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Old 11-13-13, 07:08 PM   #1
CharlesZ
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Padding

Love riding but find that without wearing bike shorts with chamois padding it's too uncomfortable and risky.

Due to this my riding time has become inhibited--I want to ride, but now I have to dress for it when often I just

want to jump on and go. Anyone have similar problems? Solutions? Not comfortable wearing bike underwear or

athletic supporters all day long. Any advice would be appreciated. thanks.
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Old 11-13-13, 07:22 PM   #2
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How does "risky" enter into it? Just buy a better saddle -- you don't need padding.
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Old 11-13-13, 07:37 PM   #3
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I jump on and Go, though in the Winter I don't go Far.. (small Town,& I'm almost in the Middle of it)


when I Took Long self supported tours I wore Bike shorts, but no Paddings ,
just the sweat absorbant lining patch.

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-13-13 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 11-13-13, 08:04 PM   #4
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How long are your rides and what kind of seat do you have now?
I've done my usual commute of 16.5 miles in cotton underwear
and pants. I'ts doable but my preference is using padded shorts
or tights. Now for 100 miles rides; I'm wearing bike specific bottoms
for sure. Some folks swear by Brooks saddle and other similar type
seats; Selle Anatomica, etc. Saying that they are so comfy; you can
wear anything that you prefer.
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Old 11-14-13, 12:50 AM   #5
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I can ride a Brooks up to about 80 km without cycling specific clothing, and I'm comfortable.


1. Make sure you bicycle is set up properly for you and fits.
2. Get a better saddle.
3. Develop a strong core.
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Old 11-14-13, 07:31 AM   #6
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Playing sports one almost always wore athletic supporters. Now , you get on the bike, seat is long, narrow at the front, and no one
is having any "junk" issues? Work with me here.
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Old 11-14-13, 07:39 AM   #7
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After so many years of numb hands and nether regions even with padded gloves, etc, I began padding the bike. Two gel-seat covers on my road bike's hard, Avocet seat. And one gel seat cover on my padded, metal-spring commuter seat. For the last 5 years I have been comfortable on rides up to 40 miles without chafing or bruising or numbness. For my hands I use plastic pipe insulation from the hardware shop (with plenty of electrical tape to secure it so it doesn't twist or slip. It's like the plastic swim noodles but not as thick. I no longer have hand numbness, however, that's also due in part to multiple hand positions on the drop bars and bar-ends and aero bars on the commuter to accomplish the same. It may not be for everyone, but it all works for me. Now I buy inexpensive shorts for commuting, and cotton dollar work gloves.
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Old 11-14-13, 08:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesZ View Post
Playing sports one almost always wore athletic supporters. Now , you get on the bike, seat is long, narrow at the front, and no one
is having any "junk" issues? Work with me here.
Me: RECUMBENT

Just for the record, you're not supposed to support your weight on the narrow nose of the saddle. That's why the back of the saddle is wider; the nose is narrow so it doesn't chafe on your inner thighs.
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Old 11-14-13, 10:18 AM   #9
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There are myriad factors here that could contribute to how uncomfortable you feel. Here are just a few I can think of:

◘ Saddle fit/form
◘ Saddle positioning: Fore/Aft/Angle
◘ Saddle's existing padding/lack thereof
◘ Bike fit/posture resulting from bike fit

Most of these factors will require more information if anyone here is going to be of any help to you. Have you been fitted properly for a bike and saddle? What style of bike do you ride, and what position do you ride in (i.e. Hybrid, MTB, Road bike, Touring bike...and do you ride leaned more forward or backward)?

I've been through tons of saddles, even on the bikes that were fitted for me, because I never got properly fitted for a saddle at my preferred bike shop...the irony being that I didn't want to spend a ton on a single saddle, but I ended up spending tons spread out over several of them before finding the "right one" for me...and now I have a saddle library to show for it.

I'm an oddly-shaped guy...at 6'1"/220lbs, you would think I would be fairly large-esque, but my frame still looks tall and lanky; hell, I look ridiculously skinny from the sides...that being said, the way my body shape works, it turns out my sit bones are spaced farther apart than most average persons' sit bones...thus, I eventually figured out that I had to look for what most would consider to be a fat-@$$ saddle that was still thin enough for road riding to cut down on chafing, and had a center channel cut-out. I ended up loving this saddle at long last. It's inexpensive, and though it feels like it's almost too firm, it really does seem to support me just right. As a matter of fact, I quit wearing padded liner shorts for longer rides, and now just wear compression shorts from Champion to keep from chafing too much (cotton chafes pretty badly in my case).

All of this could be summed up with "Your Mileage May Vary", or "Tell us more about your bike first", but I thought I would give some context for that sort of answer first. Everyone's rump is different, and we'd need to know more specifics (bike & model & size/your size/saddle make & model) in order to give a more specific answer.
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Old 11-14-13, 10:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesZ View Post
Playing sports one almost always wore athletic supporters. Now , you get on the bike, seat is long, narrow at the front, and no one
is having any "junk" issues? Work with me here.
How long have you've been riding? What frequency/mileage? After a while your bum gets used to
bike seats. I've been riding for a few years; a few times a week. Mileage between 1 mile to 125 miles
per ride. So when I flew to Los Angeles last summer; threw the cardboard box my bike flew in and road
60 miles to Anaheim; my butt was ok with it. WTB Speed V saddle and cotton undies with cargo shorts:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNuuT-nRer4
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Old 11-14-13, 10:41 AM   #11
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People tend to forget why cycling shorts have "padding".

Of course the use of bicycles for racing predates many of the modern fabrics that we now use. So the actual materials have changed even though the reasons for their use remain the same.

Early cyclists could become blistered from the friction between wet sweaty skin and cotton shorts on the leather saddles. Although natural sponge was tried... this didn't resolve the moving friction problem because the sponge soon became soaked and compressed. Instead... layers of very soft goat or sheep leather (called chamois) was used. This chamois (pronounced Shamy) would stick to both the skin and the shorts but allow the movement to be absorbed in the layers of leather.... preventing blisters. The soft chamois also provided a level of cushion as well.

Modern materials... like closed cell foam work very well and don't require the oiling and special handling required of the old natural chamois. But the purpose remains the same... to absorb the friction/movement between cyclist and other materials including the bicycle. Not... as cushion. Some people also prefer to use a grease or lotion like lubricant or powder to help reduce friction.

Aggressively cycling in cotton briefs and jeans can still cause blisters, skin removal, and [carpet] burns in rather sensitive areas. But less aggressive... sit up and beg positioned type cycling requires little or no special clothing or precautions for most people.

Last edited by Dave Cutter; 11-14-13 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 11-14-13, 11:49 AM   #12
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Chamois is actually a Goat sub - species .

though there may be sheepskin processed in the tanneries to absorb water .
the stuff in the auto care departments would require lots of hides .

Now there is a synthetic developed to function , and unlike traditional leather

It wont harden and need treatment to soften it up with each washing [been there, done that]
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Old 11-14-13, 10:05 PM   #13
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You don't have to wear cycling shorts with a chamois to ride, especially for recreational rides, errands, short commutes, etc. Try the tech fabric athletic trunk style underwear. It is smooth, wicks moisture, dries quickly, has flat seams, keeps the boys comfortably in place, and comes in lengths that will protect your inner thighs from friction. They can be worn all day under most clothes. I've ridden 30+ miles with them under jean or trekking shorts on both my gravel grinder and my road bike with no problems. For rides of several hours, hard training, group rides, etc. I still wear good quality bike shorts, sometimes under the jean or trekking shorts, but I agree, bike shorts are not the ideal underwear for all day wear if you are spending significant time off the bike.



These are Champion brand, sold by Target. They come in 6" and 9" inseams and I think they run around $12. WalMart has something similar in the Starter brand. Of course you can get similar garments in Nike or other performance name brands, but they often go for a premium price.

Last edited by Myosmith; 11-14-13 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 11-14-13, 10:44 PM   #14
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" Keeps the boys comfortably in place". Thanks . I just didn't know how to say it. All the responses were great. Alot
of ideas. Thanks to all.
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Old 11-15-13, 12:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesZ View Post
Love riding but find that without wearing bike shorts with chamois padding it's too uncomfortable and risky.

Due to this my riding time has become inhibited--I want to ride, but now I have to dress for it when often I just

want to jump on and go. Anyone have similar problems? Solutions? Not comfortable wearing bike underwear or

athletic supporters all day long. Any advice would be appreciated. thanks.
My advice is to change your riding posture from racer boy bent over to upright commuter.
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Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 11-15-13, 03:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesZ View Post
Love riding but find that without wearing bike shorts with chamois padding it's too uncomfortable and risky.

Due to this my riding time has become inhibited--I want to ride, but now I have to dress for it when often I just

want to jump on and go. Anyone have similar problems? Solutions? Not comfortable wearing bike underwear or

athletic supporters all day long. Any advice would be appreciated. thanks.
1. Why is it too uncomfortable? Perhaps you are doing it wrong. I can ride for 30 miles or so without padded shorts and no discomfort. You may need a better fit.

2. How hard is it to dress for riding? Doesn't it just involve changing your pants? Maybe your shirt, and put on some gloves if you like. It can't take longer than 10 minutes, tops.
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