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Does anyone still sell genuine chamois shorts?

Old 10-03-17, 07:24 AM
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Bald Paul
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Does anyone still sell genuine chamois shorts?

When I was (much) younger, and did a lot of riding, I had a couple pair of bike shorts with genuine chamois liners. Soft, no seams, very comfortable. No padding, but no chafing, either.

Fast forward to now, and I'm getting back into cycling to get back into shape. I have a pair of shorts with what is called a chamois liner, but it really isn't. It's a thick pad, and makes me feel like I'm wearing an adult diaper. (I'm old, but not to THAT stage yet!) It also gets uncomfortable after about 15 miles and begins to chafe areas that, well, really shouldn't be chafed.

I've checked several bike shops locally, and no one seems to have genuine chamois lined shorts. Does anyone know of a brand?
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Old 10-03-17, 07:39 AM
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Kucharik still sells genuine leather chamois. You can buy their shorts/bibs with leather chamois or replace the chamois in your current shorts/bibs with a leather chamois.

Bicycle clothing wool jersey kids winter children club/team apparel. - Kucharik
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Old 10-03-17, 07:49 AM
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Thanks!
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Old 10-03-17, 07:49 AM
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Might be worth trying a different pair of shorts, too, not all pads are the same. I've got two pair, one feels natural and comfortable, and the other gives me that "diaper" feel.
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Old 10-03-17, 07:53 AM
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^^^What he said. Not sure why you want to go back in time.
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Old 10-03-17, 08:52 AM
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But, realize, it's Sheepskin, not the skin of a specific European mountain goat-antelope species Rupicapra rupicapra.
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Old 10-03-17, 09:57 AM
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I remember the days of having to rub and massage my "pre-worn" chamois shorts to soften them up before a ride, otherwise they were like riding on hard sandpaper for the first mile or so. I don't miss those days at all!

Artificial "chamois" shorts today are not all created equal. Some are far better than others, and in general, the higher the price the better the quality, but not always.
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Old 10-03-17, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
When I was (much) younger, and did a lot of riding, I had a couple pair of bike shorts with genuine chamois liners. Soft, no seams, very comfortable. No padding, but no chafing, either.

Fast forward to now, and I'm getting back into cycling to get back into shape. I have a pair of shorts with what is called a chamois liner, but it really isn't. It's a thick pad, and makes me feel like I'm wearing an adult diaper. (I'm old, but not to THAT stage yet!) It also gets uncomfortable after about 15 miles and begins to chafe areas that, well, really shouldn't be chafed.

I've checked several bike shops locally, and no one seems to have genuine chamois lined shorts. Does anyone know of a brand?
The new thick pad shorts are "training shorts". The marketing folk did a survey to assess their market. We're getting older. So the new training shorts are to help us adopt to the reality that in a few years, we will be back to diapers. The new shorts are intended to lessen the shock.

Seriously - I don't have the patience to sew chamois into my shorts. But I would love a quality short with that kind of thickness. In winter I wear UnderArmour jockey briefs under shorts on warmer days and sometimes under tights without pads. My seats work just fine for me with that little. Bugs me that really I should be adjusting my seat height to compensate for the padding!

Ben
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Old 10-03-17, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by drlogik View Post
I remember the days of having to rub and massage my "pre-worn" chamois shorts to soften them up before a ride, otherwise they were like riding on hard sandpaper for the first mile or so. I don't miss those days at all!

Artificial "chamois" shorts today are not all created equal. Some are far better than others, and in general, the higher the price the better the quality, but not always.
The secret was Kucharik Chamois Fat which is probably still available. Regularly greased up, the chamois never went hard, even after washes.

Ben
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Old 10-03-17, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
^^^What he said. Not sure why you want to go back in time.
To me, newer is not necessarily better. The padding in the new shorts (I have two pair, different makes) is thick enough to create an irritation along the edge of the pad and my body. Maybe it's just the way my body is, but I never had that issue with chamois. Besides, a comfortable saddle > padding in shorts.

Originally Posted by drlogik View Post
I remember the days of having to rub and massage my "pre-worn" chamois shorts to soften them up before a ride, otherwise they were like riding on hard sandpaper for the first mile or so. I don't miss those days at all!
I always applied a conditioner to the chamois after they were washed, and never had that issue. And, at least for me, a little discomfort for a mile or so, and then comfort on the remainder of the ride, is a better option than comfort for a few miles, and misery for the rest.
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Old 10-03-17, 10:43 AM
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Old 10-03-17, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I don't have the patience to sew chamois into my shorts. But I would love a quality short with that kind of thickness.
Kucharik will sew the pad in for you for a nominal charge. They have nine different pads to choose from, including the real leather mentioned above. I have a couple pair of quality wool shorts they've put new pads and elastic in and I can vouch for their work.

Kucharik - Repairs Chart
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Old 10-03-17, 01:23 PM
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Kucharik, un padded synth 'shammy' has been fine with me ..

though they dropped their specially jersey-knit Helenca (non Lycra) fabric since I got my 3 pair

I used them in rotation on my longest bike tour..



...
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Old 10-03-17, 01:43 PM
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If you're not absolutely set on wool with genuine chamois (wore 'em myself years ago, no complaints other than the higher maintenance), Aero Tech Design's Pro short tan and black pad is thin and comfortable. No 3D or ridged stuff, just a thin, soft plain pad that's comfortable.

Aero Tech and others also make tri-shorts with very thin pads.
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Old 10-03-17, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
If you're not absolutely set on wool with genuine chamois (wore 'em myself years ago, no complaints other than the higher maintenance), Aero Tech Design's Pro short tan and black pad is thin and comfortable. No 3D or ridged stuff, just a thin, soft plain pad that's comfortable.

Aero Tech and others also make tri-shorts with very thin pads.
Those look very promising, thank you for the link!
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Old 10-03-17, 01:57 PM
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Don't need no stinkin' padded shorts on a 'bent!
Yes, I had at least one pair of wool Kucharik shorts with leather chamois in a previous lifetime.
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Old 10-03-17, 02:20 PM
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The OP real issue isn't a question of natural vs. artificial chamois. The issue is the excess padding in most or maybe all shorts these days.

BITD when the first synthetic liners were introduced, they were used the same way as the skins, meaning without added padding which came much later.

I remember phasing over to fake skins back then and they were a genuine improvement, especially as lycra replaced wool and we were now able to toss shorts in the washing machine.

So I suggest that the OP stop worrying about natural vs fake, and focus should on finding shorts with minimal padding. Though I can't name any, I suspect that there are still some out there. I'm still riding some made by rj, but they've been out of business for years.
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Old 10-03-17, 05:22 PM
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Boure makes shorts with thin padding. It gets thinner as the price goes up. The price includes priority mail and a no-questions-asked money-back guarantee.

When my chamois shorts fit, they were comfortable even though they were thin. I simply do not understand why the current pads are so thick. Some highly recommended vendors say their thicker pads are designed for longer rides.

Having said that, my most comfortable shorts right now are the liners with blue gel pad from Serfas - thick, but no chafing, at least up to about 50 miles (that's as far as I've ridden wearing them).
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Old 10-03-17, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
I simply do not understand why the current pads are so thick. Some highly recommended vendors say their thicker pads are designed for longer rides.
Harder, lighter saddles used by pros, with a trickle down effect to amateurs who want to use what the pros use. I know folks who ended up with saddle sores riding Fizik and other saddles that probably were't suited to their actual needs. And they're very picky about shorts and bib shorts, buying cycling apparel that costs more than my entire bike, just to cope with discomfort from a competition oriented saddle that's probably unsuited to their needs.

In ye olden dayes of yore when folks rode Brooks or comparable leather saddles that broke in to fit their sit bones, they needed only thinner leather chamois -- if they needed anything special to wear at all.

I'm not too picky about saddles or shorts. But my road bike has a saddle most guys wouldn't be seen riding -- an older Terry Georgena model. Besides being a "woman's" saddle with a nose that's shorter than most men's saddles, it's Lycra fabric over dense foam. The saddle already does what padded shorts do. So it's comfortable for me wearing unpadded shorts.

The only problem I have is the leg cuff on my baggy shorts snags the water bottle when I carry one in the seat tube cage. So I may order a set of tri-shorts with little or no padding.

Eventually that saddle will wear out and I may need more thickly padded shorts for a replacement saddle. And I wouldn't suggest the Lycra over foam saddle is the perfect solution. I've been caught in rain on a couple of rides and the saddle gets damp. Then it needs to be cleaned and I'll spray Febreeze or similar deodorizer on it. It's easier to clean Lycra shorts with microfiber and foam padding -- just toss 'em in the machine.
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Old 10-04-17, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
So I suggest that the OP stop worrying about natural vs fake, and focus should on finding shorts with minimal padding.
My Serfas shorts padding is far thinner than my Novaras. They're a few years old, dunno if they are still the same or not.
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Old 10-04-17, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
To me, newer is not necessarily better.
That's the thing...it is better.

The padding in the new shorts (I have two pair, different makes) is thick enough to create an irritation along the edge of the pad and my body. Maybe it's just the way my body is, but I never had that issue with chamois. Besides, a comfortable saddle > padding in shorts.
It's a case of matching body shape to the short that works best.

I have found these to be comfortable at a decent price...

https://garneau.com/us/en/cycling/ge...r/black-020-60
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Old 10-04-17, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
That's the thing...it is better.
Comfort is a very subjective thing.
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Old 10-04-17, 04:07 PM
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I need thin padding, for the same reasons others above have said - the thick padding rubs me the wrong places. I've switched with some success to tri-shorts. They have a thin pad.
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Old 10-04-17, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
If you're not absolutely set on wool with genuine chamois (wore 'em myself years ago, no complaints other than the higher maintenance), Aero Tech Design's Pro short tan and black pad is thin and comfortable. No 3D or ridged stuff, just a thin, soft plain pad that's comfortable.

Aero Tech and others also make tri-shorts with very thin pads.
I've tried many pairs of these Aero Tech shorts. Maybe I'm just doing something wrong, but every pair I've had has had that center stitching fail within the first 50 miles of use, leaving two rough, sharp edges that cut you right open nice and quickly.
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Old 10-04-17, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
Comfort is a very subjective thing.
I suspect that the person you quoted as saying "....it is better." was referring purely to synthetic vs. natural chamois. If so, having worn both for decades, I agree. It's much smoother against the skin, and infinitely easier to care for.

As I posted earlier, the problem is that the makers seem to have gotten into an arms race trying to outdo each other with the amount of padding. Add the padding in saddles which also can be excessive, and you have a situation where the cure is much worse than the original problem.

For the life of me, I can't understand how we got to a place where folks believe that padding is necessary (any padding) in the first place.
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