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Greatest Underwear... Ever.

Ok ok ok.. I'm usually not one to rant and rave about things... wait, no, that's no right, I rant all the time. What I don't usually do is give my endorsement to clothing companies, THAT'S what I meant to say. But I have to gush about one particular piece of clothing I recently acquired that has become my favorite, so much so that several days ago I ordered 5 more so I could have one for almost every day of the week (I have 6 of them now). They arrived today and it occurred to me that I should share my discovery with others, so here we go!

Devold Multi Sport Boxer shorts. Hands down, they rule supreme over the nether regions. Women have their favorite panties, mostly favored for their sex appeal, or for how sexy they make the wearer feel. There's nothing particularly sexy about these underwear but they outperform and outshine every other boxer I've ever worn, hands down.

I originally read about them in the Rivendell Bicycle Works catalog, though I can't remember if it was the online version or the print catalog. Doesn't matter really. I pondered them several times, wondering what Grant Peterson was so excited about: underwear are underwear right? I'd tried "coolmax" underwear from REI and wasn't impressed: too hot, the "wicking" was a joke and they didn't fit right (too long in the crotch, seams in bad places), not to mention the fact that they chaffe on a bicycle seat, at least for me. Sorry if that's TMI, but we're talking about underwear here, so stop if you're squeamish.. whatever. I finally decided to pull the trigger, and I ordered some socks too. It turned out to be one of the better purchases I've ever made over the internet.

Now understand this: I am normally a cheap BASTARD when it comes to underwear. Shelling out $31 for a pair of underwear seemed an ASTRONOMICAL amount of money to pay for such a small piece of clothing, even if it IS made of Merino wool. I was skeptical, especially since you can never return underwear because it's against state law, or something like that. I figured if I got the wrong size I'd have to use them for a rag: thankfully I got the size right. It's not something you can generally find in your local store: Devold garments come from Norway, and very few people carry these. I'm not sure why this is, but it's a crying shame as far as I'm concerned.

So far I've done every sport I do in these underwear, and they wick better, dry faster, are cooler and more comfortable... and they don't smell. I've ridden for hours in these underwear, wore them the rest of the day, took them off at night and hung them up... and they didn't smell the next day. IMPOSSIBLE in any other pair of underwear (I've checked). I decided to torture test the underwear and wear them until they started to smell. 5 days folks. For me that's a miracle, akin to turning water into wine. If I was touring the country by bicycle, I'm fairly certain I could get by with just 2 pairs of these, at least until I wore one pair out.

Riding a bicycle in regular clothes is something the folks at Rivendell endorse heavily and about 8 months ago, I decided to try it. Kent Peterson pointed out at one point that for those who ride a lot, you soon weed out what works for riding and what doesn't and Grant pointed out the same thing but added that you soon realize that your "riding" wardrobe is about 3-4 times the size it was before you started riding in "regular" clothes. The interesting thing I've figure out lately is that even padded cycling shorts can cause chafing, but my Devolds NEVER chafe. They don't offer the padding that cycle specific shorts do, but unless you're going to ride over 20 miles (and you have a comfortable saddle: I prefer Brooks saddles), you don't really NEED cycling shorts. People who don't ride very often think that a big squishy gel seat is the way to go to keep you tender posterior from hurting. For rides under a couple of miles, you could probably get away with this. Anything more (especially in warm to hot weather) and you're gonna hate that seat. I do have an avenir saddle that I bought back in 2000 for my Burning Man bike that is sprung AND has a little gel in it: it's a VERY comfortable seat, but it's not "squishy"... just very supple. I've ridden all day around Burning Man for years and my butt is never sore. It's downside is that it doesn't breathe well at all (unlike my Brooks seats) so it does get sweaty, but as far as comfort, it's a champ. Saddle selection is one of the most crucial parts of riding a bike as it's one of the 3 spots where you body interacts directly with the bicycle. If it's uncomfortable, you're not gonna be happy. What you wear next to your skin is almost as important as the saddle, though this varies person to person. Anything with seams in the crotch is a no-no for me on anything further than about 11 miles. The Devold undies for me are good for all the distances I've biked since I've bought them (the longest being a little over 40 miles.)

Well, I'd better wrap this up: try out the Devold undies. They are great for cycling and everything else too. They are ACTUALLY worth the $31 dollars: I can think of several other things I've spent more money on that aren't anywhere near this comfortable!

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