Cycling shorts...please educate me?

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
User avatar
Audax67
Posts: 4850
Joined: 25 Aug 2011, 9:02am
Location: Alsace, France
Contact:

Re: Cycling shorts...please educate me?

Postby Audax67 » 19 Nov 2020, 5:00pm

tatanab wrote:
Audax67 wrote:[The older S5 shorts were stitched all round
I have some S5. These are what I mean when I say I do not like the huge great nappy pad. It is just so thick! But having bought them (fairly cheaply) they were quickly relegated to winter use, under tights, to get some use out of them - but they just refuse to wear out. My summer shorts have very much thinner padding or none at all.


I hated the first S5s I had for that reason: the pad wodged up and chafed to the extent that I complained to Assos. They asked what size I was wearing and then told me to send a pic of myself in cycling kit. They then told me that in their opinion I should be wearing size S instead of L, and offered me a pair at half price. I opted for M instead and they were OK. The only trouble thereafter was that on hydraulic easement stops I had to bend double to get at the tackle.
Have we got time for another cuppa?

simonhill
Posts: 3184
Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 11:28am
Location: Essex

Re: Cycling shorts...please educate me?

Postby simonhill » 19 Nov 2020, 5:58pm

1st advice is if you find a pair of shorts you like, go buy two or three more pairs straight away. If you wait till the first is worn out you will find the same model has been 'improved', which will usually not be an improvement. Also the size tends to vary with different batches. My old go to shorts were fine for long distance touring in Medium size. Last year I went to replace them to find they were super new MkII version. Sure enough the elastic was like spring steel and hard to stretch beyond about 28". The short still fitted, but the waist cut me in half. I returned them.

Desperate to get something for the upcoming tour, I tried a couple of shops before giving Halfords a go. They were getting rid of their own brand, reduced to a fiver, less my 10% discount. They are surprisingly OK and covered a few thousand kms.

Next advice, is always try on for size and fit. You can't get the full riding experience, but by positioning yourself in a bike pose, you can at least get an idea.

Surprised anyone brave enough to say they wear something underneath. They normally get shot down with a passion. I am am an under wearer. When touring, it means I just wash a thin pair of pants which dry quickly each night. Shorts washed every few days when I know there is enough time to dry. You may or may not like something underneath - give it a go and see what you like.

Finally, regardless of the padding, I find lycra shorts are good for holding all your bits in place.

User avatar
foxyrider
Posts: 5172
Joined: 29 Aug 2011, 10:25am
Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Re: Cycling shorts...please educate me?

Postby foxyrider » 19 Nov 2020, 6:16pm

If you are on a budget i've found the mid range (blue pad) shorts/tights from Decathlon to work pretty well. i do a fair few miles, (just rolled over 10,000 for 2020 today) so my undercarriage gets a hammering, i rarely have any issues but i do wear clean every ride. No cream for me, stopped using it when i got my first pair of shorts with a synthetic pad, that was back in 1978, a pair of the new fangled Castelli skin shorts.

I use saddles with minimal padding but leather cover, i tend to wear the leather out after 100,000km so the saddles usually last a good time :roll:

Buying shorts on Ebay etc really is a lottery, sizing, construction, mfr quality so unless i'd previously done so i'd want to try any shorts/tights on before spending my cash.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

robc02
Posts: 1739
Joined: 23 Apr 2009, 7:12pm
Location: Stafford

Re: Cycling shorts...please educate me?

Postby robc02 » 19 Nov 2020, 8:00pm

axel_knutt wrote:I have two problems with Lycra shorts. The first is leg length, I can't find ones that are long enough, .......


I also found this until I tried DHB Classics. I picked up on them after hearing someone complain they are too long! I am size Small in them compared to Medium in Castelli.

User avatar
TrevA
Posts: 2554
Joined: 1 Jun 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Nottingham

Re: Cycling shorts...please educate me?

Postby TrevA » 20 Nov 2020, 12:13pm

I find that some makes of shorts are too long - they catch on the tendon at the back of my knee, causing a sore. I have 9 different brands of shorts. ASSOS are nice but I’m not sure they are worth the money. Planet X are surprisingly good and value for money. I have a pair of Rapha and I’m not that impressed, these are the ones that are too long and catch on the tendon. I used to have several pairs Decathlon shorts with a red pad and they were very comfortable but not that hard wearing. I have a pair of Polaris and the Lycra is poor quality and has stretched.

In my experience, cheaper shorts use thinner Lycra and don’t last as long, so it’s worth buying better quality if you can afford it. Look at the material used in the shorts, hold it up to the light, if you can see through it, then it’s cheaper, thinner material and won’t last as long.
Last edited by TrevA on 20 Nov 2020, 12:29pm, edited 1 time in total.
A cart horse trapped in the body of a man.
http://www.jogler2009.blogspot.com

tatanab
Posts: 4283
Joined: 8 Feb 2007, 12:37pm

Re: Cycling shorts...please educate me?

Postby tatanab » 20 Nov 2020, 12:21pm

TrevA wrote:I find that some makes if shorts are too long
Yes, modern shorts are very long as are socks. This is me time trialling in the spring of 1973. Woollen shorts with leather "pad".
shorts.jpg

gxaustin
Posts: 617
Joined: 23 Sep 2015, 12:07pm

Re: Cycling shorts...please educate me?

Postby gxaustin » 20 Nov 2020, 3:44pm

The only trouble thereafter was that on hydraulic easement stops I had to bend double to get at the tackle.

I second that for S5s. They are a real trial when having a pee stop. The front seam has no give.
I find Rapha don't suffer from that problem but I'm not so fond of the pad. My favourites are Lusso. I've done numerous 200km audax on the Pro Gels with comfort (on a Brooks B17). I like the Carbon V2 as well. I find them as good as Assos - and 1/2 the price. Being made in Manchester you can get them adjusted too. I had the lower leg seam tightened up a bit on a pair which were long enough to reach below the thicker part of my thigh. My oldest have lasted 5 years and are still OK but look a little faded.
I wash my shorts after each use but there again I seldom if ever ride for less than 40/50 miles.

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 50319
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Cycling shorts...please educate me?

Postby Mick F » 21 Nov 2020, 4:50pm

tatanab wrote:
TrevA wrote:I find that some makes if shorts are too long
Yes, modern shorts are very long ...........
I too find the modern ideas about "shorts" a little mystifying.

Men's shorts - in general - aren't short any more.
I wear casual shorts from spring to autumn, and finding shorts that aren't "longs" quite difficult.
Cycling shorts are getting longer these days. When I need some more, it'll be difficult finding them, I'm sure.
Maybe have to get the scissors out and the sewing machine to sort them.

.............. and don't get me onto the subject of leg grippers! :evil: :evil:
Mick F. Cornwall

User avatar
TrevA
Posts: 2554
Joined: 1 Jun 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Nottingham

Re: Cycling shorts...please educate me?

Postby TrevA » 22 Nov 2020, 9:07am

Yes I know what you mean. I tend to wear baggy cargo shorts in summer but they come down to level with my knees. I have one pair of GAP shorts that are reasonably short - mid thigh, but even sports shorts are quite long nowadays.
A cart horse trapped in the body of a man.
http://www.jogler2009.blogspot.com

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 16363
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Cycling shorts...please educate me?

Postby mjr » 22 Nov 2020, 10:08am

TrevA wrote:Yes I know what you mean. I tend to wear baggy cargo shorts in summer but they come down to level with my knees. I have one pair of GAP shorts that are reasonably short - mid thigh, but even sports shorts are quite long nowadays.

Greater awareness of sun caused skin cancers?
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 50319
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Cycling shorts...please educate me?

Postby Mick F » 22 Nov 2020, 11:20am

Sun?
Where's that then? :wink:

I wear shorts from late March to early October every year. Sandals too.
It ain't sunny all day every day.
Mick F. Cornwall

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 16363
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Cycling shorts...please educate me?

Postby mjr » 22 Nov 2020, 11:24am

Mick F wrote:Sun?
Where's that then? :wink:

I wear shorts from late March to early October every year. Sandals too.
It ain't sunny all day every day.

Well, if you will live in Cornwall... ;)
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

drossall
Posts: 5018
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 10:01pm
Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: Cycling shorts...please educate me?

Postby drossall » 22 Nov 2020, 6:38pm

The reason to avoid ordinary clothes, including underwear under cycling shorts, is that they put seams between you and the saddle, which leads to chafing. As others have said, you do tend to adapt to a saddle after some rides; if I don't ride for a bit, and then come back to it, I tend to feel it.

But heavily-padded saddles are a bit of an issue. They don't necessarily make for comfort. There are lots of factors, including weight distribution between bars and saddle. But, in the end, if you make your bike too much like a sofa, you'll get the effect of pedalling a sofa down the high street. That would be hard work...

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 16363
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Cycling shorts...please educate me?

Postby mjr » 22 Nov 2020, 7:17pm

drossall wrote:But, in the end, if you make your bike too much like a sofa, you'll get the effect of pedalling a sofa down the high street. That would be hard work...

Not really because it has an 8-speed hub gear: https://www.designboom.com/design/sofa-bike/
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

drossall
Posts: 5018
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 10:01pm
Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: Cycling shorts...please educate me?

Postby drossall » 22 Nov 2020, 9:25pm

Sofas would be hard to pedal whatever the gearing. They are just the wrong thing for the job.