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Advice needed on comfy shorts for long distance riding

christiandransfieldchristiandransfield Posts: 127
edited April 2012 in Road buying advice
Hey guys,

As a few of you may have read, I'll be cycling 5 mountain stages of the Tour de France in July and am looking to buy my very first pair of padded shorts.

Before I read too much into reviews online, I thought I'd ask you experts which shorts you think would be comfiest/ least chafing etc for me on my long distance rides. I'll be cycling 800kms in total and just under 200km in a day on some of the stages, so thought I'd better make the right decision!

Any advice would be much appreciated,

Thanks.

Posts

  • Joe--23Joe--23 Posts: 4
    my personal favourite for long distances are my castelli free aero race, the only thing is, most people will have their own preference, these threads just like which saddle, which tyres etc are pointless because you will not get a definite answer.


    Castelli Free Aero Race, Assos FI Mille, Mavic Stelvio bibs, Giordana Body clone.... some that ive seen recommended more than others
  • ajb72ajb72 Posts: 1,178
    You'll struggle to find better all round shorts than Assos bibshorts. My personal favourites are Uno's, if you prefer a more generous cut and wider pad, the Mille would be another option. Not cheap, but given the mileage you intend to do you should treat yourself! Be sure to take chamois cream with you and apply liberally. You may never suffer form saddle sores, but with your multi-day riding you wouldn't want to start.

    Good luck, sounds like an epic challenge.
  • Thanks for the input guys.

    I've heard about Assos Uno before. I hate to sound like a cheapskate, but can't really justify paying £120 for a pair of shorts at the mo. Would there be that much difference between, say, the Assos Unos and the Pearl Izumi? On one website, a reviewer said that they were very good for the moneym, but that the Azumis didn't have "that compression feeling". What does he mean by that? What would the different be between the Giordana Body clone shorts and the previous 2 shorts?

    Sorry for all the questions guys, but, even though I've cycled for years, I've never looked into buying proper clothing.
  • ajb72ajb72 Posts: 1,178
    edited April 2012
    The problem is, only you could say what you you will find comfortable. Some on this forum rave about Shutt VR shorts, I have a pair of the 1st generation Pro shorts and hate them with a passion! They have been consigned to spin classes and even then, I hate them after 90 minutes use.

    You could do worse than investigate the Wiggle own brand, DHB. They have a good range of shorts at all budgets and again get good feedback.

    Compression feel refers to the way the material fits your legs. A short with more compression has a tighter fit and feel on your thighs, for want of a better description. The theory goes that it helps stave of fatigue in the muscles, but don't quote me on that!
  • pinnopinno Posts: 45,378
    prendas.com/co.uk ? - they are great for offers and can provide you with bib-shorts with inserts, gel etc. Those guys are good to talk to, small company - so you are not just another number.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • ShutUpLegsShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522
    Hi Bradley - Wont Sky be providing you with something adequate or do you want to buy your own?
  • northpolenorthpole Posts: 1,499
    You won't like my suggestion. I had a cycling 'holiday' with some friends a couple of years ago. Six days in the saddle. I had three pairs of Assos shorts with me - Uno, Mille and the F1 13 top of the range. For me, whilst my expectation was that the Mille would be the most comfortable, the reality was that the F1 13's were by far the most comfortable. It may just be me, but there really was no comparison. Really surprised me.

    My suggestion - keep your eyes peeled for a bargain if you can possibly stretch to the S5's and don't forget to grab a tub or two of chamois creme.

    Peter
  • banditvicbanditvic Posts: 537
    Did LEJOG last year doing about 130 miles a day, by day 3 things down below not good, we all started wearing 2 pairs of shorts all of us felt the benefit.
  • Thanks a lot for all your input guys.

    I had a look at Prendas.co.uk and they look like a great company. I've emailed them to see what they suggest to get from their range and I'll compare them with the other suggestions you've made. I never thought finding a pair of cycling shorts was going to be this time-consuming! haha
  • EyoreroxEyorerox Posts: 43
    +1 Assos Mille
  • rc856rc856 Posts: 1,140
    While others are happy with cheaper shorts, after splashing out and getting my first pair of Assos, I wish I'd done it years ago and won't ever go back.
  • DadmoDadmo Posts: 61
    +1 Assos, either Uno or Mille - buying cheaper is a false economy, I think. They last for years.
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    I'm afraid I'm another to recommend Assos Mille.

    Get a couple of pairs - one to wash, one to wear (unless you are confident you can get one pair dry overnight).

    Yes - they are eye-wateringly expensive. But they are so comfy, last a long time, have Assos repairs service available etc. Once I finally made the leap, I ended up buying another pair as I was so pleased to have found something that works so well.

    On PBP, I changed shorts both times I slept (so I did 500km on the first pair, 400ish on the second and 300 on the last pair of shorts (Shutt VR - early model - I wouldn't do a 400 in them, but good for 300). I didn't have any issues with sores downstairs.

    Beyond shorts, think about creams etc. - Assos is very good indeed, as is simple Conotrane (sort of like Sudocreme, just easer to apply).

    Best of luck - sounds like an amazing trip - ever so jealous!
  • Thanks again for the input guys. I spoke with a guy from Prendas this morning who recommended the Santini 'Slice' PowerLycra/TwistGel Bibshorts, stating that they would be more than suitable for what I'm going to attempt.

    I may regret not getting some Assos shorts, but considering I'll have to buy some tops, new shoes (Duegi's are years old now) and the like, I just can't afford it, unfortunately! I'll let you know how I get on with them! Has anybody tried these shorts before?
  • Christian, before you buy the Santini shorts- check out the DHB Aeron Pro

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/dhb-aeron-pro-c ... bib-short/

    They're less than £60 at the moment, and are absolutely fantastic shorts- not just excellent for the money, but excellent full stop.

    They've held up really well for over a year, very comfortable on long rides, the pad, cut and leg grippers are all top notch. There are hundreds of user reviews for them on Wiggle- take a browse through those.

    I also own some Assos Uno shorts which I prefer, but they're definitely in the same league- despite the fact that the Uno's are twice the price. And a +1 on chamois cream- absolutely essential!

    Good luck with the challenge
  • Already bought them I'm afraid... http://www.prendas.co.uk/details.asp?ID=1624 Look ok?

    I'm sure I'll need an additional pair, though, so will probably buy the DHB Areons... Thank you!
  • graham_ggraham_g Posts: 652
    Santini are quite often cited as fantastic perfomance without the price tag so rest assured they'll be good - law of diminishing returns kicks in around the £70-100 point I reckon. I love my Assos kit but the last year or two has seen prices go just that bit beyond what I would consider worthwhile paying.

    DHB I've not tried since they revamped the range last year but the couple of older items I had are bloody awful but I understand they now use cytech pads which will make a good bit of difference.
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    Have to say I was a bit of a sceptic regarding quality/expensive shorts. I used to wear DHB stuff from Wiggle and whilst it was perfectly good kit and ideal for me when starting out I had a rush of blood to the head and splashed out on some Castelli Free Aero shorts last season. The difference is amazing especially on long rides and when I'm TTing, the fit and finish making the investment well worth while. I'm not recommending the Castellis specifically just pointing out it's an area where you don't want to skimp on cost wise for a big ride.
  • on-yer-bikeon-yer-bike Posts: 2,974
    Already bought them I'm afraid... http://www.prendas.co.uk/details.asp?ID=1624 Look ok?

    I'm sure I'll need an additional pair, though, so will probably buy the DHB Areons... Thank you!

    Ive got a pair of those. Dont wear them much because they just arent engineered like Assos, Rapha, Castelli so the fit is not great. The fabric is good though and if you've never worn bib shorts before they will be a massive improvement.
    Pegoretti
    Colnago
    Cervelo
    Campagnolo
  • Great to know guys. Always good to get feedback form people who've road tested a number of different pairs.

    In response to on-yer-bike, I've never worn padded shorts of any description before, so am sure I'll be in for a (nice) shock when I receive these bad boys tomorrow!
  • pinnopinno Posts: 45,378
    http://www.supercycleclothing.com/medium-446-c.asp - the Sintesi bib shorts

    I know they are 'trade' shorts but I bought a pair of Maes/Colnago bibs made by Santini and they are a great pair. Very very comfortable - feels like someone has stuffed an oversize nappy down the back but once on the bike feels great. The Sintesi's are only £20 in the Medium size. I can recommend the company as well.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • letap73letap73 Posts: 1,608
    Apologies for slightly hijacking this thread, but I have noticed a lot of support for Assos bib shorts - especially for long distance ride comfort. I can purchase either a pair of Assos prosline bib shorts ( never heard of them before) and a pair of F1 13 s2 (not s5)bib shorts for less than £100 new - are they worth it?
  • Ok, so I received the 'Santini 'Slice' PowerLycra/TwistGel Bibshorts' this morning (Size XL).

    They feel fine around the crotch, but the straps don't feel amazingly tight. I had images of having to fight the elasticity of the straps to be able to stand straight etc. How tight should they be?

    Their sizing chart is as follows... I spoke to one of the guys on the phone who recommended buying the XL...

    L = Upto 185cm in height and upto 80kg in weight
    XL = Upto 190cm in height and upto 85kg in weight

    My dimensions are as follows:

    6ft 2 inches in height (187.96cm)
    Weight 12st 5lbs (78.4kg)
    Chest roughly 38"
    Waist roughly 33"

    Any ideas, or am I worrying about nothing?
  • letap73letap73 Posts: 1,608
    Ok, so I received the 'Santini 'Slice' PowerLycra/TwistGel Bibshorts' this morning (Size XL).

    They feel fine around the crotch, but the straps don't feel amazingly tight. I had images of having to fight the elasticity of the straps to be able to stand straight etc. How tight should they be?

    Their sizing chart is as follows... I spoke to one of the guys on the phone who recommended buying the XL...

    L = Upto 185cm in height and upto 80kg in weight
    XL = Upto 190cm in height and upto 85kg in weight

    My dimensions are as follows:

    6ft 2 inches in height (187.96cm)
    Weight 12st 5lbs (78.4kg)
    Chest roughly 38"
    Waist roughly 33"

    Any ideas, or am I worrying about nothing?


    You having nothing to worry about!
    I bought a pair of XXL Assos bib knickers at 5ft 11 inches, they are designed for 6ft 4 inches + but they have been very good - despite the straps being loose there is no issue with comfort.
  • DadmoDadmo Posts: 61
    letap73 wrote:
    I can purchase either a pair of Assos prosline bib shorts ( never heard of them before) and a pair of F1 13 s2 (not s5)bib shorts for less than £100 new - are they worth it?


    Yes they are
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