Cotton Riding Shorts
Something must be done about what to wear under your protective gear when it’s warm.
Modern synthetic textile riding pants (and suits) can be less comfortable than minimally-protective denim jeans, particularly when it gets hot.
The only kinds of gym shorts, workout shorts, and almost all other kinds of basic shorts available are made from high-tech, lightweight synthetic polyesters. These thin running shorts dry quickly, which is fine when running. But this doesn’t work when you are riding inside a protective suit or wearing a pair of nylon riding pants. And those wonderfully stretchy Lycra ‘compression’ bicycle shorts which sometimes feel so great on long rides have the same problem: Nylon and polyester worn directly between you and an outer layer of nylon (or polyester) is not especially comfortable when things turn warmer.
Step out of your gear at a roadside stop wearing only cotton boxers (or briefs) and as comfortable as this might be, someone is going to call the fashion-police, and they might come and haul your fashion-butt off to fashion-jail in the back of their fashion-squad car. Just for wearing your good ol’ fashion skivvies in public.
Old-school 100% cotton twill all-purpose shorts is what you need. Simple. Unlined. The kind that become softer and better the more you wash them.
If you are younger than about 50 you won’t remember them, because you probably never had any like this in the first place. But if you are old these were what you wore for athletics and gym classes when you were back in high school. Attractive? (Not especially.) But so very comfortable.
We looked all over the place for nice old fashioned cotton gym shorts exactly like these. You’d think finding some would have been easy, with Google and Alibaba and everything else that’s right there on the internet. And with Asia full of hungry garment sewers. Not so much.
Finding the perfect shorts was like finding the right temperature porridge in ‘The Three Bears’ children’s story. Some were too lightweight. Some were too elaborate. Some needed a separate belt. Some were too expensive. All had some type of goofy problem.
After a couple of years we gave up and stopped looking.
The hell with it. We made our own. Now they are being sewn every day, here. Right along with the riding suits and pants. In five colors and two lengths. Of a wonderful old-fashioned 100% cotton medium weight twill that gets softer and better every time it's washed.
These all-purpose shorts last forever and they don’t look bad when you are just standing around somewhere in your riding boots and a t shirt. Wear them under your riding suit or pants, with or without other underwear. (We recommend commando.) When you are not in your riding gear they look like respectable shorts, yet function like comfortable underwear when you are. Especially after a few washes.
Cotton riding shorts like these are essential riding equipment when you wear synthetic protective textile rider’s gear. They’re that important. Try them. You won’t be disappointed. You’ll ride all day in sweet comfort.