Cycling shorts...please educate me?

Sloth

Active Member
OK, I'm looking for a new saddle (another thread) and my grips and tyres are on route.
So, I now need to invest in some cycling shorts.
I know little to nothing about them other than they are padded and are supposed to be worn without other underwear (hmmm...not sure about that one TBH) Does that mean I need to wash them after every ride or buy several pairs???
The term chamois is used a lot but I do know that historically real chamois leather was used in early sorts to reduce chaffing.
Do they still use actual chamois leather (genuine or synthetic like my car leather?) or is it now simply a term to describe the padding and/or material, which is now space age stuff and other than the name has nothing to do with actual chamois leather?

Do I need them padded in place of saddle padding, as well as or what?

Ill be riding a MTB with Schwalbe Marathon Supreme (26x1.6) road tyres and flat bars with some Ergon GP5 grips/ends fitted.
Finally can anyone recommend some that are decent but nothing fancy pants (pardon the pun) or silly money?
I reckon a maximum of £30-£40 is my budget and less if I can.
There seem to be a lot of very techy looking shorts on amazon
View: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Best-Sellers-Sports-Outdoors-Mens-Cycling-Shorts/zgbs/sports/3939440031
but are they any good?
I'm only a beginner and am not interested in brand snobbery or elitist gear that I'll never appreciate or need.
I want a pair that will be comfortable for rides of up to 30-40 miles or so max, perhaps more at some point although I could buy better shorts at that point as I'd be getting a better, more road focussed bike anyway.
Anyone?:okay:
 
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nickyboy

Norven Mankey
The reason to wear cycling shorts is because they're tight so they don't move around and chafing is minimised. Chafing hurts.
Padding (it may be called chamois but it isn't, it's just some fancy foam) is to spread the pressure of your ass on the saddle.
Squidgy foam saddles are a bad idea. They promote chafing. Padding in your shorts is much better and combine with a firm saddle. It will be a bit sore until your sit bones get used to it but they will get used to it
Try to wear fresh shorts for every ride, either by washing or buying more than one pair. However, it's not a big deal if you do a couple of rides without washing, particularly when it's cold
Take a look at Decathlon. They sell a range of shorts in your budget. I wear them and they're fine, done plenty of 100 mile rides in them

Final point...no underwear. It's important. If you wear underwear it will chafe and it will hurt
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
I know more than one rider that does big miles without padded shorts or tights. They wear normal underwear, but inside out so the seams don't rub.

Alas, I personally like the padding. I give them a scrape every 6 months or so, and jetwash them down ever couple of years.
 

Sterlo

Early Retirement Planning
Location
East Yorkshire
I know more than one rider that does big miles without padded shorts or tights. They wear normal underwear, but inside out so the seams don't rub.

Alas, I personally like the padding. I give them a scrape every 6 months or so, and jetwash them down ever couple of years.
Have you tried gravel sandblasting, must be easier than scraping and no need to wear a gas mask?
 

CanucksTraveller

Macho Business Donkey Wrestler
Location
Hertfordshire
What Nickyboy said, all that is accurate and good advice.
Decathlon are perfectly fine. My backside likes Specialized, Pearl Izumi or LeCol but I've only ever bought them when they're on offer (properly on offer, like half price or thereabouts).
SportPursuit do a lot of outrageous "blink and you miss it" deals on better shorts, it's worth signing up and checking every couple of days while you're actively looking.

Yes you wash them. Yes, have a couple of pairs if you're riding daily.
Never wear underwear, that's not what they're designed for.
 

Ming the Merciless

Formerly YukonBoy
Location
Inside my skull
If you are not riding far then you don’t need cycle shorts. Unless you are having problems just carry on as you are.
 

nickyboy

Norven Mankey
Given the OP is on a budget (like most of us) I would suggest getting shorts and some running tights to put over/under (I prefer under) them. Decathlon has really good running tights for £12 so he could get both shorts and tights in his budget and be ok for both winter and summer cycling
 
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