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  1. #1
    HomeBrew Master! Gus Riley's Avatar
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    Brooks Flyer and High End Cycling Shorts

    Is it just me? While riding my Surly LHT, equipped with a Brooks Flyer, I think I am more comfortable wearing run of the mill chamois shorts vs. my higher end Specialized shorts with BG Pro RBX chamois? With the more expensive shorts I do get a little more uncomfortable while riding with the Brooks saddle, yet when on my road bike and minimal saddle I am perfectly happy. Much happier than with the less expensive shorts. But the less expensive apparel seems to be more comfortable on the Brooks. Am I imagining this?
    Last edited by Gus Riley; 01-24-11 at 05:46 PM.
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  2. #2
    Macro Geek
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    It's hard to say. You are comparing the experience of riding on two different bicycles, so the saddle and shorts are just two factors in a complex comfort equation that includes (at least) the geometry of the bike, how it fits you, and how you are fitted to it. If your road bike's handlebars that are 1 inch below seat level, and your LHT handlebars are an inch lower, there may be less pressure on your bottom with the road bike.

  3. #3
    HomeBrew Master! Gus Riley's Avatar
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    I'm not really understanding what you're trying to explain. Put simply, I would have thought the high end shorts would/should be more comfortable on my Brooks Flyer than the simple chamois of the less expensive shorts....but it appears this is not the case.
    2012 TransAm Tour journal link: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Threeisacharm

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    So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides, 4th Century B.C.E.



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  4. #4
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    It doesn't seem that surprising to me; leather saddles have been around since before bike shorts had pads (old natural chamois = thin), and I have found that leather saddles are comfortable with almost any shorts. The newer synthetic saddles and modern 3D shorts are designed to go together. I wouldn't be too concerned about it; be glad that you can be comfortable without dropping $60+ on a pair of shorts.

  5. #5
    Riding the road to PARADISE...RIP
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    Thinner chamois seems to work better with the Brooks for me too, so you're not alone. I've had some numbness with my more expensive shorts that I haven't had with my older, thinner ones. I guess it helps offset the price of a Brooks habit.

  6. #6
    HomeBrew Master! Gus Riley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gorshkov View Post
    It doesn't seem that surprising to me; leather saddles have been around since before bike shorts had pads (old natural chamois = thin), and I have found that leather saddles are comfortable with almost any shorts. The newer synthetic saddles and modern 3D shorts are designed to go together. I wouldn't be too concerned about it; be glad that you can be comfortable without dropping $60+ on a pair of shorts.
    Makes sense. I'm not worried about it. But I'm also not talking $60 shorts...more like $150! Of course they are much more than just the chamois, they have compression characteristics as well, which is good. Yeah, they work extremely well with my road bike saddle, just not as well as the "thin/shapeless" chamois on the Brooks. Surprising.
    Last edited by Gus Riley; 01-24-11 at 09:36 PM.
    2012 TransAm Tour journal link: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Threeisacharm

    Naked Carbon Weave Aegis Aro Svelte, Purpleen Cannondale RT3000 Tandem, Orange Santana Triplet, Surly Long Haul Trucker

    So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides, 4th Century B.C.E.



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  7. #7
    HomeBrew Master! Gus Riley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanHelgesen View Post
    Thinner chamois seems to work better with the Brooks for me too, so you're not alone. I've had some numbness with my more expensive shorts that I haven't had with my older, thinner ones. I guess it helps offset the price of a Brooks habit.
    Yes, I do or have experienced some numbness on occasion with the thicker chamois shorts too, but not with the thinner pair. Hmmm. I like my Brooks habit. Looks like I may really have to experiment with some of my older pairs of shorts and save my more expensive apparel for the road bike.
    2012 TransAm Tour journal link: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Threeisacharm

    Naked Carbon Weave Aegis Aro Svelte, Purpleen Cannondale RT3000 Tandem, Orange Santana Triplet, Surly Long Haul Trucker

    So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides, 4th Century B.C.E.



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  8. #8
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    Flyer is a wide saddle. A thicker short will result in more friction. One can alleviate the friction by re-positioning the saddle and/or lacing the flaps. A B17 narrow or B17 Imperial narrow should allow more leg movement. These saddles may work better with heavily padded short.

    The flaps of a used B17/Flyer will open at least 1/4" when loaded. Lacing the flaps can significantly reduce wear on your short. I've managed to put a hole on my jean after about 700 miles on the Flyer. The B17 Imperial narrow doesn't have this problem.

  9. #9
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanHelgesen View Post
    Thinner chamois seems to work better with the Brooks for me too, so you're not alone. I've had some numbness with my more expensive shorts that I haven't had with my older, thinner ones. I guess it helps offset the price of a Brooks habit.
    I've noticed the same thing. When I started riding in the seventies, the "go to" saddle was the B-17. Bike shorts were wool with a thin leather chamois sewn into the crotch. The leather in the saddle does as much to wick moisture as the shorts.
    Years went by, the MIT dropouts needed jobs, designed all the great saddles with synthetics and stuffed our crotches with pounds of synthetic gauze to make us all walk funny.

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  10. #10
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gus Riley View Post
    Is it just me? While riding my Surly LHT, equipped with a Brooks Flyer, I think I am more comfortable wearing run of the mill chamois shorts vs. my higher end Specialized shorts with BG Pro RBX chamois?
    I find my Brook saddles 5 times more comfortable with unpadded synthetic boxer briefs than any type of bike shorts. I have ridden 140kms in regular underwear and hopped of my bike with no discomfort at all. That was a Selle Anatomica leather saddle, but I've done the same with a Brooks after 100kms+.
    safe riding - Vik
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  11. #11
    HomeBrew Master! Gus Riley's Avatar
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    After paying more attention to the question over the last few days of riding and similar experiences here, I'm convinced that my less padded, cheaper riding shorts do a better job while riding on my Brooks than my more expensive "shaped" chamois shorts. So, the high end shorts are going into the same drawer where my Sidi road shoes are, only to come out when I ride my Aegis Aro Svelte. When the time comes to replace my less padded shorts, I'll look for the same thin padding properties, but also shorts that offer better leg compression beneifts.
    Last edited by Gus Riley; 01-26-11 at 12:14 PM.
    2012 TransAm Tour journal link: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Threeisacharm

    Naked Carbon Weave Aegis Aro Svelte, Purpleen Cannondale RT3000 Tandem, Orange Santana Triplet, Surly Long Haul Trucker

    So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides, 4th Century B.C.E.



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