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Old 07-20-05, 06:44 PM   #1
pcmike
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There. I've admitted it: I'm a Clydesdale. I guess it sounds better than fat.
But I'm wondering what the best bike shorts are for us heavyweights. I picked up a pair with gel padding at my lbs last week and it just didn't do the job. And the amount of padding in the chamois versions varies greatly.
I'm looking for well padded shorts.
Hmmm... while I'm at it... how about jerseys that don't make me look like a sausage stuffed into spandex? I take an XL in a regular short but with a bike jersey, I need XXL. But some XXLs are far from REALLY being XXLs.
Recommendations... sources... anyone?
I won't have these problems when I lose 50 pounds but that's going to take some time and I'd like to avoid total humiiation if possible.

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Last edited by pcmike; 07-20-05 at 06:47 PM. Reason: misspelled word in head
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Old 07-20-05, 08:00 PM   #2
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Shorts-spend the bucks and get bibs-Assos are the best. TIR size. As for Jerseys-Pearl Izumi XXLs are nice, Primal wear makes some XXXLs that work good too.
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Old 07-21-05, 12:51 AM   #3
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I will confirm the need for quality shorts. Cheap shorts that are a bit stretched do not last long. The padding that is in shorts is not for cushioning, but for sweat depletion, It helps to keep the vital parts a bit dryer, so helping to eliminate sores or something worse. The roadies will be able to tell you more, but I have a pair of well padded shorts, that do give a bit of cushioning, but not for long. I don't think it is foam in the insert, but it is about 20mm thick. On tops, you will have to keep looking, trying them on, and then searching again. They do exist in large sizes, but they do seem to be rare. One place to look is at the sites that cater for Downhillers. They do tops that fit over the body armour that theu use, and one of my very large riding partners has a long sleeve top that does fit him. On the shorts though- he is still looking.
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Old 07-21-05, 01:09 AM   #4
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Ditto on wearing bibs - forget shorts and go for the bibs. They are so much more comfortable especially for us...errr....bigger folk. I'm partial to the Voler Titano bibs from Velowear.com. If you're having problems with comfort "down there" the problem usually isn't because of inadequate padding, it's probably your saddle. Try a different one like a Brooks B17 - they're great.
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Old 07-21-05, 06:10 AM   #5
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Bibs all the way!

I recently got a good brand on sale at Performance Bike, and they are great. Stay up, no "slipping down the balloon of your tummy" and are much more comfortable than just shorts. I now have two pairs of bibs, but prefer those I got at performance as opposed to a cheaper Nashbar label.

As to jerseys, certain mnufacturers are notorious for making small jerseys in what should be large sizes. The worst offender IMHO is Pearl Izumi, which seems to use the European cut (they believe everyone in the world is built like Lance) but there are others. You will just have to shop around until you find an appropriate jersey. I think that that the branded Nashbar.com and PerformanceBike.com are more "American" cut.

I have a lot of muscle, and my arms are big. I can't even get my forearms in the holes of those Pearl Izumis.

Good luck. (6 feet tall and 217 pounds - but I was 240, wearing those XXL's)

Last edited by DnvrFox; 07-21-05 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 07-21-05, 09:50 AM   #6
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Might be more a matter of needing saddle time than of needing padding. Any padding is going to compress, and it's generally accepted that saddles should be fairly hard and well-shaped (like Brooks) rather than squishy--but for some reason we think shorts, the next layer up, need big cushy pads. If you keep your shorts clean, don't ride on wrinkles and increase your saddle time gradually, that might be all you need.
Meantime, you could try some inserts like Andiamos next to your skin. I've done many three- and four-hour rides with those under ordinary street shorts with no probs.
As for sizes...face it, this is a sport for midgets. I'm 6'4"/240, and I'm forever buying magazines that promise "Tips for Clydes" and finding stories about "giants" who go 5'10" and 180.
FWIW, REI often carries decent shorts and jerseys in XXL (up to about a 44-inch waist and 50-52 chest). I have some XLs I've worn a lot, and they're fine for the money.
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Old 07-21-05, 10:58 AM   #7
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also, use a lotion like chamois buttr, or the one by brave soldier or ASSOS. really helps.
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Old 07-21-05, 08:59 PM   #8
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I've had good results with Performance Elite bibs. The chamois on them is elastic and tends to fit me much better. Like saddles, though, some shorts work better for some people. I'd suggest staying away from the gel-filled chamois, and chamois cream helps a lot on long rides.
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Old 07-22-05, 06:00 AM   #9
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I'm voting for liberal application of lotion to reduce friction. Until you loose some weight, you're just going to have more unwanted friction in the seat area than most people who ride significant distances. The high-end shorts, like Assos, with more padding are really focusing on elite riders using saddles with minimal padding (e.g., all carbon models). The padding provides support for your sit bones, but won't really help chaffing. I, too, have had good experience with Performance bibs - bibs rule.

Mtn bike shirts are cut more generously than road shirts. In the alternative, just buy a good quality, wicking exercise T-shirt.
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Old 07-22-05, 06:00 AM   #10
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I have one pair of bibs (Assos) and while I like the comfort, I find the process of taking a pee is pretty laborious with the bibs. Maybe they're cut too high or my wizard is too short.
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Old 07-22-05, 06:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelnel
I have one pair of bibs (Assos) and while I like the comfort, I find the process of taking a pee is pretty laborious with the bibs. Maybe they're cut too high or my wizard is too short.
Roll the shorts leg up, stick it out, do your duty, and then reverse the process.

It is the number two process that gives me a problem!

Also, checked it out and the brand I like so much is also the Performance labeled brand. Got them on sale for $39.99.

Last edited by DnvrFox; 07-22-05 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 07-24-05, 07:01 AM   #12
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If you don't feel like dropping $150-$250 for bibs, try Voler bibs. They have sizes up to 2XL and sometimes 3XL.

No shorts for me. I have 5 pairs of Voler bibs and 6 pairs of Etxe Ondo bibs.
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Old 07-24-05, 09:21 AM   #13
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I have to agree with motomickey. I started off buying cheap in the beginning. But I never use my gel shorts.

I have a pair of Pearl Izumi with the PRT chamois, which are OK. I have heard, as motomickey pointed out, that Assos are the best. Campagnolo are supposed come in a close second.
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