Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Anyone else out there not using padded shorts?

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Anyone else out there not using padded shorts?

Old 09-27-21, 05:56 PM
  #1  
AJW2W11E
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 87
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 52 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 15 Times in 12 Posts
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?
AJW2W11E is offline  
Likes For AJW2W11E:
Old 09-27-21, 06:13 PM
  #2  
wolfchild
Senior Member
 
wolfchild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Posts: 7,010

Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2413 Post(s)
Liked 1,284 Times in 629 Posts
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.
wolfchild is offline  
Likes For wolfchild:
Old 09-27-21, 06:20 PM
  #3  
AdkMtnMonster
Airplanes, bikes, beer.
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Off the front
Posts: 727

Bikes: Road bikes, mountain bikes, a gravel bikeÖ

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 383 Post(s)
Liked 775 Times in 328 Posts
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.
AdkMtnMonster is offline  
Likes For AdkMtnMonster:
Old 09-27-21, 06:29 PM
  #4  
SurferRosa
SeŮor Member
 
SurferRosa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Pac NW
Posts: 4,826

Bikes: Old school lightweights

Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1982 Post(s)
Liked 2,328 Times in 1,268 Posts
If you try well fitting padded cycling shorts with your road bike, you will likely not return to whatever you wore before.
SurferRosa is offline  
Likes For SurferRosa:
Old 09-27-21, 06:57 PM
  #5  
cxwrench
Senior Member
 
cxwrench's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Nor-Cal
Posts: 2,333

Bikes: lots

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1091 Post(s)
Liked 1,402 Times in 782 Posts
Originally Posted by AJW2W11E View Post
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 View Post
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.
cxwrench is online now  
Old 09-27-21, 07:14 PM
  #6  
shelbyfv 
Senior Member
 
shelbyfv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: TN
Posts: 9,476
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2715 Post(s)
Liked 3,210 Times in 1,667 Posts
Most folks wear what suits them. You can too, no need to ask permission, justify your choice or announce it.
shelbyfv is offline  
Likes For shelbyfv:
Old 09-27-21, 07:28 PM
  #7  
Troul 
:D
 
Troul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Mich
Posts: 4,527
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 1,210 Times in 857 Posts
I will not wear thick padded stuff. ymmv
__________________
-Oh Hey!
Troul is offline  
Old 09-27-21, 07:29 PM
  #8  
jon c. 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 4,153
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1180 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 380 Times in 209 Posts
Originally Posted by AJW2W11E View Post
. 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.
jon c. is offline  
Likes For jon c.:
Old 09-27-21, 07:39 PM
  #9  
Rolla
Gyro Captain
 
Rolla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 1,299

Bikes: 4 Singlespeeds, 2 Gearies

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 548 Post(s)
Liked 1,368 Times in 605 Posts
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.
Rolla is offline  
Old 09-27-21, 07:54 PM
  #10  
Juan Foote
LBKA (formerly punkncat)
 
Juan Foote's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Jawja
Posts: 3,835

Bikes: Spec Roubaix SL4, GT Traffic 1.0

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1382 Post(s)
Liked 335 Times in 233 Posts
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.
Juan Foote is offline  
Old 09-27-21, 08:09 PM
  #11  
gringomojado
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 364
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 157 Post(s)
Liked 92 Times in 56 Posts
As long as hte bike has a dork disk, you will be fine
gm
gringomojado is offline  
Likes For gringomojado:
Old 09-27-21, 08:43 PM
  #12  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 23,042

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 134 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2769 Post(s)
Liked 1,538 Times in 950 Posts
I don't use "padded" shorts, but I do use bike shorts with a chamois to absorb sweat and reduce chaffing.
JohnDThompson is offline  
Likes For JohnDThompson:
Old 09-27-21, 09:02 PM
  #13  
Random11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 279
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 145 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 178 Times in 99 Posts
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.
Random11 is offline  
Old 09-27-21, 10:55 PM
  #14  
Branko D
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 498
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 204 Post(s)
Liked 253 Times in 150 Posts
​​​​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 😉
Branko D is offline  
Likes For Branko D:
Old 09-27-21, 11:30 PM
  #15  
Korina
Happy banana slug
 
Korina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Arcata, California, U.S., North America, Earth, Saggitarius Arm, Milky Way
Posts: 2,553

Bikes: 1992 Specialized Rockhopper Sport, 2016 Giant Liv Rove Lite, 1995 Trek Singletrack 930, 1994 Trek Multitrack 750

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 959 Post(s)
Liked 659 Times in 431 Posts
Originally Posted by AJW2W11E View Post
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!
Korina is offline  
Old 09-28-21, 04:08 AM
  #16  
Paul Barnard
For The Fun of It
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Louisissippi Coast
Posts: 5,014

Bikes: Lynskey Backroad, Litespeed T6, Lynskey MT29, Burley Duet

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1626 Post(s)
Liked 915 Times in 473 Posts
Gotta have my padded shorts. I'd feel like Mike Tyson used my nether regions for a heavy bag if I didn't.
Paul Barnard is online now  
Old 09-28-21, 04:10 AM
  #17  
Paul Barnard
For The Fun of It
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Louisissippi Coast
Posts: 5,014

Bikes: Lynskey Backroad, Litespeed T6, Lynskey MT29, Burley Duet

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1626 Post(s)
Liked 915 Times in 473 Posts
Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
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
Paul Barnard is online now  
Old 09-28-21, 05:37 AM
  #18  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 23,042

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 134 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2769 Post(s)
Liked 1,538 Times in 950 Posts
Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
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.
JohnDThompson is offline  
Old 09-28-21, 05:46 AM
  #19  
jpescatore
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashton, MD USA
Posts: 1,186

Bikes: Trek Domane SL6 Disc, Jamis Renegade

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 328 Post(s)
Liked 253 Times in 184 Posts
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.
jpescatore is offline  
Likes For jpescatore:
Old 09-28-21, 05:50 AM
  #20  
Phil_gretz
Zip tie Karen
 
Phil_gretz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 6,991

Bikes: '13 Motobecane Fantom29 HT, '16 Motobecane Turino Pro Disc, '16 Motobecane Gran Premio Elite, '18 Velobuild VB-R-022, '21 Tsunami SNM-100

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1446 Post(s)
Liked 1,506 Times in 795 Posts
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.
Phil_gretz is offline  
Likes For Phil_gretz:
Old 09-28-21, 05:51 AM
  #21  
noimagination
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 401
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 217 Post(s)
Liked 223 Times in 124 Posts
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.
noimagination is offline  
Likes For noimagination:
Old 09-28-21, 09:42 AM
  #22  
tkamd73 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Menomonee Falls, WI
Posts: 1,288

Bikes: 1984 Schwinn Supersport, 1988 Trek 400T, 1977 Trek TX900, 1982 Bianchi Champione del Mondo, 1978 Raleigh Supercourse, 1986 Trek 400 Elance, 1991 Waterford PDG OS Paramount, 1971 Schwinn Sports Tourer, 1985 Trek 670

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 423 Post(s)
Liked 510 Times in 283 Posts
Yes!
Tim
tkamd73 is offline  
Old 09-28-21, 10:37 AM
  #23  
caloso
Senior Member
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 40,432

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac, Canyon Exceed, Specialized Transition, Ellsworth Roots, Ridley Excalibur

Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2773 Post(s)
Liked 2,564 Times in 1,183 Posts
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.
caloso is offline  
Old 09-28-21, 11:28 AM
  #24  
phughes
Senior Member
 
phughes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,197
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 629 Post(s)
Liked 578 Times in 344 Posts
Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
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.
phughes is online now  
Old 09-28-21, 11:43 AM
  #25  
Bmach
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 962
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 377 Post(s)
Liked 177 Times in 110 Posts
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.
Bmach is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.