Author Topic: Cycling Shorts vs. Padded Liners?  (Read 25887 times)

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Offline stefanhk31

Cycling Shorts vs. Padded Liners?
« on: December 28, 2011, 01:45:47 am »
I've never gone on a bike trip before, but I'm interested in starting touring. Nothing too big to start out, maybe just a couple days to a week.

I'm currently trying to get together all sorts of necessary supplies, and I have a question on the bike shorts. I've found that most good, padded shorts run around $100, but I've also come across cycling liners for $30 at REI that provide a small bit of padding, and can (in theory and according to some reviews) work well under another pair of shorts.

Being the on-a-budget guy that I am, I'm certainly interested, but I also don't want to sacrifice quality. Has anyone used liners on tours? If so, were they successful? I realize, also, that comfort will depend not only on shorts but also on my saddle and distance, but I thought I'd ask, at least.

Thanks!

Offline tonythomson

Re: Cycling Shorts vs. Padded Liners?
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2011, 05:06:36 am »
Hi and welcome, I guess we all have to try and see what suits us best, but in my case the worst time I ever had was using shorts with a thick padding in a hot climate.  It was continually damp with sweat and despite washing them nightly (when possible) I still developed what was in effect "diaper rash" very painful needing medical treatment.  Now I prefer min padding in shorts.  Leather saddle (brings it's own brand of discomfort) with sometimes using a sheep skin cover.

But everyone on here will have a different view  ;D and you'll still end up finding your own way.
Try the search option as plenty of views already on this subject.

ps after all these years I'm still searching for the ultimate in comfort.  Anyone want job lot of saddles?
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline staehpj1

Re: Cycling Shorts vs. Padded Liners?
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2011, 07:27:52 am »
Personally I much prefer regular bike shorts.  I do avoid the gel models like the plague though.

I find that for me Pearl Izumi Attack Shorts work well and are not too terribly expensive.  I think they are regularly something like $74.99, but I have usually managed to find them on sale for something like $59.99.

Performance Brand shorts are inexpensive and OK too if you pick a decent model (Century or better).  Performance often has a good sale on shorts.  They are currently on sale in a range from $29.99 to $69.99 for the range of models that I would consider.

I take either one or two pairs depending on the trip.  If only one they get rinsed out in the evening every few days and are often still damp in the morning, but I find they dry when riding.

BTW: If you do get rash or chafing, a zinc oxide based diaper cream worn overnight works like magic.  A couple possible brands are Balmex and Desintin, but there are others.  It is usually easy to find in any town big enough to have a store, so I don' carry any and pick it up only if needed.

Offline bogiesan

Re: Cycling Shorts vs. Padded Liners?
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2011, 08:24:20 am »
Consider how much time you spend in them and what they actually do for you by providing the interface between your nether parts and the road under your wheels.
Buy the absolutely best cycling shorts you wish to afford and then spend several hundred miles in them before you begin your tour. You must give yourself time to decide they work or if you need a different chamois or panel pattern.
Those liners can be an excellent way to convert swimming turnk, tri shorts or casual shorts into biking aapparel but it's the construction of those shorts that will determine if the liners work for you. Seams and pockets can lead to unbelievable misery.
Hygiene is a topic for another discussions but I will tell you that I carry at least three pairs and I wash them with soap; I don't just rinse them. My recumbent's 3" thick seat means I do not need bike-specific shorts but I spend the same hours sitting in them.
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline staehpj1

Re: Cycling Shorts vs. Padded Liners?
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2011, 08:58:38 am »
Buy the absolutely best cycling shorts you wish to afford

Not sure if you are implying that more expensive is automatically better, but if so I'll voice a differing opinion... Don't assume that the most expensive and the best are necessarily the same thing.  I have found mid range priced shorts to be excellent and some pretty cheap ones to be adequate.  My advice is to find some shorts that work for you and stick with them.

There may be some advantage to using two different brands or models though so if one chafes you a bit on a given ride you can switch to one that fits a bit differently the next day.   I generally do not need to do that though.

BTW, when I said rinse out, I may not have been clear that I assumed the use of soap of some sort, so perhaps washed out might have been a better term.  I tend to take only one kind of soap that has to suffice for body, cookware, and clothing.  I have used Campsuds, baby shampoo, Dr Bronners, and other options with good success.

I do not consider it a huge deal if my shorts don't get washed out every day, but tend to wash them at least every few days.  I think that hygiene is less of a concern than we tend to make it.  I like to get a shower and wash out my clothes every day, but do not believe there are serious health consequences for failure to do so.  Weekly bathing was the norm not all that long ago and that was in a time when folks were less likely to have air conditioning and more likely to actually do manual labor out in the hot sun.  So if it isn't convenient I don't mind skipping a day or two here and there.

Offline DaveB

Re: Cycling Shorts vs. Padded Liners?
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2011, 09:51:25 am »
+1 to staephj1's recommendations.  I've had very good service and comfort from Performance's Century and above lines of shorts and the prices are very reasonable, particularly on sale. 

Liners are better than nothing but they can't completely hide the seams and other uncomfortable "features" of shorts not intended for biking.   An alternative that does work are "MTB" shorts.  These are  typically a loose fitting casual-appearing outer short with a built-in padded liner and these don't have seams in the wrong places.  MTB shorts are in the same price range as decent quality lycra shorts and tend to also appeal to road riders who don't want to appear too "bicyclist" while off the bike or are reluctant to be seen in form fitting shorts.     

Offline waynemyer

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Re: Cycling Shorts vs. Padded Liners?
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2011, 11:31:27 am »
Not sure if you are implying that more expensive is automatically better, but if so I'll voice a differing opinion... Don't assume that the most expensive and the best are necessarily the same thing.  I have found mid range priced shorts to be excellent and some pretty cheap ones to be adequate.  My advice is to find some shorts that work for you and stick with them.
Yep. I have nothing but bad experience with liners, but considering the reviews that liners seem to garner, I must be in the minority. These Pricepoint shorts are my favorite standard shorts ever. Long wearing, thin, muti-density chamois, and just as comfortable as any $100+ short I ever owned. I prefer bib shorts for any significant mileage and the Performance Utra II is my favorite, and not just for cost. For me, these have beat out anything else I tried and I have a graveyard of bibs that didn't make the cut.

There may be some advantage to using two different brands or models though so if one chafes you a bit on a given ride you can switch to one that fits a bit differently the next day.   I generally do not need to do that though.
Another yep. I have not experienced any difference.

I do not consider it a huge deal if my shorts don't get washed out every day, but tend to wash them at least every few days.  I think that hygiene is less of a concern than we tend to make it.  I like to get a shower and wash out my clothes every day, but do not believe there are serious health consequences for failure to do so.  Weekly bathing was the norm not all that long ago and that was in a time when folks were less likely to have air conditioning and more likely to actually do manual labor out in the hot sun.  So if it isn't convenient I don't mind skipping a day or two here and there.
staehpj1 is just racking up the +1s today! I can't find a link right now, but there was recent research regarding cleanliness vs hygiene. There is a bacteria that lives on our skin (Lactobacter? Pseudomonas? something else?) that helps to keep Staphyloccocus in check. The gist of the research was that the mutualistic bacteria washed off much more easily than staph. This past summer, I toured and had a few points where I went two to four days without a shower. It was the first time ever since I started regularly riding serious distance (100+ miles per day) that I was completely free from saddle sores.
waynemyer.com
warmshowers.org  (user:waynemyer)

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Cycling Shorts vs. Padded Liners?
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2011, 02:25:53 pm »
+1 / -1 for Pete.

Performance Century shorts have been quite adequate for my cycling.  To tell the truth, though, I haven't got to the century ($100) price point for shorts.  I prefer bibs, and that only adds $15-25 to the price, but that's another topic.  I'm curious what more the "best" shorts can do; at the Century price, I get shorts that cover me adquately, wear out in 2-3 years, rarely chafe, don't bind.  Can I get some shorts that'll pedal up hills for me?

About 3/4 of my saddle sores start with infected hairs.  These pop up much more quickly when I've not washed under the shorts daily, and are almost guaranteed if I wear shorts two or more days without washing.  I'll load, plan, and ride so I've got a good chance of washing shorts and my as required.  As always, of course, Your Bottom May Vary (YBMV).

Offline litespeed

Re: Cycling Shorts vs. Padded Liners?
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2011, 05:13:52 pm »
I use Sugoi and Fox MTB shorts with detachable padded lycra inner shorts. The lycra shorties are attached to the outer shorts with snaps or light straps that can be cut. This lets you mix and match and use the lycra part for swim trunks (so I've heard). It's hard to tell in catalogues which ones you can separate so I just poke around bike shops until I find what I want on sale. I have never paid over $50-60 - usually less.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2012, 12:40:44 pm by litespeed »

Offline Augie Dog

Re: Cycling Shorts vs. Padded Liners?
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2011, 06:36:42 pm »
I have used cycling shorts and liners in my shorts. I have worn out the liners on my bibs (I only wear bibs) and tried a pair of liners from REI with my worn out shorts and they work great. I also saved some money this way. I also ride a Brooks B-17 and will not ride on any other saddle!!!!I have spent $100's of dollars on saddles and the B-17 is the best for me. Some FYI if you buy liners buy the liner the same size as your normal sized skivvies. Liners come in small,med,large,x-large. For example if you wear 34-36 skivvies a large liner will work. Hope that helps. I ride road and mtb and so far all is well. Good Luck!! Ride Safe  8)

Offline roadrunner

Re: Cycling Shorts vs. Padded Liners?
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2011, 12:37:51 am »
After many tours and trying several clothing alternatives, I've settled on wearing biking briefs under regular nylon shorts (or zip-off pants when long pants are needed on cold mornings/evenings).  I find it a confortable and handy combination -- the briefs eliminate seams, and the shorts provide pockets and meet my preference for not wearing cycling shorts on tours. The briefs are more comfortable than wearing cycling shorts under the nylon shorts and are cooler on warm days.  I use Performance and Nashbar briefs made of a very light material with a cloth "chamois" with no padding.  They don't seem to be available now, but I'm sure similar alternatives are available.
 
My pants "wardrobe" consists of 1 pair of nylon shorts, 1 pair of nylon zip-off pants, 2 pairs of biking briefs, and 2 pairs of nylon underwear.  After the day's ride, I switch to regular underwear and wash the briefs and the previous day's underwear.  The shorts can be worn for several days before washing.

Offline tksleeper

Re: Cycling Shorts vs. Padded Liners?
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2011, 03:33:26 pm »
I just use wool underwear and hiking shorts paying attention to seams.  Not for everyone but you don't "have" to wear padded shorts at all.  Saves room too if you are one of those who can be comfortable on a bike saddle without all the extra stuff.

Kelly

Offline takewrning

Re: Cycling Shorts vs. Padded Liners?
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2012, 05:57:14 pm »
I concur with the wool underwear, or synthetic Patagonia boxer briefs, especially if it's warm out. We left in a heat wave last summer (105F) and definitely discovered the thinner the better.
My partner had a cheap pair of liner shorts which seemed to have the perfect amount of padding, though the seams rubbed him raw. Turned them inside out and they were perfect!

Offline Pinellas Paul

Re: Cycling Shorts vs. Padded Liners?
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2012, 07:56:22 pm »
My wife and I both like these

http://www.bicycleclothing.com/Mens-Touring-Shorts.html

which have only a thin, synthetic chamois and avoid that soggy diaper feeling and the chafing that comes with having a  thick, soggy, bacteria breeding pad next to you skin.

We each carry two par on tour -- one worn and one in the panniers and wash out a pair every night.  If they aren't dry in the morning, we clothes pin them to the cables and finish drying on the road.

YMMV

Joe B

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Re: Cycling Shorts vs. Padded Liners?
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2012, 08:55:33 pm »
While we are throwing recommendations around, I would like to add AeroTech to the list http://www.aerotechdesigns.com/about_us.htm.
I have had their jerseys, bib shorts and touring shorts in a variety of sizes over the last 2 years. I have never had an issue with any of their products. They also have extended sizes in many of their products ( I was over 340 lbs when I returned to riding in 2010). Another important consideration for me was the fact that they design and manufacture their clothing in Pennsylvania USA (lord knows they could use the jobs there).
« Last Edit: January 02, 2012, 09:07:59 pm by Joe B »