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Mountain bike shorts like the Louis Garneau are a good lycra alternativeAre you a new rider who would like to be comfortable while riding, but you are not ready for the “lycra look” so often associated with bicycle shorts?  Is cost is a concern, as you read and hear about cycling gear that costs more than your first bike?  Fortunately, there are choices for the new rider looking for their first pair of cycling shorts that can offer all the comfort benefits of the traditional shorts and are easy on the wallet.

Who needs cycling shorts?  Typically if you regularly riding an hour or more, you will be more comfortable in cycling-specific clothing.  One of the important functions of a good cycling short is to wick moisture away from the skin. This is especially true during the warm, humid summer days ahead, when chafing can be a problem as perspiration builds up between your body and clothes.

Cycling shorts also provide padding, but it must be the correct shape for your riding style and gender.  The clothing design and fabric is also intended to smoothly move with your body during the cycling motion, while avoiding uncomfortable seams.  

So if you are first time cycling short buyer, here are some recommendations to help your shopping.

If you want the comfort benefit, but don’t want to make the full lycra commitment, consider Cannondale’s Fitness Baggy Short ($54.99).  They look like a typical mid-length gym short, but include a close fitting, padded liner for cycling.  They also work well for those casual ride to the farmers market or a family picnic.

The Pearl Izumi Canyon is comfortable "cross-over" short for all riding styles.Baggies or mountain bike shorts are another option for first time shorts.  Louis Garneau’s Cyclo Short ($54.99) is an entry level mountain bike short with soft durable shell over a padded cycling liner.  Mountain bike shorts are rugged enough for riding through brush, but are also a good alternative for the distance commuter or a ride to a casual restaurant.  Pearl Izumi’s Canyon Short, ($79.99, Men’s or Women’s) is a popular “cross-over” fitness-baggy-mountain bike short, featuring a loose fitting shell over a padded liner.

If you are looking for traditional look in short that is easy on the wallet, the Louis Garneau Optimum short ($49.99) is good choice for the novice road rider who plans to ride more.  It’s a well made, multi-panel design, with an anatomic chamois (that’s the padding). It will work well as you start out, and you will be able to keep them in your wardrobe as you add more shorts over time. (The more you ride, the more shorts you will want to have around, unless you love to do laundry!)

Another option for the budding road rider is pair of bib shorts. Bibs offer the best fit and keep the padding in place without a binding waistband.  The Louis Garneau Power Bib ($109.99) good choice for the novice rider or anyone new to the bib style.

Remember that any cycling short is worn like a bathing suit for optimum comfort.  Also, for best care and to avoid possible skin irritation, use a sport fabric detergent, like Sport Wash, and air dry.  With care, a pair of cycling shorts is good for many seasonq of use.

Bicycle Garage Indy offer the best selection of bicycle clothing in Indianapolis, including brands like Bontrager, Cannondale, Gore, Louis Garneau, Pearl Izumi, Showers Pass, SmartWool and others.   You can find them at any of our three locations, Bicycle Garage Indy North-82nd St (Just East of Dean Rd), Bicycle Garage Indy Greenwood (County Line Road, just west of I-65) and Downtown in the Indy Bike Hub YMCA.

Louis Garneau Optimum Road shorts - comfortable to ride, easy on the wallet.