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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-17-12, 09:14 PM   #1
009jim
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Serve of humble pie?

For at least two years now I've been commuting about 8 miles each way. I just wear cotton shorts commando. Now suddenly I notice some chaffing at the upper inside legs area. Not serious, but just like the hairs have all been partially pulled from their roots and I now have lots of little bumps. My legs are fairly hairy :-/

Initial thoughts are that my legs may have become more muscular and now rub more on the nose of the seat than has occurred in the past.

Should I eat humble pie and buy some bike shorts? I prefer the simplicity of riding in my everyday shorts. I could get some boxer style underwear perhaps. Have I correctly diagnosed the problem?
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Old 07-17-12, 11:01 PM   #2
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Well, if it's not a problem, you could just keep doing that. It takes the shedding of some self-consciousness to wear bike shorts, but they are nice.

BTW, are/were you into air-cooled VWs at one point? The username sounds familiar.
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Old 07-17-12, 11:10 PM   #3
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I think your problem is too much friction in the affected area. I would suggest shaving your legs in that area and applying petroleum jelly. I would then either wear thigh length silk underwear along with my cargo or commando shorts, or I'd switch to bike shorts and a smooth strap.

Last edited by SlimRider; 07-17-12 at 11:23 PM.
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Old 07-17-12, 11:39 PM   #4
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For at least two years now I've been commuting about 8 miles each way. I just wear cotton shorts commando. Now suddenly I notice some chaffing at the upper inside legs area. Not serious, but just like the hairs have all been partially pulled from their roots and I now have lots of little bumps. My legs are fairly hairy :-/

Initial thoughts are that my legs may have become more muscular and now rub more on the nose of the seat than has occurred in the past.

Should I eat humble pie and buy some bike shorts? I prefer the simplicity of riding in my everyday shorts. I could get some boxer style underwear perhaps. Have I correctly diagnosed the problem?
Have you considered a slightly narrower saddle? I suspect a change of shorts won't matter very much.
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Old 07-18-12, 12:02 AM   #5
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You could also shift to "moutain bike" shorts instead of spandex if you want to maintain some look of "real" clothes.
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Old 07-18-12, 12:56 AM   #6
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Be a real man and just ride through it as is.
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Old 07-18-12, 01:23 AM   #7
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shave. the whole region.
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Old 07-18-12, 01:50 AM   #8
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You could also shift to "moutain bike" shorts instead of spandex if you want to maintain some look of "real" clothes.
This is what I do. Padded spandex liners w/mtb shells. Everything is interchangable. In deference to modesty and good taste. I do use road jerseys, though in addition to mtb loose fitting ones, too. They just wick really well.

Few things more obnoxious than a full kitted roadie commuting to work and forcing everyone to 'deal with it'.

Btw, medicated talc and anti-fungal sprays like Ting or Tinactin help keep the bacteria count at a minimum.
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Old 07-18-12, 05:40 AM   #9
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This is what I do. Padded spandex liners w/mtb shells. Everything is interchangable. In deference to modesty and good taste. I do use road jerseys, though in addition to mtb loose fitting ones, too. They just wick really well.

Few things more obnoxious than a full kitted roadie commuting to work and forcing everyone to 'deal with it'.
Why is that obnoxious?
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Old 07-18-12, 07:44 AM   #10
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You could wear bike shorts/liners under your regular shorts, but if you're used to nothing, then maybe just a pair of boxer briefs or compression shorts under your regular shorts will be comfortable enough to block the rubbing on your thighs.
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Old 07-18-12, 07:46 AM   #11
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Poly pro underwear and nylon outer shorts still look good while managing sweat.
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Old 07-18-12, 11:33 AM   #12
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Why is that obnoxious?
Honestly, you have to ask?
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Old 07-18-12, 05:16 PM   #13
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Honestly, you have to ask?
Well, I wear bike shorts and a jersey when I commute (and sometimes even use clipless pedals!), so I assume I must be obnoxious too, which is a surprise to me. So, yes, I have to ask.
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Old 07-18-12, 05:19 PM   #14
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Have you adjusted or replaced your saddle recently? A too-high saddle might be the culprit.
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Old 07-18-12, 06:08 PM   #15
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There was a recent thread, I think might be related: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ling-underwear

You can find cycling short liners which will wick away the sweat and allow you to wear whatever you like over top.
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Old 07-18-12, 08:21 PM   #16
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Why is that obnoxious?
Seriously. I must be going to hell because I do this, I even ride my nice race bike sometimes (the horror! :-) ) (if I've gone for a long morning ride and decide to swing by home, get my backpack and ride the 8 or so easy miles to work, why should I change clothes or change bikes?

On a more serious note, I actually ride my road bike shorts because they are much more comfortable than the mountain bike shorts I own. Also, OP, you might want to try a narrower saddle. I had problems with my inner thighs chafing but its because I have big thighs. Once I switched to a narrower saddle (Fizik Arione), all was well.
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Old 07-18-12, 08:25 PM   #17
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If I'm riding anywhere other than just around the neighborhood, I usually wear spandex boxer briefs underneath something like cargo shorts. Doesn't have the padding that bike shorts have, but definitely helps with any chafing issues. I wear the spandex briefs when running, also.
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Old 07-18-12, 08:28 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by nashcommguy View Post
This is what I do. Padded spandex liners w/mtb shells. Everything is interchangable. In deference to modesty and good taste. I do use road jerseys, though in addition to mtb loose fitting ones, too. They just wick really well.

Few things more obnoxious than a full kitted roadie commuting to work and forcing everyone to 'deal with it'.

Btw, medicated talc and anti-fungal sprays like Ting or Tinactin help keep the bacteria count at a minimum.
What a strange thing to say.

Racing cyclist's garb has evolved over a period of more than 100 years. Here comes mr. nashcommguy to tell us we're all wrong.

Any more pearls of wisdom? Perhaps we're all using the wrong handlebars too.
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Old 07-18-12, 08:31 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by 009jim View Post
For at least two years now I've been commuting about 8 miles each way. I just wear cotton shorts commando. Now suddenly I notice some chaffing at the upper inside legs area. Not serious, but just like the hairs have all been partially pulled from their roots and I now have lots of little bumps. My legs are fairly hairy :-/

Initial thoughts are that my legs may have become more muscular and now rub more on the nose of the seat than has occurred in the past.

Should I eat humble pie and buy some bike shorts? I prefer the simplicity of riding in my everyday shorts. I could get some boxer style underwear perhaps. Have I correctly diagnosed the problem?
I don't think your choice of clothing has very much to do with humility, served in pie form or otherwise. However, I agree with others that special "bike clothing" should not be necessary for an 8 mile commute, and that a change of saddle is worth investigating.
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Old 07-18-12, 10:05 PM   #20
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In theory I have to eat humble pie because traditionally I have implied that my way is the best. However, now I am having doubts and may find it necessary to (a) shave, or (b) wear underwear.

My saddle is already fairly narrow, but point taken.
(07-20-12) Just realized my saddle is not that narrow. Friend has a Bontrager that is easily about 1/2" narrower. Also mine has stitching in a stupid place right on the sides of the nose which is where I'm getting chaffed (go figure).

Shaving is probably the cheapest, easiest option to try first.
(07-20-12) Shaving seems to have helped a bit.

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Old 07-19-12, 04:16 PM   #21
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I wear some Nashbar Liner shorts that have the chamois on them and some mountain bike shorts with the liner and a thinner chamois. That seems to work pretty good but my commute is not far at all. Also, I wear some of those wick shirts. I have no complaints yet. Unless I ride more than 30 miles in one sitting which is more of a saddle related problem that clothing.
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Old 07-20-12, 10:41 AM   #22
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Few things more obnoxious than a full kitted roadie commuting to work and forcing everyone to 'deal with it'.
Huh? I ride in street clothes for most of my commuting/rides about town so this post doesn't relate to me but for certain long commutes it might make sense to wear cycling shorts and a jersey for the ride. If someone chooses to do so I don't see what the problem is. " modesty and good taste?!"- are you that uptight? Or just that fashion conscious?
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Old 07-20-12, 11:07 AM   #23
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Huh? I ride in street clothes for most of my commuting/rides about town so this post doesn't relate to me but for certain long commutes it might make sense to wear cycling shorts and a jersey for the ride. If someone chooses to do so I don't see what the problem is. " modesty and good taste?!"- are you that uptight? Or just that fashion conscious?
buzzman, you bring up a very good point. "In the interest of modesty and good taste," or whatever you want to call it, I wear loose fitting mountain bike shorts but have real road cycling shorts (w/pad) on underneath.

I do ride the Metro Train for part of my commute (16 mi. bike, 22 mi. train RT) and was advised by both co-workers and my wife that just wearing my lycra road cycling shorts by themselves (which I do for all my recreational riding) would not be socially acceptable whilst on the train.

So I'm kind of caught in the middle here, i.e. I think road cycling shorts are just fine but I appear to be in the minority with that opinion esp. as it relates to non-cyclists.

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Old 07-20-12, 11:20 AM   #24
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buzzman, you bring up a very good point. "In the interest of modesty and good taste," or whatever you want to call it, I wear loose fitting mountain bike shorts but have real road cycling shorts (w/pad) on underneath.

I do ride the Metro Train for part of my commute (16 mi. bike, 22 mi. train RT) and was advised by both co-workers and my wife that just wearing my lycra road cycling shorts by themselves (which I do for all my recreational riding) would not be socially acceptable whilst on the train.

So I'm kind of caught in the middle here, i.e. I think road cycling shorts are just fine but I appear to be in the minority with that opinion esp. as it relates to non-cyclists.

Rick / OCRR
I wear my bike shorts in all kinds of situations...depending on what kind of riding I'm doing that day.

I don't think non-cyclists really have a right to an opinion regarding cycling clothing. Why would they? I don't go around telling construction workers their vests look silly.
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Old 07-20-12, 12:21 PM   #25
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Well, I wear bike shorts and a jersey when I commute (and sometimes even use clipless pedals!), so I assume I must be obnoxious too, which is a surprise to me. So, yes, I have to ask.
Me too. I think more people would laugh at me for doing my commute in cotton shorts commando instead of bike shorts and a jersey.
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