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« Working Bike: Fast Eddie | Main | On being Working Class. »

An open letter to all shorts manufacturers: Please take care of the Butt Crack issue

Back in 2007 I wrote a tongue in cheek piece called “Batman and Robin never had this problem.”

It addressed the problem of cycling shorts being so shear, that the outline of male genitalia could be seen in such detail that you could almost tell a person’s religious leanings, or ethnic background.

At the time I called for more padding in the shorts, and since then padding in cycling shorts has become larger and thicker, to the extent that we now see some serious male “Camel Toes” on the podium. This previous problem was not an issue when guys were actually riding their bike, but rather in parading around in coffee shops after riding. One does not want to see the “Brim of the Hat,” especially when eating.

So it seems cycling short manufacturers have taken care of the “Frontal” issue but are still ignoring the “Butt Crack” issue. The last thing I want to see when riding with a group, is to be staring at some guy’s butt crack as I am following his wheel.

Even if it is a female rider, there is nothing pleasing, or erotic about it, in fact it is downright embarrassing. I mean, what do you do? Ride along side and say, “Excuse me miss but did you know your butt crack is showing?” No you try to ignore it, and ride on wondering if anyone else notices.

In most cases if the shorts are worn properly with the rear seam centered correctly, it is amazing that a tiny row of stitching barely a quarter of an inch wide, is enough to hide the offending crack. But get the seam off to one side, as in the picture above, and the fabric stretched across the valley, becomes shear and see through. Especially when the sun shines on it. The old adage of “Put it where the sun don’t shine” does not apply in this case.

It is not just cheap shorts that have this problem, some expensive ones too. It seems to me that this would be an easy fix. An extra strip of the same material sewn on the inside would take care of it. This strip would only need to be no more than 2 inches wide. They could be advertised as “Hidden Valley” cycling shorts.


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Reader Comments (10)

I think those shorts are just worn out. You can see the fabric is thicker in other places.

I have an old pair of castellis that have a couple of similar sheer spots. Still good for the winter under tights.

October 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterThe other dave

Awesome post. I once made the mistake of telling my wife that her (new) shorts were a bit sheer in back. The mistake was doing so while we were out for a ride and meeting friends. I think she'd rather not have known until after the ride was over.

October 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNeil

I was riding behind a guy a while back and it was amazing how "naked" he was. I went back and forth trying to decide whether to roll up beside him and let him know, but decided against. But like The Other Dave, I think he had laundered them so many times he had no idea I was getting the whole view. - and a scary view. My wife mentioned the Lululemon yoga pants "crisis," when those pants kind of told the whole story. I am for thicker lycra!

October 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEd

Or, you could celebrate the problem, like the guys at Cycle Buttcrack (it's a link) do.

Warning: the link is NOT for the faint of heart.

October 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPlain Jim

After many washes, any pair of bibs will get too thin to wear in groups.
I use those when I'm working out on the trainer.

October 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBill K

It's not just the crack, often you can make out the tattoo as well!

October 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterYoav

My point exactly. There is no problem while the fabric is stretched across plain skin, but where there is a contrast like a butt crack or tattoo, it shows through. Maybe what is needed is needed is a strip of "Flesh" colored fabric underneath. Or a strip of masking tape might take care of the issue. After all it is why it's called "Masking Tape."

October 30, 2014 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

Same problem with the new NFL pants. Check out teams with white, or lighter tights. I don't think family viewing should include 280 pounders in jock straps!
And there is a lot of assuming the Sumo position in High Definition.

October 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

coulda done without the visual there, bub.

November 13, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterxoffender

Photo on the web of a south American womens cycling team with a nude panel on shorts. Any comments on that?

November 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjohn crump
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