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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    118

    Chamois qualities?

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    Can anyone provide guidance on what to look for in a chamois?
    When I started riding my hybrid last year, I bought some Canari gel shorts and really liked them on my 15 mile rides. I found them to be the only shorts that comfortably fit my larger legs, and the chamois was comfortable. However, when I started riding farther than 15 miles, I wasn't as comfortable. Nothing terrible, but definitely started to notice slight discomfort.
    I also have some Craft shorts, which are a little bit like "skinny jeans"...they fit me on a good weight day, but if my weight goes up a bit, they are a little too snug. (I'm an XL, so sizing up isn't always an option.) But the Craft shorts seemed to have a better chamois for longer rides.
    I've switched to a road bike this year, and plan on doing longer rides (20-40 miles, hopefully) and want to get some new shorts for spring.
    So, question, what makes a good chamois? I have seen both foam and gel listed as the materials. Is one better than the other? Shape? Size? Any tips would be appreciated. I have to do a lot of shopping on line because local shops don't seem to have much variety for my size. I'm trying to figure out what buzz words to look for when shopping on line. I'm tall (5'11) and generally wear a size 14 in regular clothes.
    I am currently trying to find the perfect saddle (aren't we all) and just put a Specialized Jett on. While I THINK I like it, it is much harder than anything I am used to. Is this something to consider with chamois selection?
    SOrry for the long post and thanks for any help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    1,222
    For me, personally, I try and look for a "seamless" chamois. And I tend to go with the "less is more" idea. I've found that the thinner, denser chamois pads are far more comfortable on longer rides than the puffy, bulky, diaper-like ones. I also look for pads that are narrower through the crotch/inner thigh area, as I have found that wider ones tend to chafe me in that area.
    2012 Seven Axiom SL - Specialized Ruby SL 155

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    507
    No zig-zag stiching on the middle of the chamois! (on the edges maybe but a pair I have that's in the centre, well the sticthing acts like a cheese grater ouch!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,557
    I just plain don't find chamois to be helpful.

    Like several other TE folks, I either wear tri shorts or compression shorts.

    UnderArmour compression shorts only cost $27 or so, so it's a cheap experiment once you find a saddle that fits you properly. TE often has tri shorts on sale, be careful to get an inseam that's long enough and you'll be golden. Don't try going for minimal-to-no chamois until you get the saddle inadequacies worked out, though, or you might end up pretty unhappy.

    By the way: have you read Murienn's fabulous saddle thread? What are your inside, outside, and center sitbone measurements?
    Last edited by KnottedYet; 11-14-2011 at 08:11 PM.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    118
    So, Knot, you don't wear padded cycle shorts (other than tri shorts) at all? The tri shorts just have minimal padding, correct?
    Yes, I have been pouring over the old saddle threads, which is what gave me the courage to try the Jett. It's funny, because many people refer to the Jett as one of the softer Spec. saddles, whereas I think it is rock hard! Normally, I would have steered away from this type of saddle, thinking more gel was better, but the threads convinced me to try it. I will admit I don't fully know all of my sitbone measurements, as I have only gone by the LBS butt measurers. 2 different shops put me at 140.
    I've only done a 10 mile ride on the Jett, and it was good enough that I want to try a longer ride, which I will hopefully do this weekend.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    118
    Oh my goodness, after 20 miles today, that Jett was promptly returned! Back to the saddle drawing board...

 

 

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