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newbie question: Shorts vs. Tights(7 posts)

newbie question: Shorts vs. Tightskenyee
Jul 3, 2001 7:02 PM
Well...before I give biking another try, I thought I'd get a padded pair of something since my butt was sore for two days (felt like someone had been kicking me right in the middle) after a relatively short 14hr ride on a Kona no suspension MTB rental on a bike path; the question is: shorts or tights? I don't think a pillow would fit on the seat, so that's out. I also still swear that it didn't hurt when I biked in high school 20 yrs ago and one of my friends who is a roadie now also said he didn't remember hurting as much in high school either.

Why do roadies mostly wear tights while MTBers wear shorts?

Any recommended shorts? I've been through the reviews section and most of them are no longer made.
after a relatively short 14hr ride?Dutchy
Jul 3, 2001 7:56 PM
I'm glad you didn't go for a long ride!
Most roadies wear padded shorts, the only time they wear tights is in winter, or on days below 15ºC/F?
sorry..14mi :-)kenyee
Jul 3, 2001 8:56 PM
You have to give yourself time to get used to it...Jim Burton
Jul 3, 2001 8:41 PM
In high school you may have ridden a bike every day. Your bum was "broken in". In addition, if you are like most of us, you might have been a wee bit lighter in high school. After a 14mi(I assume you meant 14 miles, if not, my a$$ would hurt more than just a little bit!) ride on a mountain bike for the first time in years, you're bound to be a little sore. Even with padded shorts/tights you would have some soreness. When I started back almost two years ago, I rode an even shorter 5mi trail and felt extreme discomfort for two to three days, also. After riding for a while, I started not thinking about my butt. I'm not sure of the physiological reason your butt breaks itself in, but pretty soon you won't have any soreness. The shorts will definately help and I wouldn't dare ride without them now, but don't expect miracles. I've also found that in general, and unfortunately, the shorts that work the best are (surprise) usually the most expensive. But, they do pay for themselves.

Bottom line, you have to be in the saddle for a while for it to start being relatively comfortable (you also may notice yourself lowering your standards of "comfortable"!) Look into different saddles, also. If you aren't worried about the extra weight, there are tons of extremely cushy models out there, as well as gel pads that fit over the saddle. Hang in there. You'll get used to it. Don't let this discomfort ruin your bicycling future!
cycling shorts are tight-tights are long...WadeOmatic
Jul 3, 2001 10:44 PM
The soreness you speak of will not be changed by padded shorts. More saddle time will lessen your tenderness. Try a few shorter or smoother rides to get started. My first ride after the winter off always brings some soreness.

Saddle and saddle position may play a part, butt you should get some more miles on before you fiddle too much.

Also MTB'ers like me always wear tight cycling shorts. Baggies are BS and tights are for sub-40 days.
re: newbie question: Shorts vs. TightsVelocipedio
Jul 4, 2001 1:43 PM
No shorts in the world will cure you of ass-soreness. That goes away with time, as the nerves in you ass die off. [At least that's why I THINK it gets better over time].

Roadies and well as MTBers wear shorts and tights, depending on the weather. The shorts they wear are those padded, usually black, lycra shorts. They're normally referred to as "bike shorts" or "lycra shorts." Tights are basically the same thing, but they cover the whole leg. You'd wear shorts on warmer days [say, above 12C] and tights on cooler days [below 12C -- YMMV].

However, by "shorts," I think you're referring to the baggy shorts that some MTBers wear. I don't like them, myself, and I wear bike shorts on my MTB. Unlike baggies, bike shorts prevent chafing at the thighs and they help keep "the boys" from sliding around. Nothing worse than pinning the family jewels between your leg and the saddle in loose shorts. OW!

Go to your LBS and try on some bike shorts. Choose the ones that fit snugly without cutting off your circulation. Don't get hung up on brand names -- a hundred brands are made by ten manufacturers. Don't buy the cheapest ones [the pad will self-destruct and the seams will split within a month], but don't buy the most expensive ones either until you're sure about your sizing and which brand you like best.

Personally, I like Louis Garneau bib shorts [the ones with straps that go over your shoulder], but that's just me.
Nerves in ass die off? :-Pkenyee
Jul 4, 2001 3:50 PM
I've been wondering about that myself after your and Jim Burton's comments. Doesn't exactly sound like a good thing ;-)

Thanks for advice on shorts. I was thinking of the kind with tights inside, but shorts on the outside (so they look like non-bike baggy shorts) vs. tights; I assumed the MTB baggy shorts had tights inside. It sounds like tights are the way to go though.