1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Padded bike cargo shorts vs new seat

    Went to the LBS recently and I was talking to the owner about acquiring a new seat. He suggested that I invest in a new pair of padded cargo shorts instead of a new seat initially as the shorts may be a better investment. Thoughts

  2. #2
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    Sounds like that might be good advice. Padded shorts are worthwhile with or without a new seat. You can also get just the padded liners if you have shorts already that you like. If your seat carries your sit bones properly but seems a little hard, then start with just the padded shorts. If you need more of a change after that, look for a new seat. But don't go all squishy soft - you want your sit bones to be carrying most of your weight, not the soft tissues of your crotch.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  3. #3
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    If you don't have padded bike shorts, i would highly recommend you get some first, try them, and then make a decision on the seat.

    I consider them a necessity from my pov. I like the pearl izumi liner shorts, i wear them with a pair of my cargo shorts over them, or you can buy them as a set ( liner and shorts). It makes a world of difference.

  4. #4
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    G4A has made all good points. The only other consideration is to have your sit bones properly measured to make sure you are riding the correct width saddle. Good luck.

  5. #5
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    definitely get some shorts, riding for a length of time without them sucks. I had some fox shorts and my new pair are zoic ether shorts. they have a removable liner so you can wash just the liner or just the shorts and you can use them in other shorts

  6. #6
    I'd rather be on my bike
    Reputation: TenSpeed's Avatar
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    I would get the padded shorts. I used to scoff at people that wore these, until I tried a pair. Now I refuse to ride without them. Makes the ride a lot more comfortable.

  7. #7
    Bicycle Radical
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    After chafing the nether regions once while not wearing my padded shorts, I decided that they were necessary. There was a time when I was much younger and my skin resilient enough to take the punishment but alas, those days are long gone.

  8. #8
    LightJunction.com
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    I'd go for the shorts, myself. Unless you bought your bike decades ago, odds are, the seat isn't terrible.
    We sell quality bike headlights and flashlights.
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  9. #9
    Sweep the leg!
    Reputation: Caffeine Powered's Avatar
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    I'd get the shorts too. Baggy, tights or bibs... whatever you're comfortable wearing. I'd also check to see that the seat is positioned properly for you. Level or slightly nose-up and properly shifted fore or aft to have your knee above the pedal spindle.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  10. #10
    I4NI
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    Both? and dont forget the lube:
    There....Are... Four...Lights!

  11. #11
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    Shorts. Then mess around with your saddle position.

  12. #12
    clown question, bro
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    Another vote for shorts.

    When I first got into MTB'ing, I bought a nice padded seat (not a fat-butt seat ) as the stock seat really killed my behind. Now I'm thinking it's too padded (not to mention ridiculously heavy) and I'm considering a new, less padded seat. A pair of shorts could have been cheaper.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ilikebmx999 View Post
    Are we just ignoring balls? Lol

  13. #13
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    I would go with the shorts as well. You can wear the shorts on any bike and the extra cushion will help with any seat. Shorts first, then seat

  14. #14
    Yes, that's fonetic
    Reputation: whodaphuck's Avatar
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    Definitely shorts. Like someone said, you can also get some padded liners to wear with any shorts, but cycling specific shorts are much better because they have seams in different areas than normal shorts making them much more taint friendly.

  15. #15
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    Bontrager makes an awesome pair of cargos with seams and stretches in all the right places, not to mention a built in padded liner to boot. My seat's pretty unforgiving, but the liner makes it fine.

  16. #16
    Gigantic Hawk
    Reputation: dubthang's Avatar
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    Shorts first, and then a good saddle next (if needed.) Nothing worse than sores on your junk.

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the great feedback everyone, looks unanimous about getting the padded shorts first.

  18. #18
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    I think it depends. If your saddle doesn't fit correctly, new shorts might not be enough. You should get the shorts, but also have your sit bones measured to see if your saddle width is right.

  19. #19
    Abby Normal
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    I personally stopped wearing padded bike shorts a few years ago - these days I ride in lightweight smartwool undies and nylon shorts (both are gusseted so the seams don't rub me the wrong way). I found that any padded bike shorts really inhibited my circulation and caused me to go numb in all the wrong places, and that once I got used to riding without padded shorts I was a lot more comfortable. YMMV.

    Finding the right saddle should be at the top of every cyclists list. Trial and error there, but well worth the effort. See if your LBS has any demo saddles they can let you try.

  20. #20
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    Go with the standard tight / padded shorts. Put them on under your pants or shorts that you already own. Then you won't have to worry about how they look, or how people think you look in them. That is a look I simply can't condone.

  21. #21
    they took the bar
    Reputation: javelina1's Avatar
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    completely agree, go with a good padded pair of shorts first. Then follow-up with the saddle afterwards.

    on my first real bike, I got that advice as well. I was complaining about the OEM seat, was really hurting my @$$. I was told, get a good pair of shorts, and you need to build up a little endurance with your butt too. But that comes with riding.

    I ended up getting a new saddle anyways down the road, cause the OEM was a POS...

  22. #22
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    i never ride any sort of bike more than 5 miles without cycling shorts or some sort on. no amount of padding on the saddle is going to make up for the breath-ability, comfort, anti-chafing properties, and protection of a good pair of cycling short. I have some basic Pearl Izumi shorts that I bought two years ago and just wash them immediately when I am done riding.

    I used to insist on wearing cargo shorts over mine, but lately, I have decided to hell with that and i just wear the skin-tight shorts. what's wrong with skin-tight shorts? you're going to be sweating your balls off in the woods and the only people you are going to meet are other people who are also sweating like crazy and wearing skin-tight shorts.

  23. #23
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    I wore several different (and fairly spendy) padded cycling shorts over the years with various types of saddles. On longer rides I would always get really numb in the junk and initially chalked this up to saddle choice. After I switched to riding in lightweight wool undies / gusseted cycling shorts 99% of my numbness issues went away. Anyone that has these kind of circulation issues would be well served by trying to ride without padded shorts.

    The key is using smartwool briefs - they won't cause chafing the way that wearing say cotton underwear will do. Best thing I ever did for my cycling comfort - I can ride all day like this, zero problems, would never want to wear a padded diaper again. Rivendell cycles sells some really good shorts as well as several different types of smartwool underwear.

    New Musa Shorts
    Devold Wool Boxer Briefs

    Also, some of the most comfortable saddles I have ever ridden are leather Brooks. Zero padding, very firm. If the saddle fits it can be rock hard and still be comfy.

  24. #24
    T.W.O.
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    Quote Originally Posted by S_Trek View Post
    Both? and dont forget the lube:
    Yep big time.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holmes View Post
    The key is using smartwool briefs - they won't cause chafing the way that wearing say cotton underwear will do.
    interesting. so no Lycra, no chamois? I have known some people to complain because they are wearing cotton undies and a padded short, but riding without a little extra padding sounds sketchy for my tastes.

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