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  1. #1
    Bike touring webrarian
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    Any one use wool biking shorts?

    I'm a complete convert to wool cycling jerseys.

    Does anyone use wool cycling shorts? By that, I mean shorts with a wool chamois like this?

    If you have, do you have to wash it every day or can it be worn day after day without smell or discomfort?
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    Senior Member
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    from wikipedia:

    "A cilice /ˈsɪlɨs/ was originally a garment or undergarment made of coarse cloth or animal hair (a hairshirt) worn close to the skin. It was used in some religious traditions to induce discomfort or pain as a sign of repentance and atonement."

    enough said.

  3. #3
    nun
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    I wear merino boxers with a pad and nylon shorts over them. I've found synthetic jerseys to be far more practical than wool ones for weight, packed volume and speed of drying.

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    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    I regularly use inexpensive wool socks and hats, but I'm too cheap to spring for fancy cyclewear.

    I was unaware wool could be molded into the linked, pictured chamois. That chamois is likely some kind of rubber like most every other chamois, with some sort of fibrous covering, which could possibly be wool. Don't see how the cover matters much if in fact a large part of your nether region is covered in a somewhat non-porous, non-breathable material.

    I've been riding in these shorts for at least 5 years. I buy them when there's a 10% off + free ship promotion. They don't really stink much after riding. You can hand wash them in a sink, wring them out good and they'll dry quickly turned inside-out.

    Men's Pro Bike Shorts for cycling comfort and bicycle riding

  5. #5
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raybo View Post
    I'm a complete convert to wool cycling jerseys.

    Does anyone use wool cycling shorts? By that, I mean shorts with a wool chamois like this?

    If you have, do you have to wash it every day or can it be worn day after day without smell or discomfort?

  6. #6
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
    from wikipedia:

    "A cilice /ˈsɪlɨs/ was originally a garment or undergarment made of coarse cloth or animal hair (a hairshirt) worn close to the skin. It was used in some religious traditions to induce discomfort or pain as a sign of repentance and atonement."

    enough said.
    100% incorrect --> with respect to merino wool

  7. #7
    Senior Member mdilthey's Avatar
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    Merino Wool is a pretty great material. Very comfy, very smell-resistant. I use Icebreaker cycling shorts, and there's lycra underneath my butt so the wool doesn't wear a hole after a few hundred rides. Three years and they're still going strong.

    Unfortunately, Icebreaker ended the cycling line, but Ibex still makes lots of wool cycling shorts which can often be found on sale.
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  8. #8
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    The older style shorts were wool with a real chamois in them. That's the kind my father wore for years. They were, apparently, quite comfortable and durable, but the cleaning and care could be challenging.

    It might take some hunting, but you can probably find them.

  9. #9
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raybo View Post
    Does anyone use wool cycling shorts?
    "Back when" woolen cycling shorts & natural chamois are what we had, they were quite comfortable in cool weather but we were forced to use them in sweltering heat in the USA, not optimal. When synthetics came in in the 80's we all converted immediately, there was no advantage to woolen shorts over the new kit. Having woolen shorts w/ a natural chamois was like having several ill-mannered pets as far as care was concerned, a tedious endless chore.

    No more sodden shorts in the rain, hand washing, applying chamois-goo/misshapen/sandpaper chamois or baggy fit, good riddance!

    The requirements for cycling jerseys & shorts are quite different, as should be apparent to anyone who can tell the difference between buttocks and their shoulders.

    -Bandera
    Last edited by Bandera; 08-07-14 at 07:34 AM.
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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  11. #11
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Correct, also down the page the page.......the thing I used to dry the car with..........

    Chamois leather
    Chamois leather, traditionally made from the hide of the chamois, is very smooth and absorbent and is favoured in cleaning, buffing, and polishing because it produces no scratching. Modern chamois leather may be made from chamois hides, but hides of deer or domestic goats or sheep are commonly used, and cotton flannel can be used as a fake-chamois fabric, with similar qualities.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Met someone hunting them, in the Belgian Ardennes ..


    had some shorts like OP asked about , in the early 70's..

  13. #13
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Yes.

    And wool shorts used to be wool for the main body of the shorts, with a chamois (leather hide of the particular goat) for you to sit on. It required a lot of special care to remain soft.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
    "Back when" woolen cycling shorts & natural chamois are what we had, they were quite comfortable in cool weather but we were forced to use them in sweltering heat in the USA, not optimal. When synthetics came in in the 80's we all converted immediately, there was no advantage to woolen shorts over the new kit. Having woolen shorts w/ a natural chamois was like having several ill-mannered pets as far as care was concerned, a tedious endless chore.

    No more sodden shorts in the rain, hand washing, applying chamois-goo/misshapen/sandpaper chamois or baggy fit, good riddance!

    The requirements for cycling jerseys & shorts are quite different, as should be apparent to anyone who can the difference between buttocks and their shoulders.

    -Bandera
    We used to wear lightweight wool jerseys and wool shorts year around. It has been a long time, but I still believe the wool shorts were cooler than lycra. A lot of us did not convert to the synthetics right away, especially the jerseys. The original synthetic jerseys were hot and "sticky", and not very comfortable. Like I said, it has been a long time but, I don't remember wool shorts or jerseys be much of a problem. Just rub a little Noxema into the chamois and you were good to go.

  15. #15
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
    We used to wear lightweight wool jerseys and wool shorts year around. It has been a long time, but I still believe the wool shorts were cooler than lycra. A lot of us did not convert to the synthetics right away, especially the jerseys. The original synthetic jerseys were hot and "sticky", and not very comfortable. Like I said, it has been a long time but, I don't remember wool shorts or jerseys be much of a problem. Just rub a little Noxema into the chamois and you were good to go.
    We still wear wool jerseys. What's old is new again. Retro is the fashion now.

    Rowan and I have a collection of 3 (I think) short-sleeved wool jerseys which are quite comfortable to temps in the high 20s.

  16. #16
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
    It has been a long time, but I still believe the wool shorts were cooler than lycra. Just rub a little Noxema into the chamois and you were good to go.
    Memory fades...
    You must not have been racing in South Central Texas, woolen shorts were quite comfortable in cool weather but not 100F+ for me.

    Preventing saddle sores requires clean shorts. "Back when" woolen cycling shorts w/ a natural chamois were "hand wash" only.
    Instead of tossing kit in the washing machine on gentle/cold and letting dry overnight one would be washing each item by hand in the sink, letting it line dry (eventually) and massaging the chamois-potion of choice into each item. A tedious and thankless task that took time away from bike maintenance or watching Starsky & Hutch on the B&W TV.

    Fit in a woolen cycling short was less precise compared to the multi-panel synthetics, and liable to shrink/stretch/bag due to the quality of care mentioned above.
    Ill fitting shorts w/ a lumpy chamois on a long hard ride.....no thanks.

    Woolen shorts sagging when soaked in rainwater are not a fond memory either, give me modern quality bibs.

    Your memory may vary.

    -Bandera
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  17. #17
    Senior Member stevnim's Avatar
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    At least one manufacturer still produces 100% merino washable wool shorts with a leather chamois pad option. They have two designs of shorts and one bib design. Wool Shorts Traditional Kucharik

  18. #18
    Senior Member mdilthey's Avatar
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    Wearing wool shorts does not mean you HAVE to use a leather chamois. Not saying the leather doesn't work, but my wool biking shorts have a synthetic chamois and a bit of lycra on the contact points for durability.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
    Memory fades...
    You must not have been racing in South Central Texas, woolen shorts were quite comfortable in cool weather but not 100F+ for me.

    Preventing saddle sores requires clean shorts. "Back when" woolen cycling shorts w/ a natural chamois were "hand wash" only.
    Instead of tossing kit in the washing machine on gentle/cold and letting dry overnight one would be washing each item by hand in the sink, letting it line dry (eventually) and massaging the chamois-potion of choice into each item. A tedious and thankless task that took time away from bike maintenance or watching Starsky & Hutch on the B&W TV.

    Fit in a woolen cycling short was less precise compared to the multi-panel synthetics, and liable to shrink/stretch/bag due to the quality of care mentioned above.
    Ill fitting shorts w/ a lumpy chamois on a long hard ride.....no thanks.

    Woolen shorts sagging when soaked in rainwater are not a fond memory either, give me modern quality bibs.

    Your memory may vary.

    -Bandera
    You are probably right, the Pacific North West has a little more temperate climate. It has been awhile, early 1970's. I raced when black shorts and white socks were a requirement.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Dfrost's Avatar
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    I bought some Ibex wool bib shorts a few months ago, and have worn them several times. They seem to have a wool covered "chamois" of modern shape with variable thickness. They're quite comfy, although not as compressive around the thighs as the Pearl Izumi bibs that I also like. I'll wear them more when the weather cools a bit, but this thread might get me to try them tomorrow to see how they feel when it's warm (by PNW standards).

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