I wrote about picking up a new pair of cycling shorts a couple of weeks ago. I got them on sale at my local bike shop so I could justify affording them, though I still spent more on those shorts than I did on my saddle.
I rode all last season on $35 specials, my new shorts retail for $150.
So after my first outdoor ride in them, here’s the skinny:
If you can afford them, they’re worth every penny. If you’re going to get into long rides (100k +), they’re something of a necessity.
With the cheaper shorts, which work great up to 20 or 30 miles, I developed minor hot spots after ten or fifteen miles. These hot spots, after a hundred miles, become raw spots – not bad enough to keep me from riding that far, I just figured the raw spots came with the territory – but I definitely needed a nice stock of Aquaphor to stay on the road. With the expensive shorts there are no hot spots, riding is noticeably more comfortable.
To be clear here, I rode a bit more than 5,000 miles last year and I got along just fine with the cheaper shorts. I enjoyed cycling almost as much as breathing and I certainly plan on putting in just as many miles this year. The only difference will be that I do so more comfortably on the long rides this year. My plan being to use the cheap shorts for training rides less than 50 miles and the expensive shorts for Tuesday club rides and planned rides over 50 miles.
In short, they are that good. if you can afford a pair or two buy them, I can’t imagine you would be disappointed. If you can’t, the cheap one’s work just fine, ride on.
Eventually I’ll get around to picking up a middle of the road pair and comparing the three.