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Going from Roadbiking to MTB--shorts?

Old 04-09-20, 03:25 PM
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Swede1
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Going from Roadbiking to MTB--shorts?

Hi all,

Now that I settled on a MTB (thanks for the input) I need to figure out the "what to wear" question. I got into cycling (started with my hybrid) as a form of exercise that I really enjoyed, and still today the best advice from this forum was in the importance of picking the right bike shorts. My first few weeks was marred by chafing etc., and I still remember the bliss on going on my first long ride, and the only pain was the burning quads.

Ok, I have noted that folks wear different stuff on the trails. Makes sense from a protection stand-point. Do standard MTB shorts come with chamois and material to prevent chafing, or do you actually wear (road) bike shorts/ bibs underneath? Or is this built in? Is there a brand that can't fail?

Silly question perhaps......
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Old 04-09-20, 03:55 PM
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All my mtb shorts come with built-in chamois.
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Old 04-09-20, 05:09 PM
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When I train or race XC, I wear what would considered a roadie kit. When I'm fun riding my mtb and want extra pocket storage, I just wear mtb baggie shorts over a pair of roadie shorts or bibs. I find that quality bike shorts/bibs are so much more comfortable than liners sold with most baggies. For instance, I buy Troy Lee Designs shorts as a "shell" (w/o their liner) and wear my road ones under instead.
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Old 04-09-20, 06:12 PM
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Most mountain bike shorts, whether the have their own padded liner, or if you wear them over a liner or road shorts, are abrasion resistant, where road spandex will easily snag on racks and branches.
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Old 04-09-20, 07:25 PM
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Functionally, your road shorts are perfectly fine for MTB.

Baggies (chamois liner with a baggie shell) are mostly a fashion thing. And thatís fine - I tend to wear them for MTB myself. But in my experience there is zero functional benefit.

Baggies have pockets, which can be nice.

in theory they might give some more protection, but in practice Iíve used both for almost 20 years and have not noticed a difference in this regard.
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Old 04-09-20, 08:35 PM
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Road shorts with my regular cargo shorts over top for me. I like the pockets that button so I don't lose keys or phone and the comfort they have. I find mtb specific shorts are expensive while only being a little lighter while cargo shorts cost 20-25 at Kohls, Sears, etc and last a long time.
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Old 04-09-20, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by bikeaddiction1 View Post
Most mountain bike shorts, whether the have their own padded liner, or if you wear them over a liner or road shorts, are abrasion resistant, where road spandex will easily snag on racks and branches.
I'll second that. You can definitely wear bib type shorts but if they are expensive you may want to protect the thin spandex they are usually made of.

Sort of depends on how long you are riding too. If it's short duration you don't really need padding but it's nice if you put in a lot of time, just like a road bike.

Another thing to consider is choosing a well fitted pair of shorts/bibs. You tend to come off the seat and position behind the saddle more often during a ride and a loose crotch can snag annoyingly on the saddle.
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Old 04-10-20, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Another thing to consider is choosing a well fitted pair of shorts/bibs. You tend to come off the seat and position behind the saddle more often during a ride and a loose crotch can snag annoyingly on the saddle.
This is an important point. I have been with riders who used gym shorts or hiking shorts who snag the crotch on the seat as you point out. I have even seen a wipe out caused by this. It is a helpless feeling to try to move forward onto your seat and your shorts are hooked under the back of the seat. Over shorts designed for biking are cut so this does not happen. They are actually designed and cut for a riding position.
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Old 04-10-20, 09:07 AM
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Wear mountain bike shorts over your spandex type bike shorts. Offers a little more protection if you happen to take a fall or branch reaches out and catches them. Good chance a fall could rip the spandex bike shorts to the point where they won't stay on. Plus you don't want to look like a roadie on the trail.

Also baggy shorts around the bottom are a bad idea. Can get caught on things on the bike or trail. Best to get a little tighter form fitting mountain bike short.


https://www.amazon.com/s?k=mountain+...f=nb_sb_noss_2
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Old 04-10-20, 10:23 AM
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The only real rule is if you are wearing knee pads YOU HAVE TO WEAR BAGGIE SHORTS .

If it is really hot out I don't even mind breaking that rule. I pretty much only wear roadie jerseys, they breath better.
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Old 04-10-20, 12:39 PM
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Sill wearing my road kit when I hit the woods.
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Old 04-13-20, 07:58 PM
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I wear the same stuff road and mtb. Only difference is the camelbak and shoes.
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Old 04-13-20, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by frankenmike View Post
I wear the same stuff road and mtb. Only difference is the camelbak and shoes.
Me too.
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Old 04-14-20, 12:53 PM
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Thank you all...ordered a pair of MTB shorts too feel it out.
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Old 04-14-20, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bikeaddiction1 View Post
This is an important point. I have been with riders who used gym shorts or hiking shorts who snag the crotch on the seat as you point out. I have even seen a wipe out caused by this. It is a helpless feeling to try to move forward onto your seat and your shorts are hooked under the back of the seat. Over shorts designed for biking are cut so this does not happen. They are actually designed and cut for a riding position.
This is a really good point, but I ride with road bibs only or, when it's cold, with a pair of tights underneath. They're form-fitting so nothing to snag. Would not dream of wearing my normal weekend shorts even for a just for fun ride
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Old 04-17-20, 12:22 PM
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Some good advice here. Thank you OP for posting. I too am thinking about going from road to mountain.
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Old 04-23-20, 02:24 PM
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Road shorts are fine until you take spill or snag some barbwire and have to ride home show more of you anatomy than some people want to see. Just throw some cheap box store cargo shorts over them.
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Old 04-23-20, 03:26 PM
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I'm in the same boat as you. I actually just got my first real mountain bike in 20 years.

I only have bibs. I did order some sale baggies but the bibs with plain ol shorts seem fine.

I think the dropper may have been invented partially to allow one to wear casual looking clothes. When I'm way behind my seat, there is a little fear I'll get stuck there. Less fear though when I'm dressed like a roadie.
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Old 04-23-20, 07:01 PM
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Just get some MTB shell baggy shorts and wear them over your roadie shorts/bibs. When I ride to the local brewery, I wear bibs under regular cotton cargo shorts so I don't look like a bike geek.
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Old 04-24-20, 07:45 AM
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I'm new to riding again after a long layoff, but I've been using padded liners. As most days are still very cool where I live--it still snows often--I've been using them with track pants tucked into my socks. For me the liners have been very helpful while allowing flexibility for wearing other clothes. (I'm also somewhat hesitant to go the shorts route when it does warm up, as I'm self-conscious about scars and the need to wear a compression sock on one leg).
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Old 04-26-20, 10:45 PM
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Definitely good advice here. I noticed immediately that having loose stuff around the crotch area is not good, definitely snagged a few times.

I purchased shorts that came with a liner, but realized that the fit for the liner is much looser than my regular shorts, so now I have been wearing the regular bib underneath.
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Old 04-27-20, 01:02 PM
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I ride both fat and skinny tires. Riding is great all the way around.

I use my road shorts under a pair of cargo shorts. I buy most of them from Costco. Its important to get flat sewn seams so they don't run you raw. Between Cargo shorts and my camelback, I can carry all kinds of junk with me. My motto is "It's better the have and not need, than to need and not have it." Plus I am always find tools and crap on rides.
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Old 05-01-20, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by ZIPP2001 View Post
Sill wearing my road kit when I hit the woods.
And you look like a dork doing it.
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Old 05-02-20, 06:34 AM
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it might be me, i do not like seeing skin tight clothing on the trails.
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Old 05-05-20, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by marcw View Post
it might be me, i do not like seeing skin tight clothing on the trails.
Trust me. It's not you. We call those people dirt roadies.
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