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  1. #1
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Cycling shorts advice needed

    This is not about brands per se but quality of chamois for 40-60 mi. rides. I have a pair of PI shorts that are about 6 yrs. old and I think finally worn out. I want to replace them with shorts/bibs with a chamois that will be comfortable for longer rides. I don't want the bulky type that make you feel like you're wearing a diaper but something that fits relatively snugly and is up to the job. As I shop I see a lot of advertising type language to describe shorts. Descriptions like "race" or "attack" don't help me. FWIW, I'm 5'9" and 187 lbs and will probably be down to around 180 lbs in a month or so. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    1 I just got PI - Attack bib and Elite bib,
    they both said "lifetime warranty". So I
    don't know if yours came with the same
    guarantee.

    2 The Attack feels like it has a thinner
    padding than the Elite. I prefer the Elite's
    padding, did a century ride a few weeks
    ago and it was only towards the last 10-15
    miles that my groin/butt started to hurt.
    See signature link.

    3 I'm 5' 8" and 183 lbs, also trying to get
    below 180 before July

  3. #3
    Senior Member jmccain's Avatar
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    I (slightly) prefer Descente Aero-X for longer rides. I also like Assos, or as a friend calls it - AssOS.

  4. #4
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    The more expensive shorts tend to have a thinner chamois. I don't really like thick foam padding, either. And the thick foam on cheaper shorts just compresses down to nothing when sitting on the bike. Just squeeze the foam between your fingers when you are shopping for shorts--it's mostly air, and wouldn't help as padding.

    The shorts I used to have didn't quite fit me. There were small wrinkles in the chamois that would irritate on long rides. I would be pulling on the shorts regularly while riding. That's annoying.

    I got these Pearl Izumi In-r-cool shorts last year. They are expensive, but they work well for me. The padding handles sweat very well, and I really like the wide leg gripper band. I'm in the "$50 is a lot to pay for shorts" camp, and these were $90 on sale, but I'll probably buy another pair later this year.
    Last edited by rm -rf; 06-03-12 at 06:25 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bigbadwullf's Avatar
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    "Squeeze the foam down"/ "won't work for padding". That doesn't make much sense. Sounds like the pure definition of padding to me. I was hesitant to buy shorts with foam at first. One ride and I was hooked. I rarely use my shorts with chamois now. Gel? Now that is another story. That is most vile crap ever made.

    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...S/exercise.png

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  6. #6
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    I have three pair of the PI Attack shorts and love them. I've done several half centuries and metric centuries this year and haven't had an issue with the chamois or the shorts. I'm 5'7" and weighed around 170 when I started using them. I'm down to 150 and have noticed a big difference in the comfort of the shorts, especially since they don't have elastic around the waistline.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    My favorite bibs and shorts are Performance Brand Ultra Shorts. I have several pairs and compared to our team kits the Performance Ultra shorts are the best. One other thing to consider about the Performance brand is that if the shorts wear out they will replace them. I know for a fact that is true!
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  8. #8
    Senior Member az_cyclist's Avatar
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    I have had good luck with PI Elite bibs. I bought my first pair in 2010, and a second pair in 2011. They are holding up well, and I dont think I will need another pair until next year. FTR, I ride about 5000+ miles a year (6000 last year), and wear the bibs about once a week or so. I also have a pair of Performance Ultra bibs.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    I got the foam padded 6-panel bibs from Kucharic. I got one of them with chamois, and went back to foam, as they did feel a bit diaperish. I own six because I ride almost every day, and the price is good. I have only gotten up to doing fifty mile rides on a fairly regular basis, and am starting to notice some discomfort. I may buy a pair of higher end chamois as a set of "long range" shorts, to see if there is an improvement.

    http://www.kucharikclothing.com/-c-29.html I am also influenced by buying locally, but I like them regardless.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=bruce19;14293606] quality of chamois for 40-60 mi. rides. a chamois that will be comfortable for longer rides. QUOTE]

    I think this question might have people placing the popcorn bucket. Nothing so personal, nothing so without a generally applicable recommendation. However!

    I bought the mrs a pair of Assos shorts before a Scandinavian tour. Previous tours, saddle contact points had limited the fun. That time - "Shorts? Oh. Don't know. Never thought about it". Week of 80 mile days.

    I tried them. (Oh come on, they weren't gender specific. Keep it to yourselves). Horrid, I thought. Mushy, raised the centre of contact to an extent I didn't feel connected to my bike.

    My favourites, a pair of Nikes. Just right for me - but not durable. I also get on well with (very cheap) Santinis. I also have a pair of baggy Enduro Humvees for use on tours. They're great
    Last edited by wobblyoldgeezer; 05-31-12 at 10:50 AM. Reason: connected, not commected

  11. #11
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Mine are Giordana. Good quality at not too high a price and bought my first pair about 4 years ago -quickly followed by the second as they are so comfortable.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  12. #12
    Senior Member shadoman's Avatar
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    I'm here looking for the same advice.
    My fave shorts are a pair of NOS Cannondales (made in the USA, no less !) that I bought at a swap meet this winter. My old faves were BlackBottoms.

    ALL the new shorts I try feel like I imagine a loaded diaper would feel.

    Does NO ONE still manufacture a short with minimal synthetic chamois ?

    I have Selle San Marco saddles on most of my bikes, a Italia Turbo and Vetta Carrera on the others.
    Only one bike has a newer saddle, and that is a Forte' Classic.
    I'm not pokey, but I'm certainly not speedy... sorta half-fast, I guess...

  13. #13
    genec genec's Avatar
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    What gets me is that these brands all try to release something new from time to time, while us cyclists want to be able to go back and pick up the same comfortable shorts we have been wearing for years.

    You find a brand and style that feels and fits right, only to find out the next time you go to purchase them, that model no longer exists and "something new" has come along that you know nothing about.

    Levis has the right idea... just keep building 501s. Now if only PI and others would get a clue.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    I have one pair of shorts and seven Bibs. They are devided between Canari, Voler, Giant, Pearl Zumi, and Specialized. I gt the Canari and Voler because they have factories close to me. I have just ordered another pair of Voler and picked the trinity chamois because that is one one I like in my other Voler Bibs. The Giant are my least favorite because the chamois seems to bunch up and move too much. The Pearl Zumi are good for rides up to about 35 miles but they may be a bit worn and need to be replaced anyway. I tend to wear the Specialized as much as the Voler because I hardly even notice the chamois. I believe you have the option of ordering a thinner chamis with both Voler and Canari but because I always order the same chamois I am not sure.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  15. #15
    Semper Fi, A way of life. qcpmsame's Avatar
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    I like my 2 pair of Cannondale shorts. One pair has the old style synthetic chamois and the other has the newer "pad" style chamois. The Pad pair is not overly thick in the chamois and doesn't bunch up on me, the old style pair is my all round favorite and has served me well and are also my oldest shorts. They have worn very well . I'd recommend either type and Cannondale shorts in general to those asking me. My wife has a pair of C'Dale's women's shorts with the modern padded style and has enjoyed them. She does prefer a "Baggy" short most times but uses the Lycra for longer rides.

    I don't see or hear of many others wearing the C'Dale shorts. No explanation, maybe people just don't associate Cannondale with kit. Seems a shame to me. However my next purchase of shorts will be the bib shorts when Curtis (ccurlew) is able to organize another 50+ kit purchase. Gotta be representin'a know!

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  16. #16
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Anyone using LGs?

  17. #17
    Senior Member jmccain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    You find a brand and style that feels and fits right, only to find out the next time you go to purchase them, that model no longer exists and "something new" has come along that you know nothing about.
    Ain't that the truth! That's why I recently bought multiples of my favorites when they were on sale. They're stowed in a box waiting (and me hoping that I stay the same size and stay healthy).

  18. #18
    Senior Member GFish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadoman View Post
    Does NO ONE still manufacture a short with minimal synthetic chamois ?
    Purchased 2 pairs for $64 of the Falconi Deluxe Cycling Bibshorts from Love2Pedal.
    http://www.love2pedal.com/

    The synthetic chamois is about medium thickness.....not to thick and not paper thin. I think the Coolmax pad is good for 40 miles rides and under. After a years use, both shorts are holding up great. The Lycra still looks and feels like new.

    I should add........taken many longer rides in these shorts too, from 50 - 80 miles multiple times.

    Keep in mind, up until a week ago, these were my only pair of cycling shorts. So I can't compare how these feel with other shorts. But I regularly check out shorts at bike shops and think these shorts compare to others costing between $70-90. Now that I think about it, material wise, I think these Falconi's appear nicer then low end Specialized, Castelli and Performance brand shorts, to name a few I've looked at.

  19. #19
    Senior Member shadoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GFish View Post
    Purchased 2 pairs for $64 of the Falconi Deluxe Cycling Bibshorts from Love2Pedal.
    http://www.love2pedal.com/

    The synthetic chamois is about medium thickness.....not to thick and not paper thin. I think the Coolmax pad is good for 40 miles rides and under.
    Thanks for the link, but,
    Everything I see on that site has a "Triple" or "Multi-density" PAD.
    Those PADS are exactly what I can't stand.
    I'm not pokey, but I'm certainly not speedy... sorta half-fast, I guess...

  20. #20
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    I just wear gym shorts these days. Leave it to a recent bent convert to be a wisenheimer.

    I still love my PI bib shorts. $119/pair, but when you average them out into miles/cents, it's like getting them for free.

    You can skimp on a lot of things, but bib shorts aren't one of them.

    Some people love the Hincapie shorts. I have never owned one, but people who try them usually are hooked.

  21. #21
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Too Bad Kucharek quit making the Helenca Knit ones , they did not use Rubber thread
    like spandex/Lycra
    but the fabric itself had some give.. and so breathed well, and was not going gauzy
    when the rubber threads deteriorated..

  22. #22
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmccain View Post
    Ain't that the truth! That's why I recently bought multiples of my favorites when they were on sale. They're stowed in a box waiting (and me hoping that I stay the same size and stay healthy).
    Did that several years ago... found some PIs that I really liked. But eventually they too have worn out... and are no longer available. sigh.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    I wear Sugoi (pronounced soo-goy) RS shorts. They are expensive but worth it. They boast of a "high-tech" chamois. They are the only shorts I've worn since I started cycling (the LBS which sold me my bike recommended them). All I know is that I've never had any issues with saddle soreness or chafing since I started cycling, and judging from all the posts I seen about these issues in the various sub-forums here on BF, that means these shorts are working well for me.

  24. #24
    Senior Member GFish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadoman View Post
    Thanks for the link, but,
    Everything I see on that site has a "Triple" or "Multi-density" PAD.
    Those PADS are exactly what I can't stand.
    Well, sorry I couldn't be of any help. If you prefer a minimal chamois, just look for the least expensive bibs, most of these have very thin pads.

    After reading your comment, I had to check my bibs and tights to compare chamois. I doubt all multi-density pads fit and feel the same.

    I have chamois from these companies. Pearl Izumi elites 3D, Performance evolution, Endura 400 pad, and Falconi coolmax.

    Here's how these rate, lightest chamois on top.
    1) Performance
    2) Falconi
    3) Pearl Izumi
    4) Endura

    I plan to use the Endura bibs on a century ride in 9 days. I find these provide the best support amongst the bibs I currently own.
    Last edited by GFish; 06-17-12 at 05:22 PM.

  25. #25
    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    For minimal padding, try triathlon shorts.

    (I have not tried this one, but keep meaning to. So I really want someone else to try and let me know how it goes.)
    Zero gallons to the mile

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