Cycling, done properly, is a sport of endurance, stamina, pain, drive and passion with a fair bit of hunger thrown in there. The key for this post is pain and the shorts that we choose to ride in. I started out cycling in the cheaper $30 cycling shorts hoping that technology in shorts was overrated. For my whole first season and a half I got by on two pair of ultra cheap shorts and I muscled out some serious miles in them. 5,400 miles, several centuries, a few metric centuries, a 200 km solo ride, dozens of 20-40 mile rides and scores of 15-20 mile rides.
This season, however, marked a full transition – from just getting by to doing it well. Now, to be certain, if need be and one is willing to overlook some pain, expensive cycling shorts ($80-$150 per pair) can be done without. I did just fine (though I did end up wearing compression shorts under my cycling shorts to minimize rubbing and hot spots on really long rides). This practice is generally thought of as a no-no, but typically we’re talking about underwear or cotton. That said, in March I picked up my first pair of really nice cycling shorts and gave them a glowing review – Specialized RBX Pro shorts. They retail for $150. I’ve worn that same pair of shorts on most long rides (30 miles plus) I went on this year, and what a difference! No after ride creams necessary, no painful showers (if you’ve gotten a hot spot during a ride or even a long run, you know what I’m talking about).
The other day, in the middle of an easy 16 mile ride I stopped by the bike shop on the way home and picked up a pair of Specialized BG Comp shorts:
Unlike the RBX Pro’s (Specialized’s top of the line), the BG Comp’s are a middle of the road short, priced a bit more reasonably at $80. When I first got them home and tried them on I had a feeling I was going to be pleased with them – they feel fantastic on… What I needed to find out was how they felt on a decent hard ride so I wore them for yesterday’s club jaunt.
They’re perfect, and the chamois feels better than the pro shorts! Now, going by the website, they don’t make the BG Comp this year, so if you’re in the market for some shorts, get a pair before they’re gone because these things are some kind of spectacular. They’re so good I’m going to stop the post right here so I don’t blab on like a teenager.
Oh yeah, and for those in the US… Both the RBX Pro and the BG Comp shorts are made in the USA.