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Chamois pads are... different... than I remember

Old 06-12-16, 05:46 PM
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Chamois pads are... different... than I remember

Last time I wore tighty cycling shorts with chamois was in the 1970s, when real men and women wore real Merino wool and real chamois leather -- because that was really all we had available. I hadn't planned on going that route again since I'm now riding a comfy hybrid with padded saddle. But I changed my mind after the recent bout of warm and very humid weather brought along some not-so-comfy heat rash in the perineum -- 't'ain't pleasant. So I got some Baleaf padded undershorts to go with my various baggy outer shorts.

The padding looks... different... from what I remember years ago.

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Old 06-12-16, 06:21 PM
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YUPPERS !!!!! I really like the padding on my Sugoi shorts.
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Old 06-12-16, 07:57 PM
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Yes ... they used to be nice and flat.

Now they've got all sorts of useless and rather painful lumps and bumps all over the place.
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Old 06-12-16, 08:11 PM
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I feel you, like hi tech day-glo diapers. You can still find the real leather chamois, like: Pro Skin Shorts Kucharik
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Old 06-12-16, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
I feel you, like hi tech day-glo diapers. You can still find the real leather chamois, like: Pro Skin Shorts Kucharik
Thanks, those are good looking classic cycling duds. I prefer the casual looking solid color jerseys too. Not a big fan of racing stripes, patterns and garish logos.
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Old 06-12-16, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Thanks, those are good looking classic cycling duds. I prefer the casual looking solid color jerseys too. Not a big fan of racing stripes, patterns and garish logos.
I'm with you on that. I like solid colors for a jersey, or maybe two-tone, a bright color with either white or black, minimal logos. I have one Jersey that says PEARL IZUMI! In 5" high letters, and I'm always a little mortified when I wear it. Black for shorts and bibs. Period.
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Old 06-12-16, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Thanks, those are good looking classic cycling duds. I prefer the casual looking solid color jerseys too. Not a big fan of racing stripes, patterns and garish logos.
I used to be in that camp, but lately I bought some more colorful jerseys from Twin Six, Nashbar, and Primal with more colorful and fun motifs. . I just got bored wearing the same solid white, black and red jerseys. Still going with black shorts, though.

Interested in in hearing how you like those shorts. I see them on Amazon going for really low prices.
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Old 06-13-16, 12:25 PM
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The Language Police should have picked up and put away the folks who first used the word "chamois" for those new-fangled pads made of something other than leather.
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Old 06-13-16, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Yes ... they used to be nice and flat.

Now they've got all sorts of useless and rather painful lumps and bumps all over the place.
Agreed.
I'd really like to throttle the idiots who design most of the chamois pads in current shorts.
The last time I bought shorts, I found a model at Aerotech Designs that had a nice nice flat chamois, sort of like a piece of heavy felt. But I checked just now and it looks like they no longer sell it.

ETA I just found it! Men's Pro Bike Shorts for cycling comfort and bicycle riding
Highly recommended!

Last edited by Shimagnolo; 06-13-16 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 06-13-16, 12:40 PM
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Old 06-13-16, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Whenever I turn cycling shorts inside out, I expect to see the padding stamped "Stay Free" or "Depends".
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Old 06-13-16, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
Agreed.
I'd really like to throttle the idiots who design most of the chamois pads in current shorts.
The last time I bought shorts, I found a model at Aerotech Designs that had a nice nice flat chamois, sort of like a piece of heavy felt. But I checked just now and it looks like they no longer sell it.

ETA I just found it! Men's Pro Bike Shorts for cycling comfort and bicycle riding
Highly recommended!
Very cool! I hate the thick pads on my bike shorts so much that I rarely wear them. Do you have any advice on the sizing?
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Old 06-13-16, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
The padding looks... different... from what I remember years ago.
Boure still makes their PRO shorts and bibs with flat synthetic leather chamois.

Made in the USA, and for 20% extra they'll do custom sizing (longer bib suspenders, extra rise, different inseam, etc.).
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Old 06-13-16, 03:16 PM
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I'm kind of with you on this. I don't remember any issues with leather chamois back in the day. However, I do recall that leather chamois would get pretty disgusting after a few rides... Also, it's hard to tell if I'd still like them today.
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Old 06-13-16, 03:46 PM
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my memories of 'real' chamois aren't great...somewhat expensive, hard, scratchy after washing.

the synthetic padding in the AeroTech Pro shorts is perfect for my use. thin, comfortable, affordable.
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Old 06-13-16, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
The Language Police should have picked up and put away the folks who first used the word "chamois" for those new-fangled pads made of something other than leather.
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Old 06-13-16, 03:59 PM
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Old 06-13-16, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
YUPPERS !!!!! I really like the padding on my Sugoi shorts.
Me too.
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Old 06-13-16, 04:37 PM
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Okay, just got back from a 30 mile ride on a very warm, sticky day, and got caught in the rain. The Baleaf padded undershorts are comfortable, no complaints so far. Relieved the chafing I'd experienced in the perineum recently as the warm, humid weather set in. They're probably over-padded but who knows how much the foam will flatten with use. No idea yet on durability.

Regarding sizing, several Amazon reviewers said these run a bit small, so order the next larger size. I did and ordered the large rather than medium -- I'm 5'11", 165 lbs, 34" waist due to beer pudge. The large fits well.
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Old 06-13-16, 04:40 PM
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Regarding real leather chamois, the pads in the shorts I had in the 1970s remained soft and pliable for years. I handwashed in Woolite and I think I used lanolin on the pad. The pad didn't begin to get stiff until decades later after years of neglect, sitting in a non-air conditioned storage building. By then critters had eaten holes in the wool anyway.
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Old 06-20-16, 02:47 AM
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After a week and several rides in hot, humid weather with the Baleaf padded undershorts, I'm generally satisfied.

They're pretty comfortable overall. The perineum chafing has eased up.

The rubbery thigh grippers keep the shorts in place. I'm wondering why the waistband doesn't have this feature. Maybe silicon grippers around the waistband would chafe too much.

The padding is too thick, especially around the butt bones. It's unnecessarily thick for my padded comfort saddle, and probably for most saddles. It just soaks up excessive perspiration and takes too long to air dry. While I'm sitting around after a ride having a beer, indoors or out, my nylon and lycra shorts and poly jersey dry quickly, but the butt pads feel soggy an hour later.

They handwash easily in a bucket with Woolite or other gentle detergent. No residual odor, despite being soggy from swampbutt after a day's ride in hot, humid weather.

Overall I like 'em, especially for wearing under casual baggy shorts, jeans or trousers. But I'll look for something similar with less padding.

No idea yet about durability.

For now I'd give the Baleaf padded undershorts 3.5 out of 5 stars, deducting mainly for the excessive padding that holds perspiration too long.
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Old 06-20-16, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by SloButWide View Post
Whenever I turn cycling shorts inside out, I expect to see the padding stamped "Stay Free" or "Depends".



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Old 06-20-16, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post

The padding is too thick, especially around the butt bones. It's unnecessarily thick for my padded comfort saddle, and probably for most saddles. It just soaks up excessive perspiration and takes too long to air dry. While I'm sitting around after a ride having a beer, indoors or out, my nylon and lycra shorts and poly jersey dry quickly, but the butt pads feel soggy an hour later.

For now I'd give the Baleaf padded undershorts 3.5 out of 5 stars, deducting mainly for the excessive padding that holds perspiration too long.
In high humidity or rain, soaking will occur even in the better padding shorts. Many saddles have little padding and that's why the high density padding on the racing type shorts. I never tried this because I mostly ride in So Calif, but would entertain carrying an extra shorts on a long ride where a rest stop is available.

This brings up another point. How can the designers figure out how to keep and saddle contact point with the shorts, air dried. One thing I can think of is a kind of air scoop that channels the air under the saddle into the opening. The other thing is a honey comb design that takes the perspiration away from the skin onto the outer part of the material. Trouble is most perspiration goes faster than drying time.
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Old 06-20-16, 04:56 PM
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Yeah, I might be expecting too much from newer synthetic padding. I remember the old leather chamois pads took awhile to dry as well.
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Old 06-20-16, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
't'ain't pleasant.
I see what you did there.
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