Hey, there’s no hiding it, I’m cheap. I’m always looking for good deals on bike stuff. This Christmas I purchased some 12 dollar bib shorts from China. I needed some new shorts and couldn’t believe the price. The pictures looked decent and I thought, even if they suck they were only 12 bucks. When they arrived and I tried them on I knew I had made a mistake. They were sized correctly, maybe a bit bigger then most cycling clothing and they fit well. I was impressed with the thickish chamois, it looked similar to what would come on bike shorts costing 5 times as much. I realized the problem with the shorts once I wore them around a bit.
The material on these is very light and has very little stretch. The idea behind bike shorts is that they don’t move, they stick to you like a second skin. It’s not really that we want to go around with skin tight clothing, that’s just an added bonus. The real reason for the tight fit is so loose material doesn’t rub holes in our rears. The material on these cheap shorts is so thin that they can’t hold the chamois against your skin, and that 3D shaped Chamois that looks comfortable is about the most uncomfortable one I’ve ever sit on. I used these shorts on the trainer this winter and they were tolerable for a 45 minute session, barely. I used them on 2 hour road bike ride this Wednesday and haven’t been able to ride since then.
Another waste of money was the 2 dollar bottle cages I found on ebay direct from China. They are light, look good, and they hold a bottle, so what could be wrong? Well after about 6 months one fell off my bike. The plastic around the bolts snapped off. Riding this week, the same ride with the horrible shorts, the remaining cage rattle like crazy. The plastic on these things is really weak and brittle and they can’t seem to hold a bottle still.
I recently purchased a couple of Bontrager cages that looked familiar. Replacing the Chinese cage I realized they are nearly identical. The Bontrager cage is a different plastic that is heavier but also much stiffer. Needless to say the Bontrager cage holds bottles complete still. There is no rattling and I don’t expect them to snap off in a few months.