Author Topic: Choosing cycling shorts  (Read 524 times)

TerryField

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Choosing cycling shorts
« on: March 19, 2020, 10:14:42 PM »
Buying lycra shorts always seems to be a bit of a lottery ( I don't do bibs!). There are lots to buy online, but short of buying and then sending back for a refund ad infinitum, how do you buy the shorts that fit?

I guess I could tour all the stores in a 50 mile radius, but just how many different makes and models of shorts am I likely to find? Experience to date shows that most shops have very view options.

I recognise that this post is probably a product of coronavirus boredom, but at the same time it is a genuine enquiry.

Any ideas?

Danneaux

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Re: Choosing cycling shorts
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2020, 11:39:47 PM »
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Buying lycra shorts always seems to be a bit of a lottery
Yes!  ::)
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( I don't do bibs!)
Neither do it. I have never been able to figure out how to take a um, "natural" break without effectively disrobing, a cold business when the temperatures are low and especially miserable if it is raining.
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There are lots to buy online...
True!
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...but short of buying and then sending back for a refund ad infinitum
This is how I finally homed in on what worked for me...and then the Major Vendor who sold mine went bankrupt! Now I'm back to square one.

The only alternative here (USA) is to go to REI (the nation's largest retailer of outdoors equipment) and try them on in person. The company does have a one-year satisfaction guarantee and will accept used merchandise returns, so a person really can't lose except...nothing they have works for me and my cycling sister has had the same poor luck. This kinda puts us both back to the mail order buy-return cycle. If there is a better answer, I'd really love to know.

My biggest problem is finding something with reasonably thick lycra fabric (I prefer 8oz/yard), an adjustable drawstring waist, and padding dense enough to not break down after successive high-mileage days. In summers, I often ride 200-300kms/day and occasionally 400km. When the padding in shorts breaks down halfway on a long ride, you really know it.

Best of luck,

Dan.

John Saxby

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Re: Choosing cycling shorts
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2020, 12:07:17 PM »
Not a "way to choose shorts", but I've tried a whole range over the past 20-30 years. The ones I currently use are consistently good quality--well made, good fit, and comfortable. They're made by Ground Effect in New Zealand.  Here's a link to the shorts they sell:
https://www.groundeffect.co.nz/collections/mens-lycra-shorts

The ones I have are the "Sputnik", the least expensive on offer.  I don't need a new pair, but I might go up a grade to the "Supersonics". Main reasons I bought the
Sputniks were that (i) everything I've bought from GE (mostly jerseys) was first-rate quality and fit, and very good value; but (ii) I didn't want to pay more than $100 for a pair of shorts online and hence sight unseen.

I also have a pair of liner shorts which I wear under cycling knickers for shorter journeys (say, a couple of hours).  The liners are excellent, and on hot days I sometimes wear them as is.

No guarantees, I know, but I thought I'd mention my satisfaction with ground Effect's products. I have no material interest in the firm, BTRW.

Good luck!

mickeg

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Re: Choosing cycling shorts
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2020, 12:10:59 PM »
I bought most of mine from REI in USA. 

As Dan noted, they take returns.  And occasionally have sales where they sell off returns at a discount, I have bought several returns.

Also bought two new pair there, the new ones I tried on for size before I bought them.  They also sell clothing, so they have small changing rooms where you can try things on.

It can be difficult to find the right size.  I have bought some size large shorts from one company and found them a bit tight and a different model of shorts from that same company also in size large are so big that they will almost slide off of me.

And some companies seem to size things to professional bike racer sizing where a large professional racer might be a pretty small person when compared to average people.  But other companies size them to normal person sizing.

I know one guy that wears suspenders with his bike shorts.

B cereus

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Re: Choosing cycling shorts
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2020, 01:00:09 PM »
I prefer bib shorts because they stay up better but Dan has definitely identified the major disadvantage. Why hasn't anyone found a solution to this problem yet?

Some thoughts:

No1's are less problematic than No 2's but the addition of a short convenience zip would help even more. Lycra is tricky stuff to stitch but I may be tempted to get my sewing kit out and practice on an old pair of bibs.

The other approach is to convert your shorts into bibs with what we in the UK call braces. Dan and others will know them as suspenders. Braces/suspenders equipped with plastic Fastex buckles could easily be unclipped to allow the necessary.  I've looked on line for such an animal and  they don't appear to exist. Most have various associated ironmongery which I don't think will work as well in a sweaty environment.

geocycle

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Re: Choosing cycling shorts
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2020, 03:59:37 PM »
I'm really lucky in that I've grown not to need padded shorts.  I guess me and my Brooks have kind of 'bonded' over the years.  i don't want to appear smug about this, just pointing out that it can be possible to ride quite good distances (most of my rides are 40-60 miles although I have done occasional 100 mile rides) in ordinary shorts and underwear.  I changed as I found padded lycra left me too sweaty in warm weather and led to mild bacterial infections despite good hygiene practices.
 

julk

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Re: Choosing cycling shorts
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2020, 05:32:10 PM »
I am another happy user of shorts (and trousers) made by Ground Effect, New Zealand.
They are pricey but last a very long time.
Julian.

Danneaux

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Re: Choosing cycling shorts
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2020, 07:43:42 PM »
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The other approach is to convert your shorts into bibs with what we in the UK call braces. Dan and others will know them as suspenders. Braces/suspenders equipped with plastic Fastex buckles could easily be unclipped to allow the necessary.  I've looked on line for such an animal and  they don't appear to exist. Most have various associated ironmongery which I don't think will work as well in a sweaty environment.
Good idea. These look promising, Brummie...
https://www.suspenderstore.com/airport-friendly-sport-suspenders/?sku=BZ-48-TAN-125-BC-2&gclid=Cj0KCQjw09HzBRDrARIsAG60GP98AHgjV4zz34L7kOVxBbXK97fPxNFT5SJPxs4Am8m9aHRjz0rp8PgaAgWMEALw_wcB

All the best,

Dan.

B cereus

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Re: Choosing cycling shorts
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2020, 10:10:32 AM »
Thanks for that link Dan. I wouldn't have thought of searching for “airport friendly” but  a quick Google has given me several UK suppliers.

The BriMarc brand seem widely available from tool suppliers.

These ones listed on ebay are undergarment  specific (select undergarment from the drop down menu) and look to be particularly suitable. Quote:

“They are designed to be warn next to the skin so have the soft feel fabric attached. They are a natural colour to make them less visible through clothing. These can also be washed at 30 deg”.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2020, 12:39:08 PM by B cereus »

mickeg

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Re: Choosing cycling shorts
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2020, 01:15:55 PM »
I mentioned above that I know someone that wears suspenders with his bike shorts.  I don't but I do use suspenders for rain pants. 

The only disadvantage is that I have to put them on before I put on the rain jacket.  Thus, I sometimes get a bit wetter than I would have if I skipped the suspenders.  But I find that it comes in really handy to have rain pants that are not slipping down when getting on or off a bike.

Usually I get something like this, shipping from Asia generally took a month before the virus slowed everything down.  Now longer delays may occur.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Adjustable-Unisex-Men-women-Braces-Trouser-Belt-Suspenders-Clip-On-Fancy-Dress/183022160229

I am in USA, there is no customs duty for small cheap packages, thus these are duty free to USA.