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Monday, July 28, 2008

Save the Ho Ho: Cycling Shorts Review

TMI Alert: If you don't want to talk girly parts and sit bones, stop reading here. Consider yourself warned. :-)

So this summer, we have spent several long days in the saddle. Last summer we rode 20-30 miles 4-6 days a week. This summer, we are riding less days but longer distances, usually 40-60, with a 100 miler coming up this weekend. The extended sitting time is taking a painful toll on the lady parts area. About mile 30 lately, I start to consider maybe standing up for the last 20 or so miles of my ride to avoid sitting down any longer. I think it is boiling down to a problem with my shorts or a problem with my seat. Since I have been OK with the seat until the ride gets longer, it seems like the shorts are the best route to try fixing first.

A few weeks back, I read in Bicycling Magazine about some shorts called Trashy Cat Satin Shorts. They were rated as the best shorts under $100. So since the experts recommended them, I started there. Fit: REALLY small, like almost too tight small. I know I've put on 15 pounds since last summer, but yeah WAY WAY WAY tighter than they should have been. Comfort: Okay, but still some discomfort near the end of a long ride. Binding around the legs was uncomfortable. Bottom Line: They were OK, but not that much different that what I already had and would order a size up from what I would normally order. Um yeah, fat girls REALLY don't like to size UP...

So the research continued. Next up was a pair of shorts called the SheBeest SB Ultra D Shorts. I tried them out this weekend and they were really comfortable. The Century Stretch Pad gave good pressure relief and I had no real discomfort. Disadvantage: The pad is bulky and may not lend itself well to triathlon running, unless of course the expectation is you run in a diaper. Overall a good long distance short, but may cause some chafing later on the run.
Other pending reviews: I have also purchased a pair of Pearl Izumi UltraSensor Shorts (women's version with the 3D Elite chamois pad) and a pair of DeSoto 400 mile Shorts. I'll let you know how that goes. I suspect nothing will be perfect, but may each have their purposes.

I hope so. Changing saddles would be a much bigger ordeal for me. Too.Many.Choices. WAY.TOO.MANY.TO.CHOOSE.

All I really want is a pair of shorts that does make me feel like my ass could eat my seat...why is that so hard?


Megan said...

So glad for this post - this is a chronic problem for me, and I always love to hear firsthand accounts of other's experiences.

Changing the saddle is also a very expensive endevour - I bought one that EVERYONE recommended, and it was like 130 bones, and I rode it once and was like, "Ugh." So now it sits on teh bike I never use. What a waste.

RBR said...

Thanks I really appreciate gear reviews!

I really like the Shebeast Triple S shorts. I think the Shebeast Ultra D are pretty good and look better than the Triple S, but the Triple S are overall more comfortable in terms of pressure points.

You can't swim in either of these so I am going to swim in my Under Armor compression shorts (which work well in the water) then pull on the Triple S over the UA shorts for the bike, then take them off and run in the UA only for the run. I am trying it this weekend at Barb's Race, so we will see how it goes.

Dan Seifring said...

Thanks for the warning. I stopped at the title. I assume you had some great info for the ladies.

Robin Blackburn said...

Can totally relate...and totally appreciate the reviews.

merrem said...

Oy. I hear ya. I recently lucked out just before my first century and found the right shorts and saddle--the shorts were the Shebeest Ultra Ds--LOVE them.

I haven't done a tri long enough to bother my butt yet. ;p

Team Estrogen forums (what a name!) has extensive saddle descriptions and reviews in their Gear and Accessories section. That's how I found mine. Much more TMI than you've got here! :)

Steve Stenzel said...

Wow, I didn't realize there were SOO many choices.

And BTW, your warning just drew me in even more....

cindy said...

Great reviews...I get the saddle sores sometimes (TMI??) Those aren't nice. I use an over abundance of butt butter now ;/

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