Author Topic: Crotchular Spandex . . .  (Read 8347 times)

GuitarStv

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Crotchular Spandex . . .
« on: June 09, 2014, 11:27:15 AM »
 . . . I'm contemplating becoming one of those guys.  The spandex crew.  When I'm doing more than twenty or thirty miles on the bike in heat my soccer shorts and briefs aren't cutting it.  I get some chafing from the seams and where the fabric bunches up, and it's preventing me from going on longer rides.

What does one need to know about purchasing spandex bike shorts?  I've got a small waist and large thighs/ass.  Any special fitting tips I need to be aware of?  Looking for something that doesn't ride up, dries quickly when wet, and won't cause chafing.  Don't care about diaper material/padding sewn in the ass.  Do prefer if the shorts won't put my package on display.  :P

4alpacas

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Re: Crotchular Spandex . . .
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2014, 12:08:12 PM »
If you're not into spandex, why not try mountain biking shorts?  http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/SubCategory_10052_10551_400067_-1_400000_400020

Your package won't be on display, but it's a definite step up from soccer shorts. 

TrMama

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Re: Crotchular Spandex . . .
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2014, 12:18:44 PM »
Ha, ha, ha!

Well, fitting spandex shorts is super easy. As you've no doubt noticed, they s-t-r-e-e-e-c-h to fit any size and shape body. When in doubt, go up a size so they won't be quite sooo tight.

If you want unpadded shorts, look for running shorts (aka compression shorts), triathlon shorts (lighter padding) or swim trunks (yes they make some just like bike shorts). You can also buy bike shorts and then use a seam ripper to very carefully remove the padding.

As for the "package" issue, as a woman I have no sympathy. Women's clothes are all more fitted than men's so we just learn to deal. Try walking around with boobs. There's no hiding them. My advice is to wear whatever is most comfortable and own it.

GuitarStv

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Re: Crotchular Spandex . . .
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2014, 12:38:00 PM »
If you're not into spandex, why not try mountain biking shorts?  http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/SubCategory_10052_10551_400067_-1_400000_400020

Your package won't be on display, but it's a definite step up from soccer shorts.

I get how spandex works (being form fitting you don't have seams or areas that bunch up and cause chafing) . . . how the eff do those mountain biking shorts work though?  They look like they'd cause more problems that the light weight soccer shorts I'm using.

Russ

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Re: Crotchular Spandex . . .
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2014, 12:43:25 PM »
What does one need to know about purchasing spandex bike shorts?  I've got a small waist and large thighs/ass. Any special fitting tips I need to be aware of?  Looking for something that doesn't ride up, dries quickly when wet, and won't cause chafing.  Don't care about diaper material/padding sewn in the ass.  Do prefer if the shorts won't put my package on display.  :P

Perfect cyclist body. Make sure what you buy is cut for athletic people ("race cut") and not for overweight ice cream tourists and you'll be fine.

Sounds like a cycling-specific padded liner or regular unpadded compression shorts under would be good for what you think you want, although going full road warrior really is more comfortable for >20 miles. Advice for liners: if going with shorts meant for anything other than cycling, make sure the seams are placed so they can't do damage. This is usually taken care of by the padding in cycling shorts. If you look at the legs and waist of cycling shorts, they should have a grippy texture so as not to move where you don't want them. Try and find something like that if possible.

Reasons you should forget that and just get regular cycling shorts:
way less chance of chafing than with anything not cycling-specific
you underestimate how awesomely comfortable the chamois is until you try it
regular shorts overtop will severely hinder any sweat-wicking & comfort-enhancing properties you would get from wearing cycling shorts as they were meant to be worn (by themselves). even purpose-built mountain biking shorts, which are not great for anything more strenuous than tooling around in the woods or grocery/coffee runs.
you give zero fucks what anybody else thinks, which carries to you giving zero fucks what anybody thinks about your tight shorts
Mrs. GuitarStv will love them

nothing wrong with using the right tool for the job

Russ

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Re: Crotchular Spandex . . .
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2014, 12:49:29 PM »
If you're not into spandex, why not try mountain biking shorts?  http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/SubCategory_10052_10551_400067_-1_400000_400020

Your package won't be on display, but it's a definite step up from soccer shorts.

I get how spandex works (being form fitting you don't have seams or areas that bunch up and cause chafing) . . . how the eff do those mountain biking shorts work though?  They look like they'd cause more problems that the light weight soccer shorts I'm using.

padded liner (just like regular cycling shorts but thinner) underneath the shorts. cheap ones aren't really any better than regular athletic shorts with an aftermarket padded liner, but the nicer ones have thoughtful design with good pocket placement, more "regular" looks while still being cut properly to ride in, more durable fabrics, better seam placement, etc.


something else to try if your current soccer shorts permit would be to go sans-undies, which would eliminate the worst of the seams. If I don't feel like getting dressed for a short ride often I'll just throw on my running shorts with nothing else, although they do have some sort of liner/netting built in
« Last Edit: June 09, 2014, 01:09:20 PM by Russ »

Glenstache

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Re: Crotchular Spandex . . .
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2014, 01:03:49 PM »
Padded cycling shorts are your friend and you will be a convert once you try them out. You can wear them under your soccer shorts if you don't want to show off too much or wear with mtb shorts, which are well described above and tend to have less constriction of the leg at the top of your pedal stroke. Don't wear underwear with the cycling spandex.

Generally, your comfort on the saddle comes from lack of material at the contact point, and a well adjusted/fit saddle. Seams have obvious drawbacks because they cause pressure points or chafing. Thick wads of fabric also cause pressure in places you don't want it and can lead to reduced blood flow, which can have prostate issues if you ride enough (and it takes a fair amount, so don't worry yet). For short commute legs (a few miles), I ride in jeans. For the "long way" I wear spandex. I've done the long way in regular clothes and it was decidedly less pleasant.

kendallf

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Re: Crotchular Spandex . . .
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2014, 01:16:21 PM »
I will throw in one further recommendation for bib shorts, the final step to scream to the world "I'm a roadie".

I started riding in tri shorts, but the bibs are much, much more comfortable.  They stay up without adjustment, don't show your ass crack (if you're into that, bummer), and don't constrict your waistline.  Downside: harder to pee on the side of the road, more expensive.  I have several pair that are approaching 10 years old, so the cost isn't that bad over time.

GuitarStv

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Re: Crotchular Spandex . . .
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2014, 01:18:13 PM »
something else to try if your current soccer shorts permit would be to go sans-undies, which would eliminate the worst of the seams. If I don't feel like getting dressed for a short ride often I'll just throw on my running shorts with nothing else, although they do have some sort of liner/netting built in

I did mull this idea over, but . . . have concerns about short shorts in combo with no underwear being potential for peekage.  :P  I've tried with longer basketball shorts but they're out because they bunch up and get uncomfy.  Sounds like spandex may be the way to go.


Does anyone have recommendations for cheap cycling shorts?

GuitarStv

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Re: Crotchular Spandex . . .
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2014, 01:20:13 PM »
Umm . . . given that you don't wear underwear next to these shorts . . . do stores even let you try these on, or does it make just as much sense to buy online?

Russ

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Re: Crotchular Spandex . . .
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2014, 01:28:06 PM »
Umm . . . given that you don't wear underwear next to these shorts . . . do stores even let you try these on, or does it make just as much sense to buy online?

ooh I forgot about that, very important

bike shorts are non-returnable by law in most (all?) of the US, not sure about Canada or online

try them on in person with undies if possible (most places should let you do this), you should be able to get a good enough idea of fit and pad placement this way. too-tight shorts or saggy elastic are no good.

++1 for bibs too, if you're going for the bike shorts. elastic waistbands kinda suck
« Last Edit: June 09, 2014, 02:58:03 PM by Russ »

Russ

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Re: Crotchular Spandex . . .
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2014, 01:33:20 PM »
Does anyone have recommendations for cheap cycling shorts?

Anything >$75 retail will be awesome. less than that and it gets iffy quick. don't actually pay that much though; you can very often find good stuff for 30-50% off

Jack

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Re: Crotchular Spandex . . .
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2014, 02:05:02 PM »
If you don't like the spandex "look," Nashbar (and probably others) sell what amounts to cycling underwear, which are like bike shorts but made of mesh instead of solid spandex and designed to be worn under "normal" shorts. They're cheaper than regular bike shorts too, which is a plus in my book.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Crotchular Spandex . . .
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2014, 02:29:16 PM »
Yes, you need them.  Just go to a bike shop and try a bunch on.  If you've never bought them before, I would not buy them on-line as it is difficult to determine what size is appropriate until you are familiar with the brand. 

If you do not have one already, you need a "split seat" saddle (https://www.google.com/search?q=split+saddle&espv=2&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=7BeWU9DEJoiXyATVnYDYBg&ved=0CDIQsAQ&biw=1097&bih=535&dpr=1.75) for "guy comfort"...much much better...!

Also consider using Chamios buttr (http://chamoisbuttr.com/).  I first saw this concept on a documentary of the Tour De France .  Yes it does help a lot. 

GuitarStv

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Re: Crotchular Spandex . . .
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2014, 03:09:02 PM »
One step at a time please.  Spandex is a strange enough purchase to consider without lubing my butt up too . . .

Hamster

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Re: Crotchular Spandex . . .
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2014, 03:58:45 PM »

bike shorts are non-returnable by law in most (all?) of the US, not sure about Canada or online


FWIW our local REI took back my bike shorts that had the seam coming out where it held the chamois to the spandex. A month later at the member-only garage sale, I saw them for resale.

TrMama

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Re: Crotchular Spandex . . .
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2014, 04:02:10 PM »
Umm . . . given that you don't wear underwear next to these shorts . . . do stores even let you try these on, or does it make just as much sense to buy online?

ooh I forgot about that, very important

bike shorts are non-returnable by law in most (all?) of the US, not sure about Canada or online

try them on in person with undies if possible (most places should let you do this), you should be able to get a good enough idea of fit and pad placement this way. too-tight shorts or saggy elastic are no good.

++1 for bibs too, if you're going for the bike shorts. elastic waistbands kinda suck

While underwear and pretty much any form of exercise are incompatible (as you've learned), when you try on athletic wear you just leave your underwear on. It looks and feels a little odd, but it only takes a couple minutes.

This is how women try on bathing suits. All the bottoms have a giant sticker inside that clearly says the item is only returnable as long as the sticker is in place. If this is the case for bike shorts, they'll have the sticker too. Although I don't think I've ever seen bike shorts that were marked non-returnable.

Russ

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Re: Crotchular Spandex . . .
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2014, 04:09:36 PM »
huh maybe I was making that up then. definitely check with the store first, at least.

enigmaT120

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Re: Crotchular Spandex . . .
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2014, 11:46:09 AM »
If you don't like the spandex "look," Nashbar (and probably others) sell what amounts to cycling underwear, which are like bike shorts but made of mesh instead of solid spandex and designed to be worn under "normal" shorts. They're cheaper than regular bike shorts too, which is a plus in my book.

I use those (Nashbar's brand, actually) for days I expect to ride farther than 25 miles or so, and they are comfortable.  But something like 54 miles is my record for a day, so I'm not exactly hard corps.


plantingourpennies

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Re: Crotchular Spandex . . .
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2014, 12:25:12 PM »
It won't help with any bunchiness of the fabric, but have you ever tried Body Glide for the chafing?  It's amazing... as long as I don't forget to put it on, I will not chafe (says the girl who will go out running for hours in the heat and humidity). 

For biking, I actually like my UA tights (medium compression) the best since they also make sure I don't get sunburn on my thighs and never shift around on my tush mid-ride.  I have full length and 3/4 length, but I'm a girl so maybe your fashion needs are a bit different. 

Ninja Edit-My wife was using my account. Honest.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2014, 06:23:28 PM by plantingourpennies »

MountainFlower

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Re: Crotchular Spandex . . .
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2014, 12:32:43 PM »
I'm a Pearl Izumi fan.  That is all.

GuitarStv

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Re: Crotchular Spandex . . .
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2014, 06:07:21 AM »
Well, I ended up getting some spandexy shorts with little leg grippers and the built in diaper.

I have to say they're pretty awesome.  I mean, they don't leave much to the imagination . . . but they work really fricking well.  Today was pouring rain and pretty warm, and I didn't get the slightest bit of irritation or chafing on the ride in to work.  Those conditions are murder with normal underwear usually.

The care tag says not to let them sit around full of wet sweat because it's bad for the material or something . . . so I just hopped in the shower with them, gave them a good soaking and wrung them out.  Is that enough?  Overkill?

Russ

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Re: Crotchular Spandex . . .
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2014, 07:13:59 AM »
I have to say they're pretty awesome.  I mean, they don't leave much to the imagination . . . but they work really fricking well.

surprise, that's why everyone wears them

Quote
The care tag says not to let them sit around full of wet sweat because it's bad for the material or something . . . so I just hopped in the shower with them, gave them a good soaking and wrung them out.  Is that enough?  Overkill?

leaving sweat in the lycra will grow bacteria in the fibers, and the resulting funk is almost impossible to get out. leaving sweat in the chamois will grow bacteria near your junk, which can give you saddle sores. make sure to wash thoroughly after every ride, which should probably mean machine wash although you can hand wash for 2-3 in a row if you're feeling lucky. I would squeeze instead of wring, as wringing can stretch some parts that aren't supposed to stretch or overstretch parts that are supposed to stretch. They will dry fast enough that a little extra clean water shouldn't hurt anything.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Crotchular Spandex . . .
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2014, 07:31:11 AM »
Interesting thread.

Those looking for cheaper upfront cost, I've had pretty fantastic results with $10 jockey synthetic boxer briefs from Target. Pretty high compression. I wear basketball shorts over them because that's what I have and I'm poor. I can get in 40-50 miles without chafing (that's the longest I've done to date).