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Sizing/fit of lycra cycling shorts?

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Sizing/fit of lycra cycling shorts?

Old 04-04-04, 06:13 PM
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After a few rides on my new road bike (I was a mountain biker in my previous life) I've decided that it's time to buy some lycra cycling shorts. My waist line is a 35 (yeah, hate those in between sizes), so should I buy size 34 or size 36 shorts? Do cycling shorts normally size smaller or larger than regular pants?

P.S. Is there really much difference between $30 shorts and the $80 and up shorts? What's the difference in quality? I'm thinking it's the padding, or number of panels. Any advice would be most appreciated.
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Old 04-04-04, 06:33 PM
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Most shorts come in sizes S. M, L, XL, XXL, etc. I have an allegedly 34 inch waist and wear a size L short. Being stretchy, lycra shorts accomodate a range of sizes. Some brands fit differently. If you are buying at a local shop, try them on before buying. If you are mail-ordering, check out the size charts in your catalog, or on the merchant's website.

There is quite a difference between $30 and $80 shorts. Pricier shorts generally have better padding, heavier weight fabrics, more panels, and comfort details like external seams, anatomic cuts, etc. Less expensive shorts are generally acceptable for shorter rides, but a good pair of expensive shorts is the deal for all-day comfort.
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Old 04-04-04, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by on2wheels
After a few rides on my new road bike (I was a mountain biker in my previous life) I've decided that it's time to buy some lycra cycling shorts. My waist line is a 35 (yeah, hate those in between sizes), so should I buy size 34 or size 36 shorts? Do cycling shorts normally size smaller or larger than regular pants?

P.S. Is there really much difference between $30 shorts and the $80 and up shorts? What's the difference in quality? I'm thinking it's the padding, or number of panels. Any advice would be most appreciated.
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Old 04-04-04, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by on2wheels
After a few rides on my new road bike (I was a mountain biker in my previous life) I've decided that it's time to buy some lycra cycling shorts. My waist line is a 35 (yeah, hate those in between sizes), so should I buy size 34 or size 36 shorts? Do cycling shorts normally size smaller or larger than regular pants?

P.S. Is there really much difference between $30 shorts and the $80 and up shorts? What's the difference in quality? I'm thinking it's the padding, or number of panels. Any advice would be most appreciated.

Do yourself a favor, skip the shorts and go for the bibs, they stay in place better, are more comfortable on long rides. Just my thoughts. I am 207 lbs, have 36 inch waist and have both xl and large bibs, I think it depends on the makers. A good bike shop will let you try on.
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Old 04-04-04, 08:46 PM
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Definitely try 'em on... there's a big difference between the fit of the brands. I'm a 36 or 38 trouser size, and mostly fit an XL short, but occasionally a large will do the trick.

Second the bibs advice, too... very comfy.
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Old 04-04-04, 09:42 PM
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Most sizes I've seen run 34-36" in waist size anyway (whether that's called a L or an XL, depending on brand), so that would be the right size for you, in most cases. Because of stretchiness of the fabric, it's usually better to buy a size smaller (34") instead of a size larger (36"), if the sizes are that precise - but I haven't seen that in any brands that I can recall.

Bibs are the way to go - stay in place better, are more comfortable, and are worth the slightly higher price compared to shorts IMO.
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Old 04-04-04, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Bludool
Do yourself a favor, skip the shorts and go for the bibs, they stay in place better, are more comfortable on long rides. Just my thoughts. I am 207 lbs, have 36 inch waist and have both xl and large bibs, I think it depends on the makers. A good bike shop will let you try on.


What he said!!!!
I have 4 pairs of shorts and 2 bibs.. I never use those shorts anymore...
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Old 04-05-04, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Bludool
Do yourself a favor, skip the shorts and go for the bibs, they stay in place better, are more comfortable on long rides.
I have 5 pairs of bibs and 5 pairs of shorts but don't wear the shorts anymore. They're going in the garage sale.
Voler has great prices and the quality of their products is very good.
Here are their bibs.
https://www.velowear.com/store/products.asp?dept=1020

Select the size based on your waist size, weight, and height.
https://www.velowear.com/help.asp#Sizing
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Old 04-05-04, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by sorebutt
What he said!!!!
I have 4 pairs of shorts and 2 bibs.. I never use those shorts anymore...
What they both said. I have two shorts, one from Zyflex that cost $35 and one from Nike that I got on sale for $37, regularly $50. I have a 38 inch waist and got an XL in both and the fit is not bad, they are comfortable, with pleanty of padding but I am tired of the top rolling. Also, the Zyflex shorts have to be hand-washed! That is a real pain.

My next purchase will be bibs - never to return to shorts.
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Old 04-05-04, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Bludool
Do yourself a favor, skip the shorts and go for the bibs, they stay in place better, are more comfortable on long rides.
Yea , but you have to do a strip tease just to relieve yourself. If you don't have to GO your not drinking enough liquids.
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Old 04-05-04, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawdaddy
Yea , but you have to do a strip tease just to relieve yourself. If you don't have to GO your not drinking enough liquids.
Never had that problem. The front of the bibs is plenty stretchy enough to get the old fella out when needed.
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Old 04-05-04, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawdaddy
Yea , but you have to do a strip tease just to relieve yourself. If you don't have to GO your not drinking enough liquids.
Funny you said that, I had to find a secluded spot on todays ride and roll the leg all the way up!
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