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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all-
I was wondering if there is a big difference with Mens Vs. Womens padded cycling shorts. I am a female, size 16/18 and I'm having a hard time finding padded shorts that fit me. So I'm thinking about buying a pair of Mens Canari gel padded shorts. They are $39.99. I did find one pair of "plus" size womens, but they were $89.99, and I am not ready to make that type of investment. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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What are the fit issues you're expericing?

In my experience, I haven't found Canari clothes to be very satisifying. Perhaps I've had bad luck, but their products have been the lowest quality I've used so far (and that's not a comparison to the 'high end' stuff).

Have you tried Pearl Izumi, REI, or Voleur shorts yet?
 

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My wife likes her Shebeest shorts, but they are more expensive.

Yes, big differences in women's and men's shorts. The chamois is different along with the fit of the short.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
srf said:
What are the fit issues you're expericing?

In my experience, I haven't found Canari clothes to be very satisifying. Perhaps I've had bad luck, but their products have been the lowest quality I've used so far (and that's not a comparison to the 'high end' stuff).

Have you tried Pearl Izumi, REI, or Voleur shorts yet?
Well, since I'm new, I just went with something that was within my budget and to get a taste of padded shorts. My fit issues are that the womens shorts are small in the waist, even the XL. I've checked REI, Peal Izumi and some other brands' size charts and most only go up to 12/14 or 14/16. I tried a pair of Pearl Izumi Womens' XL and when I sat on the bench in the dressing room and bend over into sort of a riding position, the waist band rolled and they were very uncomfortable. I then tried on the Mens' Canari shorts, did the same thing and they didn't roll and they were comfortable.
 

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jessica47201 said:
Well, since I'm new, I just went with something that was within my budget and to get a taste of padded shorts. My fit issues are that the womens shorts are small in the waist, even the XL. I've checked REI, Peal Izumi and some other brands' size charts and most only go up to 12/14 or 14/16. I tried a pair of Pearl Izumi Womens' XL and when I sat on the bench in the dressing room and bend over into sort of a riding position, the waist band rolled and they were very uncomfortable. I then tried on the Mens' Canari shorts, did the same thing and they did roll and they were comfortable.
Wonen's shorts have wider padding to take in account of your wider sit bones. But generally they are only slightly wider so the male shorts may work for you. Unfortunately, like many cycling products, shorts can be a bit of a "try and see" situation on an individual basis for anyone and doubly unfortunate it is not always an inexpensive process. Cycling is just isnt a cheap sport to get started in. All I can suggest is to give the male shorts a go if you are really strapped. The other ( I think better) option would be to spring for bibs which would end your problem of the waistband rolling but will probably cost you around $20 more than regular shorts. The upside is that most people in my experience find bibs the most comfortable way to go.

Best of luck.
 

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Downhill Juggernaut
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Ok, I know I'm a guy so my perspective may be a bit skewed... but I would recommend bibs. I'm a bigger guy (although much smaller now than last year at this time thanks to the bike). I started off with a pair of cheap Trek shorts and was miserable, they were uncomfortable when riding and were always rolling down. I then got talked into trying bibs. I bought some Pearl Izumi Ultrasensor bibs and never looked back. Much more comfortable and made my transition into cycling much more comfortable. It cost more, but the expenditure was worth it. YMMV.

p.s. If nobody has mentioned it to you yet, chamios butter of some sort will also make a big difference.
 

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Don't worry. Men's shorts will work fine. My first 2 or 3 pairs of bike shorts were men's for various reasons. There's really not that much difference. Sometimes I'm actually tempted to go back to men's shorts because some women's have TOO much padding right down the middle...reminds you of having to "borrow" something from the gym teacher in 8th grade if you know what I mean.

Get a high enough quality short that they are made of the same lycra you see on the more expensive models. The heavier fabric is supportive. If you get stretch-y cotton shorts, they will be unflattering to your thighs, I don't care WHAT size they are.

As for bibs, they are CERTAINLY less binding in the waist...if you continue to have a problem with the waist after you try on some men's shorts, then you should go for it, because there is nothing more uncomfortable. However, downsides to bibs are: higher cost, hotter in the summer, and for girls...taking off your shirt in order to pee. Not so bad in the summer, but a deal-breaker for me in the winter.

Good luck!
 

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gazing from the shadows
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One difference can be where the seams are. Men's shorts are more likely to have a seam down the center, and some women don't like that for pretty obvious reasons. Some don't care, but those that care, REALLY care!

I would try to avoid anything with a center seam, but other than that, whatever fits best will probably work best for you.
 

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try Velowear.com

jessica47201 said:
Hello all-
I was wondering if there is a big difference with Mens Vs. Womens padded cycling shorts. I am a female, size 16/18 and I'm having a hard time finding padded shorts that fit me. So I'm thinking about buying a pair of Mens Canari gel padded shorts. They are $39.99. I did find one pair of "plus" size womens, but they were $89.99, and I am not ready to make that type of investment. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I'm not sure whats 16/18 translate to sizing but I'm sure they have sizing chart in their web site. See image below.
 

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A good read for all on cycling shorts.

http://www.bicycletest.com/absolutenm/templates/bt.asp?articleid=119&zoneid=3


jessica47201 said:
Hello all-
I was wondering if there is a big difference with Mens Vs. Womens padded cycling shorts. I am a female, size 16/18 and I'm having a hard time finding padded shorts that fit me. So I'm thinking about buying a pair of Mens Canari gel padded shorts. They are $39.99. I did find one pair of "plus" size womens, but they were $89.99, and I am not ready to make that type of investment. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Checked with Performance?

Performance Bicycle Shop (an old mail-order place, now a major on-line dealer) carries a wide range of sizes in men's stuff, and I assume in women's, too. I don't look at the women's clothing, but I'm pretty sure they'll be able to fix you up.
 

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Call me a Fred
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If your main concern is the waist rolling, then I go along with the others that suggested bibs. I have never found a bike short that did not have the waist roll problem. It didn't matter what size they were or what company made them, they rolled. I ordered a pair of bibs about 6 years ago and have not bought a pair of shorts since.

The only thing to be aware of with bibs is that the straps can feel too tight when you are standing upright, but fit well when you are bent over as you are on the bike.
 
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