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Ocean swimming in bib shorts

Old 01-22-22, 12:26 PM
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LarrySellerz
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Ocean swimming in bib shorts

I sometimes ride to the ocean to swim, havent done it since I broke my neck bodysurfing in august but want to start again soon. Regular underwear would chafe a bit on the ride home. Have any of you swam in the ocean in bib shorts? Think the salt water would destroy the lycra? Would it chafe less than wet undies on the ride back home?
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Old 01-22-22, 12:40 PM
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I'd consider swimming in them, but I'd not want to ride home in the same ones, and washing off the salt in a beach shower might be nice. Since swim trunks pack down smaller than a spare pair of shorts, the logical thing would be to bring those.

I don't think an occasional dunk and then washing would hurt them, though maybe not use your best pair.

But plenty of triathlons are close enough to the mouths of rivers and estuaries to have nearly ocean salt levels, and people manage - believe they usually prefer a minimal chamois that dries quicker?
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Old 01-22-22, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz View Post
I sometimes ride to the ocean to swim, havent done it since I broke my neck bodysurfing in august but want to start again soon. Regular underwear would chafe a bit on the ride home. Have any of you swam in the ocean in bib shorts? Think the salt water would destroy the lycra? Would it chafe less than wet undies on the ride back home?
Sharks loooooove lycra. It's like chocolate to them.
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Old 01-22-22, 12:46 PM
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The padding absorbs water, you get serious chafing. When I do this, bike-swim-bike, I always bring swim trunks and a towel.
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Old 01-22-22, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
The padding absorbs water, you get serious chafing. When I do this, bike-swim-bike, I always bring swim trunks and a towel.
How do you bring your towel with you? do you just tie it to the frame? Sound like you'd need a big saddlebag
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Old 01-22-22, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz View Post
How do you bring your towel with you? do you just tie it to the frame? Sound like you'd need a big saddlebag
Carbon fiber towel rack.
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Old 01-22-22, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz View Post
How do you bring your towel with you? do you just tie it to the frame? Sound like you'd need a big saddlebag
One of those light absorbent swim towels, Velcro strap to my saddle.
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Old 01-22-22, 02:12 PM
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Tri shorts if you want to do this. Thinner pad won’t hold water like a loaded diaper.
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Old 01-22-22, 03:53 PM
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Don't think a small Speedo would take up allot of room or weight on yur bike...
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Old 01-22-22, 05:32 PM
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I swim a few hundred miles annually…fresh water, salt water, and pool. Longtime triathlete. All my swimsuits are Lycra®/spandex…the same as all my cycling shorts. But the reason I wouldn’t like doing the ride-swim-ride in cycling shorts isn’t because of the padding absorbing water while you swim. It’s because of how soggy padding would feel after the swim when you get back on the bike. Yes, the padding absorbs water. But in the water it’s mostly neutral weight and you’d hardly notice it while swimming. Of course you wouldn’t want it in a (swim) race. But it’s not like you’re towing a boat behind you. You’d be more efficient in cycling shorts than if you were swimming in a baggy beach swimsuit. I think the simplest solution is to wear a spandex swimsuit instead of cycling shorts. Depending on how long the ride is, you really probably don’t “need” the padding anyway. And it’ll likely dry out on the ride home. Also…I’d go without the towel.

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Old 01-22-22, 06:11 PM
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trisuit?
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Old 01-22-22, 08:09 PM
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Maybe I could ride with underwear and basketball shorts over my bibs, swim in the bibs, and then change into those to ride home.
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Old 01-22-22, 09:56 PM
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Nah... pack a towel and swim trunks, roll them up and tie to a rack or something.

Use towel to cover change from shorts to swim trunks and back again, though if a shower facility is provided I'd definitely use it, even if you have to do so while wearing the trunks before changing back.
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Old 01-23-22, 02:16 AM
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Triathlon shorts or trisuits and no problem, at all. Triathlons are regularly held in the sea and you swim for a hour and something and then ride the bike for five hours without issue. Of course I do this in training, too, when a triathlon is nearing. Zero problems and zero chafing. Can even do a "bit" of running afterwards.

Regular cycling bibs will probably absorb water. The downside is that triathlon suits and shorts are less thickly padded, but I don't find the comfort to be an issue (perhaps drop the saddle a few millimetres to compensate if it is).

Last edited by Branko D; 01-23-22 at 02:20 AM.
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Old 01-23-22, 02:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Branko D View Post
Triathlon shorts or trisuits and no problem, at all. Triathlons are regularly held in the sea and you swim for a hour and something and then ride the bike for five hours without issue. Of course I do this in training, too, when a triathlon is nearing. Zero problems and zero chafing. Can even do a "bit" of running afterwards.

Regular cycling bibs will probably absorb water. The downside is that triathlon suits and shorts are less thickly padded, but I don't find the comfort to be an issue (perhaps drop the saddle a few millimetres to compensate if it is).
I don't think the OP is worried about padding. Last time I saw him, a couple weekends back, he was wearing gym shorts.
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Old 01-23-22, 07:45 AM
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Yes.
No.
No.
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Old 01-23-22, 08:08 AM
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What do the tri guys wear?

25 years ago, performance had gel shorts. Instead of regular padding they had a plastic gel insert with a thin pad over it. It didn’t absorb water. They weren’t great shorts but I did dozens of tri’s with them. Any distance up 1/2 IM was fine.

This was a few years before clothing for tri’s got super specific. I’m sure something way better suited exists now.
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Old 01-23-22, 11:29 AM
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I have done several lake and river swims in my cycling shorts on hot days and never had an issue. As for salt, your body naturally sweats it all over anyway on hot days, so it shouldn’t be an issue. Sand might be an issue if you hug the waterline (i.e. body surf). I wouldn’t worry about it. Besides you will get some stares by people wondering about the guy in the old-time swim suit.
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Old 01-23-22, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
What do the tri guys wear?
Dedicated trisuits. They've gotten really good over the years.

These days mosty Castelli because they're the bomb in the summer (and when you consider that it replaces bibs and a jersey, and you can often get it on discount, it's not nearly as expensive as their typical kit), but I've done them in aliexpress kit and club kit (which is about the upper end of aliexpress quality) and it was fine.

Generally the padding is some very thin bit made out of something which isn't spongy... hard to describe it, but it works well enough for a full IM or more, and it doesn't take on water and is thin and small enough not to be a bother for running at all.

I actually often wear trisuits in the summer because at 37+ Celsius the wicking is excellent, and the fit of the Castelli trisuits is perfect (can just about zip it up, but then it surprisingly doesn't feel constricting at all, can forget you are wearing anything).
​​​​​
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Old 01-23-22, 07:09 PM
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pack a speedo in one of the pockets in your jersey
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Old 01-23-22, 07:46 PM
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For Heaven's sake, this thread needs ... and deserves ... the obvious image. No one else has bothered, so I'll take responsibility. Here is the solution to the OP's needs.

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Old 01-23-22, 08:45 PM
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Just start biking to nude beaches. Problem solved. Strip off the bibs when you get there and then put them back on dry when you are ready to join the peloton.
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Old 01-23-22, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Just start biking to nude beaches. Problem solved. Strip off the bibs when you get there and then put them back on dry when you are ready to join the peloton.
Ive thought of that, the nearest nude beach adds 20 miles to the ride, and the return trip is hard because the pacific in norcal is pretty cold and drains my energy. Might not be that bad though. water is 48 degrees today according to surf report, if the water + air temp is more than 100 F you shouldn't get hypothermia so maybe I should just harden the f up (not literally) and go to the nude beach if I don't want to chafe on the way home. It sounds like water laden bib shorts may chafe. Ive never ridden gym shorts commando but thats another option, I bet I would chafe though because im fat.

the plus side of the nude beach is that there is less chance of someone stealing my bike because apparently there is a small trek to get there (grey whale cove in the bay area)

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Old 01-25-22, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz View Post
How do you bring your towel with you? do you just tie it to the frame? Sound like you'd need a big saddlebag
When I combine beach and bikes, I bring a very thin but long 'waffle' towel, more like a kitchen towel. Doubles as a pad to lie on. Much lighter and takes almost no space. But the again, on such occasions I usually have panniers. You could just Velcro- or Voile-strap one to the bike frame
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Old 01-26-22, 07:48 AM
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stuff a pair of swim trunks in your bibs, or saddle bag
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