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Wool Bib Shorts With Real Leather Chamois

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Wool Bib Shorts With Real Leather Chamois

Old 12-20-20, 03:13 PM
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blinky
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Wool Bib Shorts With Real Leather Chamois

Many years ago I bought a pair of wool bib shorts with a real leather chamois , probably from Bike Nashbar , this was probably 40 years ago , yes I'm a senior rider , are they i.e. Bike Nashbar still around - these shorts were great and I was wondering if they are still sold by some company - what say all of you ?
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Old 12-20-20, 03:44 PM
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"Nashbar" still exists, but it's really not the company Arni Nashbar started. That company closed in 2018. Amain Sports bought the name, as they had with other defunct bike companies such as Performance, and use the Nashbar name for their web based business.

So "Nashbar" exists about the same way that "Schwinn" exists.

As to the shorts, for the love of all that is holy, WHY? Wool shorts with real chamois were ok in 1970 when that is all we had had. Lycra and a good synthetic pad is better by several orders of magnitude.
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Old 12-20-20, 04:15 PM
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There are a few companies that still make wool shorts, none of them that I know of use a leather chamois.
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Old 12-20-20, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
"Nashbar" still exists, but it's really not the company Arni Nashbar started. That company closed in 2018. Amain Sports bought the name, as they had with other defunct bike companies such as Performance, and use the Nashbar name for their web based business.

So "Nashbar" exists about the same way that "Schwinn" exists.

As to the shorts, for the love of all that is holy, WHY? Wool shorts with real chamois were ok in 1970 when that is all we had had. Lycra and a good synthetic pad is better by several orders of magnitude.
Thanks for the honest answer and I agree , I'll retract the question - let me ask a question though , what brand would you recommend for a good high end bib short - I've got a pair of Pearls and they're a large but run very tight and so I'm looking for a better alternative .
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Old 12-20-20, 04:32 PM
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Best bibs that I have ever had are my Assos.
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Old 12-20-20, 04:52 PM
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I think to a degree it’s a personal preference, and a matter of what fits you. The higher end Pearl Izumi’s work for me.

my wife likes Assos, but if you want something that runs larger, more generous cut, Assos are the exact opposite.
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Old 12-20-20, 05:00 PM
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I thought wool shorts with natural chamois sucked. The chamois dried out and chafed, the wool got baggy and looked terrible, and holes developed easily. I used them for years and even six-panel polyester shorts with unpadded synthetic chamois were a massive improvement. Modern designs just blow that stuff away.

That said, I’m sure some retro outfit sells them to the C & V crowd.

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Old 12-20-20, 08:23 PM
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Kucharik sells real chamois and real wool, but I don't think the do bibs. 'Good synthetic pad' seems like an internally contradictory term. Reasons Lycra/synthetic replaced wool/chamois: cost, lycra/synthetic dries fast, leather does not, wool does not.

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Old 12-20-20, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
Kucharik sells real chamois and real wool, but I don't think the do bibs. 'Good synthetic pad' seems like an internally contradictory term. Reasons Lycra/synthetic replaced wool/chamois: cost, lycra/synthetic dries fast, leather does not, wool does not.
Have you worn both? I’d be willing to bet that 99% of the people who have ,prefer the current configuration, and that remaining 1 perecent didn’t actually understand the question.

Old wool shorts were saggy, wet, itchy, hot, and smelly. Admittedly, modern wool, particularly with the addition of Lycra is better than it was, but wool shorts still are no where near as nice as a good modern Lycra short or bib,

As to the chamois, a real chamois requires a lot of care, is hard as a rock if you don’t, offers no padding, and doesn’t wick moisture.

if wool and chamois were actually better, except for cost, there would still be high end offerings of wool/chamois shorts to high end buyers who weren’t price sensitive.

The fact there are almost no such shorts on offer tells you the market has spoken and modern synthetic fabrics and pads are dramatically superior.

if this wasjust a cost issue, Ralpha would be selling us $400 merino wool shorts with chamois from free range Tibetan sheep.
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Old 12-20-20, 09:44 PM
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I've worn both. My seat is padded. I get the thinnest pad I can for my shorts. Synthetic smells worse than wool, to my nose, unless the synthetic is washed with special detergent or soaked in vinegar. Quick drying is a definite advantage. Easier to care for is a definite advantage. Lower cost is a definite advantage. Those advantages all lie with synthetics. I may very well fit into my old Black Bottoms next year. If my memories are false, I'll find out and, having taken this position, share my experience.
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Old 12-22-20, 11:13 AM
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Modern wool is better than the coarse fabric of yesteryear, lycra works well, and chamois leather had it's limitations,

but the idea that modern foam rubber- based chamois pads breathe well is a joke. Convenient, and what's available, but sweaty, and funk-prone, why is this the standard? Same with shoes: leather= breathable, comfortable; fabric/foam sandwich i.e. running shoes= hot, sweaty, cheap, available.

I wear wool shorts (Ibex- no longer available) quite a bit- good for cooler & mixed conditions. I also have Ibex knickers which are great for winter and well used for years.

When the company was folding, I bought a back up pair which were still in their plastic bag until recently. The main pair were in the wash, so I got out & used the new ones for one ride.

After, I spent some minutes trying to tell which was new & which was well-used and years old, & finally could only tell because the printing on the laundry tag was worn on one!


Haven't used these, but am impressed with a couple of other Nalini things:
https://nalini.cc/collections/nalini...ing-bib-shorts

Aero tech had shorts with a thin fabric pad with no foam, but sadly that seems to be lo longer offered.
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Old 12-26-20, 08:05 PM
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Harkens back to my early cycling days in the mid 70s. Wool shorts with real leather chamois that I had to grease regularly to retain suppleness. Those shorts got so damn baggy after only a couple wash cycles. Wore Bata biker shoes with clips and straps on my old Motobecane. Ah, the halcyon days of yore. NOPE. Modern quality gear is light years ahead of that old crap.
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Old 12-27-20, 02:19 AM
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I have a merino base layer and a merino jersey and the experience tells me I wouldn't want merino shorts; the feeling on skin is slightly scratchy and it just doesn't wick as well as synthetics. I don't care for thick padding, myself, so I could get on fine with a thin chamois, but lycra is just better stuff.
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Old 12-27-20, 03:25 AM
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I have a pair of Ice Breaker merino bibs from when they stuck their toe in the cycling market. They are fantastic. Synthetic chamois.
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Old 12-27-20, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post

The fact there are almost no such shorts on offer tells you the market has spoken and modern synthetic fabrics and pads are dramatically superior.

if this wasjust a cost issue, Ralpha would be selling us $400 merino wool shorts with chamois from free range Tibetan sheep.
Imagine the vegan hipster protests/boycots.
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Old 01-01-21, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
"Nashbar" still exists, but it's really not the company Arni Nashbar started. That company closed in 2018. Amain Sports bought the name, as they had with other defunct bike companies such as Performance, and use the Nashbar name for their web based business.

So "Nashbar" exists about the same way that "Schwinn" exists.

As to the shorts, for the love of all that is holy, WHY? Wool shorts with real chamois were ok in 1970 when that is all we had had. Lycra and a good synthetic pad is better by several orders of magnitude.
Hey, don't be hating. I'm from the same era as the OP and you don't want the 2 of us getting together and opening up a can of whoop-ass. :-)
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Old 01-01-21, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Roadies_Rok View Post
Hey, don't be hating. I'm from the same era as the OP and you don't want the 2 of us getting together and opening up a can of whoop-ass. :-)
I've heard and used that term since back in the days of leather chamois. But did you know there is an actual can of whoop-ass produced. I spotted these on the shelf of a convenience store when driving through a small town back in the early 2000's I think. Bought a bunch for my wife to use as humorous incentive for her underlings.


https://flavorman.com/jones-soda/jon...s-energy-drink
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Old 01-03-21, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Roadies_Rok View Post
Hey, don't be hating. I'm from the same era as the OP and you don't want the 2 of us getting together and opening up a can of whoop-ass. :-)
I’m also of that era ( hence the Arnie Nashbar reference.)

is that you Grant?
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Old 01-03-21, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
Kucharik sells real chamois and real wool, but I don't think the do bibs. 'Good synthetic pad' seems like an internally contradictory term. Reasons Lycra/synthetic replaced wool/chamois: cost, lycra/synthetic dries fast, leather does not, wool does not.
When the leather chamois in my wool Protogs shorts wore out, I had Kucharik replace it with one of their synthetic chamois. I have no complaints.
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Old 01-05-21, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by blinky View Post
Thanks for the honest answer and I agree , I'll retract the question - let me ask a question though , what brand would you recommend for a good high end bib short - I've got a pair of Pearls and they're a large but run very tight and so I'm looking for a better alternative .
Nobody can answer that for you. There's no alternative to at least trying them on or better yet, riding with them. Some like a minimal pad, some like more substantial. The shape of the pad, regardless of thickness, can affect comfort greatly. I like a fairly thin pad, that's fairly small. The same thickness of pad with a different shape can be uncomfortable to me. Then there's the fit of the bibs themselves. Some companies are extra tight, some more relaxed. With the tight ones, sometimes you can be happy going a size larger. Sometimes going a size larger makes the tightness OK, but the length too long.

All this is to say: Either find some locally to try or order several from a mail order with a good return policy. When I have to try to figure out a new pair, I will often order 6 pair: three different brands in a medium and large each, figure what works, return the rest. If shipping is free both ways, it's a no brainer, Even if you have to pay return shipping, it's not a big deal - you can fit quite a bit into a medium or large flat rate USPS box.

When you find some you really like, buy a couple more.

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Old 01-05-21, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
Nobody can answer that for you. There's no alternative to at least trying them on or better yet, riding with them. Some like a minimal pad, some like more substantial. The shape of the pad, regardless of thickness, can affect comfort greatly. I like a fairly thin pad, that's fairly small. The same thickness of pad with a different shape can be uncomfortable to me. Then there's the fit of the bibs themselves. Some companies are extra tight, some more relaxed. With the tight ones, sometimes you can be happy going a size larger. Sometimes going a size larger makes the tightness OK, but the length too long.

All this is to say: Either find some locally to try or order several from a mail order with a good return policy. When I have to try to figure out a new pair, I will often order 6 pair: three different brands in a medium and large each, figure what works, return the rest. If shipping is free both ways, it's a no brainer, Even if you have to pay return shipping, it's not a big deal - you can fit quite a bit into a medium or large flat rate USPS box.

When you find some you really like, buy a couple more.
Thanks for the time and thoughts , good approach and what I do with other clothing products many times .
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Old 01-05-21, 06:18 AM
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Thanks all for the input , all solid info , haven't checked back on my post in awhile , Happy New Year to everyone !! Love this forum !!
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Old 01-20-21, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Modern wool is better than the coarse fabric of yesteryear, lycra works well, and chamois leather had it's limitations,

but the idea that modern foam rubber- based chamois pads breathe well is a joke. Convenient, and what's available, but sweaty, and funk-prone, why is this the standard? Same with shoes: leather= breathable, comfortable; fabric/foam sandwich i.e. running shoes= hot, sweaty, cheap, available.

I wear wool shorts (Ibex- no longer available) quite a bit- good for cooler & mixed conditions. I also have Ibex knickers which are great for winter and well used for years.

When the company was folding, I bought a back up pair which were still in their plastic bag until recently. The main pair were in the wash, so I got out & used the new ones for one ride.

After, I spent some minutes trying to tell which was new & which was well-used and years old, & finally could only tell because the printing on the laundry tag was worn on one!


Haven't used these, but am impressed with a couple of other Nalini things:
https://nalini.cc/collections/nalini...ing-bib-shorts

Aero tech had shorts with a thin fabric pad with no foam, but sadly that seems to be lo longer offered.
Thanks Woodcraft , it's amazing that they can still be found !!
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Old 01-20-21, 04:23 PM
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Thanks everyone for the replies and your time , good pros and cons to think about !!
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Old 01-23-21, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
There are a few companies that still make wool shorts, none of them that I know of use a leather chamois.
https://www.kucharikclothing.com/woo...nal-p-347.html
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