— Forum Discussions —

17 posts / 0 new
Last post
Donna's picture
Joined: Nov 7 2006
Posts: 87
bike shorts or tri shorts for IM?

Hi,
I'm doing my first IM next week and had a question about shorts for the race. I have a friend who has done 3 IMs and for the first 2 she wore tri shorts. She said that it was extremely uncomfortable and decided to wear bike shorts for the ride for her last one. She wore a bathing suit bottom under her wetsuit, changed into bike shorts in T1 and then into tri shorts in T2. I planned on doing the same thing but have been speaking to other friends and they say its not so bad to wear tri shorts on the bike. I've done it for a HIM which was fine but I get numbness with bike shorts on a long ride, I imagine it would be much worse in tri shorts.
I guess the reason I would want to wear tri shorts is because a) time in T1 and T2 and b) peeing in bike shorts seems like it would be much more absorbent than tri shorts (I'm imagining it might feel like having a diaper on!)
Anyway, I'd love to hear other people's experience with this.
Thanks!

LongTime's picture
Joined: Mar 10 2007
Posts: 109

Have you tried wearing the tri shorts for a long training ride, of 5-plus hours? That should give you the answer as we all have differences. I've only done a couple HIMs, but when the day comes to do an IM and I'm going to be in the saddle for 6 or so hours, I'm going to be as comfortable as possible. Probably wear good quality cycling shorts and top. Comfort takes precedence over saving a minute in transition.

Ironmom's picture
Joined: Nov 30 2006
Posts: 1820

I'm not sure that's a question anyone can really answer for you a week out from your IM. If you haven't biked in tri shorts for one of your long rides already, I wouldn't suggest trying them for the first time in an IM. That would be something to decide during your phase of long training rides, so I'd say go with whatever you've been comfortable in on your long rides so far.

For me, I discovered that my tri shorts were far more comfortable for long bike rides than bike shorts and so I wore the same tri shorts for the entire IM.

Donna's picture
Joined: Nov 7 2006
Posts: 87

Yeah. It's probably too late to ask. I planned on wearing bike shorts but all of a sudden questioning it. It's easy enough to change during tranisition-I'm not too worried about that. I'm now wondering about wearing bike shorts if and when I have to pee. I guess people do it. Right?? Cyclists must have the same thing to contend with during long races....

LongTime's picture
Joined: Mar 10 2007
Posts: 109

In the Tour de France the guys actually stop and pee by the side of the road. Landis did it last year on camera. If you get off the bike and pee by the side of the road, how much time will you lose? 60 seconds?

Anton's picture
Joined: Mar 4 2005
Posts: 5350

Donna...I've done IM's both ways...with tri shorts and with bike shorts. The tri shorts were ok...but I liked the bike shorts better...I don't change and am used to running long in bike shorts.
If modesty prevails and you want to use a porta john...do so...getting off the bike for a few minutes in an IM bike ride won't kill ya and in fact will help...a few minute "stand down" can leave you feeling fresh and invigorated...
Go with what you feel comfortable with and don't make the rookie IM mistake of second guessing everything you've done in training and feel comfortable with...especially once you get to LP...you'll hear lots of stuff and you'll also see people in panic mode with "second guessing syndrome."
See ya there!
Man LongTime! if you can evactuate that fast...I'm impressed!

kylie's picture
Joined: Jun 1 2004
Posts: 5521

I am another that is often more comfy in tri shorts so I wear those. I'd even wear them if it wasn't more comfy (at least now). For my first IM my goal was finishing, and I did change my top in T2, but now I hope to finish faster and each saved minute will matter when it comes to a PR :).

brittda's picture
Joined: Jan 25 2005
Posts: 2458

Tri shorts for me--- just like Ironmom and kyillee, I find that tri shorts are more comfy than bike shorts any way. It is all a matter of preference.

kkocan's picture
Joined: Jun 20 2006
Posts: 433

Ditto on the tri-shorts. I"ve found that I like the smaller 'pad/chamois' better actually. I've gone up to 115 miles now in my tri-shorts with only 1 quick stop to refill bottles. Regular bike shorts now seem too bulky for me.

PJT
PJT's picture
Joined: Aug 16 2005
Posts: 1513

It was bike shorts for me (and running shorts on the run). I had not found a pair of tri shorts that I could comfortably ride in for more than 56 miles. I also correctly guessed that the extra 30 seconds in T1 and T2 would not materially affect my chances of winning a Kona slot.

PrinceofClydes's picture
Joined: Sep 13 2004
Posts: 3265

[QUOTE=Donna;73191]Yeah. It's probably too late to ask.[b] I planned on wearing bike shorts[/b] but all of a sudden questioning it. It's easy enough to change during tranisition-I'm not too worried about that. I'm now wondering about wearing bike shorts if and when I have to pee. I guess people do it. Right?? Cyclists must have the same thing to contend with during long races....[/QUOTE]

Stay with the plan.
Comfort is the final arbiter.
Compromising comfort to save a few seconds, even a minute or two in a 13 or 14 hour day is dumb.

This is your first ironman?
Odds are then, that you won't be challenging for the lead, so think about making this the most [U]enjoyable[/U] experience you possibly can.

If you make it miserable for yourself you will harbor bitter, painful memories for a long time.

best of luck,

PoC

"What you you get when you suffer? You get results!" - Paul Sherwin

Donna's picture
Joined: Nov 7 2006
Posts: 87

Ah, yes. Second guessing syndrome. I'm becoming familiar with that diagnosis!

This is my first IM but I am shooting for a respectable time. You never know who will show up and if everything goes perfectly, I might come close to getting a slot or at least giving myself enough confidence that I know I will get one next year. Anyway, the time in transition doesn't seem like a bother but the stopping on the bike to pee does. I guess I will go with the bike shorts and have to just see what happens.

I will let you all know how my bathroom habits worked out. (I'm sure you will all want to know the details! ;)

Thanks, everyone!

PrinceofClydes's picture
Joined: Sep 13 2004
Posts: 3265

There will be porta potties out on the bike course at the aid stations.
You pass one every half hour so I can't imagine an adult being unable to manage that.
Don't worry about it. It really is far easier than you imagine it will be.

PoC

"What you you get when you suffer? You get results!" - Paul Sherwin

Riverbrady's picture
Joined: Jul 16 2004
Posts: 560

I simply think of the seconds it stops to pee as time I'm stretching my legs/unloading them and making the next miles that much more comfortable.

beads1985's picture
Joined: Mar 11 2004
Posts: 6147

I changed into bike shorts in T1.

Go with comfort for the first time.
In the future train in your tri shorts for long rides to see if you can get used to them.

As stated stopping to pee once in a while will stretch your legs and benefit you in the long run(pun intended) :D

Ultrarunner's picture
Joined: Sep 30 2005
Posts: 197

I recommend the tri shorts for future races. Nothing new on race day. I don't like to change clothes at all through transitions and the tri shorts are much more comfortable on the run. In fact I have done some of my ultra-marathon training in them because they don't creep up like regular running shorts.

Sloswimr's picture
Joined: Jun 25 2007
Posts: 92

I'm with most of the crowd. I like my tri shorts for longer races, but don't change this late in your training.

? Top