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Chamois thickness == Diaper?

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Chamois thickness == Diaper?

Old 04-04-09, 02:46 PM
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Chamois thickness == Diaper?

Ok, so I went to the LBS today and tried on some new lycra shorts.

Am I the only one here who hates the increasing thickness and diaper-ness of today's chamois pads? I mean, comfort is one thing but everything I tried felt like I was wearing a diaper. Regardless of price, the pad was at least .5 to inch thick. Definitely not comfortable, and I can't imagine spending more than a couple hours in them.

What am I missing? Am I so old school that I long for the days when a chamois was *really* a chamois?

Maybe my problem is that I have too much natural padding already. I dunno. In any case, anyone know a good source for shorts for those who prefer a little thinner chamois?


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Old 04-04-09, 02:50 PM
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i got a pair of santini bibs last year. i think the pad is about 7mm thick, so not absurd. I haven't had any issues with them at all, other than the fact that i only have one. they weren't cheap, but they weren't absurd at $70 either.

I can't recall the exact model, but it has their TOP professional chamois.

before i bought the bibs, i was riding in boardshorts, sans underwear for 30-35 mile rides. chafing wasn't an issue then, so i wanted something with minimal padding.
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Old 04-04-09, 02:59 PM
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If the chamois too thick on cycling shorts, then you may want to consider triathlon shorts. The chamois is thinner so that it doesn't create issues while running.

Last edited by Bone Head; 04-04-09 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 04-04-09, 03:40 PM
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lmfao. wait till you drop the ball and mistakenly buy "gel" bibs, if you want to know what its like riding all day with a dookie in your shorts.

tri shorts sounds like a good idea.
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Old 04-04-09, 04:19 PM
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LoL! An INCH of chamois? I guess you could pee yourself and keep going.
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Old 04-05-09, 11:15 AM
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For many cyclists (especially newbies), they believe thicker pad=more comfort. Even though it isn't true, it IS logical.

The number one question we get about bike shorts from potential customers is: Which of your shorts has the thickest (or cushiest) pad? The question is asked so often, we created a boilerplate response explaining about the purpose of seat pads, etc and can just paste the whole thing into our email response.

And quite a few cycling apparel manufacturers (we are guilty, too) respond with shorts with thicker pads.

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Old 04-05-09, 11:41 AM
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For mid distance rides (100k to 100mi) I like a short with minimal padding; say a 6 - 8mm chamois. Maybe even a 10mm if it's not super-supportive.

For a really long ride (200k and up) I like something with a firm support and reasonable thickness under my sit bones. Like the PI 3D-PRO, or I'm looking at the Assos FI.Mille. Both are a 13mm thickness (0.5 inch), but split down the center so it's not like wearing a diaper. Plus, the padding is thinner under the front parts, as it should be since you're not suppposed to be smashing your junk into the saddle.
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Old 04-05-09, 11:56 AM
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An inch? No wonder if feels like you have a diaper on.

What brand were these shorts?
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Old 04-05-09, 12:25 PM
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What really matters is the amount of padding once your weight has compressed the pad-not how thick the padding feels when uncompressed. So what really matters more than the thickness of the padding is the density of the padding.

The padding in most bike shorts is low density so when the pads are compressed by the weight of the rider, the difference between a 5mm and a 10mm uncompressed pad is insignificant when compressed.

A lot of the difference in advertised performance of the pads is generated by the marketing departments of the apparel companies and not by the R&D department. The task of the marketing departments is to create value in the 'new, exciting and revolutionary' product, even when there is very little or even none (I am not saying this is always the case, but it is common).

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Old 04-05-09, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by bautieri
An inch? No wonder if feels like you have a diaper on.

What brand were these shorts?
Ok, maybe I exaggerated a little bit. It wasn't exactly an inch, but it sure seemed like it. They were Performance Century Gel shorts btw.

The funny thing, I knew something was up when I picked them up from the rack. I thought I had picked up two by mistake, they were so heavy.

The thickness vs density thing makes sense. Some of the cheaper shorts I've seen have really thick pads, but there isn't really anything to them once they get compressed. Since they had a gel pad,, these didn't compress much at all so they seemed thicker.
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Old 04-05-09, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by millarj
Ok, maybe I exaggerated a little bit. It wasn't exactly an inch, but it sure seemed like it. They were Performance Century Gel shorts btw.
I own a pair of these: Save your money and get something else. They are the least comfortable shorts I've ever had. When I started out on 30 and 40 mile rides, they were OK. But for a short called the "Century Gel", I'd rather take out my eye with a tire lever than wear those shorts on a century!

Check out the Performance Elite or Ultra if you like their brand of stuff.
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Old 04-06-09, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by millarj
Ok, maybe I exaggerated a little bit. It wasn't exactly an inch, but it sure seemed like it. They were Performance Century Gel shorts btw.
The problem is the gel. I hate gel padding in riding shorts. Try Performance Century or Classic shorts. I also like Peral Izumi Attack shorts. Shorts above that price range tend to have either a too thick or too narrow a pad for me. I like a wide pad with minimal thickness. Stay away from the gel padding. Run away.
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Old 04-06-09, 01:50 PM
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I totally agree "Century Gel" shorts are likely the worst ever bike shorts. Waste of money. The padding is so thick that one would have to adjust the seat height for a proper ride - and thye become very painful on every ride over 30 miles.

Originally Posted by CliftonGK1
I own a pair of these: Save your money and get something else. They are the least comfortable shorts I've ever had. When I started out on 30 and 40 mile rides, they were OK. But for a short called the "Century Gel", I'd rather take out my eye with a tire lever than wear those shorts on a century!
Check out the Performance Elite or Ultra if you like their brand of stuff.
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Old 04-06-09, 01:53 PM
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The Performance Ultra bibs are the only Performance bibs or shorts worth having.
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Old 04-06-09, 02:11 PM
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My thickest shorts are Louis Garneau with 6mm up front, 10mm for sitzbones.
All my other shorts are way thinner.
The problem with chamois was that it would stay wet/moist on hot days; today's padding wicks sweat away from bottom leaving you dry/comfortable with less chance for a heat-induced rash
Back in the late 1930s when I was a kid in Europe, bike shorts had zero padding, or at most a real chamois, and on long races some if the riders had a seat problem they would stop off at a local butcher shop, buy a boneless steak and slip it raw inside their shorts. Saw it done by several racers.
Of course the energy drink of the day then was beer inside their aluminum bidon (bottle) with 2 raw eggs . . . shake and drink!
Things have changed!
Pedal on!
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Old 04-06-09, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by zonatandem
Of course the energy drink of the day then was beer inside their aluminum bidon (bottle) with 2 raw eggs . . . shake and drink!
I'm kinda queasy just reading that. Fruit punch Accelerade was tough enough to stomach after 15 hours this weekend, and the 2 slices of pizza and a Coke at the finish ended up sitting like lead the rest of the night. I can't imagine knocking back a grody Addams Family concoction like a Guinness egg creme and getting back on my bike.
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Old 04-06-09, 05:40 PM
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with bibs/shorts spending more/ finding deals is worth it.
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Old 04-06-09, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by zonatandem
... on long races some if the riders had a seat problem they would stop off at a local butcher shop, buy a boneless steak and slip it raw inside their shorts. Saw it done by several racers.
Of course the energy drink of the day then was beer inside their aluminum bidon (bottle) with 2 raw eggs . . . shake and drink!
Things have changed!
Pedal on!
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So what did they do with the steak at the end of the ride? Steak dinners for everyone who raced
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