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Cycling shorts - which are the best?(40 posts)

Cycling shorts - which are the best?94Nole
Jul 31, 2002 12:02 PM
Okay, I am a newbie and as with everything else, there are dozens of brands and more different versions than that.

If it's all about the shorts, which are best? Not the most expensive, but the best.

I searched back and didn't see this discussion in recent history.
The ones that fitDougSloan
Jul 31, 2002 12:07 PM
Sorry, silly me, I guess we sort of assume that, right? :-)

I like Castelli. I have several, and rotate them. The worst for the money were Pearl Izumi's, to me.

and to reiterate doug's point about fit...Dark Sonix
Jul 31, 2002 12:16 PM
I love Pearl's new microsensors with the flatlock seams. They fit great and I wear them the most (bib shorts). I also have a pair of Patagonia bike shorts that fit second best as well as others in the rotation.

Try several and go with the one's that work for you.
re: Cycling shorts - which are the best?PEDDLEFOOT
Jul 31, 2002 12:22 PM
Shorts are like saddles.Everybody is built a little different so its hard to tell someone whats going to work the best for them .Try out a few different brands.It will probably be a trial and error thing.I've found that the fit of a certain brand usually stays true throughout its line.The only thing that will change is the chamois may be cut a little different.
re: Cycling shorts - which are the best?94Nole
Jul 31, 2002 12:33 PM
Thanks Peddle for the reply but if I had the money to "Try out a few different brands..." I wouldn;t have to ask the question.

I want to purchase several but don't want to have to kick half of them to the curb.
Get performance ELITESColnagoFE
Jul 31, 2002 12:37 PM
These are by far the best bang for the $ I've found. You can often find em on sale for $40-50. Don't bother with ANY of the other lines Performance sells though. They suck big time--especially the gel chamois ones.
Second that- gel chamois suck big time--alansutton
Jul 31, 2002 1:46 PM
Anyone use the Assos Campionissimo?ColnagoFE
Jul 31, 2002 12:29 PM
I have used the Castellis and like 'em but mostly use the Performance Elite bibs these days. They are cheap (relatively) and just about as good as the higher priced shorts. Curious about the Assos though. They better be good for ~$160 a pair.
Anyone use the Assos Campionissimo?jromack
Jul 31, 2002 1:48 PM
I wear those for my long rides, also just got a pair of the new F1-13 today.

They are very plush, but very pricey. I like them.
what's the F1-13s? Just curious (nm)ColnagoFE
Jul 31, 2002 1:59 PM
Here's the Infojromack
Jul 31, 2002 2:26 PM
my pickzooog
Jul 31, 2002 12:39 PM
I like velowear Voler shorts. Comfy, well made and priced nicely. What more can you ask. Easy exchanges or return. AND you get some candy with your order. Read raves about the bibs but have not tried. Like the shorts...... A+
second the Volers... and REI tooTomS
Jul 31, 2002 12:47 PM
I have a pair of voler's that are my favorite; and a pair of REI (I think paceline) that are a close 2nd to the volers in comfort; an old old pair of cheapie canondale shorts that are comfortable, but wearing out; and two pairs of performance brand - one century gel and one regular - that just don't fit right.

I've tried on PI's in the store, they didn't feel good enough to justify the price. The voler's and REI shorts were only $35-40 each, the "good" PI's are like $80 most of the time.
Volers, Volers, Volers ...bianchi boy
Jul 31, 2002 6:14 PM
It sounds like you're looking for the best shorts for the money, and I don't think you can beat Volers in that regard. I prefer the bibs, which cost $55 --less than 90% of bibs available. Voler also has good sizing guidelines on their website ( and includes a postage-page return envelope with each order in case you need to return or exchange for another size. The guys who wear Assos and Castellis are probably riding Colnago C-40s and Litespeeds and can obviously afford to spend $150 on shorts. Most of us cannot. You can buy 3 pairs of Voler bibs for the cost of the pricier brands.
Volers, Volers, Volers ...Skip
Jul 31, 2002 6:35 PM
I only paid around $70-$75 for my Castalli PY2 bibs. Although slightly more than the Volers, well worth it to me for the much better bibs - better fit, better feel of the material, moves and stretches to conform to the body much better - almost feels like nothing at all (naked), much better pad, better back and straps, better construction, etc.
not all of us have connections with the Mafia ...tarwheel
Aug 1, 2002 3:49 AM
Where do you buy Castelli PY2 bibs for $70? They're $150 at Excelsports, which is pretty competitive on most gear.
not all of us have connections with the Mafia ...Skip
Aug 1, 2002 5:59 PM
Here's the link:

Currently 81.25 EURO or about $80.00 US.
Aug 1, 2002 6:13 PM
At this price, for such great bibs, I can't imagine why anyone would buy anything else! (Unless they just don't fit your anatomy).
Where are you getting thosegrandemamou
Aug 1, 2002 5:07 AM
I agree with your assesment of Castelli's but I can't find them anywhere near that price.
where did you get 'em for that price?ColnagoFE
Aug 1, 2002 5:59 AM
I've never seen em much under $150!~
Hammer Gel sells Voler bibs for $39.99dzrider
Jul 31, 2002 12:57 PM
Bike sell Nalini and Santini bibs very reasonably. The Sanitini are very nicely made but the Nalini with the white mesh fit me perfectly. I kinda cheap so I haven't tried Assos or Castelli. I've tried PI and they weren't worth the money to me.
Santini shorts & bibsHENRY K
Aug 4, 2002 6:01 PM
Ditto on the Santini's @
Great shorts @ great prices
50% of many other places. Also they are very helpful with fit questions. I e-mailed them several times before I purchased and they always responded...quickly
dissenting opinion on VolersDaveG
Jul 31, 2002 1:20 PM
If the Voler''s work for you then they are a great deal. I found the seam in the multipart chamois to be situated exactly at my worst pressure point. I can't really understand the logic that causes them to put a seam through the critical interface part of the chamois. Obviously most people are not bothered by this as most folks here seem to like Voler. I now avoid any short with a multi-piece chamois or seams (other than down the middle). Recently Giordana shorts have been my best bet.
Which chamois?Spoiler
Jul 31, 2002 6:26 PM
I was offered a pair of Volers to try out and see if I wanted to buy them. They had what was called the "monolith" insert. This was like a fake piece of leather with zig-zag baseball seams. No way. I then ordered a pair with the cantara insert. This was totally different, blue middle, similar to Giordana, Performance Elite, or Castelli's. These are much better.
Aug 1, 2002 3:12 AM
the material is fine. its the seam between the blue AirStripe pad and the rest of the chamois that bothers me. If the blue pad is the bomb, why didn't they just make the entire chamois out of it and skip the seams? Again, its a personal thing and others don't seem to be bothered by this
Another dissenting opinion on Volersgrandemamou
Aug 1, 2002 5:14 AM
They are well made and the chamois is very good but the shape doesn't appeal to me. It bunches up and rubs me raw. Also, the material is way too thick. It will probably last a long time but way too hot.

Maybe I expected too much from all the rave reviews. I was not that impressed. Don't get me wrong for 55 bucks you get a decent set of bibs but you don't get bargain basement Castelli's. For 5-10 bucks more you can get Santini's or Giordana's which are better shorts IMO.
Santini or Nalini (nm)Lone Gunman
Jul 31, 2002 12:48 PM
re: Cycling shorts - which are the best?Skip
Jul 31, 2002 3:10 PM
As has been said above many times, personal fit and preference is everything; but overall, I believe that you get what you pay for. I've tried everything from Trek & Cannondale shorts ( days), through all the PI (microsensor, ultrasensor, etc.), Voler, Giordana, and Castelli. My favorite so far is Castelli Progetto Y2 bibs, though I've yet to try the Assos Campionissimo (they will be the next pair that I order to try, when I need some new bibs) or the Assos Evo.

A lot of folks here like the Voler's, but they don't work for me - I don't like the fit or feel of either the material or the pad. Plus, if I wanted candy, I'd go by it - sorry, I don't like Tootsie rolls.

PI's (way too pricey for what you get) padding left a lot to be desired, and the material didn't "move" with me anywhere near the sensuous feel & stretch of the Castelli's.

I'm sure you would be happy with most of the shorts/bibs, until you move up a notch, then you won't settle for the cheaper ones. Once you get spoiled on Castelli PY2, or probably Assos Camp. or Evo's, or something comparable, nothing else will do. But you have to make the choice, try some different ones, in order to see what works best for you.
Cut off frayed blue jeans, that are cut round the knees;0_Kewl
Jul 31, 2002 3:32 PM
That way you can buy a nice white cotton tee shirt and cut the sleeves out. Then you can wear the sleeveless shirt, cutoff shorts with long frays along with your flimsy flip flops. That way when your ride, you'll look like a uber casual rider. When you take a spill you can blame it on your flimsy flip flops or frays getting caught in your chain and causing you to spill. Oh yeah for your head protection you can wear a baseball cap backwards.

Hope these suggestions help you out :-)
Cut off frayed blue jeans, that are cut round the knees;94Nole
Aug 1, 2002 3:49 AM
Kewl, you really are a jacka$$, aren't you? Have you ever posted a semi-serious response? good site for you - Butthead
Pearl Izumi Ultrasensor... Excellent shorts. nmDrPete
Jul 31, 2002 4:35 PM
Word. Those are my faves. (nm)OffTheBack
Jul 31, 2002 7:02 PM
yep, mine too (nm).dsc
Jul 31, 2002 8:25 PM
Broken record: Castellij-son
Jul 31, 2002 9:10 PM
In a word, Castelli. Particularly the Progretto model. Shorts just don't get any better. Sure, absurdly expensive. $150 for a pair of shorts is nuts. But they're worth it.

A month or so ago, in the span of about one week, I got two new pairs of shorts: Voler bibs (which my cheap a$$ self ordered) and a pair of Castelli bibs (which my indulgent wife suprised me with). $45 (or sale) vs $150 (full price).

The winner: handsdown no doubt the Castelli bibs are superior in every respect to the Volers. Are they worth an extra $100. For me (and I can't believe I'm writing this), yes they are.

The Castelli fit is great; no, beyond great: perfect. The lycra is so smooth it's almost like lingerie. Very sensual (if that word can be applied to cycling shorts). The pad is invisible (which is the highest complement one can pay to a chamois, me thinks).

The Volers are decent. About what I would expect for the price. And until I got the aforementioned Castellis, decent was all I ever expected. On par with PI, Sugoi and the other usual suspects. The pad is pretty good, but a little bulky. The fit, for me, is the niggling part. The shorts rub me the wrong way in the left groin area. It's not bad enough to swear them off entirely, but I do save them for my shorter rides and I won't buy another pair. And I didn't get tootsie rolls with mine.

Bottom line for me: I'd rather have one pair of Castelli then 2 pairs of (fill in the blank.)
Broken record: CastelliSkip
Aug 1, 2002 6:07 PM
Great! If you noticed my post above, I used the same word to describe them - sensuous! Again the link for a better, (1/2), price:
Everybody's different, but I'll add another vote for Castelli.djg
Aug 1, 2002 6:51 AM
The Progettos. I'm not wild about their cheaper bibs.

I've also got a pair of the Assos Evo bibs--nice, and nicely made, but I prefer a little less chamois on long rides.

Favorite cheapies: the performance elites, especially on sale.
buy American, my friend!!seyboro
Aug 1, 2002 5:57 PM
My favorites are Cannondale Vertex shorts. Perforated chamois, NOT TOO FRIGGIN'BIG, very comfortable, around $65. C'dale recently went to a new chamois on the vertex, but stayed with the proven one for the 959-model. Again, great fit on those as well and cheaper on top of that, around $45. To me, none other comes close, and man, have I tried a few!
re: Cycling shorts - which are the best?Giant50m
Aug 2, 2002 8:55 AM
Check you will not regret it. I use Pace and sell it. And I also have Castelli and Girdona clothes that paid a lot of money for personal use, not worth the extra money I paid. If you are interested, I have good prices too.
re: Cycling shorts - which are the best?trekster
Aug 2, 2002 2:36 PM
The absolute best pair of shorts you can buy are the Performance Century Gel Shorts. I have never seen Gel shorts in any of the LBS so think you can only get them at Honestly, you'll never buy anything else again. Try one pair, and if you don't like them, send them back. Had to send back a pair after having them for about a year, and they replaced them no problem.
re: Cycling shorts - which are the best?fbg111
Aug 4, 2002 6:23 AM
I'm a noob too and like Nike Dri-Fit cycling shorts. Relatively inexpensive, but Dri-Fit material is the best athletic wear I've every worn, be it cycling shorts, soccer jerseys, or running shirts. I haven't worn any of the more expensive stuff posted above, so can't make any comparisons though.