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  1. #1
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    Overwhelmed at What Shorts to Get

    Okay, so please assist me on my quest to purchase my first cycling shorts.

    I ride 3-4 (9 miles or so each session) times a week so Im probably going to just buy one pair at the moment and just wash and reuse.

    I bought the performance brand club shorts for 35 but I really didn't fall in love with them. Fit felt good (albeit a little tight. Not sure if its because I had UA compression shorts underneath) but the padding didn't feel sufficient. I also was wondering weather or not I should just spend little more and buy better shorts.

    I wear a 29 waist but found the small (28-30) club shorts to be slight tight. Again it might be because I was wearing compression shorts underneath.

    I was looking at the pearl attacks but at that price, I want to be sure its the best one available in that price bracket. Unfortunately the reviews seem pretty up and down. The pearl quests are also $20 cheaper if that makes a difference.

    I would prefer to buy at PB to get the best price (have 20%) and I can use them immediately but if online is the best way to go, i dont mind waiting a few days.

    Any recs?

  2. #2
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    9 miles? I'd wear whatever comfortable shorts you have and comfy t-shirt. I rode 120 miles over the weekend in khaki shorts and polo shirt, it was awesome.

    9 miles is like 30-40 minutes of riding, you're not going to get chafed and hurt your ass.

  3. #3
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    The performance club shorts are a little light on the shammy, but they are more than adequate (IMHO) for short rides of under 20 miles.

    Don't wear anything under them.

    More than anything it might just be a matter of getting your rear used to riding.
    @zymphad, khakis and a polo might not be suitable for someone who isn't coasting and stopping every couple blocks.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by zymphad View Post
    9 miles? I'd wear whatever comfortable shorts you have and comfy t-shirt. I rode 120 miles over the weekend in khaki shorts and polo shirt, it was awesome.

    9 miles is like 30-40 minutes of riding, you're not going to get chafed and hurt your ass.
    Maybe its my seat then. Should I use the shorts money towards a more comfy seat?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
    More than anything it might just be a matter of getting your rear used to riding.
    @zymphad, khakis and a polo might not be suitable for someone who isn't coasting and stopping every couple blocks.
    My 30 mile ride was 1:40 minutes, I'm not coasting much. Only time I'm coasting is downhill, I got headwind...

    Quote Originally Posted by isuckatbiking View Post
    Maybe its my seat then. Should I use the shorts money towards a more comfy seat?
    Do whatever is comfortable to you was my point. If you need a more comfy saddle go for it. I have a Prologo Zero and I don't need a chamoise for a 20-30 mile ride. I do have a pair of baggy cycling shorts, but this weekend, I was sitting around, studying a little and room go stuffy, and just put on my cycling shoes and was off. I'm not cycling 23-27 mph, it was an enjoyable ride, but by no means was I huffing and sweating or running out of energy. I stopped at a CVS and got two Gatorade bottles, that was it, and when I got home I didn't eat either.
    Last edited by zymphad; 05-13-14 at 09:34 AM.

  6. #6
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    So just repurchase the club shorts or spring for the attack (or quest).

    I do want one shorts that will last me a long time and that could withstand a ride, whether it be 9 miles or 50.

    I just dont know which "mid tier" shorts to get. There seems to be quite a few options at that price point.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by isuckatbiking View Post
    Maybe its my seat then. Should I use the shorts money towards a more comfy seat?

    Are you having pain or discomfort riding? You said your problem was the shorts are too tight. What does that have to do with your saddle?
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/rms13

  8. #8
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by isuckatbiking View Post
    So just repurchase the club shorts or spring for the attack (or quest).

    I do want one shorts that will last me a long time and that could withstand a ride, whether it be 9 miles or 50.

    I just dont know which "mid tier" shorts to get. There seems to be quite a few options at that price point.
    I've had luck with bellweather, specialized, and PBK bibs/shorts. It's a personal thing though since everyone's ass is different.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by isuckatbiking View Post
    I wear a 29 waist but found the small (28-30) club shorts to be slight tight. Again it might be because I was wearing compression shorts underneath.
    Jealous of your 29 waist, when I'm in the drops, which I often am, my back has more pain on the hoods and my hands hurt, top of my thighs hit my lower gut a bit, bleh.

  10. #10
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    My favorite ones..

    Nashbar S2 Shorts - Nashbar
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
    Are you having pain or discomfort riding? You said your problem was the shorts are too tight. What does that have to do with your saddle?
    Wearing just my compression and regular shorts does give me some ass pain.

    I skimped out and bought some cheap shorts on amazon for 9 bucks. Padding was great but it frankly made me feel as if I was wearing a diaper. Not only that, the padding actually sticks out instead of contouring to my ass shape.

  12. #12
    Senior Member THSdrummer's Avatar
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    Recommendation: Don't wear anything underneath your bib shorts. The chamois is designed to interact with your body. Putting a layer between you and the chamois takes away this benefit, just leaving padding.

    I spring for expensive bibs, but at deep discounts. Picking up a pair of bibs is almost always going to be a trust exercise. The chamois may work for your body, it may not. A good chamois does not make up for a bad saddle though. I've tried to make my stock saddle work for me with high end bib shorts - it was a waste of time. After trying 5 or 6 saddles, I'm closer to having the one I want, and my rear feels better even in my "cheaper" bib shorts.


    All that being said, I've been treated well so far by Castelli's stuff. I have their Progetto X2 chamois in 3 of my 5 bib shorts/knickers, and it has treated me well. I purchased all 3 on deep discounts, and was sent the knickers on accident. Their Evoluzione bib has some good reviews.

    EDIT: My first cycling clothes purchase I cheaped out and bought some low-end bib shorts (I won't name names right now though). I saved some money, but I used each one about 3 times - if that - and since they haven't been used. In other words, I wasted that money. I might use them on the trainer occasionally, but that's it. If I could have that money back and apply it to a nicer set of bibs - I would in a heart beat.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zymphad View Post
    My 30 mile ride was 1:40 minutes, I'm not coasting much. Only time I'm coasting is downhill, I got headwind...
    Quote Originally Posted by zymphad View Post
    Cycling eh... It's a lot of coasting, and very low impact etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by zymphad View Post
    With the crazy drivers around here and a stop sign every few minutes? No thanks.
    Try to be a little more consistent.

  14. #14
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Ok, did you catch all the comments to NOT wear anything under your cycling shorts? The shorts should provide any compression you need, wearing another set would be redundant. Different shorts fit different people differently so take any "I wear brand X and they're great" advice with a grain of salt.

    Also, give your sit bones some time to acclimate to riding a bike before you go spending money on saddles.

  15. #15
    Beer >> Sanity bikerjp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by isuckatbiking View Post
    Maybe its my seat then. Should I use the shorts money towards a more comfy seat?
    Maybe, but saddles are kind of counterintuitive. More padding doesn't always make it more comfortable and can actually allow you to setting into the saddle more adding pressure where you don't want it. A good saddle supports the sit-bones and keeps pressure off soft tissue. However, for a 9 mile ride a cushy saddle might be the solution. Personally, I'd get some decent shorts first. The PI stuff is pretty good and for short rides the lower end line will work well. Tight is generally good as it keeps the shorts from moving independently. Shorts should move with you.
    Climbs like a stone, descends like two...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
    Try to be a little more consistent.
    If you haven't noticed I exaggerate a lot. Beverly/Salem/Marblehead have a lot of stops, and it blows chunks. But Manchester, North Beverly, Gloucester, Wenham, Hamilton, Ipswich, Topsfield, Gloucester, up to Newburyport are nice long stretches. And cycling is a lot of coasting if that's how you choose to ride and that's how I see a lot cyclists ride, most people I see riding are not riding hard. There are definitely a good bunch that are riding fast and destroy me, but minority.

  17. #17
    Redefining Lazy Slackerprince's Avatar
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    I'm using these:

    PBK Performance Cycling Bib Shorts Sports & Leisure | ProBikeKit.com

    I posted a review on the PBK page.
    Always wash after a ride in cold/warm water and hang to dry.
    Don't wear anything underneath them.
    Good luck.

    S

    PS-I just noticed that they only have 2 left, total, and they are your size.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slackerprince View Post
    I'm using these:

    PBK Performance Cycling Bib Shorts Sports & Leisure | ProBikeKit.com

    I posted a review on the PBK page.
    Always wash after a ride in cold/warm water and hang to dry.
    Don't wear anything underneath them.
    Good luck.

    S
    I have these as well and like them. I prefer the chamois in the specialized and bellweather shorts/bibs, but the PBK ones are solid and at a good price point.

    Edit: looks like they only have small left in stock.

  19. #19
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    Noted. I'll make sure not to wear anything underneath next time.

    I guess I'll see if I should repurchase the PB brand or get a quest for 15 more.

    If I have a 29 waist, would it be stupid in your opinion to buy a Medium? (which is 32-34 i believe)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by isuckatbiking View Post
    If I have a 29 waist, would it be stupid in your opinion to buy a Medium? (which is 32-34 i believe)
    Yes, if the waist is actually 32-34.

  21. #21
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    Finding a proper fit saddle is more important that bib shorts. With a saddle that doesn't fit my sit bones I can't ride 2 miles without pain, with a proper fitting saddle I can easily do 20-30 without discomfort in bib shorts, regular shorts or even jeans
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/rms13

  22. #22
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    Update:

    So i ended up buying the pearl attack in small and I must say, maybe its because i dont know how shorts should fit, but it was pretty tight. Almost bordering on difficult to put on and remove.

    I recall the PB brand club shorts in small felt a bit less tight than the pearl attack.

    And yes, I did not wear anything underneath.

    Might go back to the store and pick up medium and the club shorts in S again to compare. I guess it doesn't help that I have no idea how these should really fit. I mean to my knowledge, this super tight fit could even be the "correct way."

  23. #23
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Just buy some bibs and you can thank me later.

  24. #24
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    1. Make sure your bicycle fits you and is set up properly for you.

    2. Make sure you've got a saddle that is wide enough so that both your sitbones can sit on it, but not so wide it will cause friction.

    3. Start with the saddle level. Then you may need to tip the nose up or down ever-so-slightly.
    (I mention this because we had one guy come through a few years ago complaining about this, that, and the other, and when he finally posted a photo of his bicycle, his saddle was almost vertical with the nose pointed down at the ground. I don't know how he rode the thing.)

    4. Don't wear anything under your shorts.


    Now regarding shorts ... try on everything in the shop. Try on smalls, try on medium, try on larges. Try on brands you know you can't afford right now. Try on shorts with big pad. Try on shorts with small pads. And with each one don't just put them on and stare at yourself standing in the change room ... move in them. Squat. Sit on the change room chair. Straddle the change room chair. Raise and lower your legs in a sort of pedaling motion.

    They should fit comfortably ... not too tight, not too loose. And they should especially not be too tight around the thighs. But having said that, they shouldn't be so loose that when you squat they slide or bunch up.

    And as for the padding ... too thick can be a problem. I tend to lean toward a somewhat thinner pad. But you've got to make sure it covers your sitbones. Some shorts manufacturers haven't figured that out and they make the padding way too narrow. You especially should not sit on the edge of the pad. That hurts.

    But you won't know until you try on a whole bunch and find out.

  25. #25
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    Not to sound odd but is it normal for people to try on bike shorts with nothing underneath? They wash it immediately after someone tried it on right?

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