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  1. #1
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    Does the type of padding in the shorts make a seat more or less comfortable?

    The new Giant's seat hurts my butt after 10 or 12 miles. I don't spend all the time in the seat and I do try to distribute my weight(all 145 to 147 lbs of it) to all three points, sit bones, legs, and hands. I know I need to get used to a different type of bike and riding, but after 1 week and several adjustments, I'm not finding any, or barely any, improvement. I have to stop after about 10/12 miles and get off for a bit and then I seem to have stop 1 or 2, usually 2, times to finish 23 miles. The shorts I wear do have a pad, but it's a rather thin pad. Now, I did go to the LBS and they gave me a test seat to try out, Specialized Avatar, and there is a good improvement. I finished all 23 miles today without having to stop for butt pain--did need to stop for traffic a couple of times, but not for my butt.

    I just wondered if I had shorts with a better pad that it might make a difference. BTW, other than when I stand, I ride 80% on the hoods, 10 or so% on the flats, the rest is standing and 1 or 2% in the drops.


    Edit: Can an Admin add shorts to the thread title to make it:
    "Does the type of padding in the shorts make a seat more or less comfortable?"
    Last edited by Bikey Mikey; 03-29-12 at 05:18 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Seve's Avatar
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    Shorts really work in combination with the saddle. Yes, there is padding/chamois however, the biggest benefit is the reduction of friction (w/chamois cream) and to draw/wick away sweat from your skin to prevent aggravation/friction.

    The seat should be comfortable on it's own and yes, shorts help, although not as a substitute for an ill fitting saddle.

    Riders often find that some of the thinnest padded shorts are actually the most comfortable and price is not always the determining factor. Right or wrong, trial and error plays a role.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seve View Post
    Shorts really work in combination with the saddle. Yes, there is padding/chamois however, the biggest benefit is the reduction of friction (w/chamois cream) and to draw/wick away sweat from your skin to prevent aggravation/friction.

    The seat should be comfortable on it's own and yes, shorts help, although not as a substitute for an ill fitting saddle.

    Riders often find that some of the thinnest padded shorts are actually the most comfortable and price is not always the determining factor. Right or wrong, trial and error plays a role.
    This was my understanding. From what I've read the shorts(and thus the chamois) functioned to wick moisture away and to reduce/eliminate friction/chaffing, not make a seat not hurt your butt because of pressure on the sit bones and corresponding muscles and tissues. I'm going to test this seat for a few days more, and even if it seems to be the one, the LBS also has Specialized Alias to test. I eventually want to be able to do long rides and next year, 2013, participate in the Tour De Cure in my area.

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    Get a Brooks saddle, the devil made me post it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by overthehillmedi View Post
    Get a Brooks saddle, the devil made me post it.
    Read many good things about Brooks, but I want to test a saddle before I buy. Back on topic, I just wondered how much influence the padding in the shorts have on saddle comfort.

  6. #6
    Century bound Phil85207's Avatar
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    For some the more padding makes an improvement and some it makes it worse. Its trial and error, like the man said. Tri- athletes snorts are real thin and they ride over 100 miles. It would be nice if it were one size fits all but ...

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  7. #7
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Padding in shorts is for wicking away moisture and not comfort unless you do go for gel or thick padding that doesn't work that well so I don't recommend them. I do like a slightly padded saddle but Boreas- the TCR and the OCR before had no padding on the saddle and they worked fine- for about 6 months before they were changed. The N+1 I have recently got has only done about 200 miles or so and last Sunday it still tweaked the backside after about 25 miles. It is slightly padded and I was going to change it to the saddle from the TCR before next week. Didn't and Tuesday did 30 miles on it and absolutely no pain.

    So give it a few miles but if you still feel you "Need" some padding then go for a well known make such as the Selle Italia Flight or another recommended make. Do not go for a much padded saddle with lots of foam that increases the width of the nose of the saddle. Lightly padded will do.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikey Mikey View Post
    The new Giant's seat hurts my butt after 10 or 12 miles. I don't spend all the time in the seat and I do try to distribute my weight(all 145 to 147 lbs of it) to all three points, sit bones, legs, and hands. I know I need to get used to a different type of bike and riding, but after 1 week and several adjustments, I'm not finding any, or barely any, improvement. I have to stop after about 10/12 miles and get off for a bit and then I seem to have stop 1 or 2, usually 2, times to finish 23 miles. The shorts I wear do have a pad, but it's a rather thin pad. Now, I did go to the LBS and they gave me a test seat to try out, Specialized Avatar, and there is a good improvement. I finished all 23 miles today without having to stop for butt pain--did need to stop for traffic a couple of times, but not for my butt.

    I just wondered if I had shorts with a better pad that it might make a difference. BTW, other than when I stand, I ride 80% on the hoods, 10 or so% on the flats, the rest is standing and 1 or 2% in the drops.


    Edit: Can an Admin add shorts to the thread title to make it:
    "Does the type of padding in the shorts make a seat more or less comfortable?"
    Really, you've answered your own question: clearly not a 'shorts problem', but a butt/saddle interface (sorry, couldn't resist!) problem. Appears you're already on the way to sorting this out: the stock (?) Giant saddle just doesn't work with your anatomy.

    FWIW, I'm with Stapfam on the 'shorts' thingy: I can't stand the techy, over-engineered/shaped pads currently available ... I've found if the saddle is right, a simple, relatively thin chamois works best for me; the thicker 'engineered' ones I've tried have caused more pain/problems than they've solved. YMMV, of course.

  9. #9
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    It really does have to do with the saddle. I can definitely tell the difference between the Giant OEM saddle on my Defy and the OEM Colnago saddle. The Colnago saddle is narrower but with a longer, thinner nose and it is much more comfortable than the saddle on the Defy. Neither saddle has, what one would call, padding on them. My three riding shorts are identical, so the chamois really doesn't come into play here.

    I rode a friends road bike about two weeks ago that had an ISM Adamo Century saddle on it. That is one comfortable saddle that I may be looking into getting. ISM is a local company and the owner used to be an officer with the Tampa Police Department. He provides saddles, free of charge, to the bike patrols of the local law enforcement agencies. These guys are on their bikes for almost their entire shift, so these saddles must be comfortable.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member curdog's Avatar
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    Good shorts can make a substantial difference. Make sure they fit. They should be as tight as possible, while still being comfortable. If shorts are too large, the padding will someimes bunch, causing chafing problems,
    Cannondale Synapse, Electra Townie, Rivendell Sam Hillborne, Indy Fab Factory Lightweight, Co-Motion Cascadia

  11. #11
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I like the combination of REI expedition shorts and a Brooks Pro or Team Pro saddle.

    Saddle padding can counterproductively redistribute pressure to places you do not want it, such as the perinaeum.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  12. #12
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikey Mikey View Post
    Read many good things about Brooks, but I want to test a saddle before I buy. Back on topic, I just wondered how much influence the padding in the shorts have on saddle comfort.
    This is all I got!

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  13. #13
    Badger Biker ctyler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikey Mikey View Post
    Read many good things about Brooks, but I want to test a saddle before I buy. Back on topic, I just wondered how much influence the padding in the shorts have on saddle comfort.
    I agree about Brooks. I have Brooks on all my bikes. You can order a Brooks from Wallingford Bicycle Parts: http://www.wallbike.com/brand/brooks "We give a six-month unconditional guarantee on all new Brooks saddles. We are happy to talk with you about saddle choice. We want you to get the saddle that is going to work for you."
    It's a good day to ride.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    A hard slick Brooks saddle and a good set of cycling shorts have been a good combo for me. I've tried a number of bike saddles, and all that I tried, really chapped/numbed my hide from the friction and squish.

  15. #15
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    yes but there is no better/comfortable saddle than a leather Brooks. worth every penny
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  16. #16
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    The more miles you ride, the less your ass will hurt. Brooks-the only saddle that I have ever used that removed skin. Never again. The devil made me say it.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikey Mikey View Post
    I did go to the LBS and they gave me a test seat to try out, Specialized Avatar, and there is a good improvement. I finished all 23 miles today without having to stop for butt pain.
    Uh - I'm not sure what your question is but that sure looks to be the answer.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    Today is my rest day...rain in the forecast anyway--also wanted to give any soreness more chance to heal/subside. I'll ride tomorrow and 3/4 of the ride on Monday, lands me at the LBS, and either buy the Avatar or try out one of the other test saddles they have. I'll get one by the end of the week I'm sure. I certainly would strongly consider a Brooks, but I won't buy a saddle I can't test first and I don't think anyone sells brooks or has one to test locally--at least I can't find anyone.

  19. #19
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    I like the Avatar a lot too. A similar saddle, the Fizik Aliante, works even better for me. If you get the chance, try one. I do like the Brooks too but they are heavy.

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  20. #20
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    Funny you should mention the Fizik Aliante. I believe my LBS has that model, but I'm unsure they have a test saddle.

  21. #21
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    My 2 favorite saddles have almost no padding. The Selle Italia SLR Fibra and the Specialized Toupe. Both are 130's vs the more popular 140. Most people have sitz bones that are more suited to the 140's. I found the saddle width was a bigger issue for me than padding. I see little difference in comfort between different thicknesses of padding in bicycle shorts. I find the padding material type, seam construction and type of material used for the shorts to be of greater importance.

    I am currently using the Toupe because the leather cover on the Selle Italia is not so durable. If I wear any color of shorts other than black the Selle Italia bleeds onto the shorts and becomes visible. Since shorts are expensive I decided not to allow them to become discolored.

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