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Old 06-28-10, 10:08 AM   #1
Loose Chain
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Unpadded cycling shorts/tights

You know, I have been a cyclist since I was a kid and have only owned a handful of padded bike shorts/tights. I have a number of pair of old Scott Tinley bike shorts that are unpadded. In fact, all of my cycling cloths are unpadded. Back in the 80s and early 90s when I was into the what is now intermediate distance triathlons (25 mile bike) I just wore my Speedo swimsuit as was very common then for the entire event with just a singlet added for the ride and run.

It has been my experience that padded shorts just don't do anything for me but bunch up and look stupid. Is it just me?

BTW, the three bikes I ride the most all have currently BG Avatar 145mm saddles but I have used Stella leather/plastic and many others in the past and no padding.

Sources of unpadded cycling short would be nice if you have any?
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Old 06-28-10, 10:43 AM   #2
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I think it's just you, "iron-butt".
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Old 06-28-10, 11:03 AM   #3
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Protect the soft tissue!
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Old 06-28-10, 11:08 AM   #4
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Hey it's your junk, do what you want.
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Old 06-28-10, 11:18 AM   #5
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My understanding - probably wrong - is that the chamois is not for padding, but to absorb excess moisture and what have you.

I've got a friend, 75, who rides all the trails in, essentially, a Speedo. Former participant of some sort in the TDF, beats the heck out of me. And he rides on a 50's restored 10 speed. He must weigh all of 110 lbs, if that much. He generally rides 40 miles.
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Old 06-28-10, 11:33 AM   #6
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I sit on a padded saddle, not one of those super hard things, so I'm sure most of the softening is in my saddle and not in my shorts. I ride in street clothes sometimes and notice no difference in comfort.
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Old 06-28-10, 12:26 PM   #7
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I have never had an issue with good padded shorts. Most of my shorts are Pearl Izumi, with a couple from Performance.
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Old 06-28-10, 12:32 PM   #8
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Wow. The shorts I bought in 1984 were padded. Not much but they were padded.
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Old 06-28-10, 12:48 PM   #9
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Back in the day my Blackbottom shorts only had a chamois, no padding and I rode on a Turbo saddle. Now all my bibs have some padding (Squadra and Pactimo), but my Specialized Toupe saddle isn't padded
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Old 06-28-10, 02:06 PM   #10
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I guess what I am asking is does anyone else ride with unpadded clothing and if so, what and where as I am having a hard time replacing my increasingly worn clothing, have run through my spares and find nothing but Lycra with these huge depends like pads in them.

I guess maybe I am the only one, I don't hurt, my rear does not get sore, I do not go numb, I have no issues UNLESS I use padded clothing.

I do notice one thing, while I never quit riding, for some time I had not ridden much and due to a job change and other factors my weight had increased to 210 pounds and when I started doing mileage again and getting serious my rear did hurt some initially but now that I am back down to 164 pounds (5-11), I feel fine in the saddle even after many miles including a recent 100 mile ride. I did purchase one and then two more BG Avatar saddles as I said, the saddle is not soft but it feels good and I would rather the saddle do the work for me.

Yes, chamois, unpadded, that would be fine but pure, unpadded chamois shorts are harder to find than unpadded stuff. I would alos like clothing without all of the funny color and graphics

Oh well, maybe go back to the Speedo.
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Old 06-28-10, 02:13 PM   #11
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I think it's just you, "iron-butt".
+1 I think its just you.
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Old 06-28-10, 02:18 PM   #12
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Always used shorts or bibs with the chamois type liner fitted and they are not for comfort. Dryness is the key word but for one long ride my LBS gave us some of the thick padded shorts as we were going to be out for a long time. (+ the fact they had the shop name on them) They felt awkward to say the least. Walking about looked painfull and that was before the ride. But Butt ache did not come in for a very long time. On the bike they were comfortable and no dampness at all. Rarely wear them though as they are uncomfortable when not on the bike.

But if you look at the cheaper shorts with liners fitted--the liner is only machine stitched. Easy enough to remove the liner without affecting the fit. I have done this on tights as I do not want two liners when wearing shorts underneath. And I went to a general sports shop that carried some more special clothing for sports. In the running section I found Lycra shorts with no padding for running.
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Old 06-28-10, 04:38 PM   #13
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Sources of unpadded cycling short would be nice if you have any?
I have found good comfort by using standard compression shorts (like basketball and soccer players wear under their shorts). Any good sporting goods store sells them--and they are a lot less expensive than bicycle shorts). They are just like bike shorts sans padding. Worth a try.
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Old 06-28-10, 05:03 PM   #14
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I guess what I am asking is does anyone else ride with unpadded clothing and if so, what and where as I am having a hard time replacing my increasingly worn clothing, have run through my spares and find nothing but Lycra with these huge depends like pads in them.
I have a friend who rides at least 5 times a week and has done so for decades. He never wears padded shorts. I wish I could skip them but my butt gets sore...
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Old 06-28-10, 05:42 PM   #15
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You can buy recumbent cycling shorts without the padding. Actually the cheapest method might be to get shorts on sale at Nashbar of Performance and take the padding out. I have done this this on shorts that I use.
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Old 06-28-10, 07:36 PM   #16
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I like the Insport Brute shorts. They give great support and have an 11 inch inseam, which is longer than most shorts.
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Old 06-28-10, 08:05 PM   #17
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I don't think this rider is using padded shorts and it doesn't look as if she is complaining.

http://mediaspot.ospreypacks.com/wp-...2010_Cover.jpg
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Old 06-28-10, 08:13 PM   #18
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If you want to go really old school, here's a link to some wool shorts. They have an option of no pad, or a real chamois pad.

http://www.kucharikclothing.com/wool...72e8c83a224496

I haven't bought their wool shorts. I have some of their lycra shorts and they're reasonably good quality at a reasonably good price.
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Old 06-28-10, 09:48 PM   #19
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I don't think this rider is using padded shorts and it doesn't look as if she is complaining.

http://mediaspot.ospreypacks.com/wp-...2010_Cover.jpg
Sure, but she's getting paid to look like she's not suffering.

Many modern saddles are little more than a tiny piece of carbon fiber supported by a couple titanium rails. If you want padding, you have to supply it yourself in your shorts.

In the past, padding was either between the leather top and the plastic shell or integral with the tensioned leather. The chamois was simply for moisture and chafing control.

Why the change? Maybe because moving the padding to the shorts allowed a lighter saddle, so the weight weenies would have something to brag about? How many weight weenies include the weight of their shorts in their calculations?
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Old 06-28-10, 11:23 PM   #20
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Oh well, maybe go back to the Speedo.
Loose,
If you can still wear a Speedo and do so with your wife's blessing, Go for it!
Personally, since I cannot I will wear padded bike shorts and be grateful...

Last edited by Old School; 06-28-10 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 06-28-10, 11:27 PM   #21
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I have a friend who rides at least 5 times a week and has done so for decades. He never wears padded shorts...
Wimp!
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Old 06-29-10, 12:18 AM   #22
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I don't were padded bike shorts, just regular spandex. I commute 23 miles each way to work 3 or 4 days a week and just did 130 miles with no problem at all. I tried bike shorts but they are just 2 uncomfortable. To each there own.
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Old 06-29-10, 02:00 AM   #23
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I wish I could afford a pair of padded bibs. I did 93 miles last Saturday with a piece of foam from a foot brace in my shorts. It worked well but the hook and loop strips I used to try to hold in place came off. Still it was better than nothing.
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Old 06-29-10, 02:17 AM   #24
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Geez, why can't we just have a consensus on what is the best bike, the best saddle and the best sorts. Oh, and did I mention shoes, and pedals, and, oh yes, nutrition ... oh, I was going to say more but I got to finish by brevet.
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Old 06-29-10, 03:18 AM   #25
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Check out AeroTech Designs for unpadded shorts & tights.
Also try J&G Cyclewear for lightly padded touring shorts.
Use both- the AeroTech short when it is really hot/humid out
as they have a great feeling like I'm wearing nothing. They also
make a lightly padded tri short - very comfortable also when hot/humid.
The J&G touring short is what I usually wear when it is warm out, also hiking,
swimming, where ever I would wear a "sport" type of short.
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