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Cycling shorts

Old 06-06-12, 05:16 PM
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Cycling shorts

I am going on a moderate length tour of the Erie Canal with the NY parks and trails group. It will be in July so I am sure it will be hot and humid. In the past I have gone on several self supported tours and always just worn regular shorts. However, I would not ride in rain or if I might delay my departure if I was somewhere interesting. My concern is that this is a planned tour and there is no room for my usual laid back style of touring. My question is: does it really make a difference to use cycling shorts instead of regular shorts? I have read on-line that people would never go on any tour (of any length) without chamois lined shorts. What are your thoughts? The tour is only 400 miles with a 50 mile preride excursion. John

PS I should mention that I am a frugal cyclist.
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Old 06-06-12, 05:20 PM
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Cycling shorts are much kinder to your backside, but if frugal is what your looking for, you can ride with any old shorts.
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Old 06-06-12, 05:29 PM
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Wear what you find comfortable. For me that would be Pearl Izumi Attack shorts.
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Old 06-06-12, 05:39 PM
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What are "regular" shorts? I don't wear cycling shorts, but I don't wear cut-off jeans either. Whatever is comfortable for you. Cycling shorts are not comfortable for everyone.
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Old 06-06-12, 06:07 PM
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Also depends on the saddle. I find chamois counter-productive on my brooks. I wear cheap dept store shorts (no creases, the type that doesn't wrinkle) w/ nothing underneath, and have done so on a tour of 1500 miles. W/ leather, the only object is to avoid creases, the leather takes care of the rest.
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Old 06-06-12, 09:05 PM
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What northerntier said - I often won't wear cycling shorts, but I'm am wearing underwear made of wicking material and shorts that I know I can ride in...and not, say, tighty-whiteys and cut-offs.
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Old 06-06-12, 09:10 PM
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coming from mountain biking I never thought I would wear the spandex shorts, catch one bee up there and you are converted
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Old 06-07-12, 04:38 AM
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Try these guys: https://www.bicycleclothing.com/company-history.html
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Old 06-07-12, 07:44 AM
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I don't understand the reluctance of many cyclists to wearing cycling shorts. I have been wearing cycling shorts since the early 1980s and wouldn't consider wearing anything else when riding. I don't care how they look to someone else because they flat-out work -- they are more comfortable, dry quickly, more aero and help prevent saddle sores. I wear them with Brooks saddles as well as lightweight Fizik saddles. I would venture to surmise that most of the cyclists who oppose wearing them have never actually worn some high quality cycling shorts, because if they had, I doubt if they would ever go back to wearing regular shorts. I can see wearing regular shorts for quick little jaunts around town, but not for touring or other long rides.
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Old 06-07-12, 08:02 AM
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one thing that may help you decide is to take what you would otherwise wear, soak them with a hose, go for a rdie and then ask yourself if you would be comfortable rdining all day like that. also consider whether they wil dry by the next day.
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Old 06-07-12, 02:47 PM
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I found some nylon shorts at Eddie Bauer that fit my needs. Quick dying, a good number of pockets, and comfortable. Under it I wear some wicking underwear. That's my regular commuting/running around town outfit when the weather is warm.

When touring, I take two pair: one to wear and one to change into when the other pair is being washed/dried. I also add in a pair of cycling underwear padded with a chamois. I switch between regular, wicking underwear and the cycling stuff as needed. Usually after a long day of riding, I'll figure my butt could benefit from a change in the pressure points, so I'll switch, but if my butt isn't complaining, I'll stick with my regular undershorts because they're more comfortable off the bike.

For you, your main issue seems to be that you'll have to ride when it's wet, hot, and/or muggy. I would say if that is your main concern, then a light, wicking underwear choice with shorts that won't hold the water (i.e. probably not cotton) is more important than cycling-specific clothing. If you're concern is what biking all day will do to your seat area, then you need to consider something cycling-specific. But it sounds like you've already done tours in regular shorts and come through it fine, so it seems like wicking is more important than padding.
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Old 06-07-12, 03:11 PM
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I never found cycling shorts quick drying. If washed they won't dry overnight unlike the REI Sahara nylon pants and ExOfficio briefs. I wore both, cycling shorts and the briefs (not at the same time) under my pants. I didn't notice a difference.

I always wear long lightweight nylon pants and shirt. They keep me cooler than shorts and protect me from the sun. No need for sun lotion either except for the face, which is nice when camping where a shower isn't available.
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Old 06-07-12, 04:08 PM
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I commuted (15 miles round trip) every day for a year in cotton undies and never had a problem.

Once thoroughly addicted to cycling, I began riding 25+ miles for fun, and that's when the saddle sores started (I'm a clyde which may make me more prone to sores, 260lbs currently). For me, this is where a chamois made a difference.

I rode in baggies for a while, one cheap pair with a sewn in chamois liner, and one pricey pair with a snap in chamois liner. These were ok but not great, I think the quality of both layers suffers when you try to "combine" them.

Recently I read a thread about baggy shorts in the touring section where people recommended buying liners, and wearing any type of shorts over them. I bought the least expensive Nashbar Liners, and a pair made by AGU on the Nashbar site which were marked down. For outer layers I bought a pair of very light polyester running shorts, and a pair of black callaway polyester microfiber golf shorts which I found on sale.

The Nashbar chamois had ridges, and was thicker than I expected. The AGU chamois seemed thinner and more simple in appearance.

I found the running shorts were super light and cool, but easily blown up in the wind, this was more annoying than anything else.

The golf shorts were very comfortable and stayed remarkably dry, even when the rest of me was soaked.

I also tried the Nashbar layer under my old pair of cut-off sweat shorts. I was a surprised by the fact that they seemed to be just as comfortable as the "technical" fabrics, though they did retain more moisture.

From what I can tell by reading about cycling shorts (or the lack there-of) is that different stuff works for different people. Personally I just change my saddle to a Serfas RX as well as changing my shorts strategy in hopes to further ease my sore saddle.

Every rear needs different gear!
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Old 06-08-12, 12:19 AM
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I find there are many advantages to cycling shorts. The chamois reduced saddle sores significantly for me. They are very light, and easy to take along. You can pack less underwear. I don't care if it is raining, the shorts dry easily while I'm wearing them. The clothes don't get in the way, I can move freely. The shorts also function well in hot weather, there's no sweaty chafing or something like that. Oh and they're always black, which means that it's no issue if they get stained by, say, the chain or the saddle. So to sum up, I wouldn't consider wearing anything else unless I'm going to a country where they're considered inappropriate.
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Old 06-08-12, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by tarwheel
I don't understand the reluctance of many cyclists to wearing cycling shorts. I have been wearing cycling shorts since the early 1980s and wouldn't consider wearing anything else when riding. I don't care how they look to someone else because they flat-out work -- they are more comfortable, dry quickly, more aero and help prevent saddle sores. I wear them with Brooks saddles as well as lightweight Fizik saddles. I would venture to surmise that most of the cyclists who oppose wearing them have never actually worn some high quality cycling shorts, because if they had, I doubt if they would ever go back to wearing regular shorts. I can see wearing regular shorts for quick little jaunts around town, but not for touring or other long rides.
+1

I wouldn't consider riding more than a mile or two without lycra shorts. My favorites are sold by Love2Pedal and are actually pretty affordable: the bibs are $37/ea or two pair for $64. There's also a non-bib version: $32.95 per pair or two pair for $58. I haven't personally tried the non-bib version, but I can vouch for the quality of the bibs. They're the shorts I wore when I rode from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Just pull a pair of regular shorts over the top if you want to look more "normal" when you hop off the bike.
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Old 06-08-12, 11:23 AM
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I recently bought a pair of these Pearl Izumi shorts on sale - last year's stock at an outfitters we happened in to while on vacation. https://www.rei.com/product/810673/pe...ke-shorts-mens (using the REI link to illustrate only). I usually wear spandex shorts, but find it nice to have the extra layer when going into a restaurant or store. I don't always use the Pearl Izumi inner short that comes with it - any bike shorts will fit underneath, even without attaching them to the outer shorts. I've started wearing these on my commute - and my colleagues at work are thankful. :-)

Hope this helps!
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Old 06-08-12, 01:04 PM
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No one call tell you what will work for you, just what works for them. If you are uncomfortable, try something else, otherwise, go with what works.
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Old 06-12-12, 11:28 AM
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Hey Everybody:

Thanks for all the imput. I will get an inexpensive pair of shorts to try them out. I appreciate the link bktourer1.

John
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