Women's Indoor Shorts Suggestions

Now that I am starting to ride some longer (for me) rides, I find that I am having trouble with my shorts. Tri-shorts don’t have enough padding for a ride over an hour for me. I have an older pair of Pearl izumi Select (blue chamois) shorts that work well and a couple of their Elite (orange chamois) that are good and a newer pair of their Select bibs that are the reason for this post. The new padding is wider and thicker with no contouring at all and it seems to hold onto sweat in a way that the others don’t. Very uncomfortable…

Has anyone had any luck with particular brands or styles within brands?

Thanks for any and all ideas! And for the guys who might be reading this, if you have a female friend or partner who loves their shorts, do feel free to chime in!

Thanks,
Beth

Generally, I find that there are issues with most shorts/bibs out there simply because they are designed to be worn outdoors, where there is more evaporation due to airflow. Being in a static location indoors can present some issues. To that end, you might also want to add a good fan to your set up, if you haven’t already. There are also some companies that are starting to sell ‘indoor’ shorts that provide, in theory, greater cooling which, again, in theory, should help to minimize the amount of retained moisture.

Check here for the Le Col | Wahoo collection: https://lecol.cc/collections/le-col-x-wahoo/women

Check here for an offering from Panache: https://www.panachecyclewear.com/collections/cycling-womens-bib-shorts/products/womens-pro-sl-super-light-bib-short

(I’m partial to the Panache clothing, as I find the pad to be a great ‘weight’ for both indoor and outdoor, but everyone has their preferences.)

I’m sure there are more offerings out there, but these are the two of which I am aware.

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Not a shorts recommendation per se but good cycle top and sweat band. Yes, sweat band, very retro 70s look in my house.

Indoor riding is inherently hotter than real road cycling so the temptation is to go light on clothing. But when I’ve ridden without a sweat band and cycle jersey, the puddle on the floor is stunning. When using both items, they absorb a lot of the sweat that otherwise through the work of gravity would make its way to your shorts and the floor.

That and two fans going full blast.

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Good call on the sweat band! I tried a load of different types, but then ended up just tying one of these around my head, and it works GREAT!

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Hi Beth - I was suffering the same sort of issues. I purchased new saddle, chamois cream…sort of helped but still had issues but the game changer has been the riser swivel block. Not sure if it will help you but it does give me what feels like more natural movement and a comfortable ride as I am less static on the bike.

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Hi @Dobby_Gee ,

Which riser swivel block do you have? I hadn’t really thought much about that option, but after going through 2 saddles and relying heavily (ha ha ha) on chamois cream, I’d be interested in other options for improvement (not including riding in Houston traffic :sweat_smile:).

Thanks,
Beth

Hi @Nigel_Tufnel and @Mark_Gallagher ,

Thanks for the shorts ideas and the reminder about the headband! I have one in a drawer :face_with_hand_over_mouth: :sweat_smile:… Not doing much good there, is it? I’ll go get it - along with a wicking towel thingy that I think is in the same drawer.

@Beth_Klawun have you also checked your position on the bike? Sometimes that can make a big difference. For what it’s worth, I have been cycling for over 30 years, using many brands of shorts and saddles, and have never used chamois cream (and never had any need to).

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For what it’s worth, my wife also had issues similar to yours regarding the padding. She had about 4 brands and none were comfortable. I’ve had great success myself with Castelli Velocissimo shorts. On a whim, I purchased their women’s Castelli Velicissima shorts and my wife loves them, the padding works really well for her. I have since bought her a second pair and knickers also. She has never worn the other shorts again, not even on short rides. If you shop around, you can occasionally but them around $70-80.

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Check out “the black bibs” I’ve got a few pair and got some for my wife too. She doesn’t ride as long as you, she’s more of a runner, but she likes them. They aren’t as expensive either, so if you don’t like them its not as big of a hit to the budget.

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Pricey, but I highly recommend Rapha classic shorts. So soft and by far the most comfortable I’ve ever worn. Have put mine through the wringer and they are holding up great! Definitely getting my $ worth from them.

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Hi Beth,I use Ale PRR bibs for rides under an hour (they’re a little loose in the legs for me now so ride up a bit over longer rides) and use Rapha Souplesse bibs for longer rides.They are stupid pricey but Rapha have regular sales or they sometimes appear in their Archive Collection.I also had success with a riser block under the front wheel which alters the sitting angle on your sit bones.I have also resorted to wearing two pairs of bib shorts whilst recovering from a fractured pelvis :blush:
I’ve found that thinner more contoured chamois is more comfortable for the longer rides.Seem to breathe better.Hope this helps.

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Le col for me, managing loads more miles now!

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Hi Beth I bought the Lifeline swivel riser block from Wiggle. I am unable to insert the link. After all the suffering and many (and I mean many) purchases of shorts/bibs I was willing to try anything. I had contemplated a Rocker plate but thought I would try the cheaper option first. I hope you find a solution soon whatever that may be.

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I find that a thicker padding is primarily better at retaining sweat when riding indoors, which at least to me makes a thick pad a net negative in terms of comfort. (The thickness of the padding is my only major complaint about the dhb indoor-specific shorts.)

You may also want to think about your saddle and its position in terms of your riding position indoors, if it is different from outdoors. I had a good old Brooks leather sofa lying around unused so I switched to that for indoors (plus a spare seatpost to make switching back and forth much easier).

And some part of the discomfort may be just a matter of getting used to longer rides in general, if you have taken a break from longer rides. I for one find that the tissue near the sit bones needs some getting used to again as soon as go without multi-hour rides for a couple of months.

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Thanks everyone for all of the great suggestions! I will be busily shopping around to see what I can find and try out. A few of these companies I hadn’t heard of - and I am surprised and disappointed in the Google search algorithm that they didn’t come up when I searched for them.

Has anyone heard of or tried shorts from Coeur Sports, which appears to be a tri-cycling-running apparel company in Southern California?

Thanks again everyone! This is being very helpful!

Beth

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