I’m not someone who wears lycra very often. I’m comfortable doing an hour to two in the saddle without padding. Or…about five minutes in the saddle on a stationary bike.
And that’s why my lycra shorts got a bit saggy. I don’t wear them in public so I’m none too fussy about how they look. But there’s limits right? When your wife says things like, “Dear lord”, and you have to hitch up three times between bedroom and bike…it’s time for new shorts.
The Problem With Cheap Shorts
Here’s the thing about me. I’m a bit of a cheap-arse.
I’ve bought and worn cheap shorts previously and they weren’t very comfortable. The padding was in a weird place that only just kind of covered the bits you want padded. And the stitching wore a graze in my skin. These are things you notice when you’re on a stationary bike. There’s not much to take your mind of discomfort when you’re in a cellar pedaling.
Affordable Quality Shorts
I was happy therefore when Belroy stepped in. They have a list of shorts just under $US30 that are well made and comfortable to wear.
There are a bunch of different panels making up these shorts. I know from my roadie days (about 5 million years ago) that we used to talk about 6-panel and 8-panel shorts. The more panels you have the greater the chances of you getting a nice fit around your bum and the various bits that live around there. Also, the more expensive it is to make.
I’m not sure how much of that applies today, with machines to do the heavy lifting or something? I don’t know. I don’t ask how my shorts are made, I just ask my nethers if they’re comfortable.
As you can see from this image, the shorts are sculptured in a way that fits our anatomy. That’s a far cry from the shorts of mine they’re replacing. Wearing those old shorts you’d think men were linear beings. The Beroy shorts on the other hand are shaped like people are shaped. Big tick there.
These shorts have a shit-tonne of padding. I’m old enough to remember when chamois shorts contained real chamois, the skin from a small goats who rambled in Europe (until unceremoniously ripped from the mountains so their flesh could cover our butts). It was a pain in the neck, came seeped in fish oil (no kidding) and had to be hand washed. When good alternatives came along even the old guard were happy to be relieved of care duties for the shorts that cared for the relief of their butt’s exposure to long saddle times.
Too much padding isn’t necessarily a good thing though. We all know that beginner cyclists want the most padded seats they can find. They think that comfort lies in the kind of padding you’d find in a lounge recliner. We graduate to harder saddles as we become more experienced, knowing that soft saddles cause discomfort in other ways. It’s the same with padding. Too little and you’re sitting on a hard saddle. Too much and you’ve got a squishy butt that develops sore spots where you wouldn’t expect.
I haven’t owned a pair of shorts with as much padding as Beroy. (Or…I have but I forgot because it’s been so long the padding compressed to a thin liner.) I was a bit concerned by the quantity of padding but soon loved it after a session or two on the stationary bike.
There is a dual layer of padding, with more on the sit bones. It’s shaped a bit like seats are these days. You get more padding where it is needed.
Comfort Off The Bike
I incorporate some skipping into my exercise sessions. Bike shorts aren’t ideal for this. Bouncing up and down on the spot will bring a lot of shorts undone. The Beroy shorts hung in there. They did accumulate a lot of sweat in that padding. Mind you, it’s summer here with 30C and 80% humidity. Sweat liberally poured off the hands and spattered a drip circled where I exercised.
Most shorts will have a nappy-pants feel to them when you walk around in them. The Beroy aren’t immune to that. If you’re walking around in cycle shorts for length of time you have to wonder if you’ve made the right choice of attire. But at least these guys stay in place and have nice thick elastic to keep them in place.
Stitching And Elastic
The waist band is a nice wide piece of elastic. You don’t want elastic too wide when you’re cycling, and this certainly isn’t. But in contrast to all my other cycle shorts, this is wider and more like a band rather than a string of elastic.
There is the mandatory rubbery stuff around the leg holes, to prevent your shorts from riding up. A few dots and their logo, a nice touch.
There’s nothing to indicate that all stitching is anything other than made to last. All seems are stitched and overlocked. I expect these shorts to last long term.
Good Value Cycle Shorts From Beroy
I’ve ridding in these shorts half a dozen times. This isn’t a long term review but so far, with everything I’ve seen, I can recommend these shorts. If you want a quality pair of comfortable cycle shorts and you don’t want to spend a fortune, go check them out. Link below.