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Any one use wool biking shorts?

Old 08-06-14, 01:22 PM
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Any one use wool biking shorts?

I'm a complete convert to wool cycling jerseys.

Does anyone use wool cycling shorts? By that, I mean shorts with a wool chamois like this?

If you have, do you have to wash it every day or can it be worn day after day without smell or discomfort?
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Old 08-06-14, 02:46 PM
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from wikipedia:

"A cilice /ˈsɪlɨs/ was originally a garment or undergarment made of coarse cloth or animal hair (a hairshirt) worn close to the skin. It was used in some religious traditions to induce discomfort or pain as a sign of repentance and atonement."

enough said.
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Old 08-06-14, 03:22 PM
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I wear merino boxers with a pad and nylon shorts over them. I've found synthetic jerseys to be far more practical than wool ones for weight, packed volume and speed of drying.
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Old 08-06-14, 03:24 PM
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I regularly use inexpensive wool socks and hats, but I'm too cheap to spring for fancy cyclewear.

I was unaware wool could be molded into the linked, pictured chamois. That chamois is likely some kind of rubber like most every other chamois, with some sort of fibrous covering, which could possibly be wool. Don't see how the cover matters much if in fact a large part of your nether region is covered in a somewhat non-porous, non-breathable material.

I've been riding in these shorts for at least 5 years. I buy them when there's a 10% off + free ship promotion. They don't really stink much after riding. You can hand wash them in a sink, wring them out good and they'll dry quickly turned inside-out.

Men's Pro Bike Shorts for cycling comfort and bicycle riding
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Old 08-06-14, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by raybo
I'm a complete convert to wool cycling jerseys.

Does anyone use wool cycling shorts? By that, I mean shorts with a wool chamois like this?

If you have, do you have to wash it every day or can it be worn day after day without smell or discomfort?
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Old 08-06-14, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan
from wikipedia:

"A cilice /ˈsɪlɨs/ was originally a garment or undergarment made of coarse cloth or animal hair (a hairshirt) worn close to the skin. It was used in some religious traditions to induce discomfort or pain as a sign of repentance and atonement."

enough said.
100% incorrect --> with respect to merino wool
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Old 08-06-14, 06:10 PM
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Merino Wool is a pretty great material. Very comfy, very smell-resistant. I use Icebreaker cycling shorts, and there's lycra underneath my butt so the wool doesn't wear a hole after a few hundred rides. Three years and they're still going strong.

Unfortunately, Icebreaker ended the cycling line, but Ibex still makes lots of wool cycling shorts which can often be found on sale.
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Old 08-06-14, 06:12 PM
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The older style shorts were wool with a real chamois in them. That's the kind my father wore for years. They were, apparently, quite comfortable and durable, but the cleaning and care could be challenging.

It might take some hunting, but you can probably find them.
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Old 08-06-14, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by raybo
Does anyone use wool cycling shorts?
"Back when" woolen cycling shorts & natural chamois are what we had, they were quite comfortable in cool weather but we were forced to use them in sweltering heat in the USA, not optimal. When synthetics came in in the 80's we all converted immediately, there was no advantage to woolen shorts over the new kit. Having woolen shorts w/ a natural chamois was like having several ill-mannered pets as far as care was concerned, a tedious endless chore.

No more sodden shorts in the rain, hand washing, applying chamois-goo/misshapen/sandpaper chamois or baggy fit, good riddance!

The requirements for cycling jerseys & shorts are quite different, as should be apparent to anyone who can tell the difference between buttocks and their shoulders.

-Bandera

Last edited by Bandera; 08-07-14 at 06:34 AM.
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Old 08-06-14, 07:20 PM
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Chamois is a goat . Chamois - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 08-06-14, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
Correct, also down the page the page.......the thing I used to dry the car with..........

Chamois leather
Chamois leather, traditionally made from the hide of the chamois, is very smooth and absorbent and is favoured in cleaning, buffing, and polishing because it produces no scratching. Modern chamois leather may be made from chamois hides, but hides of deer or domestic goats or sheep are commonly used, and cotton flannel can be used as a fake-chamois fabric, with similar qualities.
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Old 08-06-14, 07:36 PM
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Met someone hunting them, in the Belgian Ardennes ..


had some shorts like OP asked about , in the early 70's..
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Old 08-06-14, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
Yes.

And wool shorts used to be wool for the main body of the shorts, with a chamois (leather hide of the particular goat) for you to sit on. It required a lot of special care to remain soft.
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Old 08-06-14, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Bandera
"Back when" woolen cycling shorts & natural chamois are what we had, they were quite comfortable in cool weather but we were forced to use them in sweltering heat in the USA, not optimal. When synthetics came in in the 80's we all converted immediately, there was no advantage to woolen shorts over the new kit. Having woolen shorts w/ a natural chamois was like having several ill-mannered pets as far as care was concerned, a tedious endless chore.

No more sodden shorts in the rain, hand washing, applying chamois-goo/misshapen/sandpaper chamois or baggy fit, good riddance!

The requirements for cycling jerseys & shorts are quite different, as should be apparent to anyone who can the difference between buttocks and their shoulders.

-Bandera
We used to wear lightweight wool jerseys and wool shorts year around. It has been a long time, but I still believe the wool shorts were cooler than lycra. A lot of us did not convert to the synthetics right away, especially the jerseys. The original synthetic jerseys were hot and "sticky", and not very comfortable. Like I said, it has been a long time but, I don't remember wool shorts or jerseys be much of a problem. Just rub a little Noxema into the chamois and you were good to go.
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Old 08-06-14, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64
We used to wear lightweight wool jerseys and wool shorts year around. It has been a long time, but I still believe the wool shorts were cooler than lycra. A lot of us did not convert to the synthetics right away, especially the jerseys. The original synthetic jerseys were hot and "sticky", and not very comfortable. Like I said, it has been a long time but, I don't remember wool shorts or jerseys be much of a problem. Just rub a little Noxema into the chamois and you were good to go.
We still wear wool jerseys. What's old is new again. Retro is the fashion now.

Rowan and I have a collection of 3 (I think) short-sleeved wool jerseys which are quite comfortable to temps in the high 20s.
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Old 08-07-14, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug64
It has been a long time, but I still believe the wool shorts were cooler than lycra. Just rub a little Noxema into the chamois and you were good to go.
Memory fades...
You must not have been racing in South Central Texas, woolen shorts were quite comfortable in cool weather but not 100F+ for me.

Preventing saddle sores requires clean shorts. "Back when" woolen cycling shorts w/ a natural chamois were "hand wash" only.
Instead of tossing kit in the washing machine on gentle/cold and letting dry overnight one would be washing each item by hand in the sink, letting it line dry (eventually) and massaging the chamois-potion of choice into each item. A tedious and thankless task that took time away from bike maintenance or watching Starsky & Hutch on the B&W TV.

Fit in a woolen cycling short was less precise compared to the multi-panel synthetics, and liable to shrink/stretch/bag due to the quality of care mentioned above.
Ill fitting shorts w/ a lumpy chamois on a long hard ride.....no thanks.

Woolen shorts sagging when soaked in rainwater are not a fond memory either, give me modern quality bibs.

Your memory may vary.

-Bandera
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Old 08-07-14, 09:28 AM
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At least one manufacturer still produces 100% merino washable wool shorts with a leather chamois pad option. They have two designs of shorts and one bib design. Wool Shorts Traditional Kucharik
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Old 08-07-14, 10:26 AM
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Wearing wool shorts does not mean you HAVE to use a leather chamois. Not saying the leather doesn't work, but my wool biking shorts have a synthetic chamois and a bit of lycra on the contact points for durability.
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Old 08-07-14, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Bandera
Memory fades...
You must not have been racing in South Central Texas, woolen shorts were quite comfortable in cool weather but not 100F+ for me.

Preventing saddle sores requires clean shorts. "Back when" woolen cycling shorts w/ a natural chamois were "hand wash" only.
Instead of tossing kit in the washing machine on gentle/cold and letting dry overnight one would be washing each item by hand in the sink, letting it line dry (eventually) and massaging the chamois-potion of choice into each item. A tedious and thankless task that took time away from bike maintenance or watching Starsky & Hutch on the B&W TV.

Fit in a woolen cycling short was less precise compared to the multi-panel synthetics, and liable to shrink/stretch/bag due to the quality of care mentioned above.
Ill fitting shorts w/ a lumpy chamois on a long hard ride.....no thanks.

Woolen shorts sagging when soaked in rainwater are not a fond memory either, give me modern quality bibs.

Your memory may vary.

-Bandera
You are probably right, the Pacific North West has a little more temperate climate. It has been awhile, early 1970's. I raced when black shorts and white socks were a requirement.
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Old 08-07-14, 01:56 PM
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I bought some Ibex wool bib shorts a few months ago, and have worn them several times. They seem to have a wool covered "chamois" of modern shape with variable thickness. They're quite comfy, although not as compressive around the thighs as the Pearl Izumi bibs that I also like. I'll wear them more when the weather cools a bit, but this thread might get me to try them tomorrow to see how they feel when it's warm (by PNW standards).
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