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Recumbent What IS that thing?! Recumbents may be odd looking, but they have many advantages over a "wedgie" bicycle. Discuss the in's and out's recumbent lifestyle in the recumbent forum.

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Old 08-04-07, 09:04 PM   #1
kuan
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Bike shorts?

Is there a need for bike shorts on a recumbent?
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Old 08-04-07, 10:40 PM   #2
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Not padded ones, but casual shorts tend to turn into parachutes when riding a recumbent. I have a couple bent specific lycra shorts from the Hostel Shoppe and then some other non-bent specific stretchy shorts. Almost all of my bent riding is fast performance riding though so I tend stick with sporty clothing that is form fitting and wicks sweat away from my skin.

A lot of people wear loose synthetic T-shirts and baggy shorts. Try wearing what you already have and are comfortable with to start with. You can always make changes if you find it isn't working for you.
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Old 08-05-07, 12:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan View Post
Is there a need for bike shorts on a recumbent?
NO

On a vintage saddle regular shorts will bunch etc and I change position and slide forward slightly but the length of the legs is a big deal with casual shorts. Above the knee so it doesn't hook. The trendy B-Ball model or gauchos with carpenter pockets don't make my knees happy and they get warmer covered.

If you want to wear sweats or a body hugging outfit, as long as you do not risk snagging anything you will be fine in whatever is comfortable and safe for you.

I like my cruiser vs. others because it takes enough strain off my back and sends some into the arms and shoulders...it's far more comfortable than sitting here TYPING!

I've never been on a recumbant or a trike, for the record, but they look really neat.
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Old 08-05-07, 04:13 AM   #4
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Is there a need for bike shorts on a recumbent?
No, and,,, um,,,, -sort-of.

Conventional bicycle shorts have padding.

There's no need for padded shorts on a recumbent, but as noted, regular shorts tend to "parachute" in the wind (even worse, they catch bugs!) and synthetic fabric like lycra prevents inner-thigh chafing.

Hostel Shoppe for one sells a selection of recumbent-specific riding shorts. There are "regular-looking" ones (Volae) and there are baggy/MTB style ones that have a synthetic outer baggy short with a synthetic mesh inner liner(Mt. Borah). These typically have a extra layer of fabric over the crotch area to help conceal, but they don't have any padding at all. {-On a recumbent seat, I find regular padded shorts rather uncomfortable to sit on, but some people do it anyway-**

Kucharik also makes some recumbent-specific clothing people seem to like (shorts, shirts and jackets) even though Hostel Shoppe doesn't carry that brand.
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Old 08-05-07, 08:09 AM   #5
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Yes, but...

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Is there a need for bike shorts on a recumbent?
Not the kind with padding. I use tight running shorts--I don't shop for shorts in the bike department or shops. My Reeboks cost $15 per pair.

I have advised both my wife and riding partner to use tight shorts (as well as all of my customers). Only AFTER they experienced the possibility did they comply--my wife now always wears the tight shorts. Imagine that you are traveling 15 mph in one direction and a bee or bug is heading toward you at 15 mph. The combined 30 mph is quite sufficient to drive the bug well up loose shorts stopped only by contacat with one's delicate private parts. The time to stop and disengage the new arrival is more than enough for ample damage to be inflicted. And you can't blame the bug, who really doesn't want to be in there either.

So, bike shorts, no--tight shorts, yes.

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Old 08-05-07, 09:29 AM   #6
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I'm also one who goes for tight shorts, and for the same reasons that chip said. I like to use lycra runner's shorts. I've also heard of people using compression shorts (found in the weight lifter's dept,) rower's shorts (wherever the heck they sell stuff for people who do sculling,) and competition swim suits. The swim suits are sold by Arena, Speedo, and most other makers and are called "jammers," and are essentially low-waisted bike shorts, without a pad but with an extra layer of material in the front groin area. Recumbent riders don't need the high-waist of standard biking shorts, and I find the lower waist to be more comfortable. You can also use a seam ripper and remove the pad from any standard bike short. Finally, if you really don't like lycra, you can use mountain-bike baggy shorts, but make sure they have leg cinches and zippered pockets. You may want to remove a pad from them, if they have one.
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Old 08-05-07, 05:31 PM   #7
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Make your own 'bent shorts

For those not opposed to contributing a half-cent to the Bangladesh economy, Wall*Mart has Puritan brand mens shorts for $4.76. These are knee length shorts with an open channel around the bottom of the leg for a draw string. They are 60% cotton/40% poly, and have a draw string waist. Combine them with Wally's boot laces (not the fat ones, use the thinner ones, $.94) and a couple of 1/4" mini cordlocks from REI or other sporting goods store (4/$2.50), and you have recumbent shorts that will last for years.

Mine starting to show wear after about 4 years. These are not sports shorts, they are wear anywhere shorts so if I want to ride, I just change shoes and off I go. Wear cycle sandals? Pure stealth. These are the only shorts I wear, and I wear them everywhere, almost every day.

They come in beige, black, navy, gray, and dark olive-drab. $6.95 total (plus tax) for a really great short(s?). Can't beat it with a stick.
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Old 08-06-07, 06:04 AM   #8
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Oh OK. So no kilts on recumbents. I get it.

Thanks all!
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Old 08-06-07, 08:45 PM   #9
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I still wear my bib shorts from Performance Bicycle. They have less padding than many others, and it doesn't get in the way.
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Old 08-08-07, 05:31 PM   #10
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Oh OK. So no kilts on recumbents. I get it.

Thanks all!
...and what's wrong wi' a kilt , laddy?
I wear cargo shorts and a t-shirt. I'm not a fashion plate, but I'm comfortable.
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Old 08-08-07, 07:29 PM   #11
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Like cis1948 and I wrote, loose fitting shorts are perfectly comfortable; at least until the intake scoops in front collect a bee or two. The bees get deposited in the absolute worst place, from the rider's perspective. This would be where you do a Maxwell Smart impersonation and say, "Missed it by THAT much!"
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Old 08-08-07, 09:36 PM   #12
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Whenever I wear regular shorts, and ride for over an hour, as I usually do, my backside is sopping wet from all the sweat. I got some bike shorts from REI that have two zippered pockets (extremely important) and not too much padding. They were about $75, but well worth it.
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Old 08-12-07, 08:40 AM   #13
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Need biking shorts? Yes and NO!
For riding up to 100 miles a day I use any fairly tight fitting shorts to prevent the "bee on balls" syndrome! Padding or no padding is not critical, just make sure the legs are tight enough to keep the critters out.
But for longer rides, particularly day after day on a long tour, I sometimes wear regular biking shorts with minimal padding. If you wear regular shorts, or any shorts with a seam of any kind on the bottom, I've painfully found that the seam ultimately wears a hole in the skin of your butt.
Found this out the hard way on a long 60 - 75 mile/day tour when after the third day I wore an extra hole in my bottom where there is not supposed to be a hole! Luckily my wife, who rides an upright bike, had an extra pair of padded regular biking shorts that I wore the rest of the ride! So now I tell everyone that "everything feels better when I get into my wife's pants!"
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Old 08-12-07, 11:34 AM   #14
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Pocket Pleats can be deadly too...

Some Great recommendations here, and I will go to Wally's for the first time in five years to get my shorts built from now on!

One very disturbing thing that I have learned with a couple different pairs of shorts - Those pleats on the "thigh pocket" of the shorts will trap the tip of the handlebars when riding my Volae Explorer! It was most disconcerting the first time and the only way to deal with it was to clear the turn then fix the problem. Had an obstacle appeared, I would have been dead meat! Fortunately I have been very cautious and this did not occur in traffic... that would have sucked royally in traffic!

Anyone else experience such a thing?

In any event, the solution may appear with Wally purchases. $60 to $80 for "Recumbent" shorts really seemed to be extreme... May just have to invest in a pair of those to compare the two...

Thanks for the tips, now who's next...(grin)
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Old 08-12-07, 12:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Need biking shorts? Yes and NO!
For riding up to 100 miles a day I use any fairly tight fitting shorts to prevent the "bee on balls" syndrome!
I wear bike shorts for anything but short rides because I find them more comfortable. This posting has made me realize the choice is clearer than I thought. And I thought getting bees trapped in my helmet, jersey, or in a couple cases in my glasses was bad....
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Old 08-12-07, 04:06 PM   #16
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I still wear the padded bike shorts quite often. I've heard that the tight fit on the legs aids in avoiding soreness. It seems to work, or maybe it's just wishful thinking.
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Old 08-15-07, 12:06 PM   #17
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Up till now, I've worn cargo shorts or other street clothes when riding recumbents. Perfectly comfortable...but after reading this thread, I've developed a sudden fear of bees. I'll have to figure something out...
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Old 08-16-07, 12:40 PM   #18
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A drawstring around the pant leg works fine. Tighten when riding, loosen when walking. And they don't look like bike shorts.
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Old 09-06-07, 10:47 AM   #19
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Cycling shorts on recumbent

I do, but only on fitness/training rides, because I've got an accumulation of shorts (and jerseys and 2 caps) from my recently ended DF days. The chamois in the shorts and the jersey pockets are obviously unnecessary and useless but the functionality of the material is still valid and, more importantly, it adds a good 5 to 10 km/hr to your appearance.
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Old 09-06-07, 12:17 PM   #20
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The reason I like runner's shorts is because I'm cheap. They're less than $20 at Dunham's or Dick's or whatever sporting goods superstore you like. $80 for recumbent-specific shorts? I don't think so! Ditto for recumbent-specific jerseys - the middle rear pocket on my $20 Performance jersey might not be functional but the other two are. And if I don't like the pockets in back, it's cheaper to have the pocket moved than to buy a jersey with a pocket already in front.

One thing with single-layer lycra shorts, you need underwear. Avoid cotton; it'll get wet and chafe horribly. Coolmax underwear is more expensive but works much better, and it lasts a looooooon time, too. I have yet to wear out a pair.

The seams on regular street-type shorts is a good thing to note. I'd forgotten how sore I got the year I went on a 4-day tour wearing cutoffs and gym shorts. The seams along the insides of my thighs just about wore holes in my legs.
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Old 09-06-07, 01:15 PM   #21
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Aerotech recumbent shorts. Good quality, made in USA.
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Old 09-15-07, 02:21 PM   #22
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Hind Animal Shorts

Recommend Hind Animal Shorts, available from many vendors. Been using Hind tights and shorts for 20+ years. The stronger fabric on the animal shorts wears extremely well. Outstanding construction. One has 8" inseam and one has 3.5" inseam. I actually like the sorter one. For women, they also a hugger brief like those worn by track athletes. Many colors available.

73/gus
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