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Purpose of shorts chamois

Old 10-02-14, 07:25 AM
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Purpose of shorts chamois

Is the chamois for padding or sweat absorption?
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Old 10-02-14, 07:28 AM
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it keeps your "arss" from being abraded. It also provides some padding. I suppose it absorbs all kinds of things. Thats why you need to wash your shorts before they become a science project.
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Old 10-02-14, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by RISKDR1 View Post
it keeps your "arss" from being abraded. It also provides some padding. I suppose it absorbs all kinds of things. Thats why you need to wash your shorts before they become a science project.
Oh, sorry son, we'll have to think of something else.
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Old 10-02-14, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jrickards View Post
Is the chamois for padding or sweat absorption?
Sweat absorption was the original purpose.
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Old 10-02-14, 08:48 AM
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& to do so It doesn't have to be a thick pad . thin without seams is sufficient.
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Old 10-02-14, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by jrickards View Post
Is the chamois for padding or sweat absorption?
Both, but mainly to keep your butt dry. FWIW, modern "chamois" is greatly superior to the actual chamois we used to use when I first started riding back in the 70s. I recently found an old pair of bike shorts from the early 80s and wore them on the trainer for an hour. While they were still more comfortable than wearing normal street shorts with underwear, the differences between them and my modern bibs were VERY noticeable.
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Old 10-02-14, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Sweat absorption was the original purpose.
Yes! It's a good thing you asked. Nowadays, people want padding. Seems to me that it makes more sense to put padding in the seat if you need it. It also seems to me that the market demands padded shorts because so many misconstrued what the chamois was there for in the first place.

If the padding adds comfort for you, that's fine, but if you need it, then you'll need padded shorts every time you ride, no? Remember that you can condition your butt, with practice, to require little or no padding in your shorts OR on your saddle.
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Old 10-02-14, 09:06 AM
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Dang! Wish I had known what it was for. All this time I've been wearing mine as a muzzle.
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Old 10-02-14, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by cycle_maven View Post
Dang! Wish I had known what it was for. All this time I've been wearing mine as a muzzle.
... which probably explains why you don't get no kisses any more.
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Old 10-02-14, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Yes! It's a good thing you asked. Nowadays, people want padding. Seems to me that it makes more sense to put padding in the seat if you need it. It also seems to me that the market demands padded shorts because so many misconstrued what the chamois was there for in the first place.

If the padding adds comfort for you, that's fine, but if you need it, then you'll need padded shorts every time you ride, no? Remember that you can condition your butt, with practice, to require little or no padding in your shorts OR on your saddle.
I have a few different pair (pairs?) from different manufacturers with different thicknesses and, from the padding perspective, I don't feel the difference so it isn't for padding that I need it. However, they not only have different thicknesses but also different widths.

Given that the sweat produced in the region is primarily central, I wonder why manufacturers haven't produced any that are similar in shape to some women's menstrual pads. Without "padding" for seasoned butts, chamois "with wings" may be sufficient for people who only need sweat absorption.
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Old 10-02-14, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
Both, but mainly to keep your butt dry.
Not good for that purpose. The pad absorbs your sweat and then sits there wet with sweat right against your skin. Not very dry. Thin quick drying fabric would keep your butt dryer than a pad will.

I wear the padding for comfort on long rides. For less than about 10 miles I often just wear some thin shorts.
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Old 10-02-14, 09:29 AM
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Contrary to popular belief, it's there primarily to keep bulging to a minimum. Sort of smooths out the package, if you know what I mean.
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Old 10-02-14, 10:11 AM
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Wipe down your bike after a sweaty ride for a streak free shine?....

Remember,original cycling shorts were wool.....

Last edited by Booger1; 10-02-14 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 10-02-14, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
Not good for that purpose. The pad absorbs your sweat and then sits there wet with sweat right against your skin. Not very dry. Thin quick drying fabric would keep your butt dryer than a pad will.

I wear the padding for comfort on long rides. For less than about 10 miles I often just wear some thin shorts.
If your chamois aren't keeping your butt dry, you need new chamois!
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Old 10-02-14, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Contrary to popular belief, it's there primarily to keep bulging to a minimum. Sort of smooths out the package, if you know what I mean.
You think people have a problem with butt bulge (where most of the padding is)?
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Old 10-02-14, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
You think people have a probolem with butt bulge (where most of the padding is)?
No, I'm sure that's not what he is saying.
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Old 10-02-14, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
Not good for that purpose. The pad absorbs your sweat and then sits there wet with sweat right against your skin. Not very dry. Thin quick drying fabric would keep your butt dryer than a pad will.
I agree with this. Those thick puffy pads soak up sweat rather than wick it away. Which explains why I like the thin, flexible, fabric pads in Aerotech's Pro Bike Short.
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Old 10-02-14, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
Both, but mainly to keep your butt dry. FWIW, modern "chamois" is greatly superior to the actual chamois we used to use when I first started riding back in the 70s. I recently found an old pair of bike shorts from the early 80s and wore them on the trainer for an hour. While they were still more comfortable than wearing normal street shorts with underwear, the differences between them and my modern bibs were VERY noticeable.
To clarify for the youngsters......"chamois" used to be chamois leather but as the leather got replaced by synthetic materials in bike shorts the chamois name stuck, which of course is a perversion of language but what can you do?
Chamois leather - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Don't need no padded shorts to ride recumbent bikes.)
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Old 10-02-14, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
If your chamois aren't keeping your butt dry, you need new chamois!
...Or it is 40C and 95% humidity with a 27C dewpoint
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Old 10-02-14, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by jrickards View Post
Given that the sweat produced in the region is primarily central, I wonder why manufacturers haven't produced any that are similar in shape to some women's menstrual pads.
I think that would just put the edges and seams in the worst possible location.
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Old 10-03-14, 05:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Sweat absorption was the original purpose.
I thought that the original purpose of a chamois was to cut down on the amount of chaffing from the old wool shorts.
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Old 10-03-14, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Thulsadoom View Post
I thought that the original purpose of a chamois was to cut down on the amount of chaffing from the old wool shorts.
Yes, exactly. It's not for sweat absorption. It should wick sweat away, not soak it up. It's not for padding. It should be too thin to provide any padding.

I agree with Alan that it's there to smooth out the area, but we're not talking about hiding your genitals. The point is that there are no bulky seams between your body and the saddle.

More important, I think, the chamois provides a non-slip layer between the outer clothing and the body, so there is no chafing on the skin. If there's any rubbing, it's between the outer clothing and the saddle. You should be able to wear a hole through your shorts without getting saddle sores.

I can't believe this thread is in the commuting forum. Does anyone really commute on a chamois?
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Old 10-03-14, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I can't believe this thread is in the commuting forum. Does anyone really commute on a chamois?
When it's 85 with 90% humidity I wear them everywhere, regardless of what I indend to do at the destination. When it's 65 & 30% running shorts are just fine.

My tights and winter garb has none.
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Old 10-03-14, 06:21 AM
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Yes, I commute in chamois. It is usually a 30+ mi RT, asymmetric.

Last edited by GeneO; 10-03-14 at 06:42 AM.
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Old 10-03-14, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I can't believe this thread is in the commuting forum. Does anyone really commute on a chamois?
Yes, I think that there are a lot of MAMILs (Middle Aged Men In Lycra) in this forum (but not everyone).
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