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Thread: Biking shorts

  1. #1
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    Biking shorts

    Hey Everyone,

    I recently started MTBing seriously and am having some trouble with a sore ass after long rides. So first off let me me say that I am not MTBing through rocks and cannons but more so on gravel trails. I am riding a top fuel ssl with a race saddle. I know my ass is not used to being on the saddle as long as I have been these last 7 rides but I need something.

    I know nothing about shorts only that there are liners and baggy. I am a simple person and looking for something that would work for me and my ass.

    What is recomended as far as something on the low end, middle and high end. Again I know nothing by my ass is starting to get too sore to even want to ride for the rest of the week.

    Thanks!!!

    Also liner or baggy??? I am just a casual rider but ride long distances!!!

  2. #2
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    If you ride long distance I'd go with lycra shorts which for me move around less on long rides. If you want baggy there are lots of good brands just be sure you spend a little cash for quality shorts, I like Louie Gaurnier and the Performance Ultra bibs too.

  3. #3
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    How do you know what padding is best. I think I am going to go with the liner instead of baggy just because I dont want it to move around a lot. As far as padding goes I dont want something that is just soft sponge is there better padding then others?

    I know nothing and trying to learn but when looking things up online there isnt much out there on the topic. Should I not worry about it and just buy something???? I want to make the correct choice of course!

    Thanks

  4. #4
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    When I first started riding I wore gym shorts and they were not good for long rides. My first choices in bike specific shorts were the baggy Cannondale shorts. Baggy shorts in my opinion are fine for rail trails and riding the streets. The thing I liked about the baggy shorts was that I could get off the bike and at 5'7" 235lbs not feel embarrassed with tight shorts. For technical riding the shorts get snagged and are cumbersome in my opinion.
    Currently, I have gone through many pieces of bike specific clothing due to the fact that I ride much more than ever and things wear out. When you ride a lot you get an idea of what works and what does not.
    For shorts I recommend Lycra bib shorts. I buy the ones that have the fabric chamois and not the open cell versions. I have had very bad luck with the open cell versions on 4+ hour rides; some people use chamois butter which is a lubricant and prevents chafing. With fabric chamos I have never needed lubricant and have not had a saddle sore.
    For Jerseys It depends on your riding style. If you always wear a camelback backpack then I would not spend the money on the expensive 3 pocket jerseys. For camelback use, buy Nike Fit shirts which are $25.00 and are very nice. If your rides are shorter or if you pass stores on your rides buy a tight fitting full zip jersey with 3 rear pockets. The jersey needs to be tight so the contents in the rear pockets do not fall out. In the middle pocket I keep a water bottle. I keep my gels in the right pocket because I am always accessing the food and because I am right handed. In keep my small tool kit in the left jersey pocket. I link my local trails together into some 100m rides and never carry a camelback. I get my kits (kits are the combo of socks, jersey, shorts, arm warmers, leg warmers, wind coats & vests) from my local cycling club. The club kits are less expensive than the stuff at the bike shop and the quality is awesome. I hope this helps.
    You don’t know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.

  5. #5
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    As with many things in life. You get what you pay for with bike shorts. So to answer your question about what padding is best...the best padding is the most expensive.

    I am a fan of Voler FS Elite bib shorts. Very good quality fabric and pad. Made in USA. Twin Six rebrands Voler jerseys and shorts.

  6. #6
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    Fox fan here....have a older pair of Fox shorts (not sure on exact model) with the lycra shorts inside + chamois. I have had them for over 5 years and they are still as good as the day i bought them. I do clean them a lot though.

    Im about to pick up a pair of Fox Rangers for a extra pair.

    I love all fox gear, have a jersey, shorts, gloves....also, about 15 tshirts (love chainlove). All of them are quality products...im a Fox user for life =)

  7. #7
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    Thanks everyone for the replies. I am still struggling on what to go with. today I had the chance to make it to the bike store and look at some shorts. I looked at:

    castelli
    Louis Garneau
    specialized
    Pearl Izumi
    and gore bike ware

    Looking at them they all ranged in price but the padding looked the same??? can someone help me choose a pair. Someone said that I cannot go wrong with anything then what I have now just a pair of cheap sports store padding but if I am going to invest some money in these I want to get something of high quality. breathable and not going to hurt my butt bones on 30 to 50 mile rides. Thanks for the help

  8. #8
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    I have or have owned all of those brands and if I were buying now and those were the choices I had I would go with Gore first and LG second. Honestly though, my favorate kits are made by champion systems and the price is $120 for the bib and jersey.
    You don’t know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.

  9. #9
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    Just get what looks good to you and see how it works. If you're like most of us you'll have several pair of different shorts in less time than you think.

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    I have a problem with having a long torso using bib shorts. My waist size is between 32-33 and I'm 6'1". My large Castelli feel like someone's pulling on my junk and the XL seem to slide off my shoulders. What recommendations for my sizing? Anyone

  11. #11
    Big Damn Hero
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    Instead of dropping big bucks on Garneau or something of the sorts, why not drop $30 and get a pair of Canari or Performance Bike lycra shorts with padding to see if that style short works for you.

    I have a few pairs of each and they are awesome for the road rides I do (most are 50+ miles) and trail rides (usually 20 -25 miles). I will say the Canari are better for the road rides while I like both equally for trail rides.

  12. #12
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    Delete...just realized how old this thread is

  13. #13
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    Just getting back into MTB and has a Top Fuel SSL... let me have your job! I suppose it could be your original MTB bike, in which I still stand on my comment.

  14. #14
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    Seems with Road bike shorts you get what you pay for. Spend $30 and you'll get a $30 POS pair of shorts. Spend $100 and you'll be quite comfy on those 30-50 mile rides and your butt will thank you.

    I surf clearance sections on all major stores weekly looking for good stuff.

    Most comfortable short I've worn by far is the Voler FS.
    www - voler.com/category.aspx?cat=CAT-BOTTOMS-MENS-SHORT

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmorOfGod View Post
    Just getting back into MTB and has a Top Fuel SSL... let me have your job!
    Nothing wrong with that. I just bought my 2011 Top Fuel 9.9 SSL and 2012 Madone 6.7 SSL just over a month ago.
    - Ed

    2012 Trek Madone 6.7 SSL
    2013 Specialized Tricross Comp Disc
    2011 Trek Top Fuel 9.9 SSL
    2012 Salsa Mukluk 2

  16. #16
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    Hit up them trails and road. They'll never know what hit em.

  17. #17
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    I purchased lycra type shorts that I can use on really hot days or road biking, but then I have a pair of light weight nylon hiking shorts that I wear on the outside when going out mountain biking. Thus, I have the best of both worlds? I saw a few liners and they didn't seem to have the padding at all like a good pear of biking shorts.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy_c View Post
    I purchased lycra type shorts that I can use on really hot days or road biking, but then I have a pair of light weight nylon hiking shorts that I wear on the outside when going out mountain biking. Thus, I have the best of both worlds? I saw a few liners and they didn't seem to have the padding at all like a good pear of biking shorts.
    This is the way to go if you need to ride in baggy shorts!
    Usually the liner in mtb shorts is of poor quality.

  19. #19
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    My fox rangers ($45) are definately below the quality of my Specialized ($90) shorts.

  20. #20
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    Great info here but one thing still is not clear, at least not with a lot of makers. They all seem to call their padding ” chamois”. Im returning to riding after some years and I remember chamois in shorts meant actual animal hide or a close synthetic version. Who still uses true chamois? I had cannondale in the past but they seem to have bad ratings now.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluetegjoe View Post
    Great info here but one thing still is not clear, at least not with a lot of makers. They all seem to call their padding ” chamois”. Im returning to riding after some years and I remember chamois in shorts meant actual animal hide or a close synthetic version. Who still uses true chamois? I had cannondale in the past but they seem to have bad ratings now.
    Leather isn't used much anymore in shoes or in chamois'.

    And for clarity, the chamois' purpose is to wick moisture, not to provide padding. A proper saddle will help alleviate a sore ass but what helps the most is getting the soft tissue between your sit bones and the saddle toughened up.
    JPark - 3.5- don't listen to dremer

  22. #22
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    Thanks for the info . I have been trying different shorts but so far none have helped as much with soreness as much as the synthetic chamois in my old cannondales. I'll have to give the new cannondales a try I guess.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluetegjoe View Post
    Thanks for the info . I have been trying different shorts but so far none have helped as much with soreness as much as the synthetic chamois in my old cannondales. I'll have to give the new cannondales a try I guess.
    I have boughts lots of gear over the years from Groundeffect, including several pairs of knicks.

    The knicks are all as comfortable or more so, than the far more $$$ knicks I've had from Assos. And they're less than half the price (at least here in Oz).

    If this sounds like a plug for them, well, it is: they're an independent co in NZ, who make great stuff that they ship all over the world, and pour a fair bit of money into trail building both in NZ and Australia.

  24. #24
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    Thanks for the suggestion bp. They look close to what im looking for. I just ordered a pair from Boure here in the states. If the boures dont work out I will figure out the conversion rate and order a pair of the Groundeffects.

  25. #25
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    I just got some Bontragger shorts wore them on a trail ride soooo much better the with just compression shorts. Obviously there's plenty of padding between anusburg and scrotumville hahaha. They have a removable liner too which is cool so you can wash them separately.

  26. #26
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    The Boures arrived in two days. Tried them today and they worked great. No more soreness at the end of the ride and no chafing at all. The shorts were fitted right and stayed in place. I highly recommend them. At 80 bucks they are a bargain plus they are U.S. made.

  27. #27
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    Keep an eye on bonktown, they've been selling my two favorite bib brands, castelli and descente, At deep discounts for their top models.
    can't say enough good things about buying high quality bibs. Your taint will thank you.

  28. #28
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    it is better to wear shorts with incorporated bib or independent (short+ slip with bib)??

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mortifer View Post
    Seems with Road bike shorts you get what you pay for. Spend $30 and you'll get a $30 POS pair of shorts. Spend $100 and you'll be quite comfy on those 30-50 mile rides and your butt will thank you.

    I surf clearance sections on all major stores weekly looking for good stuff.

    Most comfortable short I've worn by far is the Voler FS.
    www - voler.com/category.aspx?cat=CAT-BOTTOMS-MENS-SHORT
    My $30 shorts work well for me and the century road rides I do... maybe you just have a sensitive posterior.

    I wear the same shorts whether it's a century ride or a shorter 20 mile blast on the local singletrack... I've never had an issue with them not being comfortable. Perhaps it's just me though.
    Orbea Alma
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    Specialized Epic Marathon

  30. #30
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    There are 3 distinct things that can be at issue:

    Moisture caused chafing - most any purpose built bike shorts will help

    Abrasion caused chafing - I really like a leather like surface on my chamois - Champion/Sugoi, or the top end Descente or Pearl are my favorites for long rides.

    Sit Bone Pain - the only solution is to HTFU (and make sure your saddle matches your particular sit bone anatomy - trial and error is really the only way to know for sure)

    Good Luck, there is a solution but it might take a couple pair of shorts and a couple saddles.
    http://facebook.com/CharlemontTrails
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mortifer View Post
    Seems with Road bike shorts you get what you pay for.
    Not always true. I think the late, great LJK Setright put it more accurately: "if you do not pay for it, you do not get it."

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