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Newbie question - What cycle shorts recommended for comfort

mellisr1mellisr1 Posts: 67
edited June 2009 in Road beginners
Been a bit of a lurker on here up to now (though you did give me some very useful brake advice on the Dawes Giro I bought in the winter).

Well on deciding I really like this road cycling lark and my work starting up cyclescheme, I took the plunge and got a trek 1.7.

Absolutely love the bike and the brakes are streets ahead of the Dawes. However, I appear to suffer from pressure on the perinium. I've changed the saddle to a Rido r2 which really helps put the pressure on the sit bones, but I've come to the conclusion that the thin pad in my oakley undershorts isn't up to it for long rides (say 3hrs plus).

Whilst I came over from MTB and swore I'd never wear lycra, I am thinking I might need to change my tune if I am to survive the lancaster to york 100 miler in September. Howeve,r I have a few questions about shorts (which I hope your wisdom will help).

1. I really just want the maximum comfort (padding) - any recommendations on what make(s) will give this as it's hard to tell from internet searches.
2. Bit of a dumb one, I see shorts and bib shorts advertised - why would you choose 1 over the other? do bib shorts stay in place better?
3. They often quote number of panels - is more or less better/more comfortable
4. and finally, what really is the crack with Assos cream. Is it really necessary and can you use it in conjunction with any short type. Really not sure about this one but have yet to do a really long (5hrs plus) stint in the saddle.

Any advice really appreciated as a sore bum is not fun :shock:

cheers
Matt
Looking for a friendly & welcoming club in Warrington/North Cheshire area ?
Try North Cheshire Clarion : http://www.northcheshireclarion.co.uk/

Posts

  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    1. Assos
    2. bibs are a better choice - stay in position better and keep your lower back covered
    3. more panels generally mean they can conform to your body better, more panels equals more stitches though and if they are rubbish shorts could cause chafing.
    4. I just use sudocrem, acts as a lube and stops you getting sore
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  • smythe100smythe100 Posts: 2
    Hi,

    I have been wearing Assos (F1 I think, £135) for the last 3-4 years, which I loved.

    Since having kids I went for a slightly cheaper pair of Gore Xenon, I managed to get them in sale from Evans at £50.

    I have to say I think the padding is a bit comfier than the Assos. You can notice the difference in the panel comfort slightly, but not enough to pay double the price again

    Phill
  • EdZedEdZed Posts: 119
    Matt: You really need some road specific shorts for longer rides, especially for 100mile+ rides. Cycle shorts are designed to do a job, whether it's for mtb's or roads. It really is worthwhile buying some decent road shorts. You'll notice the difference immediately and the improved comfort :D

    In response to your questions...

    1. From personal experience I can recommend Endura FS260 Pro bibshorts and shorts or Gore Ozon II bibshorts. I have several of these and have never had comfort problems with any of them no matter what the distance, including 100+ miles. From this forum there are plenty who'll recommend Giordana Tenax Bibshorts and at the top of the tree, Assos bibshorts or shorts. DHB bibshorts (on Wiggle) also come recommended, especially for value for money. If possible I would recommend trying on a few different brands to find your size, from experience different brands can vary considerably in size. For example, I'm just under 6' with a 34" waist - my Endura bib's are large, yet my shorts are medium, and my Gore bib's are XL. Also, Italian brands tend to size up smaller. You'll only be able try a range in a shop so you might have to be a little savvy how you do this so as not to extract the urine if you don't intend to buy there, especially in a small LBS :roll:

    2. The difference between shorts and bibshorts can be quite subjective, I have both and tend to use the bibshorts most and on longer rides. They certainly stay in place, whether they do so better than shorts is also subjective - I've never had to readjust normal shorts when riding. Bibshorts certainly prevent drafts down your lower back, which can be noticeable sometimes e.g. early mornings, but when it's hot I prefer to use normal shorts, which are also easier to use when you need to go to the loo! As far as I can tell most pro's use bibshorts. Ultimately it'll be your preference but I would tend towards bib's for your first pair; but I bet you end up with both types in the long run.

    3. Generally, the more panels the better, most 'better fit' bibs's or shorts have 8 panels (some more). The logic is the more panels = a better, closer fit; the closer the fit the better the support they give to different areas and the more comfortable they are. Most [all?] decent shorts have flatlock stitching so rubbing shouldn't be a problem and the seams tend to be away from areas where most contact is likely to occur.

    4. Can't comment as I've never had the need to use any creams [yet] - lucky I guess.

    I hope this helps.
  • Chris JamesChris James Posts: 1,040
    1. Assos

    How did I know this woudl be the first suggestion?

    I dare say they are very good, but it depends on whether you want to spend 15% of the value of your bike on a pair of shorts.

    Lusso Coolmax are pretty good (£35 - 40), as are Endura FS260 in my experience (£55 or so).

    I don't bother with cream and have never had a saddle sore.

    Are you sure your saddle fits you?
  • MattC59MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    Hi,
    I've used Endura for a while now on my MTB. They have a good pad and are tough (MT500). Having just bought a road bike, I continued on this vein and bought the Endura FS260 Pro shorts. They're very comfy, don't ride up and look pretty good too. I went for a bib short for the road bike, as I found that I'm leant forwards more...... hence the previous answer about keeping draughts off your lower back.

    The other thing to use is Assos chammy cream, it's a god send !!!! There are plenty of others on the market, and nappy rash creams work well too.

    If you've got a bottomless pocket though, go for Assos shorts...... they're ace :)
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
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  • mellisr1mellisr1 Posts: 67
    Thanks guys really useful advice.

    I especially didn't realise there might be such a difference in fit and sizing for different makes. I'll especially have to go try a few different pairs out now.

    I don't think I'll be able to stretch to Assos but you've certainly given me some alternatives. I know one of my local bike shops stocks at least 1 of the recommended brands so I'll pop along on the weekend!

    cheers again and I'm sure my embracing of lycra will be good in the long run - just pitty the people who see me in them!

    Thanks
    Matt
    Looking for a friendly & welcoming club in Warrington/North Cheshire area ?
    Try North Cheshire Clarion : http://www.northcheshireclarion.co.uk/
  • a_n_ta_n_t Posts: 2,011
    I was assosceptic but after buying a pair of unos it was probably the best £90 i've spent!
    Manchester wheelers

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  • giant_mangiant_man Posts: 6,878
    Sorry to repeat but if you want comfort and quality for years to come, there is only one brand you should consider - Assos.
  • BarkiesnakeBarkiesnake Posts: 244
    I recently bought a pair of Altura pro-gel bib shorts which had an excellent review in C+ recently. Best shorts i have ever owned and at £50 a real bargain. even if they do make me look like Jack Black in Nacho libre :oops:
    "If you think you can, or if you think you can't, your right" Henry Ford
  • sheffsimonsheffsimon Posts: 1,282
    mellisr1 wrote:
    Been a bit of a lurker on here up to now (though you did give me some very useful brake advice on the Dawes Giro I bought in the winter).

    Well on deciding I really like this road cycling lark and my work starting up cyclescheme, I took the plunge and got a trek 1.7.

    Absolutely love the bike and the brakes are streets ahead of the Dawes. However, I appear to suffer from pressure on the perinium. I've changed the saddle to a Rido r2 which really helps put the pressure on the sit bones, but I've come to the conclusion that the thin pad in my oakley undershorts isn't up to it for long rides (say 3hrs plus).

    Whilst I came over from MTB and swore I'd never wear lycra, I am thinking I might need to change my tune if I am to survive the lancaster to york 100 miler in September. Howeve,r I have a few questions about shorts (which I hope your wisdom will help).

    1. I really just want the maximum comfort (padding) - any recommendations on what make(s) will give this as it's hard to tell from internet searches.
    2. Bit of a dumb one, I see shorts and bib shorts advertised - why would you choose 1 over the other? do bib shorts stay in place better?
    3. They often quote number of panels - is more or less better/more comfortable
    4. and finally, what really is the crack with Assos cream. Is it really necessary and can you use it in conjunction with any short type. Really not sure about this one but have yet to do a really long (5hrs plus) stint in the saddle.

    Any advice really appreciated as a sore bum is not fun :shock:

    cheers
    Matt

    Yes, that is the correct application. :wink:
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