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Effectiveness of Bike Short?

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Effectiveness of Bike Short?

Old 12-12-12, 09:50 PM
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wsuhoops1000
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Effectiveness of Bike Short?

Hello, so I normally go on rides of around 20-25 miles daily or a long trainer session. I do this on my road bike but just in athletic shorts and a tshirt. Whats the advantage or having a jersey and shorts? Other then not looking silly is it speed, comfort, or something else? Thanks.
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Old 12-12-12, 09:55 PM
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L.L. Zamenhof
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Speed. I'd say I'm at least 15% faster wearing bike shorts.
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Old 12-12-12, 10:05 PM
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as rides get longer a good pair of shorts or bibs are a lot more comfortable. I am not sure if you have had any chafing without them but a good chamois will keep you dry and prevent chafing. Other than that cycle specific clothing are more aero than a t-shirt and shorts. To each his own but I don't like my clothes flapping in the wind as I ride.
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Old 12-12-12, 10:10 PM
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Mike F
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Your nether regions will thank you Not to mention freedom of movement and wicking away moisture. And Rule #19
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Old 12-12-12, 10:29 PM
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Shorts/bibs:
- Dramatically reduce chafing for longer rides, and likely will improve comfort. You really notice once you're doing 2+ hour rides - even a little area of brushing on your skin will turn into an angry red welt. You might be fine for an hour but go 3-4, and it can get bad.
- Less flapping as you'd have with baggy regular shorts. A common problem I had commuting in normal shorts is catching my short leg on the nose of the seat midpedal if I stood for any reason. Again, flapping usually leads to rubbing on skin, which leads to welts on long rides.
- More aerodynamic.

Jersey - Definitely less crucial than the shorts/bibs even for long rides, but advantages:
- Three back pockets that are remarkably useful. I've never lost anything from these pockets, even during spills. Really handy and I miss them immediately if I'm not using them.
- Tend to be more aerodynamic if sized properly.


The aerodynamics might sound silly to you as a newb rider, but remember that for serious riders or racers who are trying to squeeze out speed, reducing flapping from loose clothing will far exceed any aerodynamic gain of a set of $2500 Zipp race wheels + a $3000 aerodynamic frame COMBINED. It would make zero sense from a cost standpoint in a time trial to bring $20,000 of aerodynamic bike gear, but have a flapping jersey kill your aerodynamics.
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Old 12-12-12, 11:48 PM
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It's sport specific gear.... Dress for the sport you're playing.

If you are swimming for exercise/club/fitness, you wear a speedo (unless you are training with draggers purposefully).
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Old 12-13-12, 12:15 AM
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shorts essential for hours of riding, desirable for shorter rides.

jerseys unnecessary but nice to have pockets on the back.
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Old 12-13-12, 12:17 AM
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Get a good set of bibs. Your nether regions will thank you and I will be you start upping the distance of your daily rides once you start wearing them. After I got mine I refuse to ride in anything else.
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Old 12-13-12, 05:30 AM
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Aerodynamics
Comfort in terms of freedom of movement, no seams or friction
Comfort in terms of padding to reduce pressure pain from the saddle

When I go on long rides I pretty much have to wear them to be comfortable. When I go for shorter rides they are not necessary. I often take a roadbike to work in just normal clothes and it is fine as long as it is less than 10 kilometers.
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Old 12-14-12, 03:10 PM
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a word about compression clothing on you backside and legs. there is something to be said for how they feel, meaning they are somewhat stimulating, meaning when you wear them you will feel energized somewhat. it's hard to describe.
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Old 12-16-12, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
a word about compression clothing on you backside and legs. there is something to be said for how they feel, meaning they are somewhat stimulating, meaning when you wear them you will feel energized somewhat. it's hard to describe.
Oh oh.
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Old 12-16-12, 11:05 AM
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Comfort.

Speed gains are in the mind.
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Old 12-16-12, 04:14 PM
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your "boys" will thank you
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Old 12-16-12, 04:31 PM
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id like to add, about jerseys.

baggy clothing are like insect traps....you don't want a bee inside your t-shirt/ or short for that matter...

cycling shorts or bibs are one of those small details that become bigger as you ride longer distances. I recommend suffering, as the best way to learn this details.
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Old 12-16-12, 05:12 PM
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There's nothing wrong with athletic shorts and a t shirt. Keep wearing what your wearing and save your pennies for some carbon bottle cages.
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Old 12-17-12, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by TJKnight View Post
There's nothing wrong with athletic shorts and a t shirt. Keep wearing what your wearing and save your pennies for some carbon bottle cages.
I doubt that his pennies will appreciate the feel of carbon bottle...err, wait, you wrote down "pennies" as in coins/currency??? Nevermind
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Old 12-17-12, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by tagaproject6 View Post
I doubt that his pennies will appreciate the feel of carbon bottle...err, wait, you wrote down "pennies" as in coins/currency??? Nevermind
Are you suggesting I have small balls??



Just kidding
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Old 12-17-12, 12:06 PM
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Try some good bib shorts, you'll like it.
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Old 12-17-12, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by escarpment View Post
your "boys" will thank you
Isn't it possible the OP is a woman?


edit: ooops, i just saw another post where the OP is discussing the size of his testicles.
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Old 12-17-12, 03:56 PM
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Would you swim laps in board shorts? I wouldn't. I wear cycling specific clothing when riding my road bike or commuting to work. Reasons are as stated above: no chafing, no flapping, pockets, etc. Basically, if sweat is involved, I'm wearing a chamois. If it's just a casual ride around the neighborhood, then jeans or regular shorts are fine.
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