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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    35

    Jeans vs Chamois, why are jeans winning?

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    I ride my bike for two reasons. The first is to train for the 300 mile event I'm doing later this summer. The other is to go places and do things. Training, I wear bike shorts with a chamois and use chamois cream. For round town type stuff, I wear jeans.

    The problem is, after a 20 mile around town ride in jeans I feel great. After a 20 mile ride in bike shorts my lady bits hurt and I sometimes have sores. I have two different pairs of bike shorts and I get the same thing with both.

    I can't ride 300 miles in jeans. So, any thoughts? Maybe try bike shorts without a chamois? I haven't tried normal shorts because I don't really own any.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,364
    How long (time wise) are you riding when you are in your jeans - yes the mileage may add up, but the continuous time on saddle may be quite short when you are riding around town and making lots of stops. When you are riding to train you are sitting on your saddle for long periods of time without stopping.

    From your description, I'd look to the saddle rather than the shorts. It sounds like you are having pressure, rubbing issues that don't become apparent until you've been sitting on it for some time. You may need a different shape/size, cut-out, non-cut out. Any saddle can feel OK for short periods of time, but start to show its shortcomings when you ride longer.

    I personally find jeans to be extremely uncomfortable... I had a really short trip to take a few days ago (about 5.5 - 6 miles round trip) so I just hopped on my bike and rolled up my pant leg... I didn't like it one little bit...
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    I'd guess either your shorts are too big, or the chamois is too thick. Shorts should fit like your favorite pantyhose - like a second skin - and lots of people, me included, want a chamois only for a seamless surface, NOT for chafe-inducing padding.

    Other thoughts: Are you riding in the same position for both types of riding? When it's "commuting" are you on the hoods or tops, vs. in the drops when you're "training," putting your pelvis and soft tissues in a more forward position? Are you wearing the same shoes? (If not, that could change your distance to the pedals and maybe cause your hips to rock.)
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    118
    Quote Originally Posted by kcmpls View Post
    I can't ride 300 miles in jeans. So, any thoughts? .
    Hahaha, I just had an image in my head of someone wearing jeans for a 300 mile race, while everyone else is decked out in cycling gear.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    47
    I don't (usually) wear bike shorts, so take everything I have to say with a grain of salt.

    I've heard good things from my fellow padded shorts hating people around here about tri shorts- still a chamois, but no padding. If both of your pairs of bike shorts are padded, this might be worth a try.

    Second, all of the things people have said above about time in the saddle, riding positions, stops, etc. probably have at least some bearing on your experience, even if you do have the wrong shorts for you. I could even see it being something to do with how hard you're working for those 20 miles.

    Finally, even though you probably can't ride 300 miles in jeans, I just wanted to share for everyone reading that some people really do prefer to ride in jeans, and find it comfortable. My SO's "cylcing shorts" are a pair of knee length denim shorts. To each their own, I suppose.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    118
    Anybody follow this blog?
    http://www.sherylyvette.com/

    She usually rides in fishnets, high heeled slingbacks, skirts and corsets. She rode her cruiser bike in the 5 Boro Bike tour this year all dressed up. I like her because she reminds me to enjoy cycling. (Sorry, not really related to the Jeans/shorts question...)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,372
    I ride a bent, so I'm not talking to the comfort issue, i think others have some good suggestions. But, I did want to re-iterate, you don't have to wear cycling shorts!
    If you want to fit in, there are a number of jogging/fitness short or rowing short options that look just like cycling shorts but have little or no padding. These shorts will also likely be more comfortable on longer rides on your thighs and knees than jeans (I would expect).
    I personally love rowing shorts, which have a little bit of a pad, more for modesty than anything else, and look like bike shorts. These are some of my favorites
    http://www.jlrowing.com/
    My photoblog
    http://dragons-fly-peacefully.blogspot.com/
    Bacchetta Giro (recumbent commuter)
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    I will never buy another bike!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    foothills of the Ozarks aka Tornado Alley
    Posts
    4,193
    Quote Originally Posted by jlnc View Post
    Anybody follow this blog?
    http://www.sherylyvette.com/
    She looks like a Betty Boop of the cycling world.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,557
    I'm not a fan of padded shorts, either.

    I am ok with tri shorts, but my favorite are plain ol' Under Armour compression shorts (7 inch inseams work best for my long legs). Also love the various gussetted pants and shorts that are out there. No nasty seam bump, and quite comfortable for riding. Diamond Gusset jeans and Rivendell's MUSA shorts/pants/capris spring to mind.

    Diamond Gusset and MUSA are made in the USA.

    (so are "Not Your Daughter's Jeans," for those of you who have cyclist's thighs and buns. Trek420 looks so good in hers that I'm going out to buy a pair for myself tonight!)
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    1,944
    I wear padded shorts most of the time but loathe 2 of the 3 pairs I have b/c they...well, they cause things to get smushed in funny ways. My favorite bottoms are a cycling skort with a "casual" chamois (probably b/c it's the thinnest of the bunch). But I'm pretty darn happy riding around in jeans too.

    "I never met a donut I didn't like" - Dave Wiens

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    35
    When I say I rode 20 miles in jeans, that was without stopping, I had met a friend and he wanted to do a ride.

    And the shorts aren't too big, if anything too small. I'm a plus size girl and my bike shorts are XXL, so they are tight. But I don't find them uncomfortable when walking in them.

    I'm going to try some compression shorts and see if that works. Or maybe some tri shorts. My only reason, really, for not wearing jeans is because it would be hot, way too hot.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3,853
    Quote Originally Posted by kcmpls View Post
    When I say I rode 20 miles in jeans, that was without stopping, I had met a friend and he wanted to do a ride.

    And the shorts aren't too big, if anything too small. I'm a plus size girl and my bike shorts are XXL, so they are tight. But I don't find them uncomfortable when walking in them.

    I'm going to try some compression shorts and see if that works. Or maybe some tri shorts. My only reason, really, for not wearing jeans is because it would be hot, way too hot.
    Maybe some Daisy Dukes?



    Electra Townie 7D

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dorset, England, UK
    Posts
    1,036

    Angry

    YAY, I feel a big big moan coming on!

    A year ago I bought a pair of 3/4 length cycling shorts, having chunky legs, I bought a larger size otherwise my legs would have looked like sausages bursting out of their skins, although they were too big around the waist.

    OMG a couple of weeks ago went off for a short ride, went through a gate (where I had my accident a year ago), about to push off but the padded bit caught on the pointy part of the saddle, then my right foot slipped on the pedal, now I have no momentum to go up the slight hill, YES, I came off.

    So, it's back to my old faithful 3/4 length jeans and I love 'em.

    Saying all this, I don't do the miles that most of you do.
    Clock

    Orange Clockwork - Limited Edition 1998


    ‘Enjoy your victories of each day'

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Portland Metro Area
    Posts
    859
    The first thing that came to mind was to get a pair of sharp scissors and make those jeans into shorts! Wear whatever you're comfortable in. You're no less of a cyclist wearing jeans, especially if you're going 300 miles. If you want to wear jeans then do it. Now if there's some other reason, like your legs might get too warm, then cut those suckers off!
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls & looks like work" - Thomas Edison

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,763
    Quote Originally Posted by Velocivixen View Post
    The first thing that came to mind was to get a pair of sharp scissors and make those jeans into shorts! Wear whatever you're comfortable in. You're no less of a cyclist wearing jeans, especially if you're going 300 miles. If you want to wear jeans then do it. Now if there's some other reason, like your legs might get too warm, then cut those suckers off!
    And if you're comfy in jeans, maybe switch to another type of shorts (or pants or capris) in a lighter-weight material. Jeans are thick and would seem to me to restrict pedaling somewhat, plus any long pants, you have to worry about getting the pant leg caught in your crankset/chain. I can't imagine that thick jeans seam in the crotch area, though...
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

 

 

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