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  1. #1
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Cycling apparel durability

    I have two pair of Voler bibs, one maybe a year old, worn 20-30 times, one a couple of months old, worn 6-8 times. Both show pilling or abrasion at saddle contact areas. On the other hand I have several pair of Aussie bibs that I got from a pro who probably wore them hundreds of times that show no wear whatsoever in the saddle area. A couple of other pair of Aussies from the same guy but different team show some pilling in the same areas as the Voler. I have been wearing the Aussies for about 1.5 years. The unabraded ones are in such good shape I am sending them off to have the side panels replaced. Those panels with the team logo are apparently of a different fabric. Even though, theoretically, the sides get no wear, the panels are worn so thin, I guess from washing and such, that you can almost see through them.

    Has anyone noticed this type of difference in wear between different brands of good quality shorts? Any comments on long term wear of Voler, particularly at the saddle contact points? I love the fit, and they are very comfortable, my choice for long rides. These are the standard "team" bibs that sell for $54.95 though I got these as monthly specials for about 10 bucks less.

    Just curious.
    Regards,
    Raymond
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  2. #2
    Member LngDistance's Avatar
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    This summer when I rode a cross country tour, one of our pairs of uniform shorts were Jamis Team Shorts made by Voler. They were Extremely comfortable, and I wore them as much as possible. After the course of about 30 washings I saw the same type of wear. Recently I have bought a couple of pairs of pro team gear, and will have to see how they wear, so far they are great, but I am not riding 80 miles every day like in the summer.
    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single pedal.

  3. #3
    WallaWalla! Rotifer's Avatar
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    I think it depends on the amount of riding you do and how many pairs of shorts you have among which to distribute wear. I go through about two a year, my current pair has so may holes in it it's a bit embarrassing - theres even a safety pin holding the crotch together. These be they.
    Jeff

  4. #4
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Jeff,
    That's what I was trying to get across. The Volers, which I love in terms of comfort, are showing wear while still practically new while the others show no wear after probably thousands of miles and hundreds of washings.

    Kind of raises the question in my mind, how can you tell what brand/fabric is going to wear longer? And does the pilling/abrasion that the Volers are showing necessarily mean that they are actually wearing faster or is it strictly cosmetic. I guess only time will tell.

    LngDistance, was that one of the supported tours? One of them, maybe Bike Across America, passed through New Orleans a few weeks ago.
    Regards,
    Raymond
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  5. #5
    WallaWalla! Rotifer's Avatar
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    Right, I've been thinking about the same thing. While at the shop the other day I was looking at Pearl Izumi's most expensive short (I guess it must be this one), the thing is built like a tank - a may spring for it next time and see If it lasts long enough to justify the price. I'm not a particular fan of Pearl Izumi, just don't have many options aside from the internet.
    Jeff

  6. #6
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    I've bought clothing from a mixture of manufacturers.

    I found the Trek shorts (no info on who makes them) fluffed up with saddle wear very quickly. The couple of pairs of Giordana bibs have next to no wear. The Castelli shorts are okay.

    Tights wise Impsport seem more durable than Trek/Nike.

    Oh and I wore out a pair of suit trousers pretty quickly cycling to and fro to the station
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

  7. #7
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Jeff,
    I was "this" close to buying a pair of those top of the line PI shorts when my LBS buddy, thinking he was doing me a favor, recommended a pair of "retro" looking Bianchi shorts that were about 2/3 the price. You know the type, BIANCHI in big block letters around the legs. Big mistake. The Bianchis feel WONDERFUL with a pad like a cloud. Unfortunately the pad is way too thick, something I never thought I would say. It bunches up on the sides of the saddle and causes chafing. I wanted something for long rides, but these are no good for much over 15-20.

    I do have a pair of regular PI shorts, ie, non-bib. They were not the most expensive, maybe the next ones down in price. I have probably only worn them 4-5 times. I just checked them. Darn if they don't show slight signs of wear in the "sit bone" area already! Now the fabric on these (Ultrasensor, maybe) is completely different from the more expensive (Microsensor?) so there is no way to compare. And as I said before, a little pilling may not necessarily be signicant to long term wear. In fact the one pair of Aussies I mentioned that do show some pilling have hundreds of rides on them, and the area with pilling doesn't really feel thin or worn. It just looks that way.

    Go figure.
    Raymond
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  8. #8
    RAGBRAI. Need I say more? Steele-Bike's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Richard D
    Oh and I wore out a pair of suit trousers pretty quickly cycling to and fro to the station
    I typically wear jeans on my 5 mile commute and find that a pair only lasts a few months before I wear through the crotch.

  9. #9
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    My oldest shorts (maybe a year) have been showing some pilling for the past several months, yet they do not appear to be getting worse. It's only one pair that did it. All others are fine. I have several different brands and can't remember which it is that pilling.

    My guess is that they wore on the wider (cheaper) seat on my hybrid. My skinny little road bike seat doesn't seem to cause the problem.
    Just Peddlin' Around

  10. #10
    Member LngDistance's Avatar
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    Rainman, actually it was an independent tour to raise money for the ACS (www.hopkins4k.org). So we got our uniforms donated from a number of companies, and I think the reason I wore through the volers so fast was because they were the best ones, and therefore got the most usage. I have also found that shorts last longer if you hand wash them rather then tossing them in the washer
    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single pedal.

  11. #11
    Senior Member RacerX's Avatar
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    team wear is thinner because of printing reasons. It will not last as long as the regular stuff you get in stores. Those use a heavier, different material blend because it doesn't need to be printed on.

    Printed team wear isn't needed for more than 1 season so that is why it usually doesn't last for much longer- especially with machine washing. You get the see through as all the iinks wash away with use. Jerseys usually last longer.

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