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Old 08-29-10, 08:24 PM   #1
NE Tiger
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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!
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Old 08-29-10, 08:31 PM   #2
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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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Old 08-29-10, 08:50 PM   #3
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Old 08-29-10, 09:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
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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.
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Old 08-29-10, 09:15 PM   #5
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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..
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Old 08-29-10, 10:02 PM   #6
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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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Old 08-29-10, 10:23 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 08-30-10, 12:08 PM   #8
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...I mean, bike shorts do seem to emphasize the package.
Or lack thereof
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Old 08-30-10, 12:17 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 08-30-10, 01:07 PM   #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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Old 08-30-10, 01:09 PM   #11
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^^^^ What's your helmet doing on your butt?


.... oh....
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Old 08-30-10, 01:15 PM   #12
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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
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Old 08-30-10, 01:22 PM   #13
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^ Yeah, that's what I figure. But to some, every little aerodynamic thing adds up.
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Old 08-30-10, 08:25 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 08-30-10, 08:30 PM   #15
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I find wearing shorts over my bike shorts far less comfortable, especially when it's hot outside.
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Old 08-30-10, 10:49 PM   #16
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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.
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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Old 08-31-10, 01:53 AM   #17
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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.
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Old 08-31-10, 05:51 AM   #18
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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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