CategoriesFitnessGear

5 Facts About Bike Shorts

bike shorts
Now that’s a pair of bike shorts!

Bike shorts are a bone of contention with just about every new bicyclist. “Do I have to wear Spandex?” they’ll whine. “Why are they so expensive?” usually comes next. The answer to the first question is “yes, you do.” The answer to the second is “‘Cause they’re doing a hard job – supporting your miserable, stinky undercarriage!” Here are a few things that might add some detail to these short answers for the new bicyclist.

1. Yes, you really need to wear bike shorts.

They have a pad in the butt to make sitting on a bike seat more comfortable. They’re also made from materials that wick sweat away so it can evaporate. That means less heat and less chafing. You’ll be far happier than a bicyclist wearing jeans!

2. Dude, please don’t wear underwear with your bike shorts.

My brother tried taking up biking. I think he stopped after the relentless mocking I gave him when I caught him wearing tighty-whiteys under his bike shorts. If you wear undies (boxers, TWs, thongs, whatever), you defeat the wicking capability of your shorts. You will stay wet, making you feel like you’re wearing a diaper. If you’re into that sort of thing, fine!

3. I consider $80 for a pair of Castelli shorts money well spent.

But to me, throwing $35 down for some Bellwethers is like spraying my money with WD-40 and lighting it on fire. The difference in quality and fit is huge. A new bicyclist riding short distances might not notice the difference. But some experience and increased time on the saddle will reveal all.

That said, budget shorts are getting slightly better as you may notice in this review of The Black Shorts, which seem a cut above other cheap bike shorts.

4. When you’re looking for shorts, look for a few things:

The butt pad (aka chamois) should not be a big blob of foam. It should be designed to conform to your mysterious man/lady parts. Also, the shell of the shorts should be constructed from more than one big piece of material. The more panels, the better the fit. Just try on a pair of Bellwether or Canari shorts, and follow with something from Castelli, Assos or even a higher-end Pearl Izumi. You’ll know where your money is going.

5. After you’re done riding, don’t go to the coffee shop and lounge around in your bike shorts.

There’s still some moisture in there, as well as some heat. That’s a breeding ground for bacteria. Change into some regular ol’ shorts for your post-ride coffee. Sure, you won’t look like the cool bicyclist that you are, but you’ll smell and feel better.


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CategoriesFitnessUncategorized

Mountain Biking Scottsdale, Ariz. – McDowell Mountains

 

 

A view from Waypoint 22!
A view from Waypoint 22!

This is the first in my series about mountain biking in Scottsdale, Ariz., and this episode will focus on the trails on the southwest wide of the McDowell Mountains.

There’s something about mountain biking that’s kind of funny. Despite the name, it often doesn’t happen in or on mountains. There’s a lot of mountain biking in valleys, plains, glades, prairies and the like.

But if you’re mountain biking the trails on the west side of the McDowell Mountains, you are truly biking on, up and down mountains.  Most of these are part of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. This preserve has a pretty interesting history, and it’s certainly worth reading about.

But enough about that: On to the riding! Just look at the trail profile – I still haven’t gotten my new GPS and mapping software to talk nice to each other yet. But you’re looking at close to 1,500 feet of climbing jammed into six miles.

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