Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Gear Talk => Topic started by: sackcycle on March 28, 2011, 09:00:25 pm

 
Title: Bike Shorts
Post by: sackcycle on March 28, 2011, 09:00:25 pm
Any ideals on a good pair of shorts w/o spending a half of your tour bank roll? Thanks George :-\ ???
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: staehpj1 on March 29, 2011, 06:51:11 am
Any ideals on a good pair of shorts w/o spending a half of your tour bank roll? Thanks George :-\ ???
That is a very personal choice.  I like Pearl Izumi Ultrasensor shorts and buy them when they are on sale usually at Performance.  They are comfortable, seem to dry fast and be OK when damp.  I have had cheaper shorts that were OK, usually house brand ones from Nashbar or Performance.  I'd advise avoiding the gel models though.
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: Tandem4Rider on March 29, 2011, 07:02:09 am
I outfit myself with Performance house brand clothing.  Great comfort, equally matched quality and durability, and an incredible price for all that.  Had an acquaintance who wore Assos once...  discovered the biggest difference between his $145 set of shorts and a set for $45, was $100.  The best advice I could offer, though, is make sure what you decide upon is comfortable and fits well within your expectations and desires.  Enjoy the ride.
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: bogiesan on March 29, 2011, 08:56:19 am
Any ideals on a good pair of shorts w/o spending a half of your tour bank roll? Thanks George :-\ ???

The "ideal" cycling short is the pair that leaves you unimpaired at the end of 100 miles of hot, rainy, or hard pedaling. How much they cost you is irrelevant if they protect your nether parts and last more than a season or two.

The difference between an Italian bib set for $200 and a Nashbar or Performance pair for $25-60 is nota just price. But you cannot know that intimately without wearing them for 200 or more miles.

I don't need cycling shorts on my recumbent but when I had my road bike, I spent a lot of money trying to save money on shorts. All of the bargain shorts ended up hurting me. So I bought two top of the line shorts and was absolutely amazed at the difference in material, craftsmanship, feel, fit and comfort. I could ride further and enjoyed it more. These were benefits associated directly with the cost and value of the investment.

Your mileage, and the opinions of others, will vary, of course. Our saddles, styles, and butts are all different.
Shop for expensive shorts on deep discount. Your price point should be $60-100 on the clearance racks.

David Boise id
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: mcparsons on March 29, 2011, 10:29:11 am
I have two pair (one mountain style, one six panel) made in China, no name shorts that cost me $35each. Both have 2000 miles on them with no problems.  Personally I would not spend more.

Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: Pat Lamb on March 29, 2011, 10:52:39 am
I'm a fan of Voler (bib) shorts, and their close cousins the higher-end Performance house brand (somebody said they're made by Voler), often on sale for around $50.  Unless you're tightly constrained on cost I  wouldn't worry too much about price -- 2-3 pairs will last for three months.

Do try to get the thinnest pad you can.  When it's raining and warm, or when you run into a 90-90 day (90 degrees, 90% relative humidity) and sweat like crazy, you do NOT want to get off the bike, sit down, hear a squishing sound from your bottom, and feel rain or sweat running down your leg.  Designers who make lovely thick foam (or gel) chamois never ride as far, or as long, as a bicycle tourist.
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: DaveB on March 29, 2011, 12:21:23 pm
Shorts are almost as subjective as saddles so what works for me may not for you.  Take the following with that in mind.

I've had excellent results with Performance's house brand mid-line (Century and Elite) shorts.  They have been very durable and comfortable for dozens of century rides and week-long tours.  Avoid their lowest line (Classic) as they are too thin and flimsy and the padding is rather spartan. 

As pdlamb noted you don't want the padding too thick or too large as that defeats it's purpose. 

One way to keep shorts (and you) comfortable is to wash them thoroughly after each day's use.
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: John Nelson on March 29, 2011, 01:20:55 pm
I have several pairs of the Performance Classic shorts, which I use on my shorter rides. This saves wear and tear on my good shorts, which I use on my longer rides.
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: staehpj1 on March 29, 2011, 01:38:49 pm
Since a few mentioned their experience with Performance brand shorts I will pipe up a bit more on my experience with them.  I used a pair of what I think was their "Century"  model on the Trans America and alternated them with a pair of PI Ultrasensors.  Both were OK wrt the padding and saddle comfort.  The one area where the PIs were nicer was when we all had heat rash after many days of 100+ F weather.  The PIs were better for relief from that.  Otherwise both were nice.

I don't think that year's extreme heat was a very typical condition though and it was the only time I have had that type of rash problem.  Our group of three and some other riders we met all had a pretty bad case of heat rash on that trip.

It does sort of make a case for having two different models to switch between.  Also if you manage to get chafed in a particular spot a different brand will likely hit you in a different spot and therefore give some relief.  That said I usually just wear my PIs.

I will also mention that my future son in law is using the "Elite" model from Performance and seems to really like them.  They appear to be very well made.

When it comes to bibs I really never got what is so nice about them.  I tried them once and only found disadvantages.  I can see where they might be nice for riders so skinny that they can't keep shorts up, for those with a roll in the middle, or for those who for some other reason don't find that shorts fit properly. 
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: whittierider on March 29, 2011, 02:22:40 pm
In only get the least expensive ones from Performance and Nashbar, and I am comfortable in them all day and have no problems, and they last thousands of miles.  I do insist that the pad be thin and unsculped; ie, I don't want any ridges and shapes molded into the pad.  They always assume the rider sits straight and symmetrically on the saddle, which I don't, and have not since childhood.
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: Awf Hand on March 29, 2011, 02:58:22 pm
I did my first tour last year and had two different manufacturer's shorts along.  I'm glad I had two pair and that they were different lining material.  One provided relief from the other.  Both worked great, but one pair was 75$ and the other was 25$.  For a short ride, I'll take the more expensive pair.  For a multiday ride, both.
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: driftlessregion on March 30, 2011, 12:23:30 am
As has been said, personal preference is most of it. Any name brand will be good, I stopped using the cheap ones when I could afford better, but didn't have problems with the cheap ones I admit. Make sure they aren't too big; you don't want them moving around at all; that causes chafing. Aggressive riding style will require thinner pad (and thinner padding on the saddle too-another reason for Brooks saddles) for the same reason. I love bibs for the same reason: they don't move around (and no tight band around my middle age middle).
Good luck!
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: DaveB on March 31, 2011, 10:44:40 am
When it comes to bibs I really never got what is so nice about them.  I tried them once and only found disadvantages.  I can see where they might be nice for riders so skinny that they can't keep shorts up, for those with a roll in the middle, or for those who for some other reason don't find that shorts fit properly. 
I'm not that taken with the idea of bib either.  I've used them a bit but regular shorts work just as well for me. 

One thing with bibs is that it's much more convenient to have a jersey with a full length separating zipper if you use them.  I expect the reason is obvious. 
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: johnsondasw on March 31, 2011, 02:29:36 pm
I found after much trial and error and wasting money on cheap shorts that I have to spend $100 for a pair.  they last way longer anyway and are more comfortable by far.
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: lonerider on April 02, 2011, 09:50:41 pm
+1 on the cheap shorts rule, don't go there. Have spent good money on bad product and regretted many times trying to "feel good" about saving money.

Recent discovery; Have worn Sugoi RS Flex shorts for about 8 years now and love them. Easily get over 10 thousand miles to a pair and own three pairs now. The only brand I buy, however pair of Specialized RBX shorts were given to me this winter while riding in CA for a week. Very impressed with their comfort and look forward to sitting in the saddle for a long ride this spring. Just may have found an alternative to the Best of Breed Sugoi RS Flex!

Just went through my cycling logs and found the original Sugoi RX shorts have a bit over 16 thousand miles. The others considerably less since they are newer. Average yearly mileage is between 2 and 4 thousand miles.
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: sackcycle on April 02, 2011, 10:53:12 pm
Thanks for all the replys, I'm leaning towards the Castelli with the KISS3 padding $58.88 At Excel Sports in Boulder,Co.
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: Tourista829 on April 03, 2011, 09:29:33 am
I like Pearl Izumi, I have bought from Nashbar, but the shorts I have liked the most, for touring, are from Cannondale. They are comfortable and the chamois they use has good wiking. Although an individual thing, it has just the right amount of padding for me. Over the years, they have held up the best. I have been lucky and usually find them on sale. REI has Cannondale traditional form fitting 9 panel 9" inseem shorts and baggy fitness shorts, on sale for $50.00. They also have their Quick Baggy shorts for $60.00. I like a pair of both. I have done better when I have been able to try them on. If they don't feel right, pass. (I good bike jersey helps too)
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: 200k on April 03, 2011, 10:40:04 am
I have a question on bike shorts directed at a particular problem that only guys have.  Background first.  I have been riding as an adult for 40++ years and I have tried just about every type of short including some that were a fad at the time.  My favorites are the Pearl Izumi UltraSensor and the Performance Century respectively ranked 1 and 2.  On any ride over 20 miles I use Chamois Butt'r liberally and I never ride in shorts more than once between washings.

The problem is this.  With every short I have ever used, my scrotum get pinched and subsequently chafed.  It isn't always the same side but only one side seems to have the problem per ride.  Now I am not talking about crunching testicles; that would be intolerable.  Just a little fold of the scrotum that gets pressure where the edge of the pad and the leg intersect.  I have tried pulling the shorts up, pulling them down, readjusting them so they are perfectly balanced, but the problem seems to persist.  I don't want to wear a jock strap but that seems like it would be a possible solution.  It is difficult to surrepticiously readjust my package while riding in a mixed group.

Do any of you guys have this problem?  Are there any shorts that help or relieve this?  I am open to suggestions.

200k
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: staehpj1 on April 03, 2011, 11:23:35 am
The problem is this.  With every short I have ever used, my scrotum get pinched and subsequently chafed. 
Try this if you don't already...
When you put on your shorts, pull up the inner thigh portion of the shorts into the crease at the groin on both sides making kind of a pocket for your junk.
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: lonerider on April 03, 2011, 11:28:35 am
Never heard of that issue. Perhaps a short with a thinner chamois might help. Even one with an old school real chamois with no foam or other fabric would help. Thinking the edge of the chamois is the issue as you mention. Make sure the shorts are form fitting, as that is a key function of a riding short for it serves as a second skin. If wearing baggies and you have not tried traditional cycling shorts, give them a try since there is no extra fabric to cause problems. In addition, if all you have used are mid grade shorts give a high end short a shot. Be sure to start with a name brand, not a "private label" brand since there typically are differences in quality of chamois, fabric, and fit.

Ps. An old friend of mine in the garment industry explained why name brands cost more by using this comparison: They do the research, development, marketing and understand what they do and why they do it. The off brand stuff are copies of the name brand stuff but are constructed without an understanding why they are doing what they do. Apply this to bridge construction and ask yourself who you would trust. My addition to this explanation is looking at the bike industry as an example. Shimano makes good stuff, there is a brand out there that looks just like it, functions like it and cost a fraction of the Shimano stuff. It is called Falcon and other names that they put on it. But somehow the stuff literally lasts less than half the time Shimano lasts. How come?
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: driftlessregion on April 03, 2011, 06:54:29 pm
The scrotum issue makes me wonder if the shorts are too tight, unlikely because you could fit yourself in and stay put, or too loose, so that you don't stay put. Just wondering. Have you tried bibs? I've had less problems in that area with bibs.
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: johnsondasw on April 03, 2011, 10:05:01 pm
When you put the shorts on, pull the tissues in question up and forward, out of the pinch zone. 
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: PeteJack on April 13, 2011, 03:28:01 pm
For us older guys with prostate issues bibs strike me as a frigging nightmare.
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: mucknort on April 13, 2011, 04:44:35 pm
Shop for expensive shorts on deep discount. Your price point should be $60-100 on the clearance racks.
David Boise id

Here's a place to follow David's advice:
http://www.sierratradingpost.com/search/SearchResults.aspx?allwords=cycling%20shorts&searchdescriptions=True
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: sonssu on June 07, 2012, 01:37:13 am
I am a big fan of Castelli and Craft! (http://"http://shop.craftsports.us/cycling-clothing/bike-shorts.html")
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: geegee on June 07, 2012, 10:43:02 am
With a nicely broken in Brooks saddle, I haven't used padded shorts on my last 5 long tours. I've been using mesh-lined running shorts or swim shorts with no problems or pain/sore issues. They wash and dry so much easier and faster than padded bike shorts.
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: Rideoregon on June 09, 2012, 12:25:05 pm
For those of you that like bibs, how do you do it? ---take a leak? Do you wear your jersey over the bib or under it? I found that even though i wear a full zip jersey, i needed to remove it in order to slip out of the shoulder straps and roll evrything down.
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: bogiesan on June 09, 2012, 10:42:17 pm
+1 on the cheap shorts rule, don't go there. Have spent good money on bad product and regretted many times trying to "feel good" about saving money.
Recent discovery; Have worn Sugoi RS Flex shorts for about 8 years now and love them. Easily get over 10 thousand miles to a pair and own three pairs now. The only brand I buy, however pair of Specialized RBX shorts were given to me this winter while riding in CA for a week. Very impressed with their comfort and look forward to sitting in the saddle for a long ride this spring. Just may have found an alternative to the Best of Breed Sugoi RS Flex!
Just went through my cycling logs and found the original Sugoi RX shorts have a bit over 16 thousand miles. The others considerably less since they are newer. Average yearly mileage is between 2 and 4 thousand miles.


So these shorts of yours are ten years old? Do you alternate or wear one pair till they disintegrate?


But, yes, buying quality ANYTHING is usually far better than buying two or more inferior products. Why we'll spend $200 on a tent that we just lay in and try to save money on bike shorts is weird.

Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: bikeguyrich on June 22, 2012, 06:00:47 pm
I have some Garneau shorts that are doing just what I need them to do.  Also a pair from Giant
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: driftlessregion on June 22, 2012, 11:17:20 pm
Regarding bibs and taking a leak: depends on how stretchy or not the straps are. Jersey always over the bibs or risk tittering.
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: jimbeard on June 27, 2012, 07:59:13 pm
 I like  J&G Touring Shorts 2 zip pockets super quick dry , last for years ,wear anywhere.
http://www.bicycleclothing.com/Mens-Touring-Shorts.html
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: MNRider on July 08, 2012, 09:17:38 pm
The best bang for the buck I've found in cycling shorts is Aerotech's Top Shelf line. I've got a few other brand name shorts that are fine but are either not as good, more expensive, or both.
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: Bike Hermit on July 09, 2012, 11:17:58 am
There are three brands I like: Endura, Endura and Endura
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: Ron Scott on July 22, 2012, 09:32:36 am
Anyone comment on tights vs. baggy shorts for touring?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41qIG75EhoL.jpg)
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: Pat Lamb on July 22, 2012, 11:41:47 am
Anyone comment on tights vs. baggy shorts for touring?

Tights are good in cool or cold weather.

If you mean lycra, spandex, etc., vs. baggy shorts, wear whatever you're comfortable with.

Some people imagine they're being checked out every moment someone else can see them, and they feel shy.  I think of bike shorts as activity-appropriate gear.  You wouldn't wear golf pants at the swimming pool, or a swimsuit on the golf course.  Conversely, most people wouldn't look askance at someone wearing bowling shoes at the bowling alley.  I'm comfortable wearing bright jerseys (for good visibility and breathability), and cycling shorts (for support and to minimize chafing), when I go out for a bike ride.  If you're not comfortable doing that, you can wear whatever you want, or you can carry something to slip on whenever you get off the bike.
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: Ron Scott on July 23, 2012, 08:51:58 pm
Anyone comment on tights vs. baggy shorts for touring?

Tights are good in cool or cold weather.

If you mean lycra, spandex, etc., vs. baggy shorts, wear whatever you're comfortable with.

Some people imagine they're being checked out every moment someone else can see them, and they feel shy.  I think of bike shorts as activity-appropriate gear.  You wouldn't wear golf pants at the swimming pool, or a swimsuit on the golf course.  Conversely, most people wouldn't look askance at someone wearing bowling shoes at the bowling alley.  I'm comfortable wearing bright jerseys (for good visibility and breathability), and cycling shorts (for support and to minimize chafing), when I go out for a bike ride.  If you're not comfortable doing that, you can wear whatever you want, or you can carry something to slip on whenever you get off the bike.

Not really following the nutty comments about feeling shy, "being checked out even moment someone else can see them", golf or swimsuits. Are you for real man?

What I'd like to ask someone who has worn both types of shorts is what they like best in a touring environment.

Anyone else can help?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: staehpj1 on July 24, 2012, 07:14:13 am
Not really following the nutty comments about feeling shy, "being checked out even moment someone else can see them", golf or swimsuits. Are you for real man?

What I'd like to ask someone who has worn both types of shorts is what they like best in a touring environment.

Anyone else can help?

Thanks!
I don't think that those comments are all that nutty.  There are a lot of folks who shun spandex for precisely the reasons that he mentioned.

As far as which is best for touring that would be whatever you are comfortable with.  In my experience I find that spandex bikes shorts win hands down for me.
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: Old Guy New Hobby on July 24, 2012, 10:12:21 am
Quote
I don't think that those comments are all that nutty.

+1. It's an issue for lots of guys, including this one.

Baggy shorts tend to have seams where you don't wan them. They can cause chafing as they catch on the saddle. When I wear baggy shorts, I wear compression shorts or liners underneath to prevent chafing.
Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: TrustAllisOK on July 24, 2012, 01:31:25 pm
I have always gone with the high end bib shorts and never been disappointed with Assos or DeMarchi but realize most tourists won't spend $250+ on a pair of shorts. I personally have found that buying the highest quality possible, they tend to last longer in far better condition so for me, it's a better value at the end of the day. Like a Merecedes vs. Ford. And I never dry them in the dryer, drip dry saves the elastic all round.

Competitive Cyclist just this morning put DeMarchi apparel 40% off. http://www.competitivecyclist.com/men-s-apparel/de-marchi/shorts-bibs.3083.html


Title: Re: Bike Shorts
Post by: misterflask on August 06, 2012, 10:37:42 pm
I'm going to throw in a vote for the J&G touring shorts.  Light and airy, dry quick, can use as swim trunks in a pinch.  Wear them over a pair of cycling shorts or underwear and it's like sitting on a pillow.