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  1. #1
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    Wearing lycra shorts.

    I started this to respond to the thread on baggies on roadbikes but wanted to share these thoughts, FWIW, more generally.

    When our High School teams first started in 2002 we were encouraged to start our practices away from the school because riders were self-conscious about their appearance in tight-fitting shorts and gear. In addition many of the kids just didn't have this sort of equipment. The first picture shows us at a camp.

    In the next season as we got our jersey together and we started to accumulate good gear things started to take shape. In the next picture, a start of the Sophomore Boys you still see baggies, loose cotton t-shirts, and skateboard and BMX helmets.

    The third picture is our 2007 team photo. You will notice that we have expanded to knickers, windjackets, team arm warmers, long-sleeved jerseys all worn with not a little pride.

    The 4th picture is the season opener from this year's Soph Boys start. No baggies. No BMX/Skateboard helmets.

    Now I don't know if these kids choose this stuff to wear just because it works so well, though it does, but there are other stresses which shape this result for these racers. NorCal requires Team Jerseys. Teams are run by people who race or coaches of long mtb standing who have long ago accepted and utilized Kit production from Voler, Hincapie and such as perfectly good resources for great design and utility. I have pretty well developed ideas about what works in November and later in the spring. As such the appearance has become more uniform and the kids have become accustomed to it.

    Nearly everyone wears Lycra at the races if they are Sophs or older. Baggies still show up in practices as you can see in photo 5. It has to do with spreading the wear out on the clothes and modesty in public.

    The next picture is of my YMCA kids, 12-14 years old. New kids. I had 2 extra-small girls jerseys left over from a Kenda donation and when I gave them to our girl she was not comfortable wearing the tight jerseys. About a month after our class I caught up with a dad riding with his daughter and I thought I recognized the girl, level pedals down a 25% grade at speed. It was the 12-year-old girl from my class, wearing the Kenda jersey.

    The next picture is of my racers attending a Bicycle Trails Counsil of the East Bay Gala ride last Saturday. I requested full kit and clean bikes. No problem.

    I prefer Lycra and think Lycra kits look great. Having said that the next picture is of the NorCal kit now for sale. Note the baggie shorts (and the dedicated Specialized helmet gifted to all the qualified coaches). My wife bought me the kit and I will wear it at the Championships at Boggs Demonstration Forest next Sunday. It is a great looking kit.

    I'd better get back to work.
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  2. #2
    jms
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    Sometimes it's better

    And the point of this thread would be?

    LOL! Careful now there "Mr Blackwell", you might get that pretty kit all mused up carting those 5 gallon water jugs @ Boggs this weekend.

    Maybe I'm the only one old enough to remember the old SNL Billy Crystal "Nando" character's line......"Sometimes it's better to look good than to be good"
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  3. #3
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    the lesson is that baggies are simply for people without the self confidence or independence to wear something that they perceive as dorky. the reality is that pair of bibs is vastly superior to baggies. the chamois stays in place better, less snags, less drag, and overall better comfort.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoutcat
    the lesson is that baggies are simply for people without the self confidence or independence to wear something that they perceive as dorky. the reality is that pair of bibs is vastly superior to baggies. the chamois stays in place better, less snags, less drag, and overall better comfort.
    ... for general xc racing use.

    Baggies do offer a little bit more crash protection, and have their place for certain types of terrain and riding. With that, who cares.

    <------ wears lycra 90% of the time.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoutcat
    the lesson is that baggies are simply for people without the self confidence or independence to wear something that they perceive as dorky. the reality is that pair of bibs is vastly superior to baggies. the chamois stays in place better, less snags, less drag, and overall better comfort.
    The word.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoutcat
    the lesson is that baggies are simply for people without the self confidence or independence to wear something that they perceive as dorky. the reality is that pair of bibs is vastly superior to baggies. the chamois stays in place better, less snags, less drag, and overall better comfort.
    I like having pockets.
    Best combo for me is real lycra shorts under a baggy shell.

  7. #7
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    Soooo not true

    Quote Originally Posted by scoutcat
    the lesson is that baggies are simply for people without the self confidence or independence to wear something that they perceive as dorky. the reality is that pair of bibs is vastly superior to baggies. the chamois stays in place better, less snags, less drag, and overall better comfort.
    A pair of very nice bibs or lycra shorts are very comfy, but so are a pair of nice baggies. I used to ONLY wear lycra. Now I mostly wear baggies.

    I have had a couple pair of lycra shorts that would slowly ride down, and then the crotch would get caught on the saddle on steep downhills. And I've had baggies that just didn't fit in any of the right places. And I've had bibs that the bib part was a little to small and it put way to much pressure in the crotchel area, especially while standing up and climbing.

    So neither are superior for mountain biking in general. A good pair of either will serve you well.

  8. #8
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    Yeah, definitely not pacifica/Carlmont/Calabaza and lycra. Is almost asking for it.

    But, I am interested in getting those lycra with extra padding crash protection underneath my baggy though.

    For XC races, Lycra is superior.

  9. #9
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    I have no problem with lycra on mountain bikers. The only concern I have personally is in a crash. I went down pretty hard and slid on my behind a ways. I'm pretty confident that lycra would have torn. I was wearing a nylon shell though, that are the outer of my mtb shorts, and had no tearing or cuts at all. It's not that common of course, but I wouldn't want to crash and have to buy new shorts, or endure the ride home with my ass hanging out.
    :wq

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loll
    Yeah, definitely not pacifica/Carlmont/Calabaza and lycra. Is almost asking for it.
    Asking for what? For a bunch of l337 douches to nod in disapproval? Let us tremble.

    Baggies are good for wearing protection under them indeed. That's about it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoutcat
    the lesson is that baggies are simply for people without the self confidence or independence to wear something that they perceive as dorky.
    What was the point of this statement? To inflame zealots on both sides of the aisle? What a gross overgeneralization.

    I wear lycra when I road ride and have no problems with self confidence. I wear baggies when I mountain bike for both the extra crash protection and because having pockets is nice.

    Mountain biking is big enough to accommodate all types of riders ranging from lycra -adoring roadies with a dirt fetish, to baggie-pants, dirt-jumping hucksters.

    If it gets you off to "know that you are riding something 'superior'," knock yourself out and wear a freakin' Olympic speed wetsuit if you want.

    Let's just get out and ride and stop trying to proselytize.
    My presence would be the equivalent of painting lamb's blood on your frame, causing the "angel of crash" to nail me instead.

  12. #12
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    My answer is I don't care. The kids on my team wore baggies until it got hot, now they just wear lycra. Personally, I think they should shave their legs too, but that ain't going to happen.

    Of course, there is a picture of the Canadian junior national team in their red lycra shorts. Their see-thru red lycra shorts. Get my drift?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro
    Their see-thru red lycra shorts. Get my drift?
    Do not get excited.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro
    Of course, there is a picture of the Canadian junior national team in their red lycra shorts. Their see-thru red lycra shorts. Get my drift?
    Hey, watch it! That was the POLISH junior national TRACK team in their red shorts with the sausage show...

    ...I wanted to get worked up over something in this thread too.

  15. #15
    jms
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    Oh! My bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by scoutcat
    the lesson is that baggies are simply for people without the self confidence or independence to wear something that they perceive as dorky. the reality is that pair of bibs is vastly superior to baggies. the chamois stays in place better, less snags, less drag, and overall better comfort.
    Oh! My bad!!!!
    Here I was thinking this thread was really about some old dude living vicariously through a high school mountain biking team......

    Since it's REALLY a poll, I wear lycra cause I came to "grips" with the inadequacy of my "package" a long time ago, and I hate snagging my shorts on the saddle.

  16. #16
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  17. #17
    don't try this at home
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    you really have to be "self confident" to wear white lycra. i wear lycra for road and mtb, always have, but you wouldn't catch me dead in white lycra.
    will you rep me?

  18. #18
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    I'll join the poll...
    I have always (since jr. high in the early 80’s) worn Lycra and carried a pair of soccer shorts to put on if I was going to walk around, but later I tried the baggies because my buddies gave me grief about looking like a roadie. One day it rained and I felt like I was wearing sand bags. I took off the baggies that day and I felt much faster. I never wear moto padding unless I have a motor. So now very rarely wear my baggies and I don’t bother with the soccer shorts. Heck, I’m nearly 40, I don’t have a beer gut, and I’m married. I really don’t care too much what people think about my shorts.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan51
    I like having pockets.
    Best combo for me is real lycra shorts under a baggy shell.
    Second this.

  20. #20
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    Is not so much I care about what other thinks at shell or other dj area,

    but if you crash in lycra vs in baggy, as someone pointed out, you could save some skins.

    Also, if you are launching off anything at Crack or Mile, esp. if you are still learning the drop thing, you will want more clothing than lycra as a safety measure. Doesn't mean baggy is the answer, but sure hurts much less.

  21. #21
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    Started using skin suits. I like the feeling of a one piece. Plus it makes me faster.

    Probably why I still wear footsie pjs to bed.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by baycat

    Probably why I still wear footsie pjs to bed.
    I thought you wore those 'cuz you like the feeling of "going potty" through a "trap door."
    My presence would be the equivalent of painting lamb's blood on your frame, causing the "angel of crash" to nail me instead.

  23. #23
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    I wear some nice bibs under my baggies when I know I'm going for a big ride, but I usually have 1 or 2 things in my pockets and I really don't like using the pockets in jerseys. For me it is a functionality thing.





    Lycra looks funny too, admit it.
    "To crush your enemies, see them driven before, and to hear the lamentation of the women."

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by audi0phile
    Lycra looks funny too, admit it.
    I find absolutely nothing hilarious about a pair of sporting pants - but, hey, whatever rocks your boat.

  25. #25
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    What about wearing lycra and shaving your legs? Is that worse or does it look out of place to be wearing the lycra and having your hair flapping in the wind creating aero drag.

  26. #26
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    Shaving our legs is a practice we should all do. It makes you faster and it helps you heal faster when you go down. Shaving and lycra are amazing, if you have issues with your "package" then...stuffing?

  27. #27
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    Ooh Ooh! Me too!

    I upgraded to lycra (yep, I said it!) when I went clipless, and both moves had everything to do with efficiency. I had my first pair of lycra shorts w/chamois under a very thin, lightweight pair of sugoi walking shorts. Despite being super stretchy, they were really holding me back during the long climb up Schultz at Annadel. Stopped for a sec and stripped 'em off, and started climbing wearing just the lycra. Was like night & day. Since then, I've been a lyrca guy 95% of the time, and have upgraded to bibs -- no waistband is a magical thing too. My riding buddies think I look like Hacksaw Jim Duggan, but I don't care.

    For me, it would come down the shoe/pedal combination of choice: Laces & platforms = baggies or jeans; ratchets & clipless pedals = bib & jersey all the way.

  28. #28
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    i thought one of the points of mtn biking was not to get hung up on stuff like this.....

    i wear baggies with lycra underneath as it seems like a good design to me--pockets, protection when (if) i crash, but the support and comfort of the lycra/chamois underneath.

  29. #29
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    The stuff works.

    These are technical garments designed to address the demands of our sport. On one hand the wicking properties help to keep us cool. In the winter with leg warmers of just using knickers we are kept warm. The close fit doesn't get all caught up in the wind either. If you have ever looked at the engineering of the tops that go with them they are pretty amazing, too.

    Like I said the stuff works. The look is something else and that roadies use it exclusively is hardly encouraging.

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    You gotta use the right tools for the job. Those kids should be in Lycra if they're racing to win, they've learned that. When I ride my lightweight HT above Lexington Res (in other words mostly fireroads) I've been known to wear lycra/jersey combo. But for doing tech/dh/fr type stuff I suit up in baggies (with some nice hip pad inserts) and longsleeve moto jersey.

  31. #31
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    For the Team it is clearly a part of XC Race orientation

    My use of lycra goes back to my early cycling days in the 70's on the road. Now I have all sorts of kits from sponsors and teams and wear them to support their presence in the sport. In some sense lycra is what is in my drawer so I wear it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scoutcat
    the lesson is that baggies are simply for people without the self confidence or independence to wear something that they perceive as dorky. the reality is that pair of bibs is vastly superior to baggies. the chamois stays in place better, less snags, less drag, and overall better comfort.
    The lesson is my opinion on a subjective matter is more right than your opinion.

  33. #33
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    "Chancho. When you are a man, sometimes you wear stretchy pants in your room. It's for fun."

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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by moschika
    you really have to be "self confident" to wear white lycra. i wear lycra for road and mtb, always have, but you wouldn't catch me dead in white lycra.

    Those self confident guys are kicking arse in the Giro.
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  35. #35
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    I will say having run both, I prefer the lycra. The baggy shorts by Fox I own, constantly shift, snag, ride up etc. The lycra allows me the freedom to move and in my opinion is vastly superior. When I want to "look" like I am just cruising, I wear the baggies.

  36. #36
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    Wearing lycra screams "I have a vajayjay!"
    (Unless its under baggies for comfort)

    /end thread
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  37. #37
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    I have baggies and lycra....run lycra most of the time escpecially on really hot days

    Warning: Consumption of alcohol may make you think the person on the barstool next to you is attractive

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by motormonkeyr6
    Wearing lycra screams "I have a vajayjay!"
    (Unless its under baggies for comfort)

    /end thread
    vajayjay!" Correction the word is Mangina.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz Cut
    I have baggies and lycra....run lycra most of the time escpecially on really hot days

    Lycra is only for Rudies and racing.
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by cohenfive
    i thought one of the points of mtn biking was not to get hung up on stuff like this.....
    .
    That's where you're wrong, the actual point of mtn biking is for the really cool folks to point out that if we don't wear what they wear, we are "without self confidence and independence"
    Sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come

  41. #41
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    I wear nice Pearl Izumi's Chamois's under Fox Baggy shorts. I can't ride without the padding for my nuts otherwise I'll get chafing and seat burn.

    Today was so freakin hot I had to take off my baggies and ride with just the Lycra. It was a lot cooler! I'll be wearing my baggies again next ride but I really don't understand all this nonsense about self confidence. It really wasn't a big deal?

    I like the look of the baggies and like having pockets, so what? I can rock the Lycra too if I want but most of the time I don't consider it an advantage, therefore I use whats comfortable to me. Its pretty simple....wtf

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody
    I wear nice Pearl Izumi's Chamois's under Fox Baggy shorts. I can't ride without the padding for my nuts otherwise I'll get chafing and seat burn.

    Today was so freakin hot I had to take off my baggies and ride with just the Lycra. It was a lot cooler! I'll be wearing my baggies again next ride but I really don't understand all this nonsense about self confidence. It really wasn't a big deal?

    I like the look of the baggies and like having pockets, so what? I can rock the Lycra too if I want but most of the time I don't consider it an advantage, therefore I use whats comfortable to me. Its pretty simple....wtf
    yup just wear what you want when you want. I really don't care what others think about my bike or gear, its their problem not mine

    baggies this am and full lyrcra roadie tomorrow it's all good

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  43. #43
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    So, I just don't get the lycra vs. baggy crap. Wear what you like when you like.

    Can't we all just get a life and get along?

  44. #44
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    Other people were so confused by the lycra vs baggie debate, that they just decided not to wear anything at all......

    http://www.mixx.com/videos/2314931/y...ace_uncensored

  45. #45
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    Peral Izumi Pro bibs under Fox DH pants (technical riding - Demo, Montara, Rockville) or Under Armour Basketball shorts (everywhere else).

    Oh yeah, I ALWAYS were underwear under my bibs, on real rides it will be Under Armour Heatgear Boxerjocks 6". To quote Kramer "My boys need a house." Traditional underwear is definitely worse than nude, for sure, but the AU stuff is superior. Don't knock it until you try it.

    I came from a roadie/tri background, but now I only use flats with 5.10 Impacts. The full lycra look does not go with flats.

  46. #46
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    I swore I would never ever buy them or wear lycra. And then I broke down and bought some, and rode in them... soooo comfortable. I look pretty awful in the photos when I wear them, but Im damned comfy so screw it.

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    Am I wrong for wearing lycra with my full face, knee/shin guards and chicken wings???

  48. #48
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    Better dead than red . . .



    Quote Originally Posted by scoutcat
    the lesson is that baggies are simply for people without the self confidence or independence to wear something that they perceive as dorky. the reality is that pair of bibs is vastly superior to baggies. the chamois stays in place better, less snags, less drag, and overall better comfort.
    I like to bike.

  49. #49
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    And the flip side of that...

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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by zerkmxl
    Am I wrong for wearing lycra with my full face, knee/shin guards and chicken wings???
    Yes, you are wrong: you are missing high heels.

    I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay.
    I sleep all night. I work all day.

    I cut down trees. I eat my lunch.
    I go to the lavatory.
    On Wednesdays I go shoppin'
    And have buttered scones for tea.

    cut down trees. I skip and jump.
    I like to press wild flowers.
    I put on women's clothing
    And hang around in bars.

    I cut down trees. I wear high heels,
    Suspendies, and a bra.
    I wish I'd been a girlie,
    Just like my dear Papa

    Quote Originally Posted by fishbum
    Oh, yeah.

  51. #51
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    Clipless high heels!

  52. #52
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    The other week my 11 year old nephew & I were going for a bike ride. If I'm MTBing I'll wear my baggies, but I prefer the lycra if I'm riding my SU200. Well I change @ my brother's place & walk up the stairs. The nephew is waiting for me & spots the shorts. He starts waving his arms & saying those shorts are nasty. "Those shorts look like my Under Armor shorts w/o the cup."

    Later on the ride we meet 4 roadies on the bike path. I tell the nephew those guys were wearing lycra. He says, "I wasn't checking them out".
    2008 Trek Fuel EX 8
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  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichiganMat
    I swore I would never ever buy them or wear lycra. And then I broke down and bought some, and rode in them... soooo comfortable. I look pretty awful in the photos when I wear them, but Im damned comfy so screw it.

    comfy is better then style for sure
    annadel is where its at

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  54. #54
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    My only complaint about all biking shorts, why are they so damned expensive?

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    Let me first preface by saying that I dont think im faster than anyone or better at mtb than any lycra or baggie wearer.

    I am of the opinion that lycra is like most mountain bike upgrades: limited in use unless you are an absolute top level sportsman using it to get that extra edge. One thing that points me to this conclusion is when I hear things like "..... were really holding me back on that long climb up shultz." The thing is, shultz or anything at annadel is not so steep, long, or technical that lycra over baggies will make a measurable difference. I dont think that lycra will solve any problems that couldnt be solved with better conditioning unless you are a top level racer. For me climbing shultz or anything at annadel is not so difficult that I need lycra to make me faster, Im not saying im special i think its just a mental thing. When I first started lawndale or shultz or even canyon seemed like impossible montains, but if my ability to climb them has improved in the last two years apparel choice is not why. If lycra and shaving your legs gives you that extra mental edge than go for it, but the majority of your ability is decided between your ears. Riding through conditions that could possibly hinder your performance will only make you faster and stronger, that is why some proffesional racers train with 45 pound DH bikes.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reillyj
    I am of the opinion that lycra is like most mountain bike upgrades: limited in use unless you are an absolute top level sportsman using it to get that extra edge.
    Baloney. All the benefits of good clothing and good components are easy to enjoy for anybody.

    I would say that beginners can benefit from proper clothing and good gear even more then pros. Makes everything much more enjoyable. Well performing bike and cool and non-snagging clothing is good for anybody.

    Baggy shorts for MTB is entirely an invention of image conscious Americans. They have no reason to exist.

  57. #57
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    I should have been more specific on the first statement. I believe that after a certain point the modifications become limited in use. ie Xt vs xtr cranks: you will not benefit unless you need those extra grams to get the competitive edge in a competition. My point is that after a certain point the weak link is the rider not the components or apparel.
    I wear lycra (for padding) under baggie cargo shorts that offer abrasion resistance. I used to wear swim trunks but they didnt fair too well in get offs so I switched to something heavier duty out of neccesity.

    I dont mind if people wear lycra I dont think it looks terribly stupid either, when I do see someone in it the first thing that comes to mind is its lack of protection for its limited benefits.

    People often purposely wear unfasionable or silly looking things in an effort to prove to themselves they dont care about their image.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reillyj
    I believe that after a certain point the modifications become limited in use. ie Xt vs xtr cranks: you will not benefit unless you need those extra grams to get the competitive edge in a competition.
    XTR cranks have 7mm less Q-factor, and they do come in 172.5mm length, both of those factors my knees do notice, as it gives a better fit - compared to SLX cranks on my other bike.

    Same with proper clothing - if you do not care, do not assume other do not benefit from it. It is far from just some esoteric competitive edge for uber humans. After I have upgraded my wife bike to get about three pounds of it with high end parts - she loved it, and she is a beginner.

    Speaking of protection - I am looking for a good lycra shorts with a bit of protective padding in addition to chamois. I wonder if those EVS PPO5 shorts are suitable to be weared alone.

  59. #59
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    One of the reasons I started wearing lycra was because the baggies were literally holding me back. Getting stuck behind the saddle with your baggies caught sucks!

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