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  1. #1
    Road Runner DougG's Avatar
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    Shorts to fit imperfect bodies

    Up to now, I've avoided roadie-style shorts, but can see that there may be some functional advantages. I've found that baggy shorts hide my physique a lot better, and for the road I look for the least baggy "baggy" shorts (with lycra liner) that I can find. But they might not be the best for comfort in the long haul.

    So yesterday I tried on a pair of regular biking shorts at REI just for grins and wasn't real happy with what I saw. I'm 5'11", 165 lbs., with about a 35" waist. But my legs are apparently thin for my waist size. So when I put on the large-size shorts (waist 35-37), the waistline felt OK but the leg openings were actually loose on my legs (I thought that they were supposed to grip snugly). And of course the whole look was less than flattering.

    I guess I could just try on some more brands/styles (these were Pearl Izumi "Attack" style), but what should I look for to fit a non-ideal cycling body shape? Is there any hope? I know that I saw a lot of older riders at a recent event who had body sizes and shapes a lot worse than mine, and they were wearing these type of shorts, so there must be some solution.

  2. #2
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    You have a 35" waist..... Lucky you!

    You could try some nice tight bibs!
    You will not have to rely on the waist size to hold them up. Nice and comfortable.

  3. #3
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Bibs...this is coming from a convert with a, ahem, bigger waist than you. I'm now a born-again bibster.
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    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Bibs
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  5. #5
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    The legs should be tight, and I don't think Bibs are going to make a difference, although I only wear bibs. Try a different brand unless your thighs measure 16" then you might want to try the gym
    The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

    2013 Noah RS

  6. #6
    Senior Member jazzy_cyclist's Avatar
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    I've found that there's a pretty large variation from brand to brand. I have some Pearl Izumi large bibs that I can swim around in, and some Sugoi bibs, also large, that can be challenging to squeeze into.

    Although it may not be relevant to your situation, better shorts usually have more panels, and the panels grip you a little more firmly.

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    When I shop for clothing I always keep in mind that a good tailor can make something that's almost a good fit into a great fit. Why not cycling shorts?
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

  8. #8
    Old biker
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    I wear the togs I have on in the pic whether I'm on my MTB or road bike.
    Am I a Fred? Yes.
    Do I care? No.
    I'm a 67 year old dude riding either a 20 year old MTB or a 30 year old custom road bike I built back in the day. I could care less what trendy fashion police think. Check out my cool water bottles. Recycled of course.

  9. #9
    Road Runner DougG's Avatar
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    Well, you've really got me interested in trying some bibs. Now all I have to do is find an LBS around here who carries something reasonable. I've always had bad luck with mail-ordering clothing, and returning stuff is a real hassle. I usually like shopping at REI due to their decent selection and generous return policy, but they don't seem to carry any bib shorts at all.

  10. #10
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougG View Post
    Well, you've really got me interested in trying some bibs. Now all I have to do is find an LBS around here who carries something reasonable. I've always had bad luck with mail-ordering clothing, and returning stuff is a real hassle. I usually like shopping at REI due to their decent selection and generous return policy, but they don't seem to carry any bib shorts at all.
    Do not buy clothing mail order- Except for thr 50+ jerseys that are available. The only way to get a good fit is to find a Good retailer and try on literally every pair of shorts in your size. Then when you have found the manufacturer and size you like- Then try on another couple in the same size for the pair you llike most.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  11. #11
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    "Try a different brand unless your thighs measure 16" then you might want to try the gym"

    DougG, I've always had skinny legs and now I've got a not-so-skinny belly to accent them, but I don't have a problem getting my bike shorts to fit. The bib ideas sound like the easiest fix for your dilema, but if you're concerned about the way people perceive you, quit worrying. The people our age don't care, the young guns don't matter and as far as the young women go, we're invisible to them.

  12. #12
    Boffo Bikin' Danddd's Avatar
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    I really like the Pearl Izumi baggy shorts with the floating liner. Those with a Brooks B17 or Swift seat on my bikes seem to work well.

    But you know maybe next year I'll try some bibs.
    You know, I think I'll quit my job and ride my bike full time...you gotta have goals

  13. #13
    Senior Member dorosz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougG View Post

    I'm 5'11", 165 lbs., with about a 35" waist.
    I'm sorry I really don't mean to be offensive at all I'm just having a huge problem visualizing here. How can you be that skinny and have a 35 inch waist? I'm 5'8" 195 lbs and have a 30 inch waist, quite frankly I'm pretty fat, 30-35lbs over weight, and the only exercise I get is riding and some Yoga and I carry nearly all of my weight on my dratted gut cause I don't really do anything for my core. I know its none of my biz and again please don't take offense cause I really don't mean any.

  14. #14
    Apprentice Peddler
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorosz View Post
    I'm sorry I really don't mean to be offensive at all I'm just having a huge problem visualizing here. How can you be that skinny and have a 35 inch waist? I'm 5'8" 195 lbs and have a 30 inch waist, quite frankly I'm pretty fat, 30-35lbs over weight, and the only exercise I get is riding and some Yoga and I carry nearly all of my weight on my dratted gut cause I don't really do anything for my core. I know its none of my biz and again please don't take offense cause I really don't mean any.
    Maybe he is like Seinfeld and erases the size tag in all his pants and changes them all to 35 so he's always a 35.....

    Sorry I just couldn't resist. No harm intended gents..... I am 56 and agree with the CharlesC above....I wear whatever I feel comfortable in when riding.. who cares if you are chique? I think waaaaaaay too much attention is paid to biking fashion rather than comfort just to look the part. Quite frankly some of them look just plain ridiculous. Let's face it chubby guys don't look good in tight clothes. I know because I am one of them. Not everybody looks good in spandex boys. Then there is the issue of the tensile strength of spandex which some riders seem to be testing. Just my opinion.

  15. #15
    Yen
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    Do what's practical for your own comfort and type of riding. Hubby got a pair of tight bike shorts only because the baggy short hem constantly rubbing on the top of his leg while pedaling drove him crazy. So he bought the bike pants for practical purposes. Same with the snuggish bike jersey in high-visibility green -- he stands out like a lighthouse, the pockets are convenient for carrying stuff, and the fabric is cool and wicking. He doesn't care what anyone thinks, he does it for good reasons and not for fashion. I've seen a few roadies pass us going in the other direction on the other side of the street look at him and grin (he rides a hybrid), but so what -- he's getting in great shape at his age!
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougG View Post
    Well, you've really got me interested in trying some bibs. Now all I have to do is find an LBS around here who carries something reasonable. I've always had bad luck with mail-ordering clothing, and returning stuff is a real hassle. I usually like shopping at REI due to their decent selection and generous return policy, but they don't seem to carry any bib shorts at all.
    Once you try bibs you will not go back to shorts. Good idea to go try out different brands. Adidas runs tight on at the leg opening, check them out. Try on some medium sizes also. Even though the waist size reads smaller they are mostly made of lycra which stretches.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    I stumbled into a solution for a problem I had. Dicks sells shorts called "Hydro Dry" for about $20.
    They look like bike shorts, just a bit shorter. No lining. I use a Terry Touring saddle. No padded shorts required. Anyway, these shorts will fit any body. They are much more flexible than my PI shorts for instance. I wear them with a large shirt (for touring) so I look decent in Restaurants.
    These shorts solved a problem for me. I had persistent heat rash in the area which meets the saddle. No cream, no Brooks, no powder seemed to help. I sweat too much and I bike every day. These shorts keep me nice and cool. It is a big difference compared to bike shorts and I have expensive ones.
    I tried soap, anti bacterial, Woolite, etc. and nothing got rid of the rash. These shorts are next to having nothing on.
    BTW, no good for ladies. My wife tried them also and reports that she needs cotton down there. They are Polyester. I get off the saddle frequently and that seems to work to cool things down.

  18. #18
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    www.foxwear.net This guy in Idaho custom makes stuff at a competative price. Have him make a pair of tights with the lower legs left off. You can have a tailor put in padding if you need it.
    This space open

  19. #19
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorosz View Post
    I'm sorry I really don't mean to be offensive at all I'm just having a huge problem visualizing here. How can you be that skinny and have a 35 inch waist? I'm 5'8" 195 lbs and have a 30 inch waist, quite frankly I'm pretty fat, 30-35lbs over weight, and the only exercise I get is riding and some Yoga and I carry nearly all of my weight on my dratted gut cause I don't really do anything for my core. I know its none of my biz and again please don't take offense cause I really don't mean any.
    You guys are all crazy on these waist measurements. I am 6'0", 185 and don't look particularly fat. But I buy pants with a 38 waist!! 36 is tight and 37 doesn't exist. The last time I wore size 30 was in HS when I weighed 150 and was drinking Weight On.

  20. #20
    bac
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesC View Post
    Willy? (sorry, I couldn't resist)



    ... Brad

  21. #21
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
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    A lot of folks dont' want to wear the lycra shorts. Nothing wrong with this. Some even suggest that it's "the lycra look" that turns so many Americans off to cycling. There may very well be something to that. Baggy mountain bike shorts are fine, and have pocket space. Expensive though.

    I think Nashbar still sells their cycling undershorts. With the padded version of these, any pair of baggy shorts you have lying about can become instant cycling shorts.
    "The People will believe what the Media tells them they believe". George Orwell.

  22. #22
    Road Runner DougG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorosz View Post
    I'm sorry I really don't mean to be offensive at all I'm just having a huge problem visualizing here. How can you be that skinny and have a 35 inch waist? I'm 5'8" 195 lbs and have a 30 inch waist, quite frankly I'm pretty fat, 30-35lbs over weight, and the only exercise I get is riding and some Yoga and I carry nearly all of my weight on my dratted gut cause I don't really do anything for my core. I know its none of my biz and again please don't take offense cause I really don't mean any.
    I don't want to be offensive either, but you sound like one of those guys who has a 30" waist and then is 50" just above the waist . I don't have a "gut" at all, but maybe spread out a bit more in lower abdominal area. Like I said: hard to fit. But I will be checking out some bibs ASAP.

  23. #23
    jcm
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    Oh, jeez, the visual! Sympathies, my friend. I just can't get a guy in a chicken suit out of my mind.

    With legs as straight and thick as a fire hydrant, I have similar non-bike-body issues. Usually I wear cheap lycra Canaris padded shorts, but baggie MTB shorts work pretty good, too. Although, with the baggies, I look like Charlie Brown.

    Our club founder always wears the baggies with about 400lbs of stuff in the cargo pockets. Legs like a stork. I can't figure out how he gets those white crew socks to stay up over his Un-Calves.

  24. #24
    SSP
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    Sorry, can't help...with a body this fine, fitting and wearing lycra has not been a problem for me.

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  25. #25
    Senior Member dorosz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougG View Post
    I don't want to be offensive either, but you sound like one of those guys who has a 30" waist and then is 50" just above the waist . I don't have a "gut" at all, but maybe spread out a bit more in lower abdominal area. Like I said: hard to fit. But I will be checking out some bibs ASAP.
    And I guess that's why I asked the question I know I'm kind of short and fat and 24 months ago that would have described me pretty accurately. Though actually I hadn't had a waist in years rediscovering it was quite a shock
    I busted butt to get down to 170 but couldn't ever make it down to the 160 that gives me the right BMI so I'm obese (188 on the scale this AM which is 28 lbs to heavy). Last week when I posted I was way up (195 I think) but I was bulking a bit for the century I rode last Sunday, now I'm starting to work down for my winter weight. I struggle in the winter so I have to start about now and push if I want to hold around the mid 170's through the holidays.

    I envy someone who is able to be below the BMI numbers. I still can't figure how someone with that weight and height could be bigger then me around the waist is all, cause your a lot taller and a lot skinnier but then you say you have a bigger waist. Though looking at this photo I had taken of my new spiffy, 50+ jersey I think some of it is that I'm carrying weight a lot lower then my waist?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dorosz/192

    Post how the bibs work out when you get going, I'm really thinking of a pair for next year, I hate how the shorts tend to roll down on my back at the wierdest times on a ride.

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