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Cheap padded shorts on Amazon tested

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Cheap padded shorts on Amazon tested

Old 06-30-16, 09:52 AM
  #1  
Vinnems
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Cheap padded shorts on Amazon tested

I've done a lot of consulting in the textile and fashion industry, so I know there is a HUGE mark up when it comes to clothing. Having been an avid bicyclist for years, I know that there is a huge mark up on parts. So what do you get when you combine the two? Absolutely outrageous prices.
Padded shorts shouldn't be that expensive. So I decided to look into some of the cheap ones on Amazon, see if any are worth it. For a comparison, I have a pair of Canari shorts that I've ridden to the point they are completely flat and have no support, so I know what a 'decent' priced pair and quality feels like.
I ordered four brands, two sizes each so I could get a feel for sizing: Ohuhu, 4ucycling, Baleaf, and Xcellent. All were around $10 (except Baleaf at $15) and had a decent amount of reviews already. I also HATE logos all over my clothes, and these were all just plain black so that was a bonus. And with free returns, I wasn't risking anything at all. I will link full reviews later for those interested, but here's the summary.
Ohuhu and 4ucycling are complete garbage. You'd be better off sticking a dish rag in you track shorts. The padding is so spongey that it offers no support at all and to me, feels like I'm not wearing padded shorts at all. It felt like, out of the bag, my Canari shorts did after years of riding and smashing. The material of the shorts is like paper, I can't see it lasting that long.
Xcellent, I was IMMENSELY pleased with. Right out of the bag, I could feel how supportive the padding was. I put 50 miles on them and my buns felt great after. The quality in manufacturing is definitely there. I couldn't believe all that was only $10.
Baleaf, which was a little more expensive, definitely shows why. The ends of the legs have that rubber liner on them to keep them from slipping, and the construction is a little bit higher quality. The padding feels good too, but I haven't put any serious mileage on them yet. This weekend I will and I'll post an update.
If anyone has any questions on the brands, let me know. But I really do recommend the Xcellent brand ones if you're looking for good quality at a very reasonable price.
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Old 06-30-16, 10:01 AM
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I've bought cheap cycling shorts before. I can definitely tell they're cheap. Poor fit, transparent material, and low quality material.

Much like clothing at Walmart or Target compared to a more expensive department store you really do get what you pay for.
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Old 06-30-16, 10:11 AM
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It would be more interesting if you compared the cheap internet shorts to basic shorts from some name brands, and to a pair or two of premium shorts.
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Old 06-30-16, 10:14 AM
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Overspending is the easy way to obtain a certain elevated performance level of a product. If one's time and resolve are scarcer than one's money, that is the most satisfactory approach to shopping. Investigating the market, comparing prices, testing merchandise is a much more arduous route to the same result with the possibility of a lower cost.
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Old 06-30-16, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
testing merchandise is a much more arduous route to the same result with the possibility of a lower cost.
Testing can also lead to a higher overall cost when one finally realizes the cheap crap they've been buying is a pale comparison to the more expensive products.
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Old 06-30-16, 10:20 AM
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Old 06-30-16, 10:29 AM
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I'm a big believer in the "intermediate" priced ultra line of shorts and bibs from performance bike. Bought during sales (Which are frequent) you can get the shorts for as little as $35, and the bibs for $55. I prefer them to the other intermediate priced offerings from pearl? LG, etc. I have 4 pairs of the ultra shorts (I've now finally switched to bibs) that are three years old, and they are in excellent condition, with the pads still being supportive and smooth, and the fabric and seams solid and showing little signs of wear.

So cheap is intriguing, but if you were to move a little down market to the performance "elite" level, you'd still be getting a better product for not much more.

Last edited by Wheever; 06-30-16 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 06-30-16, 10:56 AM
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I've tried 3 different generic Chinese bib shorts for around $20/pair. One pair was really uncomfortable. The other two were pretty good but they started falling apart after about 3 months of use/washing
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Old 06-30-16, 11:03 AM
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giving cheap shorts a rave review after 50 miles...?

meh, get back to us after 5-10,000 mi.
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Old 06-30-16, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Vinnems View Post
The ends of the legs have that rubber liner on them to keep them from slipping
I'll never buy anything with those.
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Old 06-30-16, 11:28 AM
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I buy cycling shorts all the time from amazon. Santic has been good. I have almost 2 years and 6,000 miles on mine with no problems. A mix of road biking and mountain biking. I also have some baleaf but like the santic better.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...+padded+shorts

4ucycling makes the best cold weather biking pants. I won't even look at the high priced offerings from others.

https://www.amazon.com/4ucycling-Pan...er+cycle+pants
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Old 06-30-16, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Vinnems View Post
. . . For a comparison, I have a pair of Canari shorts that I've ridden to the point they are completely flat and have no support, so I know what a 'decent' priced pair and quality feels like . . .
For me, not a good comparison at all because when I first got into cycling I owned a couple pairs of Canari shorts and found them to be well below what I now consider to be average quality cycling shorts. But maybe their mid-level shorts are much better now.
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Old 06-30-16, 02:12 PM
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I once bought a pair from China on eBay once.

The padding was so far forward it was absolutely useless; good thing the 'Bay has their buyer protection...
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Old 06-30-16, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by FullGas View Post
giving cheap shorts a rave review after 50 miles...?

meh, get back to us after 5-10,000 mi.
^this. I find the cheap chamois breaks down and they get uncomfortable really fast.

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Old 06-30-16, 03:19 PM
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How are some measuring the longevity of their shorts in terms of miles? Do you not rotate your clothing or are you constantly washing them? I have four pairs in rotation.
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Old 06-30-16, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
I've tried 3 different generic Chinese bib shorts for around $20/pair. One pair was really uncomfortable. The other two were pretty good but they started falling apart after about 3 months of use/washing
The question there is how would a pair of name brand shorts on closeout at 60-75 dollars have performed? As Robert and RPK79 pointed out, buy once and buy right. I had this problem when I started motorcycling years ago. I bought like 5 or 6 cheap-ish jackets looking for that really nice one for a good deal. Then I sold them all on that popular auction site and spent about 500 bucks on one really good jacket. Totally worth it.

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Old 06-30-16, 03:22 PM
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The chamois in bicycling shorts is there so that moisture is removed from the skin. It's puropse is not to provide padding. If shorts have too much "padding" then you'll very soon run into chafing problems as the extra padding shifts around.

Cheers
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Old 06-30-16, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Tycho Brahe View Post
How are some measuring the longevity of their shorts in terms of miles? Do you not rotate your clothing or are you constantly washing them? I have four pairs in rotation.
I rotate mine, but I NEVER wash them.
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Old 06-30-16, 03:28 PM
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Vinnems since you're doing cheap Amazon shorts I'd be interested in your evaluation of the Santic loose fitting MTB shorts. People complain that the padding is too loose and sort of hangs down, and they're right but I found that sewing up some slack inside took about 4 minutes in my amateurish fashion and I thought they were pretty good after that.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CZ20CGS
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Old 06-30-16, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
The chamois in bicycling shorts is there so that moisture is removed from the skin. It's puropse is not to provide padding. If shorts have too much "padding" then you'll very soon run into chafing problems as the extra padding shifts around.

Cheers
I always thought it was to reduce friction...
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Old 06-30-16, 04:18 PM
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I have 3 pairs of Boure shorts. Two are 5 years old and one is 7 years old.

They are made in Colorado and worth every penny.
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Old 06-30-16, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
I always thought it was to reduce friction...
Yes it is but the big source of friction is moisture. Either way, too much padding make the shorts squirm whic increases the friction a lot. I swore off Louis Garneau shorts because there was so much padding in them I felt like i was riding on a folded up blanket and those shorts got very uncomfortable after even a few miles.

Cheers
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Old 06-30-16, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by PepeM View Post
I'll never buy anything with those.
Same, I don't like the feeling, which is why I'm leaning more towards the Xcellent brand. I find that bit too restrictive, doesn't give as much as the rest of the shorts.

Originally Posted by Miele Man
The chamois in bicycling shorts is there so that moisture is removed from the skin. It's puropse is not to provide padding. If shorts have too much "padding" then you'll very soon run into chafing problems as the extra padding shifts around.
Its funny, going in, I thought the Ohuhu and 4UCycling shorts would be the best because they had the thickest padding. The Xcellent I thought would be the worst because the paddle was so thin. But then I discovered it's not the thickness, but the firmness. Xcellent was so firm it feels like I'm riding on air, which is nice because my current saddle is akin to riding on a rock. I get the same feeling from the Baleaf paddling.

Also I think all these shorts are marketed as underwear, so you're not supposed to wear just them. But Xcellent doesn't show through and neither does Baleaf, which is nice. I'll update in a month or two after I put a couple hundred miles on each to say how they are holding up.
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Old 06-30-16, 07:54 PM
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I have a pair of canari shorts, and I don't think much of them at all. The gel pad is annoying. I think dhb from wiggle is a decent value if you get their mid-range lines. The padding works for me well, though the ASV Race bibs have more padding than I like. I'm a little too weary to get $10 bike shorts.

I would go cheap for a jersey though if I saw something I liked. Right now I just don't need more than that someone got for me on the super cheap.
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Old 06-30-16, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Mulberry20 View Post
I have 3 pairs of Boure shorts. Two are 5 years old and one is 7 years old.

They are made in Colorado and worth every penny.
$110 is nuts for those when you can get comparable quality shorts from Amazon for $25 or less.
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