Commuting: Padded Lycra v Shorts?

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Commuting: Padded Lycra v Shorts?

Postby CommuRider » Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:54 pm

I've searched through the folder just in case somebody had posed this question before but haven't found it yet...I thought this might be good for the hair/makeup thread (for me - yes deodorant, perfume, face cream - but no make-up and my locker can only fit in so much cosmetics!) but it isn't really suitable, and there was a thread for underneath the bike tops (singlet for me) so I thought I'd start one for the bottoms...

I had this conversation with a fellow cyclist colleague and I told her that I was just wearing my padded bike lycra on my commute. She gave me a look and said I should probably put shorts over.

I never really thought about my "modesty" until then. I came across some proper bike shorts with the lycra incorporated and some khaki shorts on top. I tried it on and it was pretty daggy. But with just my padded lycra on the commute I might be considered under-dressed? I've been wearing a long pants polyacrylamide as it's still quite windy in the evening and until I find another female who just wears the padded lycra to work, I should probably wear something over the top? Even the the long pants is still quite revealing - no padding there. Hmmm...

So where do you stand on this - what are your views on wearing the lycra or wearing proper bike shorts when commuting?
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by BNA » Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:21 pm

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Re: Commuting: Padded Lycra v Shorts?

Postby Ross » Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:21 pm

Wear whatever you feel most comfortable riding in. Padded lycra shorts are designed to be comfortable when riding bikes. As for your modesty as long as the lycra isn't see-through they should be OK (ormaybe you might like them transparent, sure to make lots of new male friends! :lol: ), they have an opaque chamois that should cover your important bits anyway. Some of the cheaper brands of knicks can tend to be a bit thin or if they are getting worn out due to their age, maybe get a friend to sus them out while you model them - probably on the bike is better as they would be more stretched and any transparency issues will be more obvious.

Or you could get something like Martinis (not the drink!) or Tom Thumbs which are basically riding shorts with a lycra liner - http://www.groundeffect.co.nz/products-WOM.htm
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Re: Commuting: Padded Lycra v Shorts?

Postby CommuRider » Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:52 pm

Thanks for the link Ross. No they're not transparent at all, black as night. Never noticed if I offended people during my commute on the ferry though it seems in my cycling gear, I'm the last person people want to sit next to! The only time I noticed I felt I could have been under-dressed was one pervert at a bike store when I had to get some gear quickly. Had to put my helmet down fast in front of me :| I suppose people in general avert their eyes?
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Re: Commuting: Padded Lycra v Shorts?

Postby Robdog » Sat Sep 25, 2010 10:29 pm

CommuRider wrote:Thanks for the link Ross. No they're not transparent at all, black as night. Never noticed if I offended people during my commute on the ferry though it seems in my cycling gear, I'm the last person people want to sit next to! The only time I noticed I felt I could have been under-dressed was one pervert at a bike store when I had to get some gear quickly. Had to put my helmet down fast in front of me :| I suppose people in general avert their eyes?

Cyclists fully understand the need for lycra so it's nothing really out of the ordinary. Tell your friend to stuff it and just wear what you like. like I said as far as cycling goes lycra is everywhere so no need to worry about your modesty there
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Re: Commuting: Padded Lycra v Shorts?

Postby m@ » Sat Sep 25, 2010 10:45 pm

People run in skins/tights all the time... No big deal and no different to bike knicks IMO.
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Re: Commuting: Padded Lycra v Shorts?

Postby wombatK » Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:08 pm

CommuRider wrote:I had this conversation with a fellow cyclist colleague and I told her that I was just wearing my padded bike lycra on my commute. She gave me a look and said I should probably put shorts over.

Just ignore her, especially if she was wearing a burka :)

If it's any consolation, as a male I have to put up with a lot of smart alec comments from fellow workers. Yeah, I have got skinny chicken legs, and I'm sure they're not the prettiest in Sydney. But I'm comfortable with the lycra shorts etc.,.
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Re: Commuting: Padded Lycra v Shorts?

Postby Christine Tham » Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:08 am

I usually commute wearing street clothing.

One thing I discovered recently is - not a good idea commuting wearing a tight mini skirt. In no time the skirt hitches up to my waist, and I'm in severe danger of being charged for indecent exposure. Also guilty of flashing my undies whenever I mount or dismount.

Luckily I was cycling on fairly quiet streets, so I don't think too many people saw me.

Skirt plus hosiery is pretty good - the hosiery helps prevent chafing.
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Re: Commuting: Padded Lycra v Shorts?

Postby ruscook » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:54 am

Christine Tham wrote:I usually commute wearing street clothing.

One thing I discovered recently is - not a good idea commuting wearing a tight mini skirt. In no time the skirt hitches up to my waist, and I'm in severe danger of being charged for indecent exposure. Also guilty of flashing my undies whenever I mount or dismount.

Luckily I was cycling on fairly quiet streets, so I don't think too many people saw me.

Skirt plus hosiery is pretty good - the hosiery helps prevent chafing.

Not at all Christine. It's all in your mind. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a lass riding in a mini skirt or other femine accoutrements. I don't know where you'd get the idea there is any immodesty about it :wink:
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Re: Commuting: Padded Lycra v Shorts?

Postby Christine Tham » Sun Sep 26, 2010 3:50 pm

ruscook wrote:Not at all Christine. It's all in your mind. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a lass riding in a mini skirt or other femine accoutrements. I don't know where you'd get the idea there is any immodesty about it :wink:


Yeah, but you forget, I am a crossdresser - according to "dodge." :P
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Re: Commuting: Padded Lycra v Shorts?

Postby ruscook » Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:38 pm

Christine Tham wrote:
ruscook wrote:Not at all Christine. It's all in your mind. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a lass riding in a mini skirt or other femine accoutrements. I don't know where you'd get the idea there is any immodesty about it :wink:


Yeah, but you forget, I am a crossdresser - according to "dodge." :P

Gee thanks for that image! Ruined my day :shock: :lol:
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Re: Commuting: Padded Lycra v Shorts?

Postby CommuRider » Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:53 pm

Skirt plus hosiery is pretty good - the hosiery helps prevent chafing.


I've never tried that but worth looking into - the opaque tights would be more breathable than lycra so probably more comfortable to wear. I might look into some footless tights come to think of it. Re: skirts I try not to wear them on the commute (have them in my locker to change into) as I find mini-skirts are pretty restrictive especially when I need to standup then sit down and they could split somewhere along the journey while longer skirts may get caught up in the gears. I value my skirts!

If it's any consolation, as a male I have to put up with a lot of smart alec comments from fellow workers. Yeah, I have got skinny chicken legs, and I'm sure they're not the prettiest in Sydney. But I'm comfortable with the lycra shorts etc.,.


Awww. Yes, colleagues can be a pain when they start offering some unwanted advice. Since commuting, I've become conscious about keeping the grooming aspects of it in tip-top shape especially ensuring legs and thighs are hair-free. I also now have several different hair brushes in my locker to deal with helmet-hair. Sigh. Commuting brings out a whole lot of beauty issues I tell you.
Last edited by CommuRider on Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Commuting: Padded Lycra v Shorts?

Postby Christine Tham » Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:13 pm

CommuRider wrote:I've never tried that but worth looking into - the opaque tights would be more breathable than lycra so probably more comfortable to wear.


Best I've found so far: school tights. Cheap, breathable, quite thick and opaque, and comes in multiple colours.

Dance tights (also available in footless) - very good too, especially the glossy ones - get lots of compliments (from male cyclists) whenever I wear the skin coloured glossy one. However, expensive.
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Re: Commuting: Padded Lycra v Shorts?

Postby CommuRider » Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:40 pm

Christine Tham wrote:Dance tights (also available in footless) - very good too, especially the glossy ones - get lots of compliments (from male cyclists) whenever I wear the skin coloured glossy one. However, expensive.


You mean like these ones?

http://www.viktorviktoriashop.com/blogs/nancy/tag/footless-tights/

What would be the breathable factor like? I'd be conscious of the sweat factor. If I had a more breathable pair I could just put on my work clothes without taking off the tights...

I've had a quick surf to Net-A-Porter and Wolford is selling a Cashmere (60%) Silk (25%) blend

http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/77852

Tights have come a loooong way. This Alexander McQueen ain't bad looking either.

http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/81443

Maybe this could be another outlet on the future of cycling wear for the female, design-conscious segment? I really wouldn't mind wearing these type of cycling tights with some nice artistic design. Easier on the eye than wearing block colours. I can have the shocking green fluoro cycling vest, but give me something nicer on the bottomwear! If only Anna Wintour was a cyclist instead of a tennis fan...
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Re: Commuting: Padded Lycra v Shorts?

Postby Christine Tham » Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:54 pm

CommuRider wrote:
Christine Tham wrote:Dance tights (also available in footless) - very good too, especially the glossy ones - get lots of compliments (from male cyclists) whenever I wear the skin coloured glossy one. However, expensive.


You mean like these ones?

http://www.viktorviktoriashop.com/blogs/nancy/tag/footless-tights/


No, more like these:
http://www.danskin.com/legwear/womens

Danskin is a US brand - I bought a few last time I was in the States. I think you can get equivalents in Australia - from memory Bloch in Chatswood sells them - be prepared to pay $$$ for them though.

Breathability for dance tights are good - after all, dancers sweat a lot wearing them under stage lights.

I wouldn't go for the really shiny ones like the url you linked to - those look snazzy but not that breathable to me.
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Re: Commuting: Padded Lycra v Shorts?

Postby CommuRider » Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:08 pm

Danskin is a US brand - I bought a few last time I was in the States. I think you can get equivalents in Australia - from memory Bloch in Chatswood sells them - be prepared to pay $$$ for them though.

Breathability for dance tights are good - after all, dancers sweat a lot wearing them under stage lights.


Thanks for the advice. I'll have a look into them.
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Re: Commuting: Padded Lycra v Shorts?

Postby s-s-a » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:53 pm

I had this conversation with a fellow cyclist colleague and I told her that I was just wearing my padded bike lycra on my commute. She gave me a look and said I should probably put shorts over.


How strange. I have always commuted in whatever I usually cycle in, except when it was only a 5-10 minute ride when I commuted in my work clothes. IMO providing you're cycling in something then modesty is not an issue.

I noticed a few suggestions re dance tights etc, unless my commute was very short I would just rather cycle in proper knicks as they are much more comfy!

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Re: Commuting: Padded Lycra v Shorts?

Postby Christine Tham » Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:52 am

I will happily do up to 30km wearing street clothes, and if I'm lucky I don't even sweat.

Last year I did the Sydney Spring Cycle wearing a summer dress (80km round trip for me, since I commuted there, and back again entirely by bicycle).
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Re: Commuting: Padded Lycra v Shorts?

Postby Davyd » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:35 am

Looking at Commuters on Melbourne's St Kilda Road there there is every combination of cycling clothing on a typical morning

I can't recall hearing from Louise or the others in our stores that any women came in looking for other clothing directly for "modesty" but a number have different degrees or personal comfort with tight lycra and the amount of skin on show. Italian and Dutch Women's knicks can be quite short on the leg for example.

Some women really like undernix to wear under normal clothes http://www.cyclingsports.com.au/undinix-black-p-207.html. Ohters like the less baggy end of the "shy" shorts style.

There is also going to be a big range of crossover gear (not tight lycra but with some of the technical advantages) coming out in the next year or two largely form Europe - with much of it aimed at women.

There is going to be an article in crossover cycling gear in the Bicycle Victoria Ride On magazine that should be out any day
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Re: Commuting: Padded Lycra v Shorts?

Postby marieparr » Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:25 pm

I wouldn't worry about what other people say or do not say but think... The main thing is that you are comfortable on your bike. I cycle in tights, shorts, padded tights, compression skins, running tights.. whatever that suits the weather basically. I don't even notice if people are looking at me. My bike is my main transport to and from work and it's important that the clothes are comfortable and practical. Stuff what people think!
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Re: Commuting: Padded Lycra v Shorts?

Postby moosterbounce » Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:59 pm

I ride in lycra if I commute. There's no way I'm riding 35kms in street clothes with my saddle :shock:

I tend to not take a bag so it just looks like I'm going for a normal ride anyway. If I ever need to catch the train with my bike, I don't care. Having a bike with me makes it ok. If I were to leave my bike at the station and then catch the train in, I'd be changing.

Bit like the budgie smuggler's ad on TV about location making your dress appropriate - "budgie's" on teh beach is ok, but in the street they are just jocks. OK...maybe that was a bad example as they aren't even appropriate on the beach :wink: but you know what I mean!!

Lycra with bike = appropriate.
Lycra on train or ferry with no bike = funny looks.

Just my opinion though...I've been wrong before...just don't tell my husband that!! :wink:
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Re: Commuting: Padded Lycra v Shorts?

Postby CommuRider » Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:28 pm

Thanks for everyone's comments and support on this. I know I shouldn't be too self-conscious on this though with the summer months coming up just wearing singlets and shorts are going to take that self-consciousness on another level. The ferry crowd can be stiflingly suity.

moosterbounce wrote:Bit like the budgie smuggler's ad on TV about location making your dress appropriate - "budgie's" on teh beach is ok, but in the street they are just jocks. OK...maybe that was a bad example as they aren't even appropriate on the beach :wink: but you know what I mean!!

Lycra with bike = appropriate.
Lycra on train or ferry with no bike = funny looks.


:) Agreed.
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