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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 01-20-14, 05:22 PM   #1
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Brevet shorts for a clyde?

As one might guess from the title, I've had problems with shorts on longer rides. The edges of the pads, from 4 different manufacturers, start rubbing my legs and crotch raw somewhere around the 60-115 mark depending on make). I'm a clyde, and I've come to prefer bibs, as the straps help anchor what would otherwise slide down.

The problem isn't helped by the trend to add a millimeter or two per year in pad thickness. Especially on a warm ride, that just makes nice big sponge to capture sweat, and then release it later.

Does anyone have recommendations on bibs/shorts, or am I doomed to try one of everything and pick the least bad?
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Old 01-20-14, 05:39 PM   #2
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The type and cut and placement of the chamois pad matters.
But, every butt is different, so what works for one may not work for another.
Sorta' like saddles.
The number of panels from which the shorts are made, matters. More is usually better.

However, I think that sooner or later, lubrication is required.
I can do 200k in the winter and in mildy warm weather sans lubrication.
But when the heat hits, and brings on the sweat, Chamois Butt'r or other similar product are godsends.
Especially Lantiseptic.

My first 600 attempt, I was using Chamois Butt'r, but given the rains we had, not enough, and did not re-apply enough.
Chamois Butt'r is usually good enough for me.
But, occasionally, Lantiseptic is the ticket.
I first heard of the product at the at the 300k point of the aforementioned 600.
And I heard more from MikeD at the 400k point.
However, neither Mike nor Jerry nor anyone else had any Lantiseptic on hand.
And, uh, well, I carry the stuff with me all the time, now -- even in the winter.
Along with a spare plastic bread bag or two for use as application devices, because as noted in the linked story above, you cannot get that stuff off.
Works GREAT, though.
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Old 01-20-14, 05:50 PM   #3
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Stick with the bibs, I have a number of different pairs but most of my shorts are made by Voler and Pear Izumi. They work well for me (I'm a clyde too). Most of the better shorts manufacturers offer several different models with different pads. It's kind of like saddles, try em and if you don't like em try another. When you find the right one buy ten pairs.

I don't use chamois butter unless I'm doing a ride/race over 200 miles and then I only use it as a preventative measure. If you are fit right and you have your shorts and everything worked out you shouldn't need it. Lantiseptic is good stuff, I've used it on RAAM and other races. Don't use it all the time, it's for if you get a problem as it's got a local pain killer or numbing agent in it.
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Old 01-20-14, 06:21 PM   #4
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It might help if we knew the make and model of the shorts you've tried and your general measurements.

Bibs vary A LOT. Even within a brand, different models will have a different target consumer group and be cut differently. Most of the major brands have "club" or "relaxed" cuts, "sport" or "fitted" cuts and "Pro" "skin tight" cuts.

You shouldn't be doomed at all. I know a lot of the C&A have had good luck with some of the less brand named products from Love2pedal and Aerotech. I have no personal experience with either of those.

At 6'5" and approx. 115kg, I have experience with Hincapie, Pearl Izumi, Campy, Sugoi and Netti.
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Old 01-20-14, 06:23 PM   #5
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I'll add, I also don't use any chamois creams of any kind. However, while touring in Australia, Mrs. Fred discovered the Aussie brand Butt Cream by necessity and has since also had good results with DZnutts.
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Old 01-20-14, 06:54 PM   #6
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the Volers don't agree with me. I have found that in hot weather, it's good insurance to carry an extra pair of shorts.
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Old 01-20-14, 07:04 PM   #7
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I've used two different brands, couldn't tell much difference. Saddle issues I've had were unrelated to shorts.
I've ridden 200k's in blue jeans, for that matter.
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Old 01-20-14, 07:18 PM   #8
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I've had the problem twice 2-3 times - once about 150 miles in on a very hot ride, and another at PBP 2011 from around 400 miles on. In the latter case I was doctored at a control and it helped for a while, but eventually I just suffered. Every pedal stroke hurt. I've switched shorts around, but to be honest I don't know if I've solved the problem or just have not duplicated the circumstances.

I'm going to add Lantiseptic to my brevet kit.
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Old 01-20-14, 07:35 PM   #9
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I would definitely recommend going to a bike shop and just visually inspecting the pads yourself. They vary a lot in cut and thickness. I know what I tend to like now, so it's easy to shop "unfamiliar" brands just by looking at the pads. I would agree that too thick is usually bad. I also tend to prefer a "velvety" feel vs. a slick coolmax type of fabric on the pad.

I would also say that, for myself, chamois cream on a longer ride is a must. I used to get away with not using it, but even repeated 25 mile one way commutes over the summer started giving me saddle sores (although I think cycling 25 miles, then letting my shorts hang out for 9 hours and then strapping them back on for another 25 may not have been the greatest hygiene choice). I opted for the DZnutts and am a big fan. It has tea tree oil as well, which acts as a natural disinfectant in addition to the obvious lubricant benefit of the cream.

Last edited by WalksOn2Wheels; 01-20-14 at 07:35 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 01-21-14, 05:02 PM   #10
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Thanks for the feedback.

I've got one pair from Voler that's great, but I think it was a closeout model from a few years back. Newer ones have pads that are too thick.

I got a couple pairs of PI last summer, and they've been driving me nuts. After pulling one pair off the line yesterday, I found there's little triangular arrowhead-like projections on the pads that line up EXACTLY with where they've been causing problems. Cut them off, carefully, and I'll see if that helps.

Another couple pairs from Performance were pretty good, but either they've shrunk or I've expanded.

It's pretty aggravating to try to shop; I've only found two stores that had my size in stock.
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Old 01-26-14, 01:45 PM   #11
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Bouré's Elite bib shorts have a thin pad. For that matter, so do their Pro shorts, though the latter have a synthetic leather substitute that requires a seam down the middle to take its shape. They've only once given me a problem, and that was when I was still wearing an XL pair but had lost enough weight for the L to be appropriate; the chamois moved around a little too much and left a couple of tender spots where my thighs met the front edge of the pad.

On the other hand, I have a novelty set of bibs (the "Poseur" team kit) from ElevenGear whose chamois has a little logo embossed in it. If I go out for more than 25 miles in them, I have to put Chamois Butt'r on the logo or it will leave a quarter-sized red spot on my butt.
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