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We were young, we were strong

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We were young, we were strong

Old 07-15-20, 04:53 AM
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TiHabanero
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We were young, we were strong

Reading a post about breaking in Brooks saddles and got to wondering how we got along back in the day, ie, 60's, 70's, 80's. Brooks B15n and I toured all over the Midwest in the 70's, Brooks Professional and I rode all over the west coast and the Philippines in the 80's. My butt never sat on a chamois until 1982 when I picked up some Vigorelli shorts while riding in Hawaii. Got them at Wheels of Hawaii. My brother had just started racing and told me to get Protogs, but they didn't have them. The chamois was leather with no padding. Just wanted to try them and found that cut-off jeans do not make exceptionally good riding shorts, but Vigorelli did! Today I use Boure' classic shorts with a synthetic chamois. No padding, just a chamois providing a place for sweat to go and prevent chaffing.

We were young, we were strong, we were invincible. Still am.
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Old 07-15-20, 05:26 AM
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Probably some amount of survivor bias and acceptance of injury involved. There are still riders (who in the fitting profession are called macro absorbers) who can ride double centuries on a wildly wrong sized bike on an ill fitting saddle wearing jeans and not face a single issue. Then there are people who just loved cycling enough to endure the ensuing injuries (some of which might have ended up being permanent). And then there were people who just didn't cycle because for them it sucked.

Today there is more knowledge of fitting, better selection of saddles, cockpit components, frame sizes and various geometries. All of these advancements have opened the door to people who back in the day would have found cycling intolerable.

My brother is someone who can ride anything with any gear imaginable. He did the full Iron Man riding the drops of his road bike because he couldn't be bothered to learn how to use an aerobar. I need to set my saddle to the quarter of a centimeter and tenth of a degree or it won't work. Luckily I can ride pretty much any chamois but bike fit for me is fiddly.

He would have been b cyclist 50 years ago. I would not have been.

And before anyone gets funny ideas about 'weakness' or 'lack of resolve', Eddy Merckx was notoriously fiddly with his fit and would adjust his seat height during a race whilst riding. And we all know he was not a weak rider. But he wasn't a macro absorber. He was a micro adjuster
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Old 07-16-20, 04:53 AM
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TiHabanero
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I am one of those fiddly fit persons as well. Back then I was not just like most riders. It is so bad now that I can barely stand to take a customer bike for a 1/2 mile test ride. As for shorts, I have become super fussy as well. Heavily padded shorts such as 10mm chamois produce too much sweat, or fabric that is "compression" fabric is too warm. Just an old fussy guy now. Smarter, too.
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Old 07-16-20, 05:02 AM
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In the early 80s (I was in my mid 20s) I didn't even have water bottle cages on my bike, let alone chamois in my shorts or anything other than the stock seat, bar tape, etc.

I like to think smarter is what happened, not fussier. Ten years or so I went through kidney stones and my bad hydration habits probably were at the root of it. Last year at age 62 I did the Seattle to Portland ride and had my longest one day ride ever - 123 miles on the first day - and felt way better than I did doing my first century ride back in my 20s.

There are areas I'm definitely fussier - I no longer run tires until I can see the inner tube through them, or bar tape until I can see the bar and I became a believer in proper bike fitting. Wait, maybe those are all "smarter" too!
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Old 07-16-20, 06:36 AM
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62 here. Still have never worn bike shorts and still riding cheap saddles.

Never knew either to be an issue until someone invented the internet.
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Old 07-16-20, 06:59 AM
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That's The Way It Was And We Liked It

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Old 07-16-20, 07:11 AM
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noimagination
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
No padding, just a chamois providing a place for sweat to go and prevent chaffing.

We were young, we were strong, we were invincible. Still am.
The word is "chafing" (abrading).
"Chaffing" (joking/teasing) is a completely different word.

The words are of completely different origin, one from Latin the other from middle English. They just happen to be one letter off from one another.

Sorry, probably no one else cares, but to me it is as irritating as using affect when effect is intended, for example.
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Old 07-16-20, 07:21 AM
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So early to mid teens (1970s) was when I really started to ride a lot. In good weather Id ride 30-50 miles every day, maybe taking one day off to do a 1.5 to 2 hour run.

I was glad to have black wool shorts with a leather chamois. I managed to pick up a slightly used Ideale 90 saddle at the LBS for $10. I also remember still being limited not so much by riding stamina but by how much saddle discomfort I could handle over the course of a week.

Otto

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Old 07-16-20, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by noimagination View Post
The word is "chafing" (abrading).
"Chaffing" (joking/teasing) is a completely different word.

The words are of completely different origin, one from Latin the other from middle English. They just happen to be one letter off from one another.

Sorry, probably no one else cares, but to me it is as irritating as using affect when effect is intended, for example.
I guess this means you probably don't want to offer me any advice on adjusting my breaks?
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Old 07-16-20, 07:47 AM
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When I was a teen I could ride 100 miles in commando cut offs without a second thought. Bike shorts were the province of racers back then. We scarcely knew they existed. Now, they're readily available and much more comfortable than street shorts. so I wear them. And now the cost is negligible. When I was a kid I would have had better things on which to spend my very limited funds.
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Old 07-16-20, 07:59 AM
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I've been bike commuting for 28 years, with longer weekend rides. That's when I decided to wear a cycling outfit. I settled on loose cotton shorts (not tight old jeans) and long-sleeve cotton button down shirts with a collar for sun protection, and old sneakers. The only bike-specific clothing were the gloves and the helmet. In the winter I'd get a heavy old sweater and wear a non-breatheable jogging suit over everything with a heavy scarf.

Good, but not great, but I just didn't know any better.

Then I discovered bikeforums 11 years ago and my bike clothing got better...but still not bike-specific except for sun-sleeves and the helmet.

I wear inexpensive synthetic quick-dry golf-shorts and T-shirts. I use toe-clips so I wear inexpensive sneakers with stiff soles. I pad my handlebars so I wear cheap cotton work gloves with the fingers cut off. On longer rides or sunny afternoon rides home I wear the sun sleeves and a neck-gaiter (works as covid mask, too). On very hot days I started wearing a breathable wicking skull cap, non-bike specific.

In the winter I wear longer, elastic semi-breathable sports pants and a semi-breathable jacket over layered long-sleeve cotton t-shirts with a wicking t as my base layer. I wear non-biking specific long fingered gloves from light to heavy depending on the temperature. In the snow I wrap plastic grocery bags over my socks.

And I pad my saddles.

I'm comfortable year-round, and I don't feel the need for more bike-specific clothing.

Perhaps if I did try bike-specific clothing I'd feel like I couldn't go back, but I don't feel the need to try bike specific gear at this time.
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Old 07-16-20, 08:36 AM
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TiHabanero
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noimagination, sorry to have offended you, or was your post a tease?

What we don't know does not hurt us as it is the way it is. Stick with what you know now and enjoy the ride.
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Old 07-16-20, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post
62 here. Still have never worn bike shorts and still riding cheap saddles.

Never knew either to be an issue until someone invented the internet.
Almost 40. I wear surf shorts instead and also cheap saddle. Never had any problems. It probably helps that I'm only 130 lbs, not a lot of food to eat!
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Old 08-05-20, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
And before anyone gets funny ideas about 'weakness' or 'lack of resolve', Eddy Merckx was notoriously fiddly with his fit and would adjust his seat height during a race whilst riding. And we all know he was not a weak rider. But he wasn't a macro absorber. He was a micro adjuster
If memory serves, which as I've gotten older, it has been less willing to do...
Wait, what were we talking about? <looks back at thread>
... Oh, yeah, Eddy Merckx. Bike adjustments. Right.

Anyhow, Eddy had a really, really bad accident on the track. Derny driver was killed, Eddy was seriously and permanently injured. His constant fiddling with his bike fit started after the crash, and was about pain relief rather than "bike fit" as we usually think about it. He was in constant pain for the rest of his career, and making tiny, otherwise-inconsequential changes to saddle, stem, and bars would change the pain. Not make it go away, but move it around his body, change the intensity, etc. Then, after a while, he'd have to do it again.

--Shannon
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Old 08-06-20, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
Eddy Merckx was notoriously fiddly with his fit and would adjust his seat height during a race whilst riding. And we all know he was not a weak rider. But he wasn't a macro absorber. He was a micro adjuster...
I recall a video recording of one Paris-Roubaix where Eddy is shown with his mechanics the night before. He is carefully measuring with a ruler, pointing out things and making or having made small adjustments to his bike(s).
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