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Warm shorts?

1287 Views 24 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  mtnbkrmike
Any recommendations on some warm shorts? I live in Illinois and it's getting to be mid-40s for my rides. I have leg warmers but all my shorts are light/vented/etc. This is the first year I've attempted to ride when it's cooler/cold so this is kind of an experiment for me. I have some Endura pants for when it gets really cold.
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You don't want to just wear the pants?

I'd just wear pants in that temperature range but Fox used to make some hybrid short/legging combos. You might be able to still find some in your size:
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When it’s really cold, I’ve worn stretchy thermals under my shorts and outside of the chamois - unless it stays really cold throughout the ride, sometimes my legs still geT too warm from the pedaling and have to remove this layer - they also have long chamois that work pretty well


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You don't want to just wear the pants?

I'd just wear pants in that temperature range but Fox used to make some hybrid short/legging combos. You might be able to still find some in your size:
I feel like they might be too warm. I tend to run hot. I was planning on wearing them when it's in the 30s.
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When it’s really cold, I’ve worn stretchy thermals under my shorts and outside of the chamois - unless it stays really cold throughout the ride, sometimes my legs still geT too warm from the pedaling and have to remove this layer - they also have long chamois that work pretty well


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No issues with the extra layers? I might look into this also. All I have currently is more traditional long underwear.
I feel like they might be too warm. I tend to run hot. I was planning on wearing them when it's in the 30s.
That is a legitimate concern. Some pants are hotter than others though. For example, DH pants tend to be made out of thicker material and have less venting than trail pants. If you have to buy a new garment I think it'd be easier to find a pair of lighter weight pants than heavier weight shorts these days since pants are in fashion (plus warm shorts are kind of a contradiction in function). Do you have enough room in your current shorts to add another layer, like maybe some fleece gym shorts?
No issues with the extra layers? I might look into this also. All I have currently is more traditional long underwear.
No issues other sometimes getting too warm. Traditional thermals don’t seem to work well because they tend to be too thick and can chafe, but the thin and stretchy ones are great. They almost look like an athletic underlayer but more insulated and good ones can be pretty inexpensive if you don’t care about brand names. I think the brand I have are 32 degrees and they were like $10-12 but I’m sure there are others out there.


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Something like this:



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Any recommendations on some warm shorts? I live in Illinois and it's getting to be mid-40s for my rides. I have leg warmers but all my shorts are light/vented/etc. This is the first year I've attempted to ride when it's cooler/cold so this is kind of an experiment for me. I have some Endura pants for when it gets really cold.
Wear base-layer leggings or yoga pants under them, you'll be fine.
I have a set of Race Face rain shorts that are my go to for fall riding. For proper cold I use a set of XC ski pants.
I have some UnderArmour tights that work well, but may be too warm for 40s? But you can find different types, the ones I wear in winter (ok compared to Illinois, New Mexico has a mild winter, but it’s still cold riding in 30* weather), have a fleece back so it cuts the wind, which is really what I like. You can look for different types of tights/pants, I have another pair that are much lighter, more of a running pant/tight but would still work.
I think Leatt have a pair of wind/waterproof shorts.

I find with my bibs, shorts and pads my legs don't get too cold, even when it dips into the 30s...
I think Leatt have a pair of wind/waterproof shorts.

I find with my bibs, shorts and pads my legs don't get too cold, even when it dips into the 30s...
I have some waterproof shorts (Troy Lee) and the material gets pretty clammy inside. Do yours breathe pretty well?
Thanks guys!

I do have plenty of room under my currents shorts, so I will try some leggings. I have a 32 Degrees account so I'll probably try those (plus the price agrees with me).

Lighter pants may be in the future also but we'll see. Sometimes we go super cold here, and then the next days is 50. The pants I have are the Endura Humvee pants and they do have a zipper at the bottom (I guess to fit over ski boots? They are billed as multi purpose pants). But they are pretty thick pants which makes me think they will be warm.
I have some waterproof shorts (Troy Lee) and the material gets pretty clammy inside. Do yours breathe pretty well?
I wear the same on my legs when it's 90F that I do when it's 40F, Pearl Izumi bib shorts, REI MTB shorts, knee pads, so arguably things are much 'clammier' when it's 90!

For gravel riding I find that around the mid-40s I need to switch from bib shorts to bib tights, and then layer up on my top half, and then when I get into the 30s I'll put a pair of softshell pants over my tights.
40’s are an “in between” temp for me.

I usually wear regular Zoic baggies and chamois as well as thin merino over the calf socks, which I wear year round because of ticks. I think it’s fine for 40’s.

The tricky part is my toes can get cold in the 40’s and I don’t think Lake 303’s would match up well with shorts and are too warm for those temps anyway.

My soft shell pants don’t come out until the 30’s.


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Can you wear knee protection over thermals, or do they slide around too much? Probably why mtb pants are so fashionable now.
Can you wear knee protection over thermals, or do they slide around too much? Probably why mtb pants are so fashionable now.
I think they'd slide all over
Knickers are great for 40's. There have been a few bike specific knickers over the years. Not sure who's offering knickers now. I have prana knickers marketed to rock climbers I think? Knickers are where it's at IMO because you keep your knees warm but air flows from your calf up so you don't overheat.
My absolute favorite short ever is Sweet Protection’s Hunter Enduro. It’s a 4-way stretch soft shell fabric with perfect pocket design. I’ve seen some reviewers ding it for being heavier weight than they like, but that makes it perfect for lower temperatures. (And I wear them year round because I don’t think it’s an issue.)

Because I always wear knee pads, I ride in shorts into the low 40s. If it’s chilly or wet enough, I have a pair of Endura neoprene-ish socks.

In the 30s and lower I switch to Dakine MTB pants. If it’s really snowy I’ll put bibs or hard shell pants over them.
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