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    Geek Extraordinaire sivat's Avatar
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    Questions about shorts

    I'm just getting into the idea of long distance biking, so I've been reading a lot on this forum. I haven't seen this mentioned, and I wasn't able to finde anything using a google search, so i apologize if this is an over-asked question.

    What sort of shorts do you wear touring? Do you take several pairs, or just one and try to rinse them frequently? I assume something with a chamois for comfort would be good. What about chamois cream? Or do you just train enough that you don't need it?

    Also, for those of you who ride brooks saddles, do you prefer sprung or unsprung. I have a team pro on my fixed gear, but I would think either a b-17 or champion flyer would be better for long days in the saddle.
    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

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    Dead Men Assume...
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    With regards to shorts, I usually bring two or three pairs of bike shorts nd they all have "chamois" padding. You should always try to wash your used bike short on a daily basis. Given the padding it's almost impossible to dry it overnight without a dryer.

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    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    You don't need chamois cream unless you get chafing.

    Saddles are just a question of what works for you. If you have the Pro you
    prob have the handlebars below the saddle and in that case the B17 is prob not for you. Narrow saddles are intended for an aggressive riding position. Medium width saddles are usually best on bars at the same level as the saddle. Wide saddles usually work best when sitting close to upright.

    So if something like your back hurts on long rides, you might want to raise the bars and get a wider saddle. But it sounds like you like the Pro so far.

  4. #4
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Two pair of shorts, sometimes three. If three I will typically take a pair of the padded baggies. I prefer the sprung Brooks for touring. I like my Champion Flyer on a touring bike with drop bars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sivat
    I'm just getting into the idea of long distance biking, so I've been reading a lot on this forum. I haven't seen this mentioned, and I wasn't able to finde anything using a google search, so i apologize if this is an over-asked question.

    What sort of shorts do you wear touring? Do you take several pairs, or just one and try to rinse them frequently? I assume something with a chamois for comfort would be good. What about chamois cream? Or do you just train enough that you don't need it?

    Also, for those of you who ride brooks saddles, do you prefer sprung or unsprung. I have a team pro on my fixed gear, but I would think either a b-17 or champion flyer would be better for long days in the saddle.
    On my last multi-day tour I brought 3 pair of shorts. If I wasn't doing laundry that night I would rinse the shorts I had worn that day in the sink (or take them into the shower with me) and hang them to dry overnight, either on a line strung up in my tent or on a hanger. If the chamois wasn't completely dry by morning I still had one clean dry pair of shorts. On my next multi-day tour I will probably do the same, only with 2 pair of shorts.

    If you're happy with the team pro, and your riding position on the touring bike is pretty close to the position on the fixie, I would just switch the team pro over to the touring bike.

  6. #6
    Geek Extraordinaire sivat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by late
    Saddles are just a question of what works for you. If you have the Pro you
    prob have the handlebars below the saddle and in that case the B17 is prob not for you. Narrow saddles are intended for an aggressive riding position. Medium width saddles are usually best on bars at the same level as the saddle. Wide saddles usually work best when sitting close to upright.
    I like the team pro for 20-50 mile rides, but i would expect to set up the touring bike more upright. I don't have a touring frame, so this is all speculation now. The question is really more sprung vs. unsprung.
    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

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    I have padded shorts and wear them if I'm going to ride 100 miles or more, but I can ride 60 miles are or less in regular street shorts (and street shoes BTW) without discomfort. I avoid biking clothes on tour because they look stupid off the bike and don't wash and dry overnight.

    Go get a pair of those fancy high tech hiking slacks with the zip off legs that convert then to shorts. They weigh less than 16 oz.,don't wrinkle, dry in a hour or so. I also have a wrinkle proof high tech button up dress shirt and tie. this whole outfit weighs less than one pair of padded cycling shorts and is a whole lot more useful off the bike. I've been out to eat at ritzy places, went to world class museums and to some of the greatest Christian churches, and I've never felt out of place.

    If you can't ride 50 miles in street clothes, try a slightly wider saddle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tacomee
    ... Go get a pair of those fancy high tech hiking slacks with the zip off legs that convert then to shorts. ...
    I second that. Came of a tour with 120 km/day for 6.5 days (on a city folder). I wear briefs and normal poly zip off pants/shorts (nothing fancy, $20/$30 CDN at Walmart or Canadian Tire). 3 pairs of briefs, washed each evening and air dried.

    Get bag balm either way, just in case.

  9. #9
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    Opinion of a credit card tourist. This approach may not be practical if you are camping!

    I tour with one pair of cycling shorts, and wash them as soon as I stop for the night. I don't use a drier, but if it's possible, I hang the shorts outside so they catch a bit of late-afternoon sun, or suspend the shorts in my room near an open window or a fan. The chamois is usually dry by morning, but if it is not, I wear the shorts anyways. Body heat always burns off any residual moisture by the time I have finished breakfast and packed up my bike.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Shemp's Avatar
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    I'd carry two at a minimum, but prefer three. Since I usually ride with my wife, we have enough clothes to justify washing in a washer and dryer every 3 days if we can find one. I'd not recommend using 1 pair and relyiing on "body heat" to dry them. That moisture has to go somewhere!

    As for the balm, I only use it if I'm on the road for several hot and humid days or for more than a week. I usually don't have an issue on shorter and cooler rides.

  11. #11
    Geek Extraordinaire sivat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacomee

    If you can't ride 50 miles in street clothes, try a slightly wider saddle.
    That way I can have sore sit bones and chaffed thighs! I'm definitely a form follows function kind of guy. For any ride over 2 or 3 hours I will, at least wear biking shorts under regular shorts. They make for a much more comfortable ride. I'm thinking the idea of 3 pairs sounds good. The lighweight pants/shorts do seem like a good idea for off the bike and cold days though. I'll look into it.
    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronMac
    With regards to shorts, I usually bring two or three pairs of bike shorts nd they all have "chamois" padding. You should always try to wash your used bike short on a daily basis. Given the padding it's almost impossible to dry it overnight without a dryer.
    Try hanging them off the back of your bike with the bungees. It dries them in no time.
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  13. #13
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sivat
    I'm just getting into the idea of long distance biking, so I've been reading a lot on this forum. I haven't seen this mentioned, and I wasn't able to finde anything using a google search, so i apologize if this is an over-asked question.

    What sort of shorts do you wear touring? Do you take several pairs, or just one and try to rinse them frequently? I assume something with a chamois for comfort would be good. What about chamois cream? Or do you just train enough that you don't need it?

    Also, for those of you who ride brooks saddles, do you prefer sprung or unsprung. I have a team pro on my fixed gear, but I would think either a b-17 or champion flyer would be better for long days in the saddle.
    I take 4. The one I ride and 3 in the bags (with socks, jersey and sweat band all in individual ziplocks). That way I don't have to do laundry all the time. I use synthetic chamois so I don't use any kind of cream on them.

    Saddles are individual choices. I ride a B17 narrow. I have a sprung Brooks but I don't like it that much.
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  14. #14
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    I also do 4. Its what i carry the most off.
    The extra few grams of a couple more shorts is well worth the convence.
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  15. #15
    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    Try hanging them off the back of your bike with the bungees. It dries them in no time.
    I tried that but the water coming down from the sky kept them wet.

    I bring three pair of bike shorts. I wash them in the shower. No butt butter. B17 saddle, no spring.
    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

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    Quote Originally Posted by sivat
    That way I can have sore sit bones and chaffed thighs! I'm definitely a form follows function kind of guy. For any ride over 2 or 3 hours I will, at least wear biking shorts under regular shorts. They make for a much more comfortable ride. I'm thinking the idea of 3 pairs sounds good. The lighweight pants/shorts do seem like a good idea for off the bike and cold days though. I'll look into it.
    Looking back at saddle width for the past 50 years, I believe that most modern cycling saddles are too narrow. Lightweight narrow racing paired with over padded shorts work for the Tour de France or Saturday club rides, but I would avoid this style touring.

    I have a San Marco Rolls saddle on my commuter bike (one of the biggest selling saddles of the yearly 90s BTW) It's a little wider than most current saddles and is comfortable without padded shorts-- and my sit bones feel fine! Terry also makes good wider saddles and of course there's always Brookes.

    If you come from a racing background, It's going to be strange with a wider saddle, raising the handle bars, lowering the bike's gearing, riding on fatter tires. Relax-- once you've tried these things, you learn to love them.

  17. #17
    royal dutch of dukes
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    damn you guys are way too clean!! i usually bring one pair of padded shorts... i wear the padded tights at least 4 days in a row without washing, never been sick, never had a problem. i mean, we're on tour here! revel in your dirtiness!

  18. #18
    Geek Extraordinaire sivat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacomee
    I have a San Marco Rolls saddle on my commuter bike (one of the biggest selling saddles of the yearly 90s BTW) It's a little wider than most current saddles and is comfortable without padded shorts-- and my sit bones feel fine! Terry also makes good wider saddles and of course there's always Brookes.
    I think i mentioned a couple of times that i'm riding a brooks team pro now, which is pretty wide. I think the b-17 is the only wider unsprung brooks. And like I said before, i was asking sprung vs. unsprung. My saddle is still in the breaking period, so my sit bones get a little sore on longer rides. Another couple hundred miles and i should be fine.
    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikiola
    damn you guys are way too clean!! i usually bring one pair of padded shorts... i wear the padded tights at least 4 days in a row without washing, never been sick, never had a problem. i mean, we're on tour here! revel in your dirtiness!
    I prefer not get crotch rot, thank you.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    2 pairs

    I bring two pairs of bike shorts and two pair of swimming trunks. I wear the swimming trunks around camp and sleep in them. They don't get very dirty and I can go several days between washings. I try to camp at a place with showers. I take my dirty jersey and shorts from that day into the shower with me and wash them. I hang them up overnight. The next day I hang them from my luggage to dry all the way. If I can't take a shower, or if it's raining and the washed stuff won't dry, I'll wear the 2nd set of shorts and jersey a 2nd day. It's not so bad. If I run into a bunch of inclement weather or campsites with no showers, I wear dirty stuff until I start to get grossed out, then find a laundromat.

    I have a gel touring seat which I love. I've never gotten saddlesore with it - not on centuries, not on multi-day tours averaging 90 miles a day. Unfortunately, they don't make them anymore and it's starting to wear out. I'm on the lookout for a replacement.

  21. #21
    just 5 more miles 5 more's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikiola
    damn you guys are way too clean!! i usually bring one pair of padded shorts... i wear the padded tights at least 4 days in a row without washing, never been sick, never had a problem. i mean, we're on tour here! revel in your dirtiness!
    I pity the person riding behind you

  22. #22
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    Some of the comments on reusing the same clothes--especially under layers--over and over; I'm a little perturbed. When I was in the reserves I did only use one change of clothes with no shower/laundry for a week, but I rather think touring warrants a little more comfort.

    It takes me no time to take my shorts, undershirt, and briefs, toss them in a plastic bag with camp soap and water and give them a solid wash! To dry use the air dryer provided over night and the next day. Should it be raining the next day, no problem. You sleep in your dry and clean clothes, your 2nd set. In the morning you put on the damp stuff, the still drying 1st set. Well, yes you will scream like a little girl the first 30 seconds, but it's not different than 5 minutes into your ride anyways! Why the third set of dry undergarments? In case your second one gets wet (i.e. it starts raining on the next day but you're already riding in your 2nd set, your first set is still drying). The third one is to always have at least one set of undergarments to sleep in when it's cold. You don't ride in your third set, it's there for emergency. Of course this doesn't apply if you have a different set of clothes around camp. I simply tour/commute/do all my riding in street clothes.

  23. #23
    royal dutch of dukes
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    i just think americans are too clean -- i'm not saying wear stuff to the point that you have mold growing on it. i'm just saying, not everything needs to be repeatedly scrubbed, washed, etc -- you're not going to reduce your life expectancy by wearing clothing for a few days. you still wash your hands before you eat, you still shower if you can, but you just take it a *little* easy. seriously, part of the tour ethic is itself that you are rejecting the sanitary ethos of car camping -- hermetically sealed from the outside world, travelling by using other's energy, not your own, etc...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacomee
    I have padded shorts and wear them if I'm going to ride 100 miles or more, but I can ride 60 miles are or less in regular street shorts (and street shoes BTW) without discomfort. I avoid biking clothes on tour because they look stupid off the bike and don't wash and dry overnight.

    Go get a pair of those fancy high tech hiking slacks with the zip off legs that convert then to shorts. They weigh less than 16 oz.,don't wrinkle, dry in a hour or so. I also have a wrinkle proof high tech button up dress shirt and tie. this whole outfit weighs less than one pair of padded cycling shorts and is a whole lot more useful off the bike. I've been out to eat at ritzy places, went to world class museums and to some of the greatest Christian churches, and I've never felt out of place.

    If you can't ride 50 miles in street clothes, try a slightly wider saddle.
    i second this, except for the zipper thing, which is just stupid. but exofficio hiking shorts weigh under 8 oz, so you can carry pants too. the zippers rub, esp if you have leg hair. and they are extra dorky. unless you wear one leg on and one off. then your just ********.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by acantor
    Opinion of a credit card tourist. This approach may not be practical if you are camping!

    I tour with one pair of cycling shorts, and wash them as soon as I stop for the night. I don't use a drier, but if it's possible, I hang the shorts outside so they catch a bit of late-afternoon sun, or suspend the shorts in my room near an open window or a fan. The chamois is usually dry by morning, but if it is not, I wear the shorts anyways. Body heat always burns off any residual moisture by the time I have finished breakfast and packed up my bike.
    i'm not a credit card tourist. i dont even have a credit card. and i rock the hiking shorts thing. sans zippers. all through the 30s to the late 80s tourists rarely wore "riding shorts" and i would imagine that they logged a crap load of miles anyway. toughen up yer butt.

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