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  1. #1
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Recommendations for a better chamois/bib

    I'm 230 lb and ride a Selle Italia ProLink saddle. I like the saddle. I practice the Dave Zabriskie method of taint maintenance (wash, blowdry, and powder), and use Hibiclens. I wear Performance Century Gel bibs which are fine around town but don't do the trick for centuries, even with Chamois Butt'r. The waffle pattern of the chamois eats creme, too.

    Right now my butt is the only thing preventing me from riding longer distances. So I'm looking for a better chamois/bib. Recommendations?


    P.S. I'm a guy, and I'm not rich.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  2. #2
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    I like some of the DeMarchi bibs. But overall I'd recommend you do not skimp on bibs. Expect to pay at least $80/pair, maybe more.

    I also recommend you pick up the type that have the bacteria-resistant chamois.

  3. #3
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Oh, I have no problem paying for a superior product. The problem is finding out which ones are superior without having to buy every bleeping bib on the planet.

    Surely this is a topic that interests LD cyclists up close and personal.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  4. #4
    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF
    I wear Performance Century Gel bibs which are fine around town but don't do the trick for centuries, even with Chamois Butt'r. The waffle pattern of the chamois eats creme, too.
    I purchased a couple pair of the Performance Century Gel bibs. Worse purchase I have ever made there (I'm just under 155 pounds.)

    I'm riding Performance's Elite bib (currently $49US). For me, this bib is comfortable enough to ride a century--even if my Selle Italia SLR has lost it's cover and 80% of it's padding.
    2009 mileage = 14,738 miles; 2010 mileage = 15,234 miles; 2011 mileage = 17,344 miles; 2012 mileage = 11,414 miles; 2013 = 12,169

  5. #5
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    I have a set of gel shorts, that I believe I wore once. When I sat in them, the gel would migrate away from the pressure points. Horrible.

    Different people have different reactions to chamois. Some like them very thin, some like them thicker.

    You may also need to try different saddles.
    Eric

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  6. #6
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    So what do you use now?



    (My "gel" chamois doesn't migrate. The waffle design takes care of that. But that's not the question.)
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  7. #7
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    I've ridden Borah, Pearl Izumi, and Ibex.

    I like the Ibex for their thickness and wool blend, but they are shorts and tights, not bibs.
    I like the Pearl Izumi bibs. I'll have to check which model they are - but the pair with the red chamois is only used for short rides, and the pair with the yellow / grey chamois is my favorite for centuries +.

    I also use Assos creme on the pad, and Bag Balm on my bottom and other parts that may rub.

    I've eyed some Assos bibs... $$ that I am willing to spend, but what I have works well now - when I need to replace them I'll give another brand a try.

  8. #8
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    I'm very happy with Pearl Izumi Microsensor shorts. Nice think pad and very soft material on the skin. $120, but watch for sales at REI.com
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  9. #9
    Senior Member DanteB's Avatar
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    I ride Pearl Izumi Microsensor bibs and love them. I'm 6' and 230 lbs. I like the ones with the red pad better for long rides, less padding between the legs for less chaffing. I use Bag Balm for long rides.

  10. #10
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF
    I'm 230 lb and ride a Selle Italia ProLink saddle. I like the saddle. I practice the Dave Zabriskie method of taint maintenance (wash, blowdry, and powder), and use Hibiclens. I wear Performance Century Gel bibs which are fine around town but don't do the trick for centuries, even with Chamois Butt'r. The waffle pattern of the chamois eats creme, too.

    Right now my butt is the only thing preventing me from riding longer distances. So I'm looking for a better chamois/bib. Recommendations?


    P.S. I'm a guy, and I'm not rich.

    You may like your saddle, but it's obvious that your saddle doesn't like you. Instead of trying to find the magic chamois, why not try a Brooks saddle so you can ride long distances comfortably with any pair of bike shorts?

    I use a Brooks and have never needed any butt cream. Solve the real problem and you'll be much happier.

  11. #11
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    You may like your saddle, but it's obvious that your saddle doesn't like you. Instead of trying to find the magic chamois, why not try a Brooks saddle so you can ride long distances comfortably with any pair of bike shorts?

    I use a Brooks and have never needed any butt cream. Solve the real problem and you'll be much happier.
    Brooks. +1000.

    I still use chamois creme though...

  12. #12
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    I've only worn one (type of) chamois on the saddle at distance. I won't conclude that the problem is the saddle until I try another chamois.

    Does anyone have an opinion about the need for a pireneal channel in the pad?

    What about a higher pad density under the sit bones?
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  13. #13
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    I really like the Performance's Elite bib shorts... I only weigh 165lbs though and the pad is thinner than some others that I've had. I think a good fit is more important than the thickness of the pad. I have a pair of adidas that cost 3 times the price, much thicker pad, and they don't perform near as well as the performance elite. On the downside I was just at the performace website and they don't have any for sale except the smalls. I have a 30" waist and I couldn't fit into them.

  14. #14
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    There's an XXL at the nearby store that I can get into okay. I was a little put off by the thin pad, though. They're on sale for $80 (normally $90) and I have a $20 coupon (plus 10% Team Performance), so maybe that's cheap enough to give them a try.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  15. #15
    Senior Member kk4df's Avatar
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    I use the Canari Elite Gel or Canari Velo Gel shorts/bibs. I ordered the Performance Century bib, looked at them, and sent them back. Love the Canari's.

  16. #16
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Update: I bought the Performance Ultra and so far it's okay, but not significantly better. I'll know more after this weekend.

    Anyone else want to volunteer a recommendation?
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  17. #17
    Dagger Boy Extort's Avatar
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    I am currently on the search as well and found that the Performance Gel shorts are good, but only to about 120 miles for me. I tried the ultra hyped PI Microsensor shorts with the yellow and gray pad and found that two seperate pads seem to clinch body parts that they are meant to protect, therefore I only use them for rides of 40 miles or less.

    I am looking at a pair of the Castelli shorts now, a buddy of mine loves them and said that they ranked prettu high on a Bicycling Magazine reader survey.
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  18. #18
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    To quote Lance Armstrong..."it's not about the chamois"


    Okay so he didn't say that. But it's true. Brooks saddles allow you to wear cheapo cotton shorts with no issues. Having a mediocre chamois is almost heaven.
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

  19. #19
    Senior Member dpara's Avatar
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    I've used my Voler bibs on all my century rides this year (4 total) and had no complaints whatsoever from any parts of my anatomy. They are sold through velowear.com or if you are willing to shill for Hammer Nutrition the same short (the elite) can be had for half the price at e-caps.com.
    Dave

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  20. #20
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Century Gels dry much, much faster than the Ultras. That could be good or bad.

    Thanks, all, for the recommendations. I'm checking into all of them. Another thing I found is that my saddle had moved back nearly 25mm on the rails without my noticing it. I'll be playing with saddle adjustments for a while, I guess.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    There is an old saying that you get what you pay for. While considered expensive, it is very difficult to beat Assos for bibs and creme.

  22. #22
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikerJoeP
    There is an old saying that you get what you pay for.
    And, in many cases, what you are paying for is a name.

    At the risk of asking for more than I want to know about, have you done a post ride post mortem on your soreness? Chamois creme helps with chafing. Cut out saddles help with perineal pressure. Does your butt wobble from side to side while you pedal? What part of your tukus is bearing the weight? Are your sitz bones supported? It comes down to this... What is the precise nature of your discomfort (rhetorical question for you to think about, please don't tell us online), and what would cause it? Is more or different padding going to solve it? Tho' I don't necessarily think that Brooks is the silver bullet, I suspect you would be better served by a different saddle. Good luck, keep looking, you'll find a solution.

  23. #23
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Big fan of Blackbottoms. I prefer the style with the faux Chamois, not the tour style with the larger Depends Diaper padding.

    Coupled with a Brooks, I've enjoyed many a long distance ride without discomfort.

    Footnote: I typically ride with a pair of compression shorts under my cycling shorts.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadbuzz
    And, in many cases, what you are paying for is a name.

    At the risk of asking for more than I want to know about, have you done a post ride post mortem on your soreness? Chamois creme helps with chafing. Cut out saddles help with perineal pressure. Does your butt wobble from side to side while you pedal? What part of your tukus is bearing the weight? Are your sitz bones supported? It comes down to this... What is the precise nature of your discomfort (rhetorical question for you to think about, please don't tell us online), and what would cause it? Is more or different padding going to solve it? Tho' I don't necessarily think that Brooks is the silver bullet, I suspect you would be better served by a different saddle. Good luck, keep looking, you'll find a solution.
    It has been my experience that price and quality go hand in hand. Perhaps that is the reason Assos has a good name

  25. #25
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    "Spend more money." Yeah, like I'm young enough to buy that line..

    Good news is that the Ultras worked out. Wracked up 75 mi on the metric century from hell - all around Metro Atlanta with the intention to ride up every incline with a reputation (and some that no one had the courage to try). I think I lost count at 32 major hills. One was an honest 20% grade: you know it's steep when your front tire lifts off with every stroke. 95% of the time I climb seated, so that should be a good indication of the performance on longer rides.

    Anyway, lubed with Chamois Butt'r on the pad (rear half only) and Queen Helene on me. Butt is remarkably not sore. The boys still had a tendency to wander off but I have to put that down to the lightweight fabric.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

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