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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    153

    Padded Bottoms - Necessary?

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    I know I'm going to get some answers along the lines of "it's up to your preference" for this kind of question, but are padded bottoms necessary for cycling? What's the worst that could happen, you bruise your butt? What works best for you?
    Life goes by pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, and do whatever you want all the time, you could miss it.

    2010 Fuji Roubaix 1.0
    2007 Fuji Absolute 2.0

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    2,841
    Quote Originally Posted by mariacycle View Post
    I know I'm going to get some answers along the lines of "it's up to your preference" for this kind of question, but are padded bottoms necessary for cycling? What's the worst that could happen, you bruise your butt? What works best for you?

    Oh dear me. I'm laughing.

    You clearly do not have very much imagination. I suggest you not use padded bottoms and do some long rides and maybe you'll figure out the worst that can happen

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    153
    Yeah my longest is still 10 miles. Another question is why is a padded saddle a no-no but everyone wears padded shorts? I also don't find the padded shorts particularly comfortable :/
    Life goes by pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, and do whatever you want all the time, you could miss it.

    2010 Fuji Roubaix 1.0
    2007 Fuji Absolute 2.0

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,043
    I'm a big fan of padded shorts. Let me put it this way: Would all of us willingly make our butts look big or bigger if we didn't derive a benefit from them? You don't want bruised sit bones or genitals that have been rubbed raw. Really, you don't.

    The trick is finding shorts that work for you. It's a very individual thing. As Muirenn said, buy the best shorts you can afford in the smallest size you can comfortably wear. TE has lots to choose from.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
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    Quote Originally Posted by mariacycle View Post
    Yeah my longest is still 10 miles. Another question is why is a padded saddle a no-no but everyone wears padded shorts? I also don't find the padded shorts particularly comfortable :/
    What brand/style shorts have you tried?
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
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    10,557
    I despise "padded bottoms."

    After about 10 years of wearing them, I finally realized that they just don't work for me, especially on longer rides (50-60 miles).

    I've got a lovely collection of good ones, and cheap ones, tri-chamois, sculpted chamois, etc and so on.

    The best thing for me is just plain ol' UnderArmour 7 inch inseam compression shorts. $27. No chamois.

    Generally I have either a skirt or capris/shants over them.

    Whatever works for you is good. Some folks (and there are a few out there) will freak and go into apoplexy if they discover you don't use chamois shorts, or you wear underwear under your shorts, or you ride on platform pedals, or you prefer steel, or you like downtube shifters, or are happiest with upright bars. That's only their binary thinking and insecurity coming to the fore - if you are different, then maybe THEY are wrong, so you MUST change and do everything just like them so they can feel good about themselves. Don't sweat it. Try everything. Then do what works for you.

    ETA: here's a link to the compression shorts: http://www.underarmour.com/shop/us/e...rt/1001226-001
    Last edited by KnottedYet; 03-24-2011 at 07:31 PM.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
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    Yes, by all means do what's right for you, but I'd still venture I guess--and I apologize if my alleged insecurity is coming through--that Knotted is in the minority in terms of not preferring padded shorts. I'd at least try out some decent pairs before concluding they don't work for you.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    I'm the only one allowed to whine
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    Oh, yeah, I'm definitely in the minority!
    (and you're not insecure for pointing that out... if you ripped into me over it, that would be a red flag. I've had someone do the apoplexy thing at me over riding without a chamois. It was funny. Later.)

    The take-away message here is don't be afraid of trying riding without a chamois if you just can't seem to love chamois.

    At least it will give you another data point!
    Last edited by KnottedYet; 03-24-2011 at 07:44 PM.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    2,609
    I'm a very long-distance rider - 200-miles a week kinda gal. I need to adjust something on my bike and thought I could just hop on and try it on the trainer for a few minutes without bike shorts. Even that was just amazingly uncomfortable. I'm addicted to chamois.
    For 3 days, I get to part of a thousand other journeys.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Melbourne Oz
    Posts
    174
    For most people it's more a case of what you'd wear instead, cos sweat + seams = chafing. The chamois doesn't have seams (and the better shorts have flat seams elsewhere for the same reason) and lets the sweat get away so it doesn't rub you raw, as well as providing some padding that doesn't bounce you around like a fat heavy saddle. Yes, it feels like a maternity pad initially but you get used to it. Try both and see what you think. But all chamois are not created equal!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    I'd venture to say at least a plurality need (or at least strongly prefer) a seamless, soft chamois to prevent chafing, but do NOT want any padding. For me, padding = chafing. The longer the ride, the more important it is for me to have a very minimal chamois.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    507
    Chafing is SOOO bad! I can get chafing when I am in SIngapore when it's hot and sweaty and I walk. Once it was so bad I had abraded the skin right off and it was bleeding, hot and swollen in two patches between my legs.

    You find it hard to walk, sit, go to the toilet and it really hurts.

    I think the main thing is to wear something that allows dampness to dry or wicks it away. Therefore cotton, demin etc are NOT great things to do exercise it.

    Cycling shorts fabric allows the dampness to evaporate and the pad wicks away as well as padding.

    Bruised sit bones I can live with, but chafing, it's no fun!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3,176
    Just ride.
    When it feels good you'll probably be thinking about something more interesting (the road, the birds, the trees, dinner, boys, girls, sugar, spice, etc.)
    when it feels not good---you will be thinking mainly of getting out of the saddle.


    The solution (for me anyway) was that old Harry Truman thing, "Well, we'll try something, and if it doesn't work, we'll try something else."
    Each day is a gift, that's why it is called the present.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    153
    thank you all very much for your advice, I really appreciate it =]

    Quote Originally Posted by KnottedYet View Post
    I despise "padded bottoms." The best thing for me is just plain ol' UnderArmour 7 inch inseam compression shorts. $27. No chamois.
    Thanks for linking! This is what is most comfortable for me too, but I have also been chewed out/treated like a moron because of it. Glad to hear someone else goes down this route...

    Quote Originally Posted by indysteel View Post
    What brand/style shorts have you tried?
    I have several types (all from Performance) from the Performance brand to Pearl Izumi. I do feel like the padding is both too big and too thick. Also, the actual shorts are not comfortable compared to Underarmor compression shorts or other spandex shorts I have.

    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    I'd venture to say at least a plurality need (or at least strongly prefer) a seamless, soft chamois to prevent chafing, but do NOT want any padding. For me, padding = chafing. The longer the ride, the more important it is for me to have a very minimal chamois.
    hey oak! that would be really nice... what do you use?
    Life goes by pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, and do whatever you want all the time, you could miss it.

    2010 Fuji Roubaix 1.0
    2007 Fuji Absolute 2.0

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,043
    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    I'd venture to say at least a plurality need (or at least strongly prefer) a seamless, soft chamois to prevent chafing, but do NOT want any padding. For me, padding = chafing. The longer the ride, the more important it is for me to have a very minimal chamois.
    Perhaps I'm having an issue with semantics. To me, a chamois of any density provides some degree of padding, but perhaps not. My favorite shorts--Sugoi RS--does not have what I would call a minimal chamois, but in answering the OP's question, I had in mind any of the various types of cycling shorts, from those with a minimal chamois to those with a thick one, which is why I suggested it was a matter of finding the right short for her. I still think the vast majority of us wear some type of cycling short, i.e., with a chamois.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

 

 

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