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bike shorts for hiking
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shannon stoney
bike shorts for hiking on 07/25/2005 17:14:12 MDT Print View

Today I made some polyester/lycra bike shorts to try out for hiking. Regular shorts seem to cause a chafing problem sometimes, and short nylon shorts ride up into your crotch in an uncomfortable way, sort of bunching between your legs. I read in Ray Jardine's book that he solves these problems by wearing bike shorts.

I made my shorts using an older Kwik Sew pattern that is apparently out of print. I got the poly/lycra on sale at Hancock fabrics for about $6/yd. There is enough left over to make another pair and maybe a top.

Just wondering how many people out there like this style of shorts for hiking, and why or why not.

Dane Burke
(Dane) - F

Locale: Western Washington
bike shorts on 07/25/2005 20:24:31 MDT Print View

I intend to make some cycling/running shorts as well for hiking in. My main reason is to prevent chafing, but I also like not having to bring both shorts and underwear.

On a cycling tour this summer I did an eleven mile hike in Redwood National Park (Fern Canyon was beautiful) wearing real cycling shorts, with the big crotch pad. They felt fine, I'm sure I looked pretty funny though.

Commercial running shorts and swimming "jammers" are like $20...quite a rip off. I need to get out to Seattle Fabrics and start sewing some new stuff.

If the Kwik-Sew pattern you used is out of print, how did you get it? Did you already have it?

Do you know how much your shorts weigh?



Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: bike shorts on 07/25/2005 21:26:32 MDT Print View

I like bike-style shorts, too. Aside from the reduction in chafing, I've found that they're a lot breezier than the typical nylon shorts, a benefit of a knit v. a woven fabric. This is a boon in summer time.

Mine are in the 3-3.5oz range.

shannon stoney
bike shorts on 07/26/2005 08:54:41 MDT Print View

I had my Kwik Sew pattern, from several years ago. But I think there is a new one for bike shorts. They have tights patterns too that could just be made shorter.

They are wet now but when they dry out I'll let you know how much they weigh.

I figured out that they cost about $3 to make. The pattern says it requires 3/4 yd of stretch fabric, and I got 7/8 because that was what was left on the bolt. There is easily enough left to make another pair and a top of some kind, and the whole piece cost about $6 at Hancock fabrics, which is having a sale now on swimsuit fabrics.

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
don't like bike shorts as much on 07/26/2005 09:38:13 MDT Print View

I really preffer boxer briefs (My current fav are the Dry Moisture Management from Champions Gear - C9 series) under some light shorts. Here's why.

I have rather large, muscled legs (always have, don't know why). Well, oddly / paradoxically, the bike shorts I've had don't allow enough stretch around my legs if the waist is sized correctly.

This result in the crotch of the shorts staying (or mioving to as I walk, I can force the crotch to come up, but it works down in about 3 minutes) about an inch-plus below mine.

Well, my members don't get any support and that whole area becomes one huge chafe zone.

Of course, that would be a guy's problem.

shannon stoney
altering and sewing bike shorts on 07/26/2005 15:01:42 MDT Print View

I had to alter the pattern to make mine fit. I have a short crotch length and a big waist compared to my hip measurement, so I redrew the pattern today and made a new pair.

I also made some other changes. I find that the seam allowance is sort of irritating if it's on the inside. (Maybe this is a girl problem.) So this time I sewed the shorts right sides together, so that the seam allowance (about 1/4") is on the outside. I am going to test drive them this afternoon and see if this is more comfortable.

I think that for women anyway, some other briefs underneath the bike shorts probably make them more comfortable, as briefs have a little panel at the crotch rather than just a seam.

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: altering and sewing bike shorts on 07/26/2005 15:09:06 MDT Print View

Yeah! I wear mine inside-out, too, to avoid the seams. An added bonus is that the inside is a little less sheeny-shiny than the outside face.

shannon stoney
wt of bike shorts on 07/27/2005 11:53:15 MDT Print View

I weighed my shorts today: they weigh about five ounces.

I tried out the new pair yesterday and they were more comfortable, less like a girdle and more like hiking in slightly long underwear. Good.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
bike shorts for hiking on 07/27/2005 12:19:12 MDT Print View

You can buy silk weight capaline by the yard if you wanted something that might be a little warmer. Sold by Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics.

Comes in several colors and is found under "Wickaway" I have some of the Slate Blue and Sage color. It was $5.25 a yard 64" wide.

David Bonn
(david_bonn) - F

Locale: North Cascades
compression shorts on 07/27/2005 12:47:06 MDT Print View

I like compression shorts myself. They are stretchy and just like bike shorts without the goofy seat pad.

If you keep an eye out you can often pick them up at big box sporting goods stores for as little as $10.

shannon stoney
capilene on 07/27/2005 17:18:06 MDT Print View

Wow, I didn't know you could buy capilene by the yard! I thought you could only get it made up into clothes at Patagucchi. This is good news.

Patti Binder
(quiltbinder) - MLife

Locale: Southwestern Indiana
Re: bike shorts for hiking on 07/27/2005 20:44:59 MDT Print View

Hi Bill, I've been looking for a light weight wicking fabric for a project. Did you by any chance weigh and calculate the per square yard weight of the silk weight capiline. Thanks

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Capaline weight on 07/27/2005 22:11:01 MDT Print View

Hi Patti and others, I cut a piece 4" by 20" which would be 80 sq inches. It weighs 6.3gr. I divided 80 into the 6.3gr and got 0.7875gr x 1296 (number of sq inches in a sq yard) and get 102.06gr or 3.6oz per sq yard. Someone can check my math to see if I did this right.

3.6oz per sq yard isn't to bad for what it is but a little heavy compaired to some material I use. I really love my silk weight capaline underware so I got this. I am not sure what I will use it for yet. I would like to combine the capaline with the Cuben Fiber somehow like in a vest or rain jacket. I have some other ideas but this isn't very high on my list of material to play with yet.

The colors are a little werid so if you want to use some of this you might want to ask for a color sample of the 4 colors. I decided on the Slate Blue and the Sage. The Sage is a straing green but not to bad. The Slate Blue is more Slate (Blue/Gray) than Blue but OK.

shannon stoney
bike shorts modifications on 07/28/2005 08:06:38 MDT Print View

I am thinking of redesigning the bike shorts pattern I've been using. The crotch seam is a problem, even if you put the seam allowance on the outside. For me, anyway, it seems like that seam is rather irritating after a while because it fits so tightly. Maybe, as I said, this is a girl problem, but it's a problem. I am thinking that you could make some sort of "codpiece" (ironically, since I'm fixing a girl problem): a sort of panel that goes down the front and through the crotch and up the back. That way, there would be no seam at the center. Has anybody ever bought bike shorts like this or used a pattern like this? I'm not sure exactly how you would sew it on a machine. This modification might make bike shorts better for men too.

Alternatively you could make a square gusset at the crotch, like the ones that tights often have.