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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so i'm new to this and I don't mean any disrespect but i've been riding MT bikes for a long time and was wondering why is it that everyone on a road bike HAS TO wear bike shorts. I'm sure there's a perfectly good explanation and I'm only asking because i'm seeking an alternative cause quite honestly not everyone should wear skin tight clothing.

Also shoes, does it matter what you wear or do people buy the specialized shoes so they can match their entire outfit?

Thanks
 

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Just ride. But if you ride for a few hours, you will quickly learn why roadies wear those silly shorts---they really do make a difference in how you feel afterwards. Remember that a lot of us ride for 3, 4 or even 6 or 8 hours. In those conditions, you really want to limit the chafe. That's what the shorts do. They do make some that are baggy...but those are not so aero. If you are riding at 15 mph, it doesn't make much of a difference, Today I was hitting 40 downhill, and there was a crosswind. In that situation, I really don't want any more turbulence than I need.

As for shoes...I wear SPD MTB shoes so that I can walk like a normal person when I get off the bike. And I ride a Bianchi. My clothes never match my bike.

PW
 

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You don't NEED cycling shorts. But if you ever ride for over 30 minutes, you'll be wishing you had. They help get rid of chafing, and pain while riding for long (or short) periods of time. And the reason people often wear expensive shoes is because if it hurts to push on the pedal, what are you not going to want to do?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So the shoes have some kind of padding at the pedal contact point I take it? Didn't know that. And I guess if the shorts help with the chafing I'll pick up a set. I always thought people wore those to match the jersey and the bike and the shoes, seems kind of silly unless you're actually in a race event.
 

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it's always nice to match. ;)

are you familiar with clipless pedals and shoes? you need special shoes to use the pedals. and once you use clipless pedals you'll hate platforms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
G60 said:
it's always nice to match. ;)

are you familiar with clipless pedals and shoes? you need special shoes to use the pedals. and once you use clipless pedals you'll hate platforms.
No I am not familiar with them. I hear people using that term left and right but have no idea exactly. I'm the kind of guy to just go bike riding in normal athletic gear but if this will make the ride more enjoyable why not right?
Any info on this particular type of shoes I can find online?
 

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Try www.sheldonbrown.com, the internet encyclopedia of cycling.

The most important thing to remember is just get on a bike and ride. I used to suit up in my space outfit even for short rides around the block. Why? I have no idea.

Now, if I am going out less than two hours I just wear a comfortable pair of whatever shorts and either a running jersey or a t-shirt. The right saddle helps. If you have a saddle that fits correctly the need for extra padding is minimal.

I wear clipless mountain bike shoes so that whenever I get somewhere I can actually get off the bike and walk around. Road clipless pedals/shoes make you walk around like a duck. Its quite humours at a large event or race.

Only if I am going to be in an organized century or tour will I wear my spandex stuff exclusively.
 

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shoes

Alx said:
So the shoes have some kind of padding at the pedal contact point I take it? Didn't know that.
Not quite. It's not the padding; it's the rigidity of the soles. The soles don't bend much, if at all, so the pressure of the pedal is distributed more evenly over a larger portion of the foot. It makes an enormous difference in comfort and efficiency (power transfer). And those "clipless" pedals you hear everyone talking about (it's a confusing term) are another big advance. They have a mechanism like a ski binding (in fact, the first really successful ones were made by a ski binding company, Look). A "cleat" is attached to the sole of the shoe, and it snaps into a spring-loaded mechanism on the pedal. You have very positive lock between foot and shoe (so you can spin fast seated or standing, without danger of the foot slipping off the pedal). You just twist your heel outward to disconnect.

The best way to get a feel for this is to go to a bike shop and ask to see some stuff. Tell them what kind of riding you do, and they can show you different shoe-pedal systems.

Some of this road-cycling stuff is about style, but most of it has some functional basis. Even the tight jerseys with the pockets in the back (the multi-colored logos are just style, though :)
 

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It sounds like you are very new to road biking. I'd suggest you start off slowly with the gear. Get a decent pair of cycling short and wear those for a while. For $40, the Voler Avanti shorts are hard to beat. http://www.velowear.com/products/1110102BLKXSM.aspx

You'll quickly see the benefits of good shorts vs a pair of regular athletic shorts. For me, I don't like anything flapping in the wind. It's very annoying. If you are uncomfortable with wearing lycra, then put a pair of athletic shorts over them when you get off the bike.

Cycling pedals and shoes give you more power. Since you are attached to the bike, you can pull up on the pedal stroke instead of just stomping down. It really does make a difference. As has been said, the stiff shoes will keep your feet and legs from fatiguing on longer rides. I find MTB shoes are not as stiff as road shoes. MTB shoes flex a little more under heavy climbing loads. But that may be just the shoes I have.
 

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what i want to know is why the heck a 90$ pair of MTB shorts has the same crappy pad 15$ shorts have. On the MTB you're off the saddle a heck of a lot. On the road, its rare.

I'm sick of overpaying for MTB shorts just for a couple darn pockets and fashion.

found a few pairs of baggies that are just shells. I wear them with my nice shorts that actualy do what they are designed for. Protecting my ASSets.
 

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Dude, w/o the bike shorts, you'd chafe sooooo badly on longer rides and well, your a$$ might hurt too. I sometimes still get abrasions when I spin a LOT (like really high cadence) WITH bike shorts.

As for shoes, well, those are for efficient power transfer. you'll find the carbon soles are the more expensive ones since they are supposedly stiffer and hence, flex less and so, a more efficient power transfer results.

www.nikecycling.com (they do have some nice descriptions that might help you)
 

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You do need something, but you don't need Lycra

I've worn either MB shorts or regular street shorts over Andiamos (padded bike underwear) exclusively for close to 10 years and never had a problem. The world doesn't need to see my butt in Lycra.
Mountain bike shorts, at least on me, are every bit as comfortable as road shorts. I generally train in cotton T-shirts and do longer rides in CoolMax shirts, too (may help that I live in the desert, where humidity runs in the teens all summer. Clammy clothing isn't a factor here).
For that matter, the first couple of years I had a mountain bike, in the early '80s, nearly everybody rode in jeans. We didn't know we were uncomfortable until somebody told us..
FWIW, I'd give up cycling before I'd color-match. There's a guy in my neighborhood who has a purple Trek, and he won't go down his driveway without the full purple outfit, right to the helmet and gloves. I saw him fixing a flat the other day and ragged on him because his CO2 inflator didn't match the bike. I'm betting it will be painted next time I see him.
 

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+1 on MTB shorts. I'm 60 y.o. and I'd just feel too self-conscious in lycra shorts. The MTB shorts have a lycra liner with pad, and I really do need the extra security that comes from what I can carry in my pockets. I also use SPD pedals and lightweight MTB shoes because I like to be able to get off the bike and walk around easily and comfortably once in a while :).
 

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You'll get used to the lycra pretty quickly esp. after being on the road or on group rides. For me, I use them all the time; it doesn't matter if I'm riding 1 hour or 4. Comfort is key and the built-in, but hugging pad makes quite a difference esp. because it does not move around w/ lycra. The shirts make a difference too, but there is a lot more variety of fabrics. Moisture wicking is key as the wind will keep you dry (unlike slow drying cotton). The cycling jerseys also offer handy rear pockets when on longer rides (I keep a spare, my keys, patches, pump, levers and some other small items in a small saddle bag and some id, snack, and maybe my phone in the jersey. But you didn't ask about jerseys...so I'll shut up now. :p
 

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"I'm sure there's a perfectly good explanation"
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If you don't, you'll look as goofy as Borat did in his "short-shorts", that's why.
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If you don't mind people snickering behind your back, wear what you want.
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Lycra is best worn if you are under 250 pounds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Cory said:
I've worn either MB shorts or regular street shorts over Andiamos (padded bike underwear) exclusively for close to 10 years and never had a problem. The world doesn't need to see my butt in Lycra.
That sounds like a great idea, I wanted to go with something like that cause I too feel I should spare the world the sight of my butt in lycra.

Is there a good online store that sells the gear I need, if even to compare prices with my LBS.
 

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Oh good, something I can pipe in on.

Hi all again,
Mtb'r with a roadbike here.

What everybody else said about padding is right, won't argue that point.
I wore only MB baggies for the longest time until going down a technical trail once. I got down back behind the saddle and the baggy shorts got stuck on the seat when trying to come back up.
I switched to lycra shorts because of that.
What I didn't realize was how much cooler the lycra was over the baggies.

Whenever I'm out in the middle of summer I always go with the lycra now.
 

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Alx said:
i've been riding MT bikes for a long time and was wondering why is it that everyone on a road bike HAS TO wear bike shorts. I'm sure there's a perfectly good explanation
Have you ever tried to sit on one of these "super comfortable" saddles in your regular shorts? It's like sitting on a sharp stone.

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Barabaika said:
Have you ever tried to sit on one of these "super comfortable" saddles in your regular shorts? It's like sitting on a sharp stone.
Yes, my MT bikes all came with less than comfortable saddles and I changed every single one for more comfortable ones. I know everyone here wants to shave weight off their bike but what's a few more ounces to add more comfort to your ride.
 

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Please guys....

.....you know the shorts that runners wear, like these, with the high cut side, please, do NOT under any circumstances wear these, particularly on your road bike in your best aero position....

it is not a pretty sight ..... and way, way, WAY TOO MUCH INFORMATION for the rider behind you. :cryin: :blush2:
 
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