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Bike racing shorts

Old 02-20-24, 04:36 PM
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Bike racing shorts

Mods please move this to the appropriate forum.

I don't race, but. I do wear racing shorts because they are more comfortable. Casual everyday shorts left me feeling sore in the saddle. My question is, are they safe to put in dryer?
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Old 02-20-24, 04:54 PM
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Short answer: No.

Longer answer: No-o-o-o.

Not if you want them to fit right. At least in my experience.
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Old 02-20-24, 04:59 PM
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I'm assuming you're talking about typical lycra bicycle shorts? I've just never heard of them as racing shorts.

Anyway, I'll bet that the washing and drying instructions are on a little label on the shorts. Or look at the manufacturer's online info.

That said, what I've always done and my shorts (bibs actually) last many years. I wash in the regular washing machine on warm (I wash everything on warm) and air dry by hanging them on a door knob or clothes hanger in the open. Oh I put the bibs in a mesh bag for washing so the shoulder straps don't get tangled around the other laundry.

A lot of people insist on hand washing, but in my experience, that's totally unnecessary extra work. I have several pair of bib shorts so I just wait until I have a load to add them too, about every other day in our family.

I have put the shorts in the dryer on extra low occasionally, but not completely dry. I remove them while they're still a little damp and finish in the air.
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Old 02-20-24, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Chistophe516
Mods please move this to the appropriate forum.

I don't race, but. I do wear racing shorts because they are more comfortable. Casual everyday shorts left me feeling sore in the saddle. My question is, are they safe to put in dryer?
What are bike racing shorts? Are you referring to tight-fitting shorts (or bibs,\ or skinsuits) made from lycra or similar material with a chamois (a/k/a pad)? If so, they should absolutely not go in the dryer.
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Old 02-20-24, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
Short answer: No.

Longer answer: No-o-o-o.

Not if you want them to fit right. At least in my experience.
I wash 'em in lingerie bags on the gentle cycle using detergent that has no additives, then dry 'em for about 15 mins on low heat before putting them on a drying rack. Works fine, and the chamois will be dry the next day.

But if the option is binary -- drying or no drying -- then I'm with you.
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Old 02-20-24, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Camilo
I'm assuming you're talking about typical lycra bicycle shorts? I've just never heard of them as racing shorts.

Anyway, I'll bet that the washing and drying instructions are on a little label on the shorts. Or look at the manufacturer's online info.

That said, what I've always done and my shorts (bibs actually) last many years. I wash in the regular washing machine on warm (I wash everything on warm) and air dry by hanging them on a door knob or clothes hanger in the open. Oh I put the bibs in a mesh bag for washing so the shoulder straps don't get tangled around the other laundry.

A lot of people insist on hand washing, but in my experience, that's totally unnecessary extra work. I have several pair of bib shorts so I just wait until I have a load to add them too, about every other day in our family.

I have put the shorts in the dryer on extra low occasionally, but not completely dry. I remove them while they're still a little damp and finish in the air.
This is the way.

I figure they're like underwear, only more so, so I have enough pairs to wear fresh bibs every ride, and then I wash them and all my other cycling kit after my big ride on Sunday and hang them to dry. Monday is rest day, and they're always ready to go by ride time on Tuesday.
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Old 02-20-24, 05:28 PM
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Racing shorts = bicycle shorts or bibs.... the stretchy, form fitting spandex or lycra type material that gives us older types the MAMIL stereotype name?

If so, then I just hang them up to dry. Usually inside out. They'll be dry in a day depending on your homes humidity level and how much air flows around where it's drying. Reading the care instructions that are on one of the labels inside is a useful thing to at least know. Or did you cut those off and toss them?

In warm to hot weather it's not a big deal if they are still a tad damp. They'll be soaked with sweat soon enough.


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Old 02-20-24, 06:22 PM
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I am guilty of ignoring the instructions about drying.

I wash my bike gear separately, very little detergent, cold water, very short cycle. I do put the gear in the dryer on low.

so far has not seemed to destroy them, but i have been getting new gear (smaller sizes ) so this is not long term
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Old 02-20-24, 06:24 PM
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I wash my bibshorts on the cold water gentle cycle and use a clear detergent with Lysol Laundry Sanitizer Sport in the rinse cycle.
Hang dry indoors and no problems with this regimen.
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Old 02-20-24, 06:48 PM
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I wash all my cycling clothes in the machine on gentle/delicates and dry with low heat. Seems to work fine for me, but I'm also the kind of guy who puts everything in the dishwasher because if it can't survive then I don't want that product anyway.
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Old 02-20-24, 06:50 PM
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Bibs with synthetic chamois, always in the wash with the other clothes, dryer too. If I catch them before they finish, all well and good.... take them out leave them on a drying rack overnight. If I don't catch them in time, then they are fully machine dried. Never had a problem in decades of doing it this way.

Now some of my old natural chamois..... of course, hand wash in Woolite, line dry..... ALWAYS.
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Old 02-20-24, 09:36 PM
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Washing machine on cold, hang inside out to dry. Driers tend to damage spandex/lycra. If you don’t believe me, look what happens to underwear waistbands after several washes and drys.
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Old 02-20-24, 09:54 PM
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I machine wash my bibs in cold water, gentle cycle, with minimal laundry detergent, only with other cycling apparel and similar fabric (e.g., Nike Dri Fit). I leave my bibs on a flat surface to air dry and hang them up afterward.
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Old 02-20-24, 09:57 PM
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The only time I ever got groinal boils was when I used genuine chamois. As soon as I went synthetic, I was able to ride sub-5 centuries with neither boils nor discomfort. Warm wash with the rest of my clothes, and full dryer cycle.
One time a guy complained he could see my @$$ through my bibs, so I told him he didn't have to draft. (But I did get rid of those bibs a few months later.)
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Old 02-21-24, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
Short answer: No.

Longer answer: No-o-o-o.

Not if you want them to fit right. At least in my experience.
Ah, ok

Originally Posted by Camilo
I'm assuming you're talking about typical lycra bicycle shorts? I've just never heard of them as racing shorts.

Anyway, I'll bet that the washing and drying instructions are on a little label on the shorts. Or look at the manufacturer's online info.

That said, what I've always done and my shorts (bibs actually) last many years. I wash in the regular washing machine on warm (I wash everything on warm) and air dry by hanging them on a door knob or clothes hanger in the open. Oh I put the bibs in a mesh bag for washing so the shoulder straps don't get tangled around the other laundry.

A lot of people insist on hand washing, but in my experience, that's totally unnecessary extra work. I have several pair of bib shorts so I just wait until I have a load to add them too, about every other day in our family.

I have put the shorts in the dryer on extra low occasionally, but not completely dry. I remove them while they're still a little damp and finish in the air.
That's just what I think of them as.

Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
What are bike racing shorts? Are you referring to tight-fitting shorts (or bibs,\ or skinsuits) made from lycra or similar material with a chamois (a/k/a pad)? If so, they should absolutely not go in the dryer.
Good point.
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Old 02-21-24, 02:25 AM
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I have always put mine in the dryer.
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Old 02-21-24, 06:25 AM
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I wear out my bibs long before drying them in the dryer harms them. I have no thigh gap, so my shorts wear out on the inside of the thigh where they rub against the saddle. If this isn't you, then maybe avoiding the dryer makes sense so your bibs/shorts last longer.

- Separate load for bike clothes
- Machine wash
- All clothes inside-out (jerseys: pockets empty, all zippers zipped),
- Cold, gentle cycle, extra rinse (I react to some chemicals/fragrances in some detergents/fabric softeners/dryer sheets)
- I use a sportwash of some kind
- NEVER with fabric softener (bad for clothes, bad for my skin)
- Dry in dryer at low temp (NEVER dryer sheets or similar)
Done
(thicker winter socks and insulated gloves require an extra dryer cycle, after the other clothes are removed)
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Old 02-21-24, 06:36 AM
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I don't bother with the dryer. The bibs I use air dry in a couple of hours anyway, so I don't see much point. Plus they invariably state not to tumble dry on the wash labels.
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Old 02-21-24, 06:49 AM
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I've always slathered my natural chamois with Noxema cream, never had a boil or saddle sore despite the length of rides or repeated long days.

If I'm going over 80-100 miles, If I remember, I use Noxema on my synthetic too.
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Old 02-21-24, 07:55 AM
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I get a longer life out of my 'racing shorts' by turning them inside out to get extra days of use before washing them.
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Old 02-21-24, 08:09 AM
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I have always put mine in the dryer. Never had a problem. They seem to be fine and last a long time.
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Old 02-21-24, 08:10 AM
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For decades I've been machine washing all of my kit (Lycra, wool and polyester) on gentle cycle with cold water, very little detergent, and hang drying. Mistakenly, once in a while something goes through the regular wash and dry cycle and thankfully nothing bad happened.
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Old 02-21-24, 09:51 AM
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DO NOT put bike shorts in the dryer. They will F up the padding. Trust me

just hang dry
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Old 02-21-24, 10:16 AM
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I wash on cold, tumble dry on low heat. My bibs and jerseys wear out before any issues from laundry.
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Old 02-21-24, 10:31 AM
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One poster here in particular claims you can dry lycra on high heat and it refreshes the synthetic fiber.

I asked him once why the one time I did it (accidentally) the elasticity in the seat was shot when the shorts came out of the dryer. I got no response. So I follow the "hang to dry" label. My shorts last longer that way.
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