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  1. #1
    Senior Member NE Tiger's Avatar
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    Bike Shorts Question

    I did a search on this before posting, but while the question was asked the answers were a bit beside the point.

    The question: Is there any performance based reason that one could not reasonably wear bicycle shorts underneath regular gym shorts?

    Most of the responses in my search were urges not to be self conscious, just go with the tight stuff and forget the outer layer. Not looking for a pep talk here, guys, but a sense of whether this will hinder the performance of the shorts on 12-15-17 mile recreational rides. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    If you're particularly concerned with aerodynamics, I suppose that gym shorts could cause drag.

    The other two reasons I can think of are comfort ones: Seams under where you sit can and almost certainly will become uncomfortable over many miles. Also, gym shorts may interfere with the wicking properties of the bike shorts.

    If you find gym shorts on top of bike shorts comfortable, I can't see why you shouldn't wear them.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member NE Tiger's Avatar
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    Cheers
    "On a traffic light green means 'go' and yellow means 'slow down', but on a banana it's just the opposite. Green means 'hold on,' yellow means 'go ahead,' and red means, 'where the **** did you get that banana?"

  4. #4
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NE Tiger View Post
    The question: Is there any performance based reason that one could not reasonably wear bicycle shorts underneath regular gym shorts?
    "Mountain bike" shorts are typically two layers: an inner skin-tight layer and an outer baggy layer. What you're doing is recreating them.
    Jeff Wills

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  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Tights make friction take place between shorts and the saddle,
    rather than the friction between skin and the inside of your trousers.

    throw other stuff over the bike shorts if you wish .. pockets are handy..

  6. #6
    Strong with the Fred Big_e's Avatar
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    I often wear bicycle shorts under gym shorts or even cargo shorts. Reasons would be because the bike shorts still provide the comfort I need while the cargo shorts provide me with pockets. Also, for modesty reasons if I know I'm gonna step into a coffee shop or restaurant to sit and eat...I mean, bike shorts do seem to emphasize the package.
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    I ride my bike to the gym quite frequently which is 18 miles one-way. I use gym shorts on this ride so I don't have to carry them and have also ridden this same ride with cycling shorts. I've noticed no performance impact due to the short choice.
    Demented internet tail wagging imbicile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big_e View Post
    ...I mean, bike shorts do seem to emphasize the package.
    Or lack thereof

  9. #9
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    I've carried gym shorts in a jersey pocket to wear after I've parked the bike. Just roll 'em up and stick 'em back there.

  10. #10
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    i wear basketball shorts over my bibs when i commute to work- just can't
    get used to having my coworkers see a helmet imprint
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  11. #11
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    ^^^^ What's your helmet doing on your butt?


    .... oh....

  12. #12
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    skin tight cycling shorts will cut .0001 second per mile off a 20 mile rec ride, not wearing them could cost you the yellow stained jersey
    "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

  13. #13
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    ^ Yeah, that's what I figure. But to some, every little aerodynamic thing adds up.
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    I was wearing gym shorts over my cycling shorts this summer. I am perty sure that is what was causing all of my chaffing. We were in the 100+ degree range with the heat index. I took them off one day when I was soaked on a 10 mile ride, as the wife said man up and take them off. I didnt want anyone seeing my fat butt in those tight shorts. I dont care anymore. I am comfortable now.
    BillMc
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  15. #15
    Allez means go. bengreen79's Avatar
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    I find wearing shorts over my bike shorts far less comfortable, especially when it's hot outside.

  16. #16
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billmc40 View Post
    I was wearing gym shorts over my cycling shorts this summer. I am perty sure that is what was causing all of my chaffing.
    I learned this the hard way that chafing can also be caused by humidity. Perhaps avoiding gym shorts in extreme humidity would work. I generally don't care what people think of how I look in lycra, but it is nice to have pockets.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    My problem with most shorts is the low, baggy crotch which sometimes hangs up on the saddle horn. Not exactly a performance issue, but important to me.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  18. #18
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NE Tiger View Post
    The question: Is there any performance based reason that one could not reasonably wear bicycle shorts underneath regular gym shorts?

    Not looking for a pep talk here, guys, but a sense of whether this will hinder the performance of the shorts on 12-15-17 mile recreational rides. Thanks!
    On 12-15-17 mile rides, wearing gym shorts over bicycle shorts shouldn't make any difference one way or the other. In fact, for rides that short, you could just go with the gym shorts without the bicycle shorts if you wanted.

    However, once you get into longer rides, wearing gym shorts over bicycle shorts can be uncomfortable. Even wearing tights over bicycle shorts on cool rides can increase chafing issues. As some others have mentioned, wearing double layers on the bottom seems to decrease breathability which traps moisture against your skin ... which causes that increase in chafing.

    I've also found that wearing another piece of clothing (basketball shorts, tights, etc.) over my cycling shorts on very long rides can cause some odd non-chafing-related pains in various parts of my general sitting area (i.e sitbones, hips, etc.) ... kind of like nerve pain or pressure pain. I take off the extra layer of clothing off, and the pain goes away.

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