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  1. #1
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    Winter riding -- shorts over tights?

    I am going to start doing more winter riding this year and was wondering what is a good idea to keep the lower half warm. Do you wear: cycling shorts over tights, tights over cycling shorts, or tights with a chamois built-in?

  2. #2
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    Shorts + warmers FTW, unless the mercury is sticking down below freezing all day long.

    Knee warmers when it is cool, leg warmers for when it is cold. Then you can lose them as the day warms up, and re-add them if the evening or wind and/or wet arrive.

    In the case of wearing tights + shorts, you always want the chamois next to the skin, so tights on the outside.
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  3. #3
    la dolce vita
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    I prefer bibs under tights with no chamois. You get to pick the most comfortable bibs you have and also get multiple wearings of the tights before laundering. I also like the tights with stirrups on the feet. Keeps the tights in place better than anything.
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  4. #4
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    I always wear bib tights with the chamois built-in, personal preference. I dislike multiple waist bands or shoulder straps or a combination. I have about 5 pairs of winter tights for different conditions...
    I'd never wear the chamois outside of the tights, that defeats the purpose of the pad.
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  5. #5
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    I wear tights (thermal) over shorts+chamois. The tights I use on those really cold days (-10*C or colder) have windproof front panels.
    Last edited by kookieCANADA; 09-26-2012 at 11:23 AM.

  6. #6
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    No-chamois tights over shorts. The tights are just a windshield. If you live where it gets really cold (I commuted in Wisconsin down to -10F), a strategically-placed plastic bag adds extra wind resistance.
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  7. #7
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    Leg warmers with bibs until it get into the 30's then I go with tights over bibs for the same reasons as Mootsie.

  8. #8
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    I have various tights, thin with & without chamois for cold days, and tights with a liner with chamois for real cold days. I consider tights like long underwear, so I wear them underneath my shorts. I wear mtb shorts, because of the pockets. And since my shorts have pockets, I would feel awkward reaching inside my tights for money, credit card, etc.
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  9. #9
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    Unpadded bib tights over shorts. There's a reason why they're called outerwear.

    I wear my tights six days a week, and don't have to wash them daily. And I don't have to own six pairs of tights. Second, I still get to wear my favorite chamois year round (I have nine pairs of my favorite shorts.) Plus, there's two layers over the boys.

  10. #10
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    Like others, I prefer tight over bib shorts. Tights are a size up, as in medium bibs and large tights.
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  11. #11
    MXL
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    [QUOTE=Plus, there's two layers over the boys.[/QUOTE]

    If it's that cold out, my boys are keeping warm somewhere up around my kidneys.
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  12. #12
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    Knee warmers when cool, leg warmers when cold, a thermal bib with a wind-pro front when bitter cold

  13. #13
    G3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecub View Post
    I have various tights, thin with & without chamois for cold days, and tights with a liner with chamois for real cold days. I consider tights like long underwear, so I wear them underneath my shorts. I wear mtb shorts, because of the pockets. And since my shorts have pockets, I would feel awkward reaching inside my tights for money, credit card, etc.
    I don't care for chamois. I wear shorts over cycling tights (and tight thermals), and I also regard tights like long underwear. I will also wear alternatives to cycling shorts. Hurley board shorts, the ones with lycra, are great as a cycling shorts and perfect for layering in colder weather.

  14. #14
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    not sure why anyone would ever think that wearing something under their shorts would be a good idea.
    i work for some bike racers...
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  15. #15
    irony intended
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    Here's a vote for bib knickers or bib tights with chamois, own a few pairs in a couple different weights so if feeling adventurous will go out well below freezing. I also am not a fan of multiple layers down there. I sweat on even the coldest days. I really don't mind using the washing machine.

  16. #16
    Is it the future yet?
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    Gee and I thought leg warmers went out with the 80's.

    Possibly knee warmers if it's going to warm up to where you'll just want to be in shorts. But if you need leg warmers, then just get tights with a chamois and be done. No more Pipi Longstocking

    Wearing two pairs of shorts or shorts over bibs? Nonsense!!
    Most companies make make tights with the same pad as their shorts so "you'll get to wear your favorite pad" in a pair of tights, without the sliding and wear on one or the other layer.
    Plus you'll give your shorts a break during the winter season so they last longer.

    Knickers for cool. Tights for cold.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    not sure why anyone would ever think that wearing something under their shorts would be a good idea.
    After spending a month riding across Wales with wool boxer briefs UNDER a pair of plain, loose fitting nylon shorts, I don't have to think about it. I know there isn't a problem riding this way. I still like to ride with traditional cycling shorts that have a well constructed pad but it isn't actually necessary to always ride that way.

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  18. #18
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    Boxers with loose fitting shorts = pinching, binding, chafing, pain (for me anyway)

  19. #19
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    Non-chamois bib tights over shorts/bib shorts.

    PS - i've been waiting for someone...anyone...to chime in for shorts over tights.
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  20. #20
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    ... bibs/shorts over tights... most often, tights don't have a chamois... this works for me.

  21. #21
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    shorts are the base layer.

    anything else goes over them...


    WOOL boxers...? omfg, I'd rather be waterboarded....
    eff all y'all...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJP Diver View Post
    PS - i've been waiting for someone...anyone...to chime in for shorts over tights.
    Oh yes! My wardrobe is limited, so I use what's practical and available. I do have some nice and very warm bib tights with a chamois pad that usually do the trick, but when it's really extra cold I sometimes add a pair of 3/4 length waterproof mountain bike shorts over the top for added windchill protection.
    I know it's not a great look, but it stops my kneecaps from freezing.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by nOOky View Post
    I always wear bib tights with the chamois built-in, personal preference. I dislike multiple waist bands or shoulder straps or a combination. I have about 5 pairs of winter tights for different conditions...
    I'd never wear the chamois outside of the tights, that defeats the purpose of the pad.
    The up side to bibs under your tights is you can wear the tights a few times before washing em. I've still got my first pair of tights. Bought em in 1987...

    I have a pair of Castelli bibs that my saddle clamp wore a hole in right in the inner thigh. Can't wear em till it gets cold enough to put em on under my tights. Grrrrr

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    I've moved back to NoVA. PLEASE change the weather!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    not sure why anyone would ever think that wearing something under their shorts would be a good idea.
    For the same reason most people do ANYHING a certain way with cycling.

    It works for them.

    Im in the shorts OVER tights camp. Yeah yeah....its "wrong." But its always worked for me, Ive never had a problem with comfort or any other issues with my derriere and I like the look a bit better.

    So there

  25. #25
    G3
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    not sure why anyone would ever think that wearing something under their shorts would be a good idea.
    Never had a problem. But as with anything YMMV. I just don't get chaffing for my mileage which is up to century in length and several thousand miles per year.

    But you have to wear a good sport brief. That is key, IMO. It just doesn't matter what goes on top of that for me at least.

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