing and as a result my lower back and hands hurt from taking the weight off my butt. After as little as 17 miles today (admittedly after a longer 21 mile ride yesterday, also uncomfortable) I was miserable. I could get out of the saddle for a few minutes and be okay but the butt would be complaining again after a mile or two.

Even then I still wasn't willing to admit that I needed cycling shorts, but I finally went out and bought a cheap pair of Canari 6 panel shorts from Academy Sports...20 bucks...

Even right now my butt hurts and hates me if I sit in the saddle with my regular gym shorts...but earlier today riding with my spandex was something else. Even with my butt being horribly abused the 6 mile ride I took wasn't bad at all. I didn't shift in the seat except to relieve pressure on my sit bones occasionally (which, by the way, was the ONLY place I felt pressure) and when I got home, aside from the tired leg muscles I didn't even know I'd taken a ride.

And as a result of my weight loss, I'm able to fit into the medium size (30-32 inch waist) and I don't mind the way my legs look in them...actually think they look pretty good...that's a new first for me.

I'm not getting the spandex top to match, but despite being dead set against spandex from the start...I'm a believer. If your butt is giving you issues and you haven't already, give the cycling shorts a try. They really do help, even the cheap pair I got.
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Old 06-08-11, 08:20 PM   #2
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I could not humanly agree more. I HATE the way I look in Lycra and I'm too fat to be in it. I hate the associations of it as well. I hate everything about spandex EXCEPT the functionality. No more chaffing. Comfy. Breathable and cool. Stupid looking or not, it works.

Like you, I also wear a t-shirt...if I develop nipple chaffing (which hasn't been an issue yet) I'll reconsider.
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Old 06-08-11, 09:49 PM   #3
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A good pair of Mtn. Bike shorts will have a chamois that will absorb sweat and relieve chafing. Not as aerodynamic as lycra, but unless your racing it really does not matter. A nice alternative if (like me) you cannot stand the thought of wearing lycra.
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Old 06-08-11, 09:57 PM   #4
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I am a believer too. When I got my mountain bike back in 07 I was like there is no way I would ever wear them. Then with a sore butt I got a pair and now I will not ride without my lycra with chamois pad, and a squirt of Chamois Butt'r. I have a pair of the mtn bike shorts with the liner and chamois pad, they are ok but not anywhere near as good as my lycra ones.
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Old 06-09-11, 03:56 AM   #5
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I HATE the way I look in Lycra and I'm too fat to be in it.... if I develop nipple chaffing (which hasn't been an issue yet) I'll reconsider.
Oh my goodness, what the hell is happening to this world. Haha.

No dude, lycra is the way to go. And this from the "what's with the elitist riders" post a couple of months ago. I even returned the mountainbike/commuter back to full time mountainbike status and am riding a steel=lugged Bianchi w/ 700c (no chaffing even - haha) and am looking for my first performance bike as we speak.

Anyways, good luck with the nipples...
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Old 06-09-11, 04:56 AM   #6
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I too thought I would not be caught dead in cycling shorts (spandex). But now that I am taking longer rides, I find that my butt thanks me for the extra padding these shorts provide. No more gym shorts for me.
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Old 06-09-11, 05:54 AM   #7
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I am a believer too. When I got my mountain bike back in 07 I was like there is no way I would ever wear them. Then with a sore butt I got a pair and now I will not ride without my lycra with chamois pad, and a squirt of Chamois Butt'r. I have a pair of the mtn bike shorts with the liner and chamois pad, they are ok but not anywhere near as good as my lycra ones.
+1...I was a mtn short guy and the spandex is just a hell of a lot more comfy. I do miss pockets.

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Oh my goodness, what the hell is happening to this world. Haha.

No dude, lycra is the way to go. And this from the "what's with the elitist riders" post a couple of months ago. I even returned the mountainbike/commuter back to full time mountainbike status and am riding a steel=lugged Bianchi w/ 700c (no chaffing even - haha) and am looking for my first performance bike as we speak.

Anyways, good luck with the nipples...
Thanks for your well wishes!


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Old 06-09-11, 06:30 AM   #8
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I've gone to using liner shorts with chamois under regular shorts of any kind. For me this is the best of both worlds.
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Old 06-09-11, 06:37 AM   #9
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A good pair of Mtn. Bike shorts will have a chamois that will absorb sweat and relieve chafing. Not as aerodynamic as lycra, but unless your racing it really does not matter. A nice alternative if (like me) you cannot stand the thought of wearing lycra.
+1 I bought two pairs of baggy cycling shorts at Academy for $30/each. They do have liners inside with chamois pads, and are incredibly comfortable. I have no problem with using Lycra cycling shorts when on a group ride, but the baggy shorts serve the same purpose for me and allow me to arrive at work without causing concerns with my school's principal. The gym, where my bike gets parked, hosts a before school daycare full of preteen students. While the Lycra shorts shouldn't be a problem, the baggy shorts make things less complicated.
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Old 06-09-11, 06:41 AM   #10
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I've found that on long rides, there is a difference in breathabllity and comfort with liner mtn shorts vs. lycra. I doesn't matter for 10 miles...but it does for 50. They trap heat more and I get stickier.

Also...my baggy mtn shorts have a tendency to catch pumps and watter bottles.
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Old 06-09-11, 06:49 AM   #11
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Wait until you guys discover the B17......
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Old 06-09-11, 07:07 AM   #12
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You have seen the light! It gets better. Wait until you try bib shorts, synthetic cycling jerseys and cycling shoes.
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Old 06-09-11, 07:16 AM   #13
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Wait until you guys discover the B17......
Ha! Almost all of my bikes have B-17s or Team pros. The B-17 combined with a nice chamois means long distance comfort...no question.

I first discovered the pleasures of the b-17 about 20 years ago. My road bike came with a Vetta gel saddle and it was MURDER after about 10-15 miles. My Lotus Touring bike had an avocet touring saddle and it ewas far better...so i tossed that on there. An older guy I rode with saw my big goofy touring saddle on my entry level road bike and told me if I really wanted comfort, go for a B-17 (Brooks were completely out of fashion at the time...shops didn't carry them, riders didn't use them). It was far more expensive than I could afford (I think it was $45, which was about 10% of what I paid for the whole bike!), especially on some crazy old cooter's dubious advice. About a year later, a friend of mine bought an older touring bike that had a B-17 on it. He looked at it suspiciously, as if eyeing a new species of scorpion, and swapped it out. I saw it sitting on his garage and he gave it to me.

I tossed it on my Sirrus and it never came off of it. I've used them ever since.
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Old 06-09-11, 07:21 AM   #14
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I'm still going to stay in the closet, and only wearing spandex sports shorts under my regular street clothes.
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Old 06-09-11, 07:47 AM   #15
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Wait until you guys discover the B17......
My thoughts. I do not understand these post about being afraid of wearing lycra/spandex. Heck, wear what is comfortable, don't worry about what others think and get on with your cycling. It is not a big deal. I would rather see a person riding comfortably in a pair of cycling shorts that fit than that person sqwirming all over the saddle and digging in the crotch because the denim is riding up in their junk.Bust a B17 and happy cycling can be done in most fabrics.
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Old 06-09-11, 09:31 AM   #16
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I do not understand these post about being afraid of wearing lycra/spandex. Heck, wear what is comfortable, don't worry about what others think and get on with your cycling.
I wear spandex, unashamedly while I'm riding. But on some days (like today) I stop riding and get on the metro. When I do that, the last thing I want is to be rockin' the lycra on a crowded train. I either wear MTB shorts or I throw gym shorts over the cycling shorts. In addition to keeping more of me from creating an unnecessary eyesore, I value the pockets quite a bit.

I suppose once I convert to a B-17, I'll also convert from synthetic wicking fabrics to merino wool...
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Old 06-09-11, 11:21 AM   #17
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I went from street clothes to mountain bike shorts... and back. At this point, most of my fleet has leather suspension saddles and I really don't feel the need for the padding anymore. The only cycling-specific garb I wear are wicking cycling underwear from Target (basically briefs with legs that go to almost mid-thigh). Those + leather saddle = goodness.

I have 5 bikes; two have Brooks saddles, one has an old Wrights saddle (similar to a B17N), one has an old vinyl Schwinn mattress saddle; it is used mostly for short errands. I have a conventional vinyl road saddle on my single speed and I put some decent miles on that, but it actually doesn't bother me too much.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 06-09-11, 11:23 AM   #18
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I suppose once I convert to a B-17, I'll also convert from synthetic wicking fabrics to merino wool...
Merino wool is the ultimate wicking fabric.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 06-09-11, 11:45 AM   #19
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I could not humanly agree more. I HATE the way I look in Lycra and I'm too fat to be in it. I hate the associations of it as well. I hate everything about spandex EXCEPT the functionality. No more chaffing. Comfy. Breathable and cool. Stupid looking or not, it works.

Like you, I also wear a t-shirt...if I develop nipple chaffing (which hasn't been an issue yet) I'll reconsider.
Same here. I hot weather, it's hard to beat.

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A good pair of Mtn. Bike shorts will have a chamois that will absorb sweat and relieve chafing. Not as aerodynamic as lycra, but unless your racing it really does not matter. A nice alternative if (like me) you cannot stand the thought of wearing lycra.
I have few pairs, all are too warm for weather above 85-90F.
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Old 06-09-11, 01:38 PM   #20
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Seriously, I thought I never would. I refused to be one of those guys who wears spandex because I thought everyone who did wore them just because they caused less aerodynamic drag than regular clothes which I thought was silly since I'm not trying to win races or anything.
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It's starts with the inexpensive road bike, then you go on few group rides. Now you're wearing spandex shorts.

I've seen this pattern before. Within a 18 months you'll be shaving your legs and turning your nose up at anything not made of carbon fiber.

Don't say you weren't warned.
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Old 06-09-11, 02:26 PM   #21
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It's starts with the inexpensive road bike, then you go on few group rides. Now you're wearing spandex shorts.

I've seen this pattern before. Within a 18 months you'll be shaving your legs and turning your nose up at anything not made of carbon fiber.

Don't say you weren't warned.
D:

And I honestly thought this was going to be a cheap hobby. I should have known better!
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Old 06-09-11, 02:33 PM   #22
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Wait until you guys discover the B17......
And then what? Run screaming from the pain? He he he... It's cheaper to attach a piece of two-by-four to your seatpost, same painful results and only costs a few bucks Although, I just started riding this week with the Imperial, the one with a cutout, seems a lot better. The plain B17 was destroying my perineum no matter how I set it up and the Brooks guys told me it takes up to 1,000 miles to wear it in. After about 400 miles I gave up. But the Imperial shows promise. Although I can feel the edges of the cutout a bit. I wonder if they will curl down with time. Oh, and I had to file down two rivets: the leftmost and the rightmost ones, they had sharp edges that were catching on my shorts and scratching my skin. So much for Brooks quality, eh?
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Old 06-09-11, 02:40 PM   #23
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No, no, you're doing it wrong, Adam! You have to endure the pain of a new Brooks to appreciate the supple leather of the broken-in saddle. Any modification to the saddle, or swapping it out for one of those wimpy imperials, only detracts from the experience.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 06-09-11, 02:51 PM   #24
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And then what? Run screaming from the pain? He he he... It's cheaper to attach a piece of two-by-four to your seatpost, same painful results and only costs a few bucks Although, I just started riding this week with the Imperial, the one with a cutout, seems a lot better. The plain B17 was destroying my perineum no matter how I set it up and the Brooks guys told me it takes up to 1,000 miles to wear it in. After about 400 miles I gave up. But the Imperial shows promise. Although I can feel the edges of the cutout a bit. I wonder if they will curl down with time. Oh, and I had to file down two rivets: the leftmost and the rightmost ones, they had sharp edges that were catching on my shorts and scratching my skin. So much for Brooks quality, eh?
Sort of like the electric razors that say you need to use them for a month to "condition your beard" or whatever. That's about how long it takes for you to forget what a nice job blades do.
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Old 06-09-11, 02:55 PM   #25
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Ha...this is the reason I didn't go with a Brooks...I thought about it but the opinions about it are strong on either side, there doesn't seem to be much middle ground...

I ended up going to the bike shop and asking the shop owner to show me a saddle that he would personally recommend for long rides that won't break the bank. I ended up with a Serfas Dual Density E-Gel saddle with a 30 day comfort guarantee. When I first tried it it was better but it still hurt my butt in all the wrong places on longer rides. The shorts fixed that problem. Now I just need to get my butt properly broken in.

That would be saddle #3 (and hopefully the last) on this bike. I'll know just how well the new saddle and shorts work together on the 17 mile group ride today.
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