Tag Archives: bike shorts

Bellweather Forma Bike Short Review

Recently while on my stationary trainer, I got the chance to wear the Bellweather Forma Bike Short.  Boy was I excited. This short comes with some noteworthy features worth taking a look at. As previously noted in another blog, I discussed the differences between tri shorts and bike shorts. The Forma falls into the bike short category, bringing with it a thicker chamois, longer inseam, and different material. The chamois and material are what drew me in. The material used in the short is called LYCRA POWER™ which just so happens to come along with compressive qualities to it. We’re all aware of the supportive dynamic compression offered to our muscles; of which I certainly could feel. The material is not only compressive, but comes with a ribbed surface, allowing more airflow into the short (we all know how sweaty we tend to get under all that lycra). Bellwether innovated this fabric by means of trying to achieve the correct balance of breathability and moisture transfer.

Onto the chamois…I’ve certainly made a point to make the padding a topic of interest in my posts when discussing shorts. Let’s face it, what our unmentionables get squished against better be comfortable. Here’s why it’s different:  The overall design was made with elite-long distance riding in mind. The foaming in the chamois was placed strategically to be more dense along the contact points that hit the saddle in order to alleviate pressure and reduce road shock. We’ve all felt that surprise pothole 40 miles into the ride and could use the additional suspension in our shorts. I also found that while I was in aero position, I continued to feel padding in the pelvic bone region. Most cycling shorts are a giant boat pad in the back and that’s it, not taking into consideration that one might be pronating their hips forward. This was great.  I felt added relief in the front, important to a triathlete who might spend most of their time down on their aero bars.

Another feature to note is the soft elastic band that didn’t create imprints on my hips. Always a plus.  Although not a tri-specific short, the Forma’s are perfect for the long distance rides and well worth the buy. Available for purchase at One Tri.

Bellwether Forma Bike Short

It’s all about the short, the short, the short!  The bike short, that is.  Bellwether’s Forma Bike Short answers the call with a quality chamois, and durable fabrics that’s able with withstand the most aggressive rider on the road.

I’m careless when it comes in washing my athletic apparel, and I usually just throw these in the washer/dryer because I hardly have the time to hand wash this stuff.  After about 6 cycles now, the fabric and chamois has held up quite well!

The bonus is that the fabric, as is the case with all Bellwether mid to higher end shorts, is that they have a compressive property to it.  In theory, this could possibly be the best value for a compression cycling short!

Check out Greg’s take on the shorts below:

Features:

  • LYCRA POWER™ fabric supports muscles
  • Ribbed surface improves airflow
  • High-density 3D molded seat pad
  • Soft elasticized waistband
  • Externally sewn silicon leg gripper
  • Flat-locked seams
Fit: Ergonomic ten-panel design
Fabric:  Aenergia™, Axial™
Chamois:  Physio Pro™

See more Bellwether goods by checking out the Bellwether Products page.

Triathlon Short Vs. Bike Shorts

“What’s the difference between tri shorts and bike shorts?”, “Why do I need tri shorts?”, “What are tri shorts?”

Working for a triathlon company, I get asked these questions quite often. Three distinct items differentiate tri shorts from bike shorts:

  1. Function: Running and Swimming versus Bike Riding
  2. Construction: How the short is designed
  3. Price: Which is more expensive? It really depends on what quality product you are going to pick.

Function: Whether or not you’re really going to need that diaper of a pad….

Bike shorts often come with the notion of having a “diaper-like” pad. This is based upon the fact that the padding (chamois) in a bike short is much thicker, as well it covers a wider surface area of the short (the pad reaches higher in the front, as well as the back for more cushion support). So why would you need a thicker pad as a triathlete? Simple. If you plan on logging in some serious training miles (let’s say beyond 20 or 30 mile rides) a thicker pad will eventually become a necessity. However, a biking short is just that: made for biking. A short with such a cushion would not be functional to run and swim in.  The bike short is designed for longer training rides. Thus, the need for tri shorts that have thinner pads designed with consideration for running and swimming in.

Construction: Tri and bike shorts have different design features. As previously mentioned, there’s the distinct difference of a thinner chamois in a cycling short but what else separates the two?

  • length:  A tri short tends to be shorter in length (a good 2-3 inches depending on the style). This difference is even more noticeable in some women’s styles.  Triathlon shorts generally range around 6” to 10”.
  • moisture wicking: A tri short is also designed to wick moisture, meaning they’re going to keep much drier and won’t absorb nearly as much water as a bike short. This in large part comes from the difference in the pad
  • shape: The actual shape of the shorts and chamois is designed with running in mind. Its shape moves with you while running, and the pad doesn’t span quite as wide. The cushioning is generally slight, and light enough to become unnoticeable while out on the run (but I’ve found this to be quite subjective among different shorts matched with different people). With most bike shorts you will find the short to mimic the shape of your body in a sitting position. With most tri shorts you will find them to be straight in construction like most pants and running shorts.

Pricing: Cost differences

On average, you’re going to be looking at a slightly steeper cost for a cycling short.

Bike Shorts: More material and a thicker padding usually translates to a little bit more of a cost. So when should you spend the extra cash? When a thicker chamois and longer short can’t be compromised. For many people longer bike training days equate to riding in cycling shorts rather than tri shorts. In this case comfort is paramount and sometimes it’s just not worth the saddle pains.

Tri Shorts: Some tri shorts can get very pricey when you consider the materials, pad, compression, etc… Look to spend between $60 to $100 for a pair of current/in-season/up-to-date tri shorts from a reputable company. For the most part, you’re probably going to want to stick to triathlon shorts for race day and even many training days.

If you’re looking for a best seller as far as cycling short for comfort reasons, check out the De Soto 400 Mile Bike Short.

Need an all around great tri short? Check out the 2XU Comp Tri Short. Get both shorts at OneTri.com

Happy Training.