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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,041

    Padded bike shorts

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    I suppose this should go in "cycling apparel" but most of my cycling is for transportation so I'm posting it here.

    After three years of commuting, I got my first pair of padded cycling shorts. Boy do they look stupid. I pride myself on not caring what I look like--the reflective orange road vest and walgreens safety goggles don't bother me at all. But I just can't stand the diapered butt look. And I've got a brooks saddle--what more do I need?

    I thought I wouldn't mind trying them out, but they are expensive to buy a pair just to try!

    My parents have both gotten padded shorts, and sing their praises. And the chaffing of my regular shorts and jeans was getting to me. So I bought a pair on Monday and wore them on Tuesday.

    Now I'm singing too! I'll wear these on any ride over ten miles, even if it means changing when I get there. I recently ripped two pairs of pants, one that was fairly expensive, and I suspect that was due to my expanding posterior, but I also blame wear & tear because they weren't designed for cycling.

    I kind of wish I'd had them on that crazy bike trip last spring.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Belle, Mo.
    Posts
    1,778
    Holy Cow! You did that tour without cycling shorts? I was impressed before, but now...
    Claudia

    2009 Trek 7.6fx
    2013 Jamis Satellite
    2014 Terry Burlington

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Black Hills of SD
    Posts
    698
    I swore I wouldn't be caught dead in a pair. But that was before I tried some. Now I hate to ride without them! A good friend went on a ride with us and refused to wear them. She was miserable. I think she'll take me up on the offer of liner shorts the next time we go.

    Deb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    1,365
    I hate the look of them, too - out of context, anyway. Like, on a long group ride it's one thing, but on a shorter commute I feel dopey. So I found a pair of very lightweight (like, parachute material) hiking capris one size up from my size at a consignment shop, and I will sometimes slide those over my shorts for city riding.
    I can do five more miles.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    MD suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,832
    I usually wear padded shorts while commuting, but this summer I tried an experiment. I wore lightweight nylon capri pants (not tight) over my shorts and my chaco sandals so I didn't look like I was trying to be fast or cocky (or whatever non-cyclists think). Cars treated me much more respectfully when I was dressed more like a regular person.

    Not sure how this will play out in the winter when warm tights are necessary.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,704
    Quote Originally Posted by divingbiker View Post
    Not sure how this will play out in the winter when warm tights are necessary.
    I have some XC skiing pants by SportHill that are perfect for cold commutes. Warm, pretty windblocking, but look like ordinary black pants otherwise. The ankles are tapered enough that they don't get caught while I'm pedaling.

    I rock the lycra for longer rides. On my commute through urban neighborhoods, I prefer to be a little more incognito. DH and I draw enough attention on our bikes as it is...don't need to draw any more with a shiny lycra bum!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,251
    You did your spring tour WITHOUT bike shorts. I'm with uforgot: I was impressed with your adventure as it was- I'm doubly impressed you did that without padding. I don't even ride to work 3 miles away without my tri shorts (teeny tiny padding).
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,041
    I don't know, some aspects of my trip, it's like being impressed because someone walks on purpose into a room full of people with the flu. Or into a den of tigers. That sort of thing. "Impressed" isn't quite the right word. "Appalled" might be closer!

    You don't miss what you don't know. I do have a brooks saddle, and that has been a dream. I don't have sore sitbones, or tender girly bits, or anything.

    Since I got that saddle broken in, the only problem I've had is chaffing. And I heard that padded bike shorts don't really help with that. The last 2 days of my trip I had pretty bad chaffing. Although I didn't ride much all summer, that never entirely cleared up. It seems to be clearing up this week.

    Maybe the padding doesn't help with chaffing, but the material does. My alternative has been canvas shorts, denim jeans, or cotton slacks or shorts.

    I have been wearing shorts or rain pants over the bike shorts, so I haven't noticed anyone treating me differently. I look the same, until I get off the bike and my butt sticks out!

    My regular commute is only 3 miles, and once I get there I don't really want a padded butt for checking the rats, or teaching! or meetings. So it's always felt kind of silly to wear different clothes for 20 minutes, change for the meeting, then change back to go home. But I guess that's what I'll do anyway.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,041
    divingbiker: I have polartec fleece bike pants for the winter. They are really nice. I got them from either Terry or REI, I don't remember.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    Quote Originally Posted by Melalvai View Post
    the only problem I've had is chaffing. And I heard that padded bike shorts don't really help with that. ... alternative has been canvas shorts, denim jeans, or cotton slacks or shorts.


    One thing that definitely helps with chafing is NOT sitting with your most sensitive parts being ground directly onto serged (sextuple-thick) seams!

    "Padding," as in the diaper-thick shorts they have nowadays, can exacerbate chafing for most people, but the original point of a chamois was to provide a seamless seating area.

    It's possible you need a cut-out, possible you need a tilt adjustment, extremely doubtful that a Brooks is too narrow for you. Look at the saddle and chamois lube threads for possible solutions to chafing - and choose shorts with a thin chamois.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,066
    What OakLeaf said. I start to whimper if I have to ride a bike wearing jeans. I suck it up (literally, it feels like) for about 30 seconds before I start to pedal standing.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Ah, not all bike shorts make you look like you have a diaper butt from the rear. I guess if you feel like it has diaper butt, it might look thicker, but who the hell cares? Shorts with higher lycra content and less padding hold you in, and in my opinion actually flatter most figure types. I wear Terry bellas or the Shebeest S Pros.
    I wear bike shorts or skorts for all riding, no matter how short. Today i went to the train station, about 4.2 miles. I wore minimally padded knickers. Since I didn't have to change, it was no big deal. The "commuter' type cycling knickers or pants are kind of stylish looking! When I had a 6.7 mile commute to work, i wore my regular cycling shorts, or shorts with tights over them. I changed into my work clothes at work.
    The only time I don't wear cycling shorts is when I ride to the pond, .99 mile; but it's ouchy in a bathing suit...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    1
    Its really appreciative work and I hope you will keep it up as well
    The superior choice for ccie training begins with preparation products designed to deliver real cisco ccie certification and cisco ccie exam training.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    51
    I just have to say that because of cycling I go through jeans like CRAZY! I wear my bike shorts when I commute to work most of the time and if I know I'll be riding more than 10 miles, but when I'm cruising around town on my fixie or riding my commuter to class I wear jeans/pants and I wear out the crotch within a month or two.

    I've tried cheap jeans, I've tried expensive jeans, I thought Dickies would work out well but NO! I even tore those up within a few months.

    I can say I feel the pain when it comes to cycling in street clothes. I guess my thighs and cycling butt just can't be contained by denim while on my bike.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,041
    Quote Originally Posted by radicalrye View Post
    when I'm cruising around town on my fixie or riding my commuter to class I wear jeans/pants and I wear out the crotch within a month or two.
    Wow. Mine would last a few months when I biked in them. It only takes a few rides before you can see the bike seat worn into them.

 

 

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