What's new

Biking Shorts

Based on the recommendation of a friend with similar height and weight, (6'4", 202lbs) I have been wearing Microsensor bibs by Pearl Izumi. Love the padding, but have allready worn a hole in my first pair after about 1000 miles. Also, the stitching is coming loose from the chamois over my sit bones in just a few hundred miles. Considering I have some Performance gel shorts that are several years old without the same problem, I was wondering what a normal lifespan should be for what is a somewhat expensive short. (I paid over $100, and if not on sale, the Pearls go for $150) Any suggestions?

By the way, I love the comfort of the Pearls, just not the durability.
 
Its best to use your shorts in rotation, so try to have 2-3 on hand. Bibs are also better then shorts as they stay in place better.

I have 5-6 bibs on hand, none are Pearl, and none are too expensive. Some are quite cheap actually. I have found tahat I love the fit of the Pearls but they are poorly made and, as you described, fall apart rather quickly.

I have an Adidas adistar that was about $80 bucks 4 years ago and it is still in good shape.

I have 2 Giordana bibs (favorite) one bought for $60 from Sierra Trading Post and the other from my team. They are great and have worn well.

I have a Descente, a Gore and a DeMarchi that are all pretty good and were all less than $100. The Descente being the best and the cheapest.

I have not liked the Castellis I have used...expensive and poorly made. Assos, Etxe Ondo and some other boutique brands priced between $180-$350 are, too me, insane and poseurish. But if the fit is the only that works for you then that is what you get.
 
Yup, Pearl quality is pretty questionable...

Shorts selection is really individual; bodies come in all shapes, and some folks prefer a thick pad, while others favor a more minimal chamois. Some racer-types will cry that bibs are the only way to go; casual riders shudder, (or wear the bibs outside their jerseys); retro guys insist on waxed cotton knickers. Whatever you like, if they don't fit, you're SOL.

I have 8 or 10 pair of older Cannondale bibs. I bought a bunch because I loved the fit, and I'm glad I did, as newer shorts have much more padding, which I dislike. I've found C'dale clothing to be uniformly excellent quality. Louis Garneau also makes very nice gear, though I found the straps on their bibs were too short for my unusually long upper body. Like Brodirt, I've had good experiences with Giordana clothing, too.

Of course, the OP outscales me by 6 inches and 60 pounds, so...YMMV.
 
Based on the recommendation of a friend with similar height and weight, (6'4", 202lbs) I have been wearing Microsensor bibs by Pearl Izumi. Love the padding, but have allready worn a hole in my first pair after about 1000 miles. Also, the stitching is coming loose from the chamois over my sit bones in just a few hundred miles. Considering I have some Performance gel shorts that are several years old without the same problem, I was wondering what a normal lifespan should be for what is a somewhat expensive short. (I paid over $100, and if not on sale, the Pearls go for $150) Any suggestions?

By the way, I love the comfort of the Pearls, just not the durability.
I keep a few pair of Pearls in my rotation and have found that they have held up pretty well, but I use them as a liner under my baggies. The stitching has held up well, but one pair has worn prematurely. I'm your height, and can attest that fit can be an issue for us taller folks. Not tried the Cannondale, tho I do hear good things about them.
 
. Some racer-types will cry that bibs are the only way to go; casual riders shudder, (or wear the bibs outside their jerseys); retro guys insist on waxed cotton knickers. Whatever you like, if they don't fit, you're SOL.

Im a "racer type" so I do favor the bibs, but I know lots of casual riders who do as well. Frankly, I cant understand why anyone would every use shorts as opposed to bibs. The single advantage that a bib has over shorts is the ability to go #2 without having to take off your jersey, and that occurs so rarely its almost irrelevant. As I said above, bibs stay in place better and thus do not cause any distractions when you are riding...that is safer whether that be at 35mph in a raging peloton, or at 17mph casually riding along. Many people who favor bibs have also pointed to the built in "tummy tuck" that bibs give as another great benefit. In all honesty, I have suggested that many beginning cyclists who feared bike shorts try bibs for that exact reason. No one has every told me I was wrong.

But, we seem to agree, fit is everything.
 
I started riding mountain bike in cut off scrub bottoms. Couldn't afford anything else at the time. They worked fine for off road, but I can't ride in anything but lycra now, and bibs are, for me, much more comfortable. Especially since I now have a spare tire that they help to girdle in, if you know what I mean, and I think that you do.

I will try to find the Addidas and Giordanos and Cannondales. Thanks for the tips gents.

Looks like Lance has handed over team leader to Alberto today. Man, what a couple of hill climbers. As my friend says, all hills go downhill, you just may be going the wrong way.
 
All of my lycra has natural chamois skin and I am happy with them all. This includes Pearl, Schwinn, Sugoi, and Specialized.
 
All of my lycra has natural chamois skin and I am happy with them all. This includes Pearl, Schwinn, Sugoi, and Specialized.

You might want to get some new ones then. I haven't seen a natural chamois short/bib made in more than 10 years. They didn't last that long back then either.
 
Natural Chamois vs. Synthetic Alternatives? Thoughts?

I don't think anyone makes a natural chamois anymore, so it might be moot. However, natural chamois couldn't hold a candle to synthetics. Synthetics are anti-bacterial and are thus healthier and require less care. Saddle sores and chamois cream are rarities with synthetics. Synthetics have anatomically sculpted padding that keeps your but comfy and doesn't feel like a diaper. Also, natural chamois tended to develop creases, and while "breaking in" is a good thing, a crease in your chamois, in any location is not.
 
I don't think anyone makes a natural chamois anymore, so it might be moot. However, natural chamois couldn't hold a candle to synthetics. Synthetics are anti-bacterial and are thus healthier and require less care. Saddle sores and chamois cream are rarities with synthetics. Synthetics have anatomically sculpted padding that keeps your but comfy and doesn't feel like a diaper. Also, natural chamois tended to develop creases, and while "breaking in" is a good thing, a crease in your chamois, in any location is not.

Thanks for that information.

I did my first fast (well fast for me) ride on my road bike today and I'm really, really thinking I need to get to that bike shop and get a pair. The pressure was alright, but now I've got chaffing to contend with. :mad:
 
First of all, I looked in the Performance catalog, and they had Adidas for 74.99 plus 15% off. I ordered 2 pair, and got them in today. They seem to be much heftier than the Pearls, but haven't ridden in them yet. The price was too good to pass up.

As far as chafing goes, first of all, don't wear underwear. Bike shorts are made to wear bareback. Second of all, Bag Balm takes care of all my chafing problems. Just smear the parts that rub and you will ride much more comfortably. I have heard Assos makes a good product for lubing the padding in shorts, but I have yet to try it. Assos may be expensive, but Bag Balm is dirt cheap and I have a can with 3/4 left that is 3 years old.

If you are wearing tighty whiteys under your shorts, the chafing will be much worse. I never thought I could go without undies until I finally went without after my friends talked me into it. Now, can't ride anyway else.
 
PerformanceBike.com

On the web site, they have the shorts listed for 80.99, but the latest catalog lists them for 74.99 (msrp 129.95) Mention catalog 906, I had to go through customer service with the price difference.
 
A lot of "on bike" comfort has to do with "hardening" your sit bones.

Specifically, your pelvis has two small swellings, called "ischial tuberosities", and it is these that bear most of your weight when riding a road bike.

When one first starts riding longer distances, these bones will normally feel quite sore after a long ride. But over the course of a couple of weeks, the tuberosities "harden up" and you will no longer notice pain in this area. I notice this soreness anytime I get back on the bike after an extended absence - for instance after my winter layup of two or three months. But the pain usually goes away within a week or so. You really don't want too much padding, gel, etc. between you and the bike.

Good bike shorts really need to fit snugly in order to minimize chafing - which is the other source of on-bike discomfort.
 
Top Bottom