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Anyone else out there not using padded shorts?

Old 09-27-21, 05:56 PM
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Anyone else out there not using padded shorts?

Silly question.Iím pretty new to riding, I am coming up on my 18 th month of riding, rarely missing a day. I have a Bianchi Pista and a Giant Tough road. I never got around to buying padded shorts partly because I donít like really . Out here in the PNW I ride in shorts everyday. When I started riding I looked for bike seats with twice as much padding as a sofa, but now my backsides have gotten used to bike saddles . Anyone else out there doing this?
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Old 09-27-21, 06:13 PM
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I consider padded cycling shorts to be the same as any other underwear and I treat them as such. This means that I would never wear them exposed out in public.. I do use padded shorts quite a lot but i always wear them underneath my regular cargo pants.
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Old 09-27-21, 06:20 PM
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Plenty of people riding bikes in this world wearing all sorts of things and having fun, getting from A to B. Wear what you like as long as you like what you wear.
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Old 09-27-21, 06:29 PM
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If you try well fitting padded cycling shorts with your road bike, you will likely not return to whatever you wore before.
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Old 09-27-21, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by AJW2W11E
Silly question.Iím pretty new to riding, I am coming up on my 18 th month of riding, rarely missing a day. I have a Bianchi Pista and a Giant Tough road. I never got around to buying padded shorts partly because I donít like really . Out here in the PNW I ride in shorts everyday. When I started riding I looked for bike seats with twice as much padding as a sofa, but now my backsides have gotten used to bike saddles . Anyone else out there doing this?
Years ago I would have a chamois (pad) is a must, but I don't necessarily feel that way any more. Any time I go on a road or mtb ride I'll wear padded shorts or wear them under mtb baggies but when I ride the bmx or cruiser I just wear street cloths. Lots of the 'enduro' kids at the shop don't wear padded shorts under their baggies, just boxers. Whatever floats your boat as they say.

Originally Posted by wolfchild
I consider padded cycling shorts to be the same as any other underwear and I treat them as such. This means that I would never wear them exposed out in public.. I do use padded shorts quite a lot but i always wear them underneath my regular cargo pants.
You have insecurity issues. If you just didn't like them that would be one thing but to compare them to underwear is just weird. There are millions of cyclists wearing lycra that will back me up.
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Old 09-27-21, 07:14 PM
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Most folks wear what suits them. You can too, no need to ask permission, justify your choice or announce it.
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Old 09-27-21, 07:28 PM
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I will not wear thick padded stuff. ymmv
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Old 09-27-21, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by AJW2W11E
. When I started riding I looked for bike seats with twice as much padding as a sofa, but now my backsides have gotten used to bike saddles .
Like most folks, you probably discovered that padded saddles are less comfortable on longer rides. But the chamois in bike shorts doesn't serve the same function as padding on a saddle. The chamois is intended to absorb moisture and cushion the skin. It isn't there to keep your butt from getting sore.

You certainly don't need shorts with chamois. When I was a kid few wore such gear outside of club racers. I'd ride 100 miles in cut off Levis with no underwear. I think skin may become more sensitive with age as I don't think I could comfortably do that now. The bottom line is it's all about comfort. I find shorts with chamois substantially more comfortable. But if they don't make much difference to you then there isn't much reason to wear them.
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Old 09-27-21, 07:39 PM
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Sometimes I'll wear a chamois liner, but in the summer months I often stop for a dip in the local swimming holes, so I usually just wear some quick-drying short pants. I find full-on lycra "kit" to be too single-purposed for the way I live and ride.
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Old 09-27-21, 07:54 PM
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I found after some time of discomfort that having tights on in general were causing me issue. I liked and had no issue with spandex bike shorts when I was younger but the last couple of years of active cycling it was causing me a couple of issues, most specifically chafing and discomfort in my groin. I swapped to wearing "gym" style shorts and a saddle with springs on my city bike and have had no issue with that manner of discomfort. I also don't ride the distances I did before, and not much recently at all. I really feel like there is something to be said for a quality set of shorts with a good chamois and in particular when riding long distances at speed.
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Old 09-27-21, 08:09 PM
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As long as hte bike has a dork disk, you will be fine
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Old 09-27-21, 08:43 PM
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I don't use "padded" shorts, but I do use bike shorts with a chamois to absorb sweat and reduce chaffing.
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Old 09-27-21, 09:02 PM
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I have them, but I rarely wear them. My rule of thumb is to wear the padded shorts if I'm riding more than 20 miles. Most of my rides are 15-20 miles and I leave the padded shorts at home. Not sure I need them for longer rides, but my wife gave them to me and I don't mind wearing them from time to time.
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Old 09-27-21, 10:55 PM
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​​​​Eh. Proper road bike clothes are really a boon for long distance riding, not just because of padding (after all, trisuits have barely any but are nevertheless pretty comfortable).

That said, if I'm running errands on the bike, commuting or trying to squeeze in a quick easy ride sometimes I'll just get going in everyday clothes. You can get by even long distance riding in them, but why would you? A lycra roadsuit makes you faster, is more comfortable, is practical due to pockets, and just looks right and good on a road bike, especially if you aren't overweight.

Wear what you're comfortable with, but no need to shy away from silly "cyclist" clothing 😉
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Old 09-27-21, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by AJW2W11E
Silly question.Iím pretty new to riding, I am coming up on my 18 th month of riding, rarely missing a day. I have a Bianchi Pista and a Giant Tough road. I never got around to buying padded shorts partly because I donít like really . Out here in the PNW I ride in shorts everyday. When I started riding I looked for bike seats with twice as much padding as a sofa, but now my backsides have gotten used to bike saddles . Anyone else out there doing this?
Donít be surprised if you start changing saddles; I started with a too-wide cruiser style that caused chafing after 5 miles. Every saddle after that had less padding, and now my backside is happiest with a Brooks leather saddle. Iíve never worn chamois or padded shorts and Iíve been quite comfortable, but my rides arenít super long. As long as youíre comfortable, wear what you like. Enjoy your ride!
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Old 09-28-21, 04:08 AM
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Gotta have my padded shorts. I'd feel like Mike Tyson used my nether regions for a heavy bag if I didn't.
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Old 09-28-21, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
I don't use "padded" shorts, but I do use bike shorts with a chamois to absorb sweat and reduce chaffing.
Should these folks correct their language?

https://www.aerotechdesigns.com/roadbikeshorts.html
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Old 09-28-21, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard
Should these folks correct their language?

https://www.aerotechdesigns.com/roadbikeshorts.html
Some modern "chamois" are pads. Traditional chamois is thin leather, no padding at all. There are modern, synthetic chamois that are also thin and unpadded. That's what I prefer to wear.
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Old 09-28-21, 05:46 AM
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I eschewed cycling shorts (padded or unpadded) for many years but when I started touring I bought a cheap pair, mainly because the material is easy to wash and squeeze out and have it dry quickly. I quickly found that on long rides, the cycling shorts were more comfortable as well, less chafing. For short rides, not really an issue, though it does feel weird to have various items down there swinging free...

As many other comments have said, YMMV.
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Old 09-28-21, 05:50 AM
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My wife is a long-time practitioner of a hot yoga discipline known as Bikram, so named because of its founder. This is a specific emphasis on spinal health and the strength and flexibility necessary for optimum spine care. At any rate, there's a type of clothing that all of the Bikram people gravitate toward eventually...and it has the following characteristics.

- lightweight
- form fitting, and minimal skin coverage
- transmits sweat away from the skin
- non-absorbing, quick drying
- easy care, durable for frequent washing

I offer all of this because it has a parallel to how long-time cyclists come to understand their cycling gear. Can one take a Bikram class in basketball shorts and a cotton tee shirt? Certainly, one could. Would there be additional discomfort because of baggy sweat-soaked clothes? Yes, and this may or may not be perceptible to them.

I've been riding a long, long time. Can I ride wearing anything? Sure, I can. But I've found (by decades of trial and error) that I'm most comfortable wearing cycling specific garments for each season of the year. They simply work best for me.

As for "padding", I'm never a fan of it. Not for handlebars, not for gloves, not for saddles and not for my bottom. I wear stuff that is optimized for me. If the OP doesn't want or need padding, then maybe tri-shorts would be the way to go. Thin, minimal friction protection that's not only well suited to immersion/quick drying but also to high intensity riding. Just a thought.
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Old 09-28-21, 05:51 AM
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When I first started riding semi-seriously (i.e. "long" distance rides of 2hrs and up, not racing), I looked at the expense of getting riding shorts and I passed. I stuck to jeans or regular shorts for a while. Finally, after about 8 months or so, I decided to try shorts with a chamois (I'd recently gotten a promotion at work, as I recall). I did feel kind of exhibitionistic and dorky - "serious" cycling was much (much, much ...) less common back then. However, I did appreciate the difference in performance. The padding itself wasn't the biggest factor, although narrower "racing" bike saddles are designed to be used with riding shorts with chamois. For me the fabric properties (quick-drying vs cotton underwear + jeans or shorts; muscle compression vs loose clothing; lower friction fabric) were the biggest benefit, followed by the cut (no fabric flapping around).

I imagine that cycling shorts are less attractive nowadays in comparison to regular casual clothing, since it is much easier to find shorts and pants with quick-drying properties, but the muscle compression and aerodynamic benefits still apply. And the padding is of benefit on longer rides.
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Old 09-28-21, 09:42 AM
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Yes!
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Old 09-28-21, 10:37 AM
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It depends. When I rode into work today, I just wore dress pants. When I do an interval set or long ride or race, I wear bibs.
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Old 09-28-21, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
If you try well fitting padded cycling shorts with your road bike, you will likely not return to whatever you wore before.
Not necessarily. I went back to non-padded shorts. I will very occasionally wear a pair of padded shorts, but very rarely. I use a Brooks B17 though. On tour I will carry one pair of padded shorts, that I will put on some days, mainly just because I already own them. I generally wear synthetic fabric, athletic style underwear, with no seams on the rear, under a pair of baggy mountain bike shorts, with no pads.

Last edited by phughes; 09-28-21 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 09-28-21, 11:43 AM
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Wear what ever you want to wear. As Jon c has done, I also have done 100 mile rides in jean shorts years ago. If what you are wearing now works for you then you are good to go.
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