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Old 04-21-13, 07:55 AM   #1
Wooden Tiger
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Cycling Clothes

My wife and I are getting into MTBing a bit more than we'd been in the past and most of our clothes we have are for road cycling. I have a few pair of "Century" shorts with the gel chamois in them and they're great for road biking but leave far to be desired when it comes to MTBing. I also have two pairs of "mountain biking" shorts which seem to protect a little more in the butt area.

Now, here's the stupid question. Is there actually a difference in the placement of the padding for road shorts vs. mountain biking shorts or is it just in my head? I've held them up and tried to compare them and don't notice much of a difference in pad placement.

My wife and I are both in need of mountain biking shorts.
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Old 04-21-13, 08:00 AM   #2
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I have never noticed any difference. If anything the MTB shorts would need less padding, cause you are out of the saddle a lot more.

Also, you HAVE to check out the boy scout built trails on the New River Gorge in Fayetteville. They are amazing.

Last edited by rebel1916; 04-21-13 at 08:01 AM. Reason: More info
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Old 04-21-13, 08:12 AM   #3
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I have never noticed any difference. If anything the MTB shorts would need less padding, cause you are out of the saddle a lot more.

Also, you HAVE to check out the boy scout built trails on the New River Gorge in Fayetteville. They are amazing.
Funny you mention the Gorge! I just got a big brochure/catalog for them. We did some of the MTBing trails there a few years ago and they were uh...very beginner. Now, granted, we did them through "Adventures on the Gorge" so maybe those trails were different than the ones you're talking about.

My wife and I do a fair share of riding the C&O Canal, which is very flat, and that's why I'm asking about the MTB shorts. For some reason those shorts seem to have a wider pad in the rear or something. I'm not sure what it is but it just seems that when I wear my road cycling shorts I have little to no protection in the rear. It's just the reverse for wearing my MTBing shorts if I'm on my roadie; then I have no protection for the table and chairs.
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Old 04-21-13, 09:03 AM   #4
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Funny you mention the Gorge! I just got a big brochure/catalog for them. We did some of the MTBing trails there a few years ago and they were uh...very beginner. Now, granted, we did them through "Adventures on the Gorge" so maybe those trails were different than the ones you're talking about.

My wife and I do a fair share of riding the C&O Canal, which is very flat, and that's why I'm asking about the MTB shorts. For some reason those shorts seem to have a wider pad in the rear or something. I'm not sure what it is but it just seems that when I wear my road cycling shorts I have little to no protection in the rear. It's just the reverse for wearing my MTBing shorts if I'm on my roadie; then I have no protection for the table and chairs.
Full disclosure, I have worked as a guide for an AOTG brand (Rivermen) in the past. The trails I'm speaking of are only about 2 years old and are located by the top of the Kaymoor stairs/trail. They are not tech, but they have flow like nothing I have ever seen before. Buff trails are harder to come by in WBGV than tech though. NY too for that matter.
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Old 04-21-13, 09:19 AM   #5
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i just bought these last night: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
[h=1]Zoic Men's Black Market Bike Shorts with RPL Liner[/h]
they have a built in padded liner, that can be removed!

hopefully they work out well.
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Old 04-21-13, 09:43 AM   #6
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Full disclosure, I have worked as a guide for an AOTG brand (Rivermen) in the past. The trails I'm speaking of are only about 2 years old and are located by the top of the Kaymoor stairs/trail. They are not tech, but they have flow like nothing I have ever seen before. Buff trails are harder to come by in WBGV than tech though. NY too for that matter.
The trails we rode were pretty uneventful; more climbing than fun downhill areas and really just not much excitement in terms of downhill areas. What wasn't uphill was basically just flat and a few little dips, and by little, I mean...very remedial. It wasn't a trail I care to ride again. If that trail were my introduction to MTBing, I probably wouldn't be very enthusiastic about it.

I'm not sure where the Kaymoor trails are but from your description this probably wasn't the same location.
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Old 04-21-13, 10:14 AM   #7
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I think you just have to experiment.

Road biking you may plant your butt in the saddle and not move it much for an hour or more. If you're doing real mountain biking you're constantly up and down on the saddle as well as sliding forward and back to weigh the bike for up and downhill. It's that sliding forward and back that gets to me. That can really hurt. I use a personal lubricant for that.
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Old 04-21-13, 10:18 AM   #8
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I think you just have to experiment.

Road biking you may plant your butt in the saddle and not move it much for an hour or more. If you're doing real mountain biking you're constantly up and down on the saddle as well as sliding forward and back to weigh the bike for up and downhill. It's that sliding forward and back that gets to me. That can really hurt. I use a personal lubricant for that.
Yeah, I do move around a lot while MTBing but I honestly spend most of the time outta the saddle except for while riding along the C&O. I probably should have been clearer in my original post as to what I was looking for. I'm looking for shorts I can use while on the C&O when I'll constantly be ON the saddle as to moving a whole lot. Maybe it's the "posture" of sitting on a MTB that's different from that of the roadie, which is putting weight on different areas. If I ride the C&O wearing road shorts I get no protection in the rear, yet when I wear the same shorts while riding the roadie I don't have any issues and they're great.
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Old 04-21-13, 10:53 AM   #9
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You may like a loose short over your tight road shorts , the wife , doesn't have the parts that dangle.
.. commando,
so may be happy with loose shorts with a built in sweat absorbant pad
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Old 04-21-13, 11:02 AM   #10
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Maybe it's the "posture" of sitting on a MTB that's different from that of the roadie, which is putting weight on different areas. If I ride the C&O wearing road shorts I get no protection in the rear, yet when I wear the same shorts while riding the roadie I don't have any issues and they're great.
That's my bet. You're back is probably closer to horizontal riding the road bike. Have you found any shorts that feel good riding your mountain bike on the C&O?
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Old 04-21-13, 11:17 AM   #11
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You're going to laugh at the problems I have with bike clothes.

I ride a recumbent so I get no tushie discomfort at all but, with my feet higher than my butt, I tend to drop things out of my pockets. Last week, I lost my cell phone but a nice lady found it and made the effort to figure out how to get it back to me. She wouldn't accept a reward either. In the past I've also dropped my car keys but, so far, I've always gotten them back. If I don't change my ways I may not be so lucky forever.

I've got some recumbent shorts that have zippers for the pockets but I forget to zip them. I also have some recumbent specific jerseys that have pockets on the sides so I don't have to lean back on lumpy tools and such.
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Old 04-21-13, 11:26 AM   #12
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You may like a loose short over your tight road shorts , the wife , doesn't have the parts that dangle.
.. commando,
so may be happy with loose shorts with a built in sweat absorbant pad
Well, I'm not a big fan of going commando, regardless whether it's road shorts or MTB shorts. If I just go out in straight road shorts I just wear one of my wife's thongs (JUST KIDDING! ). Seriously though, I just wear a longer shirt.

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That's my bet. You're back is probably closer to horizontal riding the road bike. Have you found any shorts that feel good riding your mountain bike on the C&O?
Yes, I've found a few pairs that are somewhat comfortable. I guess what I'm looking for are shorts with more pad focusing on my rear than the front. When on an MTB I don't experience discomfort with the "jewelry."

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You're going to laugh at the problems I have with bike clothes.

I ride a recumbent so I get no tushie discomfort at all but, with my feet higher than my butt, I tend to drop things out of my pockets. Last week, I lost my cell phone but a nice lady found it and made the effort to figure out how to get it back to me. She wouldn't accept a reward either. In the past I've also dropped my car keys but, so far, I've always gotten them back. If I don't change my ways I may not be so lucky forever.

I've got some recumbent shorts that have zippers for the pockets but I forget to zip them. I also have some recumbent specific jerseys that have pockets on the sides so I don't have to lean back on lumpy tools and such.
I can see how that would definitely pose a problem!
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Old 04-21-13, 11:34 AM   #13
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A bunch of guys I MTB with and I all just use road stuff, as do quite a few other mtbers I see. I don't like baggy shorts (I have several pair) as they bind and chafe, and the extra material, pockets etc just make them hotter. Regular road shorts don't and aren't. Looser jerseys are OK since aero is not as relevant, but regular road jerseys work fine for me.
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Old 04-21-13, 11:50 AM   #14
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A bunch of guys I MTB with and I all just use road stuff, as do quite a few other mtbers I see. I don't like baggy shorts (I have several pair) as they bind and chafe, and the extra material, pockets etc just make them hotter. Regular road shorts don't and aren't. Looser jerseys are OK since aero is not as relevant, but regular road jerseys work fine for me.
I'm not a big fan of the spandex look, though if I'm road biking I will deal with it. On the trails I prefer baggy shorts just because of stuff I may fall into (as I usually do) like thorn bushes, brush, etc. As for the cycling jerseys, I refuse to wear a tight one. When I wear a tight jersey I look like an overstuffed Chef Boyardee ravioli, and that's not a flattering look.

I did have an instance a few years ago while I was on a climb; my baggy shorts got caught on the tip of the saddle and wound up ripping the rear right out of the pants. I was furious, cursing up a storm, and meanwhile, my wife was behind me trying not to make it obvious she thought it was funny. Had I seen her laughing, I probably would have just gone into a Category 5 chimpout.
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Old 04-21-13, 01:59 PM   #15
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for the record, I bought a cheap pair of Pearl Izumi shorts, made for men. They tend to squeeze my privates into my abdomen, and make me look more like a woman...
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Old 04-22-13, 07:50 AM   #16
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I'm not a big fan of the spandex look,
Sounds like you have more of an issue with what the spandex is trying to contain, rather than spandex itself.
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Old 04-22-13, 08:06 AM   #17
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for the record, I bought a cheap pair of Pearl Izumi shorts, made for men. They tend to squeeze my privates into my abdomen, and make me look more like a woman...

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Sounds like you have more of an issue with what the spandex is trying to contain, rather than spandex itself.

Get a room fellas.
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Old 04-22-13, 08:53 AM   #18
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Every brand has a slightly different cut to their chamois, and some brands have multiple types of chamois insert- sometimes based on type of riding, sometimes based on price point, sometimes a little of both. You may need to try several brands/models to get the perfect fit. If you have road shorts you like, you can always wear baggies over them on the MTB, or not. What works for you is what you should wear.
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Old 04-22-13, 09:11 AM   #19
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I think I just might cut a hole in the crotch area, so my junk can hang out freely, instead of being imprisoned in a hot, humid contraption.
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