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Thread: Spandex

  1. #1
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    Spandex

    How come so many mountain bikers wear spandex? I'm semi new to MB and was wondering what the deal with this was?

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    you wear boxers with normal casual shorts, ride for 15-25 miles, then come back and tell me how your ass feels. I ninja my spandex by wearing it under some shorts I got from old navy, avoids the whole problem.
    05 Spesh Rockhopper

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    Once I started putting more and more hrs on the saddle....I found that lycra is much more comfortable. Why do basketball players where baggy shorts, why do golfers where polo shirts?...it's just the fashion of the sport.

    When I race I can't imagine digging through baggy short pockets for stuff while I am riding....and it it just much more comfortable for me.

  4. #4
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    I use spandex compression shorts (underwear), and MTB shorts or light gym shorts over them. Plenty of airflow, no chafing, and I can ride for hours with no discomfort. No chamois or pad either.
    "Got everything you need?"

  5. #5
    It ain't easy being Green
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    One reason: lycra shorts don't leave you looking like you pee'd your pants after a long, hot ride. I wore baggies once, never again.
    Plus, I worked hard for these legs, why wouldn't I show them off? That's the reason why we shave 'em too!

  6. #6
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    Good points, I thought it had to do more with comfort vs fashion. I guess I havent rode long enough to feel the difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by C In San Diego
    Good points, I thought it had to do more with comfort vs fashion. I guess I havent rode long enough to feel the difference.
    For some of us, there's a financial aspect as well as the functional. I re-discovered bike riding as an adult 30 years ago now. I quickly found out a good quality pair of bike shorts was a lot more comfortable on long rides. It's not just the padding; it's the cut, and the muscle support.

    When I took up mtn biking almost 20 years ago, there weren't mtn biking shorts. You either wore lycra bike shorts or something else. With the "something else" selection, the comfort just wasn't there. For a while, I rode with hiking shorts over my bike shorts, which was good as a beginner, but gave that up after a while.

    Baggie bike shorts have come a long way, but in my opinion, still do not deliver the support and comfort that lycra shorts do, at least not on a dollar for dollar basis. All the pockets, bells and whistles on the baggies increase the cost as well. I'd rather have 3 or 4 good pairs of bike shorts that are comfortable and high quality, no matter which bike I happen to throw a leg over on any given day.

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    Function before Form. bibs are simply the best thing you can wear for riding, racing, training. they may not always be flattering, but functionally they cannot be beat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whybotherme
    Function before Form. bibs are simply the best thing you can wear for riding, racing, training. they may not always be flattering, but functionally they cannot be beat.
    I have to agree on the Bib shorts......sooo much more comfortable than baggy MTB shorts. You can also put a Gel in between the elastic part and your thigh during a race....it makes grabbing the gel very easy.
    Last edited by ptfmb71; 08-24-2010 at 01:25 PM.

  10. #10
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    Baggies only for me! Keep lycra on the road please!

    A lot of the new baggies are very nice, take Oakley as a good example.

  11. #11
    CEB
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    Lycra in the summer, baggies in the winter..... spring & fall is 50/50.

  12. #12
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    Agree with others, lycra bib shorts are the most comfortable way to ride. Plus it's too hot (Texas) to wear anything else.
    It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

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    I generally wear baggies, because I like the look. the downside to that is I have snagged to baggies on my bars, levers somehow, when doing contorted movements, (out of control). I don't like the suspended padding in most dedicated mtl bike shorts. Fox shorts feel the best.
    I am looking into some 3/4 lenght mt. bike pants, for more leg protection from the bushes and thorns that have overgrown the local trails.

    I wear lycra for my road biking. more areo at above 30 mph! : )

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    The bibs create a nice male cameltoe/mooseknuckle effect. Some prefer this. I wear my padded Fox shorts for mountain and bibs for road.

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    I wear Lycra under my board shorts. The Fox shorts I have bought (and subsequently given away) won't stay on my butt well at all.
    I do need to revisit the whole short program though, the Velcro fly sometimes rubs me the wrong way...
    Addicted to the dirt......with no hope for recovery.

  16. #16
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    funny because on any local MTB trail on the weekend you will find:
    70% baggy shorts 30% Lycra (estaimate)

    On any XC or endurance race you find:
    CAT-3 80% Lycra 20% Baggies (estimate)
    CAT-2 90% Lycra and 10% baggies (estimate)
    CAT-1 & Pro 100% Lycra (estimate)
    Last edited by ptfmb71; 08-25-2010 at 03:21 PM.

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    I like baggies with chamois undergarment because I like having pockets.

  18. #18
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    on any local MTB trail on the weekend you will find:
    70% baggy shorts 30% Lycra

    On any XC or endurance race you find:
    CAT-3 80% Lycra 20% Baggies
    CAT-2 90% Lycra and 10% baggies
    CAT-1 & Pro 100% Lycra
    Without any hard evidence to back this data up... I'm agreeing 100%

  19. #19
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    96% of all statistics are fabricated and the other 4% are exaggerated
    Disclaimer: Always get a second opinion cause I'm just guessing

  20. #20
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    Lycra for me for most rides. I do have baggies but found as Nagathawk mentioned, that I have got snagged. For me it is the seat on tricky climbs and drops.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptfmb71
    On any XC or endurance race you find:
    CAT-3 80% Lycra 20% Baggies (estimate)
    CAT-2 90% Lycra and 10% baggies (estimate)
    CAT-1 & Pro 100% Lycra (estimate)

    my bet is that we (i am a cat1 XC racer) are onto something!

    when i raced DH i wore baggies over my bibshorts. the baggies offered a higher level of abrasion resistance when (not if) i crashed.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by FalloutMan
    you wear boxers with normal casual shorts, ride for 15-25 miles, then come back and tell me how your ass feels. I ninja my spandex by wearing it under some shorts I got from old navy, avoids the whole problem.
    I'll 1 up you.... well 3.
    28 miles in boxers and Dickies shorts. Felt great!
    =P

  23. #23
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    I wear baggies when I mountain bike and lycra
    on my road bikes. My wife wears lycra on both,
    but she has a great body and can get away with
    it.

    Best, John

  24. #24
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    Road to XC race- Lycra
    All mountain to Downhill- tough baggies
    Dirt Jumping-really loose jeans and boxers
    Groomed open trails- lycra
    Tight, rough trails with nasty, desert plants- baggies
    Heart rate monitors-lycra
    GPS - light baggies
    Wear knee pads- baggies please
    Hot girls -lycra
    Beer bellies- baggies
    Shaved legs- lycra
    hairy legs- baggies

  25. #25
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    LMAO@ Cameltoes and Mooseknuckles!!!!

  26. #26
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    Boxers under baggies suck big time, especially if you sweat a lot. I've gone to compression shorts from underarmour, which is basically lycra without the crotch padding, under my baggies and its way more comfortable... I don't know if I could ever go pure lycra. I get the functionality factor, I just don't like the look. However girls wearing lycra is perfectly acceptible.

  27. #27
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    I agree with ptfmb71 - never saw pros or cat 1 race in baggies, or anything other than spandex/lycra. I used to wear baggies, but had two issues: getting them snagged on seat or something, they didn't dissipate perspiration, and boxers underneath would stick to the skin from sweat as well. So a casual ride with the wife and kids would not require spandex since there is no perspiration to mess things up. But most of my rides are by myself, so aesthetics are secondary to function and comfort. I wear spandex/lycra on any strenuous ride. Actually, I prefer the look of long baggies, but they don't serve my needs as well as roadie type clothing.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by grungefungus
    I agree with ptfmb71 - never saw pros or cat 1 race in baggies, or anything other than spandex/lycra.
    Adam Craig, Ross Schnell, Kelli Emmett.

    They wear baggies for *some* racing (e.g. Super D, and Adam wore baggies at Ray's this past winter for the 2nd Annual XC Invitational). There are probably more that do as well. For XC racing? No

  29. #29
    It ain't easy being Green
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    I only have one thing to say (quick! you "baggie" boys need to put your sunglasses on )



  30. #30
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    Nice, you guys have on the same shirt! You're like twins or a team or something...
    "Got everything you need?"

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdcadbiker
    I only have one thing to say (quick! you "baggie" boys need to put your sunglasses on )


    My eyes.....the goggles do nothing!

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    who cares about spandex.... i say we should be discussing Skin Suits!!!


  33. #33
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  35. #35
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    this thread is really going places words alone cannot describe

    started out with Sugoi bib shorts in the early 90's with my 1st serious mtn bike back in Blighty (girls used to like them )

    when i moved to SoCal i wore my beloved old Mambo board shorts (more like tennis shorts) for cycling - but after just a few months my leathery buttocks had worn through the arse on them

    after failed patch-up's risking incedent exposure for a few weeks, i resorted to some cotton cargo shorts with vent zips but they were still too hot - so been using PI Ultrasensor shorts since 2003

    if there a good chance of crashing on the trail & its not too hot (or there's a high chance i might get pointed at & laughed at by "real mountain bikers" - jokes) i'll pull the old cargo's over the Ultrasonsor's and put up with the nappy bulk

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/culturesponge/78212773/" title="santa monica mountains - dec 05 #13 by culturesponge, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/36/78212773_98a23bc20d_z.jpg?zz=1" width="640" height="519" alt="santa monica mountains - dec 05 #13" /></a>

    apologies if i've offended anyone by the gawd awful sight of me riding in spandex - but its my best option
    Last edited by culturesponge; 08-28-2010 at 04:25 PM.

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    They are good for different things

    High end, properly fitting lycra shorts are more comfortable, more breathable, more aerodynamic and more supportive than baggies. They won't catch on your seat as you move around the cockpit. They are also far less durable, and provide much less protection from cold weather, brush, or the ground should you fall. And they are are skin tight. This makes some people self-conscious and may provoke mockery from homophobes (who are likely closeted homosexuals) as well as the run of the mill ******bag.

    As far as I'm concerned their shouldn't really be a debate as baggies and lycra are good for different things. If you fall even semi-regularly, ride through brushy trails, or are surrounded by aholes, baggies are the obvious choice. Otherwise, lycra has lots of benefits. Particularly for racers and wannabe racers.

    Think of baggies as a trucks and lycra as sportscars. Both excel in one environment and suck in another.

  38. #38
    It ain't easy being Green
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    That's the best post on this thread by a country mile

  39. #39
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    I wear lycra because I want the pad. Why wear pants over pants? It is warm enough with one layer. There are some good looking wmns baggies but I worry about catching them on stuff. I can catch my lycra if I am not carefull.

    Seriously, a fit guy in lycra (like the one climbing PV East this morning) is a nice sight. Big bellies, not so much!

  40. #40
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    I don't like the way baggies get hung up on my saddle when I get behind it on downhills
    and/or technical sections.
    Nobody cares...........

  41. #41
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    some baggies just feel like a wet diaper. i mostly wear bibs but the gore baggies are nice and light - a reasonable choice if i'm eating out after the ride.

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    There are reasons why cat 1 and cat 2 MTB racers, roadies, endurance riders/racers and other serious cyclists (many hours on the bike) wear lycra. If you don't understand those reasons than you don't need to wear the stuff. Do what works for you. Why is there a debate? People just need to do what works for their specific needs. I guess some people are worried about how they look to other riders or the general public, or are homophobes or whatever. I dunno. I don't get any of that, I've always assumed people will do what makes the most sense from a function standpoint. But I guess I am wrong.

    Each to his own.
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  43. #43
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    Mtb baggies have lycra with chamois as undergarments. If you feel the need to wear the lycra on the outside so that others can admire what God gave you, then by all means do so.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by manny40
    Mtb baggies have lycra with chamois as undergarments. If you feel the need to wear the lycra on the outside so that others can admire what God gave you, then by all means do so.
    wasn't anyone's god that bought the sock down the front of my shorts in the photo on my post - it was my wife - a Goddess

    i sometimes feel sorry for those "hardcore" mtn bikers "keeping it real" ect - 45lb of iron hoss, sweltering in baggies mid-summer on mulholland motorway on the way to the backbone

    when i started mtn biking back in '91 there were cycling stereotypes too - but the only cargo shorts were cut-down German army fatigues with button down pockets - no nappy padded knickers

    keep on keeping it real peeps

  45. #45
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    Bibs rock. When my shirt rides up under my backpack I don't blind everyone behind me with my shiny white fat ass crack.
    SDMBA Liaison, Sycamore Canyon/Goodan Ranch Open Space Preserves

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mdm. Dabalot
    Big bellies, not so much!
    I refer to them as sausage casings

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by culturesponge
    wasn't anyone's god that bought the sock down the front of my shorts in the photo on my post - it was my wife - a Goddess

    i sometimes feel sorry for those "hardcore" mtn bikers "keeping it real" ect - 45lb of iron hoss, sweltering in baggies mid-summer on mulholland motorway on the way to the backbone

    when i started mtn biking back in '91 there were cycling stereotypes too - but the only cargo shorts were cut-down German army fatigues with button down pockets - no nappy padded knickers

    keep on keeping it real peeps
    I take it you must be a lycra wearing, leg/arm/chest/groin-shaving biker! As a rider that has enough bikes to climb and push (I enjoy doing both!), I've never felt the need to accentuate my buttocks with the use of lycra alone I'm just keepin' it real, people! Now as for shaving the legs...

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by manny40
    I take it you must be a lycra wearing, leg/arm/chest/groin-shaving biker! As a rider that has enough bikes to climb and push (I enjoy doing both!), I've never felt the need to accentuate my buttocks with the use of lycra alone I'm just keepin' it real, people! Now as for shaving the legs...
    ??? hold onto your hoss's dude - your making too many assumptions there!

    just because lycra shorts are better for 4 hours of "XC" riding doesn't mean I don't go commano with some target cotton cargo's on casual/shorter rides

    no shaved legs either - but i do my shave my arm pits - only because it massively reduces the amount of sweating.

    wear what's best suited for you

    ps. never owned a roadbike - but if i did it would probably improve my fitness & stamina

  49. #49
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    double post (sorry) please delete

  50. #50
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    I've been rocking the higher end Fox baggies for the last few years. The liners are pretty high quality microfiber and the baggie shell is pretty light. Never have seat snag issues and can't imagine I'd feel much cooler in the summer temps here in lycra.

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