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weirdo
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I finally decided to see what all the fuss was about, ordered a pair of lycra shorts. They arrived today and I tried them on.
First thought: "WTF!! You`ve got to be kidding me!" People on the recumbent forums have been known to compare them with wearing a diaper, but they didn`t tell me that it was such a restrictive diaper. Since I was already in "costume", I hopped on the bike for a spin around the block. Feels weird, to say the least. I know I shouldn`t pass judgement before I give them a real test- after several hours in the saddle, the total discomfort might be less than the same time in the saddle with the combined seams of my regular shorts and my underwear doing battle on me, but in the short term, the pad does a lot worse than my current "kit".

I`m going to stick with them for at least a little while, but don`t have very high hopes. They are supposed to be rather tight, aren`t they? Will they likely relax a little after a few rides and washes? FWIW, these are Izumi Quest shorts, and the pants size I usually wear is the upper end of the range that the Izumis are supposed to fit. Anybody wear unpadded bike shorts? Are they even available any more?

EDIT: Okay, Google was my friend tonight. Unpadded shorts located.
 

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11,705 Posts
Pearl Izumi

makes a short "liner" with a chamois that fits under shorts or pants. Theyre great and cheap

<img src=https://www.bikebling.com/v/vspfiles/photos/PearlIzumi-Liner-Short-2T.jpg>
 

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******
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2,989 Posts
I use bibs. So comfy. Louis Garneau Speedtech with the Matrix 3 gel camois. I sometimes wear them under pants but it feels awkwaard to walk around in them for extended periods. They are most comfortable in the cycling position, on a bike. I also own a pair of Castelli bibs. they're a little too big for me though and the pad seems a little on the thin side.
 

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weirdo
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Butt Buttr- check! I have been using that for longer rides, and I like it. For my little tours, I also carry powder to keep myself tidy after the pedalling is done.

Liner is what I should have gone with if I had thought it out a little more, and is still a possibility. For the time being, I`m leaving on a week-long tour (which whill be the longest ever for me) next weekend, so trying to find a quick, locally available solution. I`m going to check around for seamless or minimal seam synthetic underware.

Monzie, what`s the deal with bibs? I see a lot of them for sale on the bike stuff websites, so they must have something going for them. I take it you`ve tried cycling shorts also and you like bibs better?

So, for the "load in my drawers" shorts that I already have, is it likely they`ll chill out after a few washes or after brealing in? Also of note is that Google directed me to a few forum threads where I learned that tri shorts have a lot less padding than bike shorts. In fact, it looks like many triathletes do the swim and the run in the same shorts they pedal in, so they must be a lot less bulky.

Thanks for the tips, guys!
 

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******
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Yeah, bibs are the way to go. Especially on a week long tour. Since they go over your shoulders they tend to twist around less. They also have a higher front so when tucked( or even just hunched a bit) for extended periods of time you don't get that discomfort in your belly from the waistband of the shorts. They do tend to be a bit more pricey but to me are worth the extra loot for the comfort.

Are you wearing underwear under the shorts? If so, don't. Bibs are designed to "go commando" in and subsequently preform better that way.

If there is a Performance in your area( what area doesn't have one?) That's where I got my LG bibs. If you have time to ship, the internet also has them.

Not too sure about why the shorts don't feel right. My bibs fit perfect and comfy on the first ride. Maybe it's the underwear thing if you're doing that.
 

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Bicyclochondriac.
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Yes, at first it feels like a load in your diapers when you are standing around. However, not on the bike, which is what they are designed for. After an hour or so in the saddle, the difference a real chamois makes for me is priceless, I'll deal with a little extra bulk between the legs during breaks.

For commuting, or doing errands under 10 miles, I never bother with bike shorts.

I have heard great things about bibs, but I have yet to try a pair that fit me right. Been super happy with other regular bike shorts, though.
 

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weirdo
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wally fixed me up. I got one each of two different style polyester/spandex-ish undies. Very sleek and svelte, with nice smooth seams :D. I`ll be able to wear one while the previous day`s pair dries on my panniers, and get to see which style I like better. Besides that, I get to keep my pockets. It`s got to be be an marked improvement over my cotton jockey shorts. I`ll keep the diapers for long single day rides.

Yeah, bibs are the way to go. Especially on a week long tour. Since they go over your shoulders they tend to twist around less. They also have a higher front so when tucked( or even just hunched a bit) for extended periods of time you don't get that discomfort in your belly from the waistband of the shorts. They do tend to be a bit more pricey but to me are worth the extra loot for the comfort.

Are you wearing underwear under the shorts? If so, don't. Bibs are designed to "go commando" in and subsequently preform better that way.

If there is a Performance in your area( what area doesn't have one?) That's where I got my LG bibs. If you have time to ship, the internet also has them.

Not too sure about why the shorts don't feel right. My bibs fit perfect and comfy on the first ride. Maybe it's the underwear thing if you're doing that.
Wow, pricey is right! I know that just about anything CAN be expensive, but there don`t seem to be any bargain model bibs available for the curious.

No, no underwear with the lycras. Again, I still haven`t taken a real ride in them, so they might likely suit me better on a six hour ride than they do parading around in my living room or cruising around the block. I`ll find out the first weekend after I get home from my upcomming trip.

Oh, and no Performance or other mega bike shop around here. It seems to me like we have a big enough population base to support one, but for some reason they haven`t shown up yet.

Thanks again for the comments and suggestions, all!
 

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Yeah, the price can be a bitter pill to swallow especially if you've never owned a pair. Try to find some on CL. It sounds grimy but thats how I got into them( literally). A set of way to big for me hand me downs and a pair of like new CL slightly too bigs. Now, I would rather save my money for the good stuff than just settling for the okay stuff.

What size are you ? I have a pair of Castelli XL bibs that would fit a M/L person. No joke. You can have 'em if they would fit. I rarely wear them since they are a slight tad big( I wear a small). My friend who gave them to me also rerely wore them since they were too small. I love my LG Speed Techs.
 

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I don't typically wear cycling shorts for commuting, even though I've spent countless hours in all manner of chamois-laden shorts through the years when road riding or mountain biking.

I now ride Brooks saddles, and find that the chamois is not necessary, even on long rides. YMMV. My two saddles at the moment are a B-17 Narrow and a Swift. Of the two, I find the B-17N to be the most comfortable.

I typically wear mid-thigh running shorts for my commute (in the summer months) and tights over underwear in the colder months. I'm finding it to be a refreshing change from the conventional chamois route.
 

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dirtbag
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1,527 Posts
Bib cycling shorts rock. I've been wearing them for quite a while now because they contribute to the comfort on the bike just like stiff-soled cycling shoes, cycling gloves or a well vented helmet. I get "suited up" the same way wether I'm riding for fun or on my commute. The exception being if it's just a quick ride to the market, store or biergarten.

Oh, wait... I take that back. I did once have a mile and a half bike commute and just wore street clothes to work. Temperate year round weather and the hella short commute didn't warrant getting geared up.
 

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Wierdo
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I just wear MTB shorts with a high quality chamois. They work well for me. Never needed a lick of chamois butter, even on 10+ hour rides.
 

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I was never brave enough to ride around in lycra shorts :) MTB shorts sound good to me.

I bought a new saddle for my bike last year - Bontrager Nebula Plus "Flexform". The stock saddle would abuse my sit bones after about 10 miles. With the Nebula saddle I have ridden about 50 miles just wearing normal Nike shorts. There was soreness on my sit bones the last 5 miles, but nothing like before. I can easily do 30 miles without much discomfort.
 

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weirdo
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6,223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The Walmart slippery panties have passed their first test- wore each for a day without riding and they didn`t give me any rash or other issues. Next week I`ll find out how much the slimline seams help my butt and go from there.

What exactly does "chamois" refer to in the context of 21st Century bike shorts? The pad? The shorts as a whole? A liner? I get the impression that not everybody means the same thing with that word.

Thanks for the generous offer, Monzie. I have a (barely) 30 inch waist, so Xl wouldn`t do my much good. Actually, even the full scale lycra short are pushing it for me, so I doubt I`d wear a bib often. Really hoping that the lack of seams in my underwear will be a big plus.
 

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******
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Nah, I think it's pretty universally used as a reference to the pad as a whole. That's how everyone I know uses it. The whole thing is referred to as shorts( or bibs if that's what ya got) and when paired with the jersey is called a kit( though usually only if they match, but not necessarily).

Ha, nice. that's the same waist I'm working with. I'm 5'4" and the only reason the shorts don't fit is the torso is a bit long and that's not how I roll. The legs fit fine, though I could benefit from a wee wider thigh.
 

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Keep in mind if you are riding a recumbent (assuming you are since you mention a recumbent forum), you won't get the real benefit of a chamois. Your contact points will be different on a recumbent as oppposed to a regular saddle.
 

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Wierdo
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With MTB shorts, you get the inner liner+pad, which is usually referred to as the chamois. You also get the outer shell. I usually clip the chamois out of the shell - when you leave them in they get all tangled up in the washer. So I have a drawer full of chamois and shells and I mix-n-match.
 

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A big advantage of bibs that hasn't been mentioned yet is that they stay up even if you have a gut. When I was fat, the front of the waistband of regular lycra shorts would start to roll down and be uncomfortable. With a 30" waist, I'm guessing this would not be an advantage for you.
 
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