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  1. #1
    Da Big Kahuna
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    Practical Biking

    I know a lot of people ride for the enjoyment of riding, but I basically don't. For me, I use it to get someplace and all the views, exercises, etc, are just real nice bonuses.

    If I were to drive to my usual destination or take a bus (this is to Waikiki Beach), I would simply have my bathing suit under regular shorts, carry a little bag with a beachmat, etc, and already be wearing beach sandals.

    But with my bike, I'm wearing special shoes for the clipless pedals, bike shorts, I have to lock up the bike and carry the helmet (or more) with me to minimize theft, I have to change to my bathing suit someplace and change back.

    I know, it's weird, but all these things bug me.

    I could go to regular pedals and wear any kind of shoe I wish, but then I lose speed (which is a key part of practical biking to me).

    What I'd really like to do something about is the bike shorts and I really can't figure this out. On my first bike I got 16 months ago (a trek Navigator 100 comfort bike), I wore normal clothes and didn't have problems with irritation - I even did a century on it!

    But even before getting my first road bike (Bianchi Volpe), I was told that I would really need bike shorts. I tried riding without them and it didn't work. There were two problems and I can only understand one of them:

    1. A sore butt as if bruised.

    Since the seat is harder with no suspension and especially since I have some less than smooth roads to ride, I can see how that would happen.

    2. Irritation from rubbing, generally where the leg meets the torso.

    I don't see why that should happen since it didn't seem to happen on the old bike. A softer seat and suspension would not seem to matter in this area.

    I would really like to be able to wear a bathing suit with shorts on top, but I don't know of any solution.

    Bob

  2. #2
    road siklista dexmax's Avatar
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    first of all, road racing bikes are meant for speed and efficiency(aerodynamics, power transmission, etc).. I think comfort is a secondary design factor.

    The comfort bikes like the navigator, however, is designed solely for comfort and recreation.. The position of the handlebars, which are above the saddle, is very comfortable as compared to the road bike..

    Bathing trunks are fairly thin, I'm sure you can use them under your lycra shorts..

  3. #3
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    The Bianchi Volpe is not a road racing bike, but a practical all-round road bike ideal for your use. You dont always need to wear cycle racing kit to ride, it depends how far and how fast you want to go. You dont always have to ride at max effort for utiltiy cycling.
    I am prepared to sacrifice the efficiency of clipless pedals for the utility of toe clips. In your climate, you could probably make use of those SPD cycling sandals.

    Check out some of the triathalon wear. They may have some solutions to swimable cycling trunks. You could wear MTB style baggy shorts with padded inserts over your trunks.

    I usually lock my helmet to the bike rather than carry it around. My cheap model has few large holes, so the shackle fits through the holes. More modern designs have many smaller holes, so you will need a thin cable. Look for one with a loop at each end, and you can slip it though your lock.

  4. #4
    Da Big Kahuna
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    dexmax: I understand many reasons why a comfort bike is, well, more comfortable. What I can't figure out is what makes bike shorts almost a requirement, especially when it comes to the irritation I mentioned, on a road bike.

    Michael: Yeah, I got the Volpe partly because it would be more practical for carrying things when necessary (I don't have a car). By "cycle racing kit", are you referring to clothing? Some time ago I tried riding to Waikiki with just the bathing suit and shorts on top like I did with the comfort bike. I hoped that since it was just 12.5 miles each way, it might work.

    Well, going was fine, but as soon as I got on the bike to return, I felt like I had bruised my butt and as I started riding, I immediately could feel the irritation I mentioned. Both got worse as I went.

    I don't always ride at max effort, but I do push some because it really matters to me to get to my destination quickly. Funny, but I don't much care about the return trip except when I have to meet a schedule.

    I've wondered about toe clips, but I am concerned about the abilty to get out of them quickly, not to mention that they aren't as efficient as clipless. But what are SPD cycling sandals? They sound interesting.

    I never thought about triathlon wear. I'll check that out for sure!

    I think I know what you mean by MTB baggy shorts, but not sure about "padded inserts" unless you mean the ones that are simply built in. Also, since I wear swim trunks that are like shorts in design (IOW, not those real tight things), wouldn't that cause a problem trying to pull tight bike shorts on top? Even the baggy shorts I've seen have the inner part that is tight.

    My original helmet I just left on the bike. It was cheap and after using it awhile, I wasn't worried about losing it. But I just got a Giro Pneumo and those are expensive! I'm not sure I would trust it with a thin cable.

    I used to lock up my bike with a pair of those heavy Masterlock handcuff things PLUS a heavy cable to pull through the wheels. I also parked it in a place with many people around. Now I just use the cable (hope that isn't a mistake) because it cuts down on weight, especially when I ride 50 miles or so.

    Bob

  5. #5
    road siklista dexmax's Avatar
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    sorry i didn't mean it that way..

    Anyway, I understand how you feel.. I live in a tropical country too..

    Those SPD sandals do come in handy.. I'm posting a pic..

    Good thing is, you can walk in them, even in the sand, i guess.

    those baggy shorts may help, if you are using those loose trunks.. I simply assumed you used the tight ones, like cycling shorts..

    If you get irritations on the way back, perhaps its the saltwater..

  6. #6
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Lake also makes a nice SPD compatible Sandal.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
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  7. #7
    Da Big Kahuna
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    > I live in a tropical country too.. <

    I didn't recognize the name. Where is it?

    > Those SPD sandals do come in handy.. I'm posting a pic.. <

    Thanks, they look very interesting.

    > Good thing is, you can walk in them, even in the sand, i guess. <

    Well, I walk in the ones I have. They aren't nearly as bad as some shoes, but they definitely are not great for walking. I guess even the sandals would have the problem where the clip hits the ground (wouldn't matter on the beach itself).

    > those baggy shorts may help, if you are using those loose trunks.. I simply assumed you used the tight ones, like cycling shorts.. <

    Aren't the insides of the baggy shorts tight just like the other bike shorts? I always assumed they were since everyone told me it was important to keep things from moving around (grin).

    > If you get irritations on the way back, perhaps its the saltwater.. <

    I'm not sure if I even went in the water that day. Actually, most days I don't, partly because of the need to change. I tend to not spend a lot of time on the beach - 90 minutes is long for me - and maybe only 30 in the water so it doesn't always seem worth it to change. Anyway, the odds are that I didn't go in.

    Bob

  8. #8
    Da Big Kahuna
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    Originally posted by khuon
    Lake also makes a nice SPD compatible Sandal.
    How long do these things last, compared to regular bike shoes? I saw a couple prices and they weren't cheap. If they wear out very fast, that's a problem for us poor retired folks.

    Bob

  9. #9
    Senior Member Neil G.'s Avatar
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    I'm a lot like you, Bob. If I'm riding my bike, I'm generally riding it to get somewhere. I can also understand how little things like this bother you (I'm still trying to figure out how I can ride to concerts).

    I have pedals with SPD on one side, and regular platforms on the other. Maybe I'm just weird, but I've never found that I go noticably faster when clipped in. In fact, I probably only clip in about 50% of the time, because I find that the time and effort I use to flip the pedals the right way and clip in outweighs the advantage I get. And I'm almost always trying to go fast. So I'd have no problem wearing whatever I wanted to wear at the beach and just riding on the platforms. What kind of speed differences have you noticed?

    About the butt, I'm apparently one of the rare (and lucky?) ones who does just fine without padded bike shorts. I'd have no problem doing 12.5 miles to the beach and back, and would probably just wear only the swimming trunks (in fact, I just bought a new pair of trunks specifically thinking that they might make good biking shorts since they're lightweight and quick-drying). Of course, that doesn't help you much!

    As for the soreness, I think that most people get soreness anytime you change your seating configuration, but after a few rides your butt gets used to it. So maybe if you rode more without the bike shorts, the soreness would ease up (although that would be a disheartening and painful experiment if it turns out to be unsuccessful).

    For the chafing, it's probably less likely that you'd get "acclimated" to that like you might with the soreness, but I wouldn't rule it out. Otherwise, I'd imagine it would mostly be an effect of a different seat, and the way your legs work around it. Why don't you try putting the seat from your comfort bike on your Volpe? For the record, I ride a Cannondale T800, which probably similar in positioning to your Volpe, except I got a Brooks B17 saddle for it, which I really like. I did get chafing down on the thigh just below the butt one day on a long ride, but that was when I DID decide to wear padded bike shorts for some reason. The next day I did another long ride, but switched back to my regular underwear and shorts, and the pain from the previous day's chafing actually got less and less as the day went on.

    About the helmet, maybe you just shouldn't have gotten an expensive helmet. :-) But really, even if it is expensive, I can't imagine too many people would want to take a helmet. Wouldn't that be kinda like stealing a pocket protector? I commute with a Topeak trunk bag that slides onto my rear rack, and then slides off to become a nice shoulder bag which would probably hold beach gear well, and then you can just hook the helmet to one of the straps of the bag. Sometimes I do that, and sometimes I run my cable lock through a helmet vent.

  10. #10
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Neil G.
    But really, even if it is expensive, I can't imagine too many people would want to take a helmet.
    It'd be like stealing someone's nosehair clippers.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
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  11. #11
    A New Creation! Ritz's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TheRCF
    I know a lot of people ride for the enjoyment of riding, but I basically don't. For me, I use it to get someplace and all the views, exercises, etc, are just real nice bonuses.

    If I were to drive to my usual destination or take a bus (this is to Waikiki Beach), I would simply have my bathing suit under regular shorts, carry a little bag with a beachmat, etc, and already be wearing beach sandals.

    But with my bike, I'm wearing special shoes for the clipless pedals, bike shorts, I have to lock up the bike and carry the helmet (or more) with me to minimize theft, I have to change to my bathing suit someplace and change back.

    I know, it's weird, but all these things bug me.

    I could go to regular pedals and wear any kind of shoe I wish, but then I lose speed (which is a key part of practical biking to me).

    What I'd really like to do something about is the bike shorts and I really can't figure this out. On my first bike I got 16 months ago (a trek Navigator 100 comfort bike), I wore normal clothes and didn't have problems with irritation - I even did a century on it!

    But even before getting my first road bike (Bianchi Volpe), I was told that I would really need bike shorts. I tried riding without them and it didn't work. There were two problems and I can only understand one of them:

    1. A sore butt as if bruised.

    Since the seat is harder with no suspension and especially since I have some less than smooth roads to ride, I can see how that would happen.

    2. Irritation from rubbing, generally where the leg meets the torso.

    I don't see why that should happen since it didn't seem to happen on the old bike. A softer seat and suspension would not seem to matter in this area.

    I would really like to be able to wear a bathing suit with shorts on top, but I don't know of any solution.

    Bob
    You may want to look into recumbents. No special clothes required to sit in a mesh lawn chair, and you can still use your pedals and shoes. About speed? I don't know if you know or not, but the human powered vehicle world land speed record was set on a recumbent. I can't wait 'till I get mine!
    "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the de@d , you will be saved." Romans 10:9 NIV

    VIVA LA PANTS!

  12. #12
    Da Big Kahuna
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    Originally posted by Ritz
    You may want to look into recumbents. No special clothes required to sit in a mesh lawn chair, and you can still use your pedals and shoes. About speed? I don't know if you know or not, but the human powered vehicle world land speed record was set on a recumbent. I can't wait 'till I get mine!
    A recumbent won't work for me. When I go on really long rides, they are one way only - I catch a bus back. Most recumbents won't fit. I understand there are shorter ones and I am sorta keeping that option in mind, but I want to do a lot more research on them first.

    I'm not real thrilled about sitting so low where it is harder to be seen (or see) either and I don't think the little penants compensate for those problems.

    Bob

  13. #13
    Senior Member ChiliDog's Avatar
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    Why not put your Navigator's suspension seatpost/saddle and platform pedals on your road bike? Wouldn't that solve your problems? You could more comfortably wear any kind of shorts and shoes and still crank out the speed on your road bike gears and wheels? Seems like the perfect solution to me.
    Ride like a kid again...out the door, not a care in the world~

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  14. #14
    Da Big Kahuna
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    > (I'm still trying to figure out how I can ride to concerts). <

    Concerts? Interesting. I'm a band director.

    > I have pedals with SPD on one side, and regular platforms on the other. Maybe I'm just weird, but I've never found that I go noticably faster when clipped in. <

    I had that on my old bike but since I was always using the bike shoes, I didn't like the hassle of trying to get the right side up! As for speed difference, what would be "noticeably faster"? I tend to fight to get a couple of tenths improvement. I did sacrifice (I think) some speed when I bought the Armadillo tires, but I was getting so many flats that I was willing to take that loss.

    > What kind of speed differences have you noticed? <

    I can't say. Keep in mind that I just started riding 16 months ago. I rode for a little while without special shoes before changing. Since I was starting from zero experience and conditioning, I was improving relatively fast compared to now so there is no way to tell and on my present bike, I'd have to change the pedals to try going back.

    > I'm apparently one of the rare (and lucky?) ones who does just fine without padded bike shorts. <

    Interesting. Is your route pretty smooth? Mine has a lot of areas that are definitely not - thus a fair amount of bouncing (and bruising). Of course, some of this may be just getting tougher back there. After all, my first bike with the softer seat and suspension seat post hurt for awhile. This being my first road bike, maybe I can do better now. When I tried before it was probably back in November or December. Might be worth another try. How far can you ride without special shorts?

    Still worried about the irritation though.

    > Why don't you try putting the seat from your comfort bike on your Volpe? <

    I loaned the bike to someone. There is also the question of whether or not the suspension post had any effect on chafing (I wouldn't think so), but if so, it might be a different size. I'll have to get in touch with the person I loaned it to.

    > About the helmet, maybe you just shouldn't have gotten an expensive helmet. :-) But really, even if it is expensive, I can't imagine too many people would want to take a helmet. <

    That was one of the reasons I held off buying an expensive one, but I must say, it is much cooler! I don't know how tempting it would be, but unlike something like gloves or shoes, someone can take the helmet and replace the padding and straps if they think it is icky.

    > I commute with a Topeak trunk bag that slides onto my rear rack, and then slides off to become a nice shoulder bag which would probably hold beach gear well <

    I had thought about something like that (though I didn't see that particular one). I created my own basket from a platic basket I found at Walmart. It is about 7"x10" and 4" high. It is permanently attached. I hold things in it with a net. That gives pretty good versatility, especially with the open top, and is much faster to deal with than a bunch of bungee cords (which are ALWAYS too long or too short).

    The only problem is I can't take it with me, but anything I could would have a specific limit on size since it would be completely enclosed. I'm still thinking about this.

    Bob

  15. #15
    Da Big Kahuna
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    Originally posted by ChiliDog
    Why not put your Navigator's suspension seatpost/saddle and platform pedals on your road bike? Wouldn't that solve your problems? You could more comfortably wear any kind of shorts and shoes and still crank out the speed on your road bike gears and wheels? Seems like the perfect solution to me.
    I don't know if the seatpost will fit as I don't have the bike here now. As for pedals, my concern would be how much that costs me in efficiency - I really have no idea. But I keep a lot of details on my rides and consider a loss of a minute on a normal ride (12.5 miles in usually around 45-48 minutes) to be significant. I mean, I'm trying to get to where I can average 17-19 consistently instead of usually 15-17. Losing a minute matters because I've been stuck for months!

    But maybe these things don't matter much - just as weight doesn't seem to matter as much as most people think.

    Bob

  16. #16
    Da Big Kahuna
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    Okay, today I stopped by the bike shop and looked at SPD sandals (didn't have my size). Anybody know how these things hold up compared to regular bike shoes? Any experiences with these things would be appreciated. ALso looked at triathlon shorts (to swim in). Problem there is that I don't like to wear tight stuff and at 54, I don't think I'm going to change my mind!

    More important, I decided to try an experiment today. I remembered I had a pair of baggy bike shorts (first pair I ever bought when I knew even less than I know now). I would say the inner bike short part was too loose.

    So, I thought I'd try to wear my baggy swimming trunks and wear those bike shorts on top.

    First problem was the tendency to bunch up which I handled as best I could. I then rode in a very relaxed manner to Waikiki (about 70 minutes on the bike). I ate breakfast (about 50 minutes wearing this outfit), then I went to the beach where I took off the bike shorts.

    After about 150 minutes on the beach, I put the bike shorts on top again and rode causually for another 40 miles before getting home (including a stop for lunch). This added another 5 hours or thereabouts in this outfit.

    It always tended to feel bunched up some and I did get some numbness from time to time (I would stand to take care of that). I didn't really seem to get any real feeling of irritation until I had ridden about 30 of the 50 miles and from then on it got worse, though never as bad as the time I tried to ride my new road bike with just swim trunks and regular shorts.

    Right now, having gotten out of the extra clothing, it doesn't feel too particularly sore, though I'll know better about it tomorrow I guess and I would never normally be riding that far with this getup!!! Typically it would be a total of 25 miles, round trip.

    So, I guess this would work, but I think I might try riding without bike shorts one for time at least just to see if my body has adjusted to this bike since the first week or so I had it.

    Boy, it would be great if I didn't need the shorts normally!

    Bob

  17. #17
    Da Big Kahuna
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    Well, I don't feel any irritation today, which surprises me. Maybe if I put on the normal bike shorts I would, but I'm resting today. So I guess I have at least one alternative to my problem. Just wish the bathing suit didn't bunch up.

    Maybe I'll try not using bike shorts on my next trip. I'll carry them with me though, in case it doesn't work out.

    Bob

  18. #18
    Senior Member Neil G.'s Avatar
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    > Concerts? Interesting. I'm a band director.

    cool; I was just talking about attending concerts, not playing at them. Generally rock concerts, where I can't really take all my stuff in with me, and where a bunch of drunks are likely to be hanging around outside.

    > I had that on my old bike but since I was always using the bike shoes, I didn't like the hassle of trying to get the right side up!

    I wear Cannondale "mountain bike" shoes where the cleat is completely recessed, so they work just fine on the platform side.

    About speed, you're right, it's hard to quantify what kind of effect you might get from clipping in. Feel free to start a new thread asking for opinions on that matter. There are just so many other variables, not least of which are wind, fitness, and just how energized you feel on a particular day. I would think that over a short distance (20 miles or less), I'd get almost no advantage. I figure that it's only longer distances that the clips help, because then I'm not using any energy to keep my feet connected to the pedals, so I have more energy over the long term to put towards pedaling. Though I value speed, I also ride with heavy tires and rims, fenders, front and rear racks, etc., and figure it's just up to me to overcome that extra weight. A 17-19 mph average moving speed is a pretty decent clip, but I'm sure most of your improvement has to do with your increased fitness, and you'd stay about the same if you went back to platforms.

    > Interesting. Is your route pretty smooth?

    Well, I'm always on roads, but conditions vary a good bit. Generally if I'm going to be hitting something that will cause bouncing, I can see it in advance and rise slightly off the saddle, so I don't think road conditions really have much of an effect on soreness for me. I've always figured it's just the constant pressure that causes soreness, and that's what you get used to over time. Oh, and my touring bike came with 700x28C tires, but I switched them to 700x38C, because the 28s just made rough roads too jarring; not for my rear specifically, just overall.

    I've done several rides of 75-80 miles without padded shorts and no ill effects. My work commute is short (3.5 miles), but I'll do a trip around 20 miles each way about once a week. Irritation and chafing come up way ahead of soreness/bruising as potential problems, so I still do try to slim-fitting shorts with good seam placement. I would definitely be wary of riding a long distance with swimming trunks jammed and bunched inside lycra...I think I'd ride with no shorts before trying that! But that's just me, maybe my rear is just less susceptible to brusing than most peoples'.

    > someone can take the helmet and replace the padding and straps if they think it is icky.

    heh...I didn't even think of the "ick-factor". I was only thinking about the "dork-factor"!

  19. #19
    horizontally adapted bentrox!'s Avatar
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    First, let me say that I wish we all had problems like how to bike to work in comfort in Waikiki like TheRCF.

    As to the subject of discomfort, I'll say my 33-mile ride last summer down Haleakala (okay, I know that's a different island) was very comfortable on a rented Navigator 400. I wore my Mt. Borah MTB baggies that have an unpadded lycra liner, actually made for recumbent riders like myself. (I don't wish to preach this except to say my short wheel-base recumbent fits on my home city's buses Sportracks without a problem.)

    I have friends that rave about their SPD sandals, but I still prefer MTB shoes myself - can't get used to the open toe look, even on my recumbent.

    Anyway, check out the Mt. Borah shorts.

    Now, how to carry a surfboard, I've no idea....
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  20. #20
    Da Big Kahuna
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    > There are just so many other variables, not least of which are wind, fitness, and just how energized you feel on a particular day. <

    Oh geez, tell me about it. Here the wind forecast is usually 10-25 mph and it definitely varies more than that with various lulls and gusts. It is pretty consistent most of the year about the direction though (ENE). I have 57 potential stops for traffic light. I don't count stop time, but slowing down, etc, has a major effect.

    > Though I value speed, I also ride with heavy tires and rims, fenders, front and rear racks, etc., and figure it's just up to me to overcome that extra weight. <

    We think alike, though so far I've avoided fenders and a front rack. I got Armadillo tires recently because of a problem with flats and they are heavy.

    > A 17-19 mph average moving speed is a pretty decent clip, but I'm sure most of your improvement has to do with your increased fitness, and you'd stay about the same if you went back to platforms. <

    Well, I'm not going 17-20 yet. I can almost always average 16-17 on my normal runs unless I'm not pushing at all. I might need to try the platforms again and see what happens (assuming I can separate out the variables!).

    > Well, I'm always on roads, but conditions vary a good bit. Generally if I'm going to be hitting something that will cause bouncing, I can see it in advance and rise slightly off the saddle <

    I have some stretches that have rough pavement that make it tough to just rise out of the saddle for a specific bump.

    > I've always figured it's just the constant pressure that causes soreness <

    I was thinking of the one time I rode wth regular shorts (and a bathing suit). It wasn't so much a general soreness. It felt more like bruises - so I figured it was because of bouncing.

    > Oh, and my touring bike came with 700x28C tires, but I switched them to 700x38C, because the 28s just made rough roads too jarring; not for my rear specifically, just overall. <

    Oh, well, mine had 32 or 34s, but I had them put on 25s because I wanted the speed. Now I have 23s. That might account for a lot of difference.

    > I've done several rides of 75-80 miles without padded shorts and no ill effects. <

    Neat! I might try it tomorrow (if it doesn't rain). I'll take my bike shorts with me in case it is a problem so I can change when I come back if necessary.

    > My work commute is short (3.5 miles), but I'll do a trip around 20 miles each way about once a week. <

    I walk to work (0.25 miles). I usually ride before that for a 25 mile trip. Since it is summer and school is out, I have made a number of longer trips. In fact, for the past three weeks I've ridden about 40-44 miles on Sunday. This includes a 5 mile climb up a hill in addition to my normal hills. Then two days later I've ridden 48-54 miles. Then I do two more normal 25 miles runs to finish out the week.

    > I would definitely be wary of riding a long distance with swimming trunks jammed and bunched inside lycra...I think I'd ride with no shorts before trying that! <

    Well, that isn't what I would normally do. Typically I only go to Waikiki Beach, but yesterday I just felt like seeing if I could make another long run. If things got bad, I could always change out of the trunks or grab a bus. I have no reason to do it again - it was just a test.

    Bob

  21. #21
    Da Big Kahuna
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    > First, let me say that I wish we all had problems like how to bike to work in comfort in Waikiki like TheRCF. <

    It's worse than that - I don't bike to work. I'm retired and just work part-time about 10 hours a week during the school year. The rest of the time, I do what I want. Life is tough!

    > (I don't wish to preach this except to say my short wheel-base recumbent fits on my home city's buses Sportracks without a problem.) <

    Oh good, since you actually have one, can you tell me anything about disadvantages compared to regular wheelbase recumbents (I have never even sat on one so I'm totally in the dark).

    > I have friends that rave about their SPD sandals, but I still prefer MTB shoes myself - can't get used to the open toe look, even on my recumbent. <

    Funny thing, but before moving to Hawaii you would never have seen me in shorts, period. Now I only wear long pants for work and I wear beach sandals when not biking most of the time (though if walking far, I'll where athletic shoes).

    So the sandals may work just fine. With my bike shoes, the only real problem walking in them is that the clip hits the ground (feels weird and is noisy on hard surfaces). Do the sandals do that too?

    > Anyway, check out the Mt. Borah shorts. <

    I haven't spent much time looking at shorts, but I don't recall ever seeing those around here.

    > Now, how to carry a surfboard, I've no idea.... <

    Oh, I see that done all the time. There is some sort of rack that attaches to the bike, sticks out the side and has to slots the surfboard sits in. It would probably drive me nuts because I see both balance problems and the issue of taking up a lot more room on the road.

    But since I can't swim, I don't intend to be doing any surfing anyway.

    Bob

  22. #22
    Da Big Kahuna
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    Neil,

    Well, I tried riding with wearing ordinary shorts over a bathing suit today. This was what I did months ago, just after switching to a road bike. At that time I was fine riding the 12.5 miles to Waikiki, but coming back I felt bruised and had a lot of irritation.

    Today, like the first time months ago, I had pretty much no trouble getting to Waikiki. Early on I got slight pinches, but it seems that has happened to me every time I've worn something new, including bike shorts. I guess I made a few adjustments in position and it didn't happen again.

    But the real test would be what happened on the way back. Just to make sure, I did an extra 6 miles coming home. I think things went well. Don't feel bruised (yet - those things can be delayed) and as for irritation, sometimes I think I might be right on the edge of getting a little irritation, but barely. Considering my prior ride on Tuesday where I may have already started such a problem (when I rode 52 miles with swim trunks under bicycle cargo shorts), I figure this is real good.

    I will need to see if I still feel fine tomorrow and also if it gets worse as I do it on consecutive rides, but I'm hopeful.

    One thing that did surprise me was that the back of my upper legs felt a bit sore before I started riding and even more after I got to Waikiki. It seemed to go away after spending time in the water. My riding pattern so far this week had been pretty much the same as the prior two weeks. The only difference was that last ride where I didn't ride further, but I was riding much slower. Perhaps just being on the bike longer did it.

    Bob

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    Bob,

    a lot of variables have changed apart from the issue of the shorts, since you are still getting used to a new bike, it appears? The shorts sound like a symptom.

    The set-up and design of the two bikes, the frame material, the saddle, the relationship between bars and saddle, the tyre changes you've already mentioned, etc., etc., -may all differ markedly. Perhaps one of these changes may be affecting your riding comfort to the point that your backside is noticing the difference? ( the tyre remarks certainly hint at that). Your bike is bruising your body, the softest part that comes into contact with the machine. Even with better padding, a process of adaptation (bike and self!) may be necessary.

    I agree with the earlier thought that weight is an overrated variable. It becomes the obsession, when attention to fit and comfort would pay real, and sometimes inexpensive dividends.

    It's a bit like fault-finding with any other machine, changing variables, testing ideas, one at a time........ hope you find a solution.

    Please ignore these ramblings if you've done a lot of trouble-free miles on the new bike, in road shorts...............

  24. #24
    Da Big Kahuna
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    > a lot of variables have changed apart from the issue of the shorts, since you are still getting used to a new bike, it appears? <

    Oh no, I got the bike last December and have over 3700 miles on it now.

    > Perhaps one of these changes may be affecting your riding comfort to the point that your backside is noticing the difference? <

    I have over 1000 miles with an the armadillo on the rear and nearly 500 on the front. Basically none of this has bothered me. Just the recent long, slow ride with bike shorts over swim trunks seemed to cause some soreness in the legs and the ride yesterday without bike shorts probably led to some butt soreness, though it isn't bad and doesn't really seem to be exactly where I sit. Go figure.

    But on the matter of bike shorts, I really don't know what they SHOULD feel like. People say they should be tight to hold things in place, but how tight is tight? So many things I guess you only learn from years of experience (or lots of money). Even though I've ridden a total of over 6700 miles since taking up cycling, I only had two bikes - totally different in concept, three pair of bike shorts - none of which I've been thrilled with, and two seats on the road bike.

    That doesn't even consider variables involving various adjustments!

    It is kinda frustrating to not know for sure if I'm getting the right stuff for me.

    Bob

  25. #25
    Slow Moving Vehicle Jean Beetham Smith's Avatar
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    My experience with winter riding is that you don't appreciate or even understand what a difference the encumberance of multiple layers is until you shed them. In the spring my leg speed jumps as soon as I go to shorts from tights, in the winter it drops each time I add a layer. I also feel like I'm working harder as I add layers and I have more muscle aching for the same ride. Part of it is the difference in the bikes, but I have always felt part of it was the layers of clothes.
    Help grow the future of cycling in the world. Volunteer at your local "earn-a-bike" program. In the Boston area http://www.bikesnotbombs.org/about

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