Author Topic: Ladies' padded bike pants--where to look?  (Read 6535 times)

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Ladies' padded bike pants--where to look?
« on: June 18, 2014, 09:20:15 PM »
I've been riding my bike more and my butt hurts! Where should I be looking for padded briefs at a reasonable cost?

Kaminoge

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Re: Ladies' padded bike pants--where to look?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2014, 11:08:23 PM »
Ummm you might want to offer us a little clue about where you are. Even a country would be a start.

I know where I got mine (thrift store) and I know where I'd buy them if I hadn't got them so cheap but unless you're in Australia it's not going to do you much good.

EngineerMum

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Re: Ladies' padded bike pants--where to look?
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2014, 11:38:42 PM »
Kaminoge - I'm in Aus, where would you buy them here? Everything bike related seems SO pricy in bike shops I have looked.

Primm

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Re: Ladies' padded bike pants--where to look?
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2014, 11:43:58 PM »
Anaconda. If there's no store near you they do online.

http://www.anaconda.com.au

Disclaimer: I've had Anaconda bike nicks and bike shop ones. I'd go the bike shop ones every time, far more comfortable and durable. But if you want just cheap, they exist. I just wouldn't recommend them.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2014, 11:45:34 PM by Primm »

GuitarStv

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Re: Ladies' padded bike pants--where to look?
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2014, 06:46:14 AM »
What kind of distances are causing pain?  If you're doing under 20km and getting pain in regular gym shorts/underwear it may be your saddle, saddle adjustment, or bike size that is the actual problem.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Ladies' padded bike pants--where to look?
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2014, 06:49:20 AM »
I'd keep riding. Generally padding makes it worse, not better. Make sure the saddle fits your "sit bones" correctly. A month or two of regular riding and you won't feel it at all.

For chafing, on the other hand, synthetic boxer briefs are great. Not sure about women's stuff, but the Jockey ones at Target for $10/pair are the cheapest ones I've found that are still good.

galaxie

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Re: Ladies' padded bike pants--where to look?
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2014, 06:55:25 AM »
Sierra Trading post has some pretty good deals on "last season" bike shorts, if they ship to your country.

Diamondpick

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Re: Ladies' padded bike pants--where to look?
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2014, 07:15:57 AM »
#1. Ride More.
#2. You may want to consider changing seats. Any good bike shop should be able to check this out and have cheap options. Sometimes the bigger padded seats cause the most problems unless its just a townie commute and the harder/narrower seats are much better for the commutes. Look for womens specific too.
#3. big internet stores have padded shorts that you can pick up cheap. Performance, Nashbar, REI...Womens specific too. And look at the clearance racks. Ebay and such too, but beware of funk...and I don't recommend this.
#4. Ride More.

dp

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Ladies' padded bike pants--where to look?
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2014, 08:24:55 AM »
LOL, sorry, I'm in Denver. So Sierra Trading Post is the kind of suggestion I was looking for.

Wouldn't getting a new saddle from a fancy bike shop cost more than padded undies?

Sparafusile

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Re: Ladies' padded bike pants--where to look?
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2014, 08:59:47 AM »
#2. You may want to consider changing seats. Any good bike shop should be able to check this out and have cheap options. Sometimes the bigger padded seats cause the most problems unless its just a townie commute and the harder/narrower seats are much better for the commutes. Look for womens specific too.

+1 If you're still riding on your stock saddle then you need to upgrade. For me, the highest recommended saddle included Selle. This is the one I bought:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009O0CZYG

The difference was remarkable and well worth the money. I've put about 200 miles on it in the past month and am happy to report my ass is no longer the limiting factor to my rides.

CNM

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Re: Ladies' padded bike pants--where to look?
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2014, 10:02:13 AM »
I got mine many years ago from REI.  They're still in good shape.

TrMama

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Re: Ladies' padded bike pants--where to look?
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2014, 10:39:30 AM »
LOL, sorry, I'm in Denver. So Sierra Trading Post is the kind of suggestion I was looking for.

Wouldn't getting a new saddle from a fancy bike shop cost more than padded undies?

No, a decent women's saddle can be had for about $40. You can then use that saddle with any pair of shorts. I have a rec level Louis Garneau saddle that's pretty comfortable. Or at least I haven't been able to find a more comfortable one by spending more. I generally prefer unpadded shorts, which can be found fairly inexpensively.

However, if your saddle is not the right shape/style for you then no amount of padding or fancy shorts will make it tolerable. It's like trying to make a pair of too small shoes fit by wearing thicker socks. It just doesn't work.

You may also want to try Nashbar.com. They're often the cheapest source of bike stuff.

desrever

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Re: Ladies' padded bike pants--where to look?
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2014, 07:39:05 PM »
Obligatory Sheldon Brown link: http://sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Ladies' padded bike pants--where to look?
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2014, 08:45:52 PM »
Sigh. Everyone has been so helpful that now I'm confused :-). How would I go about finding a saddle that was a good fit for my anatomy? How would I be able to tell before I bought it?

sheepstache

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Re: Ladies' padded bike pants--where to look?
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2014, 08:55:03 PM »
Obligatory Sheldon Brown link: http://sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html

+1

Yer main problem is probably that your saddle is too cushy.  Second problem is that if you're new to riding you're probably letting too much of your weight rest on the saddle too often, which will get better as your legs get stronger and you pedal more consistently.

That's very generic advice.  Feel free to say a little bit more about what kind of discomfort you're experiencing that you think the pants padding will alleviate.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Ladies' padded bike pants--where to look?
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2014, 09:05:53 PM »
Sigh. Everyone has been so helpful that now I'm confused :-). How would I go about finding a saddle that was a good fit for my anatomy? How would I be able to tell before I bought it?

Not sure if LBS let you "test drive" saddles on a trainer or not. Bakari had an article where he suggested measuring the distance between your "sit bones" (do this in private, not in the middle of the bike store!). The ideal saddle is slightly wider than that width.

Women's saddles tend to have a little "cut out" or divot in the saddle to avoid pressure on soft tissues.

Basically, you want as much of your weight on the bones - and only the bones - not pressing on all the tissues. Padded saddles and shorts spread out the load, which makes soreness worse. Eventually the nerves where the saddle rests get "tougher" and you can go longer. It took me about a month at each new distance.

Also, as you ride more, you instinctively learn when to "ride light" over bumps and such.

TreeTired

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Re: Ladies' padded bike pants--where to look?
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2014, 09:09:12 PM »
Bike Nashbar (online retailer),  wait until something comes on sale.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Ladies' padded bike pants--where to look?
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2014, 10:52:18 PM »
I have two main problems: my sit bones hurt when I ride and I slip around in the saddle because it's slippery and I'm wearing unpadded Lycra shorts. I've actually only been taking fairly short rides, but have been pulling my new double bike trailer, which is an adjustment.

sheepstache

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Re: Ladies' padded bike pants--where to look?
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2014, 12:17:04 AM »
Are you making sure to be in a lower gear when you're carrying a load?  Maybe you're stomping on the pedals slowly rather than maintaining a nice quick cadence?  Or have you tried adjusting the saddle forward or back so it's where you want it rather than needing to move your butt back onto it?  Also, stupid question, but are you sure it's not too high?  When your pedal is at the lowest point, your leg should be fully extended but your knee shouldn't be locked.

TrMama

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Re: Ladies' padded bike pants--where to look?
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2014, 09:11:28 AM »
I have two main problems: my sit bones hurt when I ride and I slip around in the saddle because it's slippery and I'm wearing unpadded Lycra shorts. I've actually only been taking fairly short rides, but have been pulling my new double bike trailer, which is an adjustment.

Pain under your sit bones would be helped by padded shorts and/or a more padded (but not necessarily larger) saddle. It will also eventually go away on it's own. IME it takes a week or two for the nerve endings to kind of die off. Try riding every other day, so you kill them off without causing yourself total agony.

Sliding around points to a fitting problem. Is your saddle level? With the nose neither tipped down, nor up. If not, it's a simple adjustment to make it level.

If you want to try other saddles, just buy, try and then return if you don't like them. I've done this before and the shop didn't give my any grief. While you're there, have them take a quick look at you on your bike and see if there are any obvious fitting problems. I promise you're not the first woman they've helped buy a more comfortable saddle.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Ladies' padded bike pants--where to look?
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2014, 02:02:33 PM »
This has been really interesting! My saddle is level but is pretty clearly too low. I don't feel safe if I can't touch the ground leaning over with a toe, and I'm really short. Maybe I will read that Sheldon Brown again and see if I can learn that mounting and dismounting trick so that you can have your seat higher. Might help.

I biked the kids to library story time today wearing denim shorts, and no sliding. So I don't think the sliding is caused by the saddle position--just that both the saddle and my pants are too slippery! Not sure how to resolve that--aren't all good saddles pretty slippery?

Pre-kids, I would go for very long rides (25 miles, say) with my only discomfort being sore sit bones. So I think I'll try the padded undies and go from there as the stock saddle actually seems to work pretty well for me.

SJS

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Re: Ladies' padded bike pants--where to look?
« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2014, 05:15:48 PM »
I have found several pairs - one shorts the other a skort - both in thrift stores for under $5/each.  Brought them home - washed them up and they are awesome!  You may want to check/watch Ebay.  If mine didn't fit, and if I get tired of them, they'll go on Ebay for sure! 

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Ladies' padded bike pants--where to look?
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2014, 09:06:44 AM »
I wound up just going to Dick's as it was on the way to Toys R Us (where I had gift cards). The $45 ones fit much better than the $35 ones, so I bought them. My grandma recently sent me $50 just to be nice, so it works out. I might get liners for the winter so that I can have just one pair of winter exercise pants, but I'll cross that bridge when we get there.

desrever, major thanks for the Sheldon Brown link! I've already raised my seat probably a full inch and learned how to get on properly. Mr. FP made fun of me for watching a video about how to ride a bicycle! The higher seat position does seem to be more efficient.


GuitarStv

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Re: Ladies' padded bike pants--where to look?
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2014, 09:53:00 AM »
I wound up just going to Dick's as it was on the way to Toys R Us (where I had gift cards). The $45 ones fit much better than the $35 ones, so I bought them. My grandma recently sent me $50 just to be nice, so it works out. I might get liners for the winter so that I can have just one pair of winter exercise pants, but I'll cross that bridge when we get there.

desrever, major thanks for the Sheldon Brown link! I've already raised my seat probably a full inch and learned how to get on properly. Mr. FP made fun of me for watching a video about how to ride a bicycle! The higher seat position does seem to be more efficient.

Try to keep raising it slowly over a period of time . . . if you've become accustomed to the seat being too low it will take a while before you get used to the new feel of the bike.  Proper seat position make a huge difference in how quickly and how far you can go on the bike comfortably.