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  1. #1
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    May have resisted peer pressure too long, need help

    Okay, I'm getting tired of explaining why I don't usually wear bike shorts/tights.

    So, I guess I need to try a pair and see how they work. I've tried on a couple but the chamois felt soooooo uncomfortable, I just dropped the idea.

    If you wear bike shorts, how do you know what is good and and what is bad?
    Hi 'o Silver away

  2. #2
    All Bikes All The Time Sawtooth's Avatar
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    FIT FIT FIT. I have tried a lot of different pads and have not found that issue to be nearly as salient as FIT in determining the right short for me.

    Just so I understand, the Chamois feels uncomfortable in the store and you have not tried it on the bike, right? Things are entirely different on the bike, as I am sure you know.

    By the way, you won't be sorry.

  3. #3
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
    Okay, I'm getting tired of explaining why I don't usually wear bike shorts/tights.

    So, I guess I need to try a pair and see how they work. I've tried on a couple but the chamois felt soooooo uncomfortable, I just dropped the idea.

    If you wear bike shorts, how do you know what is good and and what is bad?
    And don't half-a$$ it with baggies either. Go for the lycra!

  4. #4
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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    Well, when you try 'em on in the store - you better, man...

  5. #5
    More biking, less flying.
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    FWIW, I wear (or wore, as I have not worn them in awhile) baggie bike shorts and like them.

    -Good fit
    -baggie is good for more social settings
    -dried quickly.

    definitely better than not wearing bike shorts.

  6. #6
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Me, I just wear loose fitting pants. I'm not racing anyone.

  7. #7
    Senior Member here and there's Avatar
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    I look at fit and chamois. For a while I wore a cheap pair of shorts I bought at Sports Authority. They were ok until my first ride in warm sunny weather...that's when I discovered the seams rub me on the wrong places when I really work up a sweat. I read around the forums and decided to try the Performance Century shorts. They fit well and the seams don't bother me, though it took a while for them to feel comfortable because the chaffing from the previous shorts was still bothering me. My fault though, I didn't take time off the bike to let the chaffing heal.

  8. #8
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    I have to say, when you first put them on they definately feel wierd, but after an hour+ ride, the chamois is barely noticable even off the bike. I get used to it being there and the shorts are so much more comfortable. A agree though with the nomination of going lycra! They breathe so well...

  9. #9
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    I dunno, I have a Brooks saddle and after doing some riding with and without bike shorts, I've pretty much decided it's more comfortable WITHOUT the padded shorts. In the winter I have polypro tights, both with and without padding and the withouts are no less comfortable than the withs. I think it depends a lot on the saddle and how comfortable you are on it.

    By all means buy a pair and try 'em for yourself, but I don't think they're for everyone.

    I definitely agree with the breathing / drying out aspect. But for me, the padding is a minus.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Fit is the main thing. Try them on wearing briefs and not boxers. You ride with nothing other than the knicks. Now the fit should be TIGHT in the store. Just a little uncomfortable actualy because once your on the road the advantage of tight knicks is that everything stay's in place and doesn't move which reduces chaffing. As for the chamois look for minimal or no stitching. Most of my chamois's have a little stitching which isn't too bad but one pair I had the stiching was a little more pronounced than most and it caused soreness.

    The higher number of panels in the more expensive knicks I find makes for a better fit.

    Regards, Anthony

  11. #11
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    I rode for many years without bike shorts, defiantly out of uniform.

    2 months ago I broke down and got some.

    Short story: I was wrong for so many years!!! Much more comfortable, especially as to complete lack of crotch chafing, plus long legs mean no friction on the thighs, plus tighter than baggie shorts means nothing billowing and flapping in the wind.

    My recommendation: do it!

  12. #12
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Thanks, I have a conceptual question. Why is the padding in the pants rather than in the saddle? it seems backwards to me. pants change more frequently than saddles, so why not improve saddles?
    Hi 'o Silver away

  13. #13
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
    Thanks, I have a conceptual question. Why is the padding in the pants rather than in the saddle? it seems backwards to me. pants change more frequently than saddles, so why not improve saddles?
    Well even though we call it a "pad" its not realy about padding. The old leather chamois was about reducing friction and presure points. Modern synthetic pads/chamois's do a realy good job and even though they feel like padding to touch that's not realy how they work.

    Regards, Anthony

  14. #14
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eggplant Jeff
    I dunno, I have a Brooks saddle and after doing some riding with and without bike shorts, I've pretty much decided it's more comfortable WITHOUT the padded shorts. In the winter I have polypro tights, both with and without padding and the withouts are no less comfortable than the withs. I think it depends a lot on the saddle and how comfortable you are on it.

    By all means buy a pair and try 'em for yourself, but I don't think they're for everyone.

    I definitely agree with the breathing / drying out aspect. But for me, the padding is a minus.
    I was just thinking this to my self yesterday as I was riding my touring bike with a B17. It seemed to me that all this bike short stuff came into popularity as the plastic foam saddles became mainstream. Basically uncomfortable saddles became popular and bike clothing with 'padded' shorts was necessary to compliment it (And I mean for the recreation/touring/commuter cyclist not racer). I can ride my B17 in cut offs all day and have no problems. Don't get me wrong this was just a hypothetical thought in my head and I still like bike specific clothing but I have definitely taken a liking to the less padded shorts since I started riding on leather.

  15. #15
    05 Roubaix Comp Double
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    Wonder how cutoffs and sweat mix? There's more to cycling shorts then the pad.
    Touch every 3rd person and you'll find an idiot.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    I just picked up a brand new pair of PI Attack Shorts. Wore them for the first time today. Felt weird walking, but on the bike it was a world of difference. I bought them online, so they are the only pair I've tried so far, but MAN they are comfortable. And people did not snicker as much as I thought they would when I walked into work in them.

  17. #17
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    I find that with biking shorts my "frank" always manages to get caught in an uncomfortable position. I'm constantly lunging my hand down my shorts to readjust. I began wearing regular ol' exercise shorts with boxers and have been comfortable for the past year or so. However, my rides are usually only an hour and a half or less.

  18. #18
    what. kyle!'s Avatar
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    your frank!? hahha!

  19. #19
    05 Roubaix Comp Double
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    Quote Originally Posted by joesmohello
    I find that with biking shorts my "frank" always manages to get caught in an uncomfortable position. I'm constantly lunging my hand down my shorts to readjust. I began wearing regular ol' exercise shorts with boxers and have been comfortable for the past year or so. However, my rides are usually only an hour and a half or less.
    Bibs.
    Touch every 3rd person and you'll find an idiot.

  20. #20
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    I like Canondale's chamois in their $60 shorts....prety good overall. I wear those under my street clothes on days I am going to do a lot of in-and-out while biking to them all.

    For club rides...Specialized bibs. The chamois in it is this massively padded thing, but it really does work well. Only gripe is there is some stitching that does is rather uncomfortable for those of us who "dress up".
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  21. #21
    Too Much Crazy C Law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    Bibs.
    Yeah to the OP, skip the shorts and go straight to the bibs. You will end up there eventually anyway.

    3x* more comfortable






    *not statistically verifiable

  22. #22
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Well, still not hurting.

    Are there any good compression shorts without chamoises that you would recommend?
    Hi 'o Silver away

  23. #23
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    Get a pair of Performance Century shorts. For the price, they are hard to beat in my experience. I've got some that cost me 2x as much, and some that were slightly cheaper. For the money, I'll be getting more of the Century short (and maybe bibs).

    +1000000000000000000001 on the difference between the feel of the pad on and off the bike. Off the bike it feels weird, I'll notice it's there with every step. Within a quarter mile on the bike, I don't notice it at all and wouldn't leave home without a good pair of shorts for any ride over about 5mi.
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  24. #24
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    Before I got my Brooks B17, I wouldn't have been able to finish my first century ride without the bike shorts. Now, I think maybe I could, but I don't want to risk it...I'm afraid that maybe as cozy as 30 milers are in my Umbros with my Brooks, I may have some form of physiological breakdown on something as long as a century.. However, since the B17, I don't ever wear bike shorts for "normal" distance rides...just no advantage there.

    They do feel both odd and uncomfortable out of the saddle. Awkward to walk and stand in as well.

    Isn't it interesting that my Pearl Izumi shorts cost as much as my Brooks B17? I know which one of those the money was better spent on!
    Good night...and good luck

  25. #25
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    With the Brooks, less is more. The most comfortable is a very thin chamois or tight cotton shorts with no chamois.

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