Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

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Do you use padded shorts for long rides?

Yay
46
77%
Nay
14
23%
 
Total votes: 60

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Ian
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Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

Post by Ian » Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:52 pm

I took a big gamble on the BB200 this year, and that was to not wear padded cycling shorts.

On previous long rides with 10+ hours in the saddle, particularly in the wet when wearing waterproof shorts, chafing has been an issue that needed managing carefully. I put this down to overheating undercarriage, which padded shorts exacerbated. So, after many months of conditioning on the commuter and a few longer rides without a padded short, I crossed my fingers I could survive 200km without saddle sore. It worked.

When I casually mentioned it yesterday after finishing the BB200, more than a few eye brows were raised. So how many of you wear padded shorts and how many don’t?

redefined_cycles
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Re: Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

Post by redefined_cycles » Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:56 pm

Ian... I actually went with my thinnest set of padded shorts (the grey chomoise Lusso) as the med ones were still needing a wash and fhe thicker ones would be too warm... It worked well. Only one extra thing I did was smother the shorts with Sudocrem and Manuka (yes.. only cos it was cheap) as opposwd to on my bottom... What this does is that any sores that might develop have some antiseptic relief already...

It worked veey well and I'm suprisingly not sore at all down below

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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:01 pm

None for me. Never have. I like a bit of air flow and don't like the feel of having a sweaty sponge wrapped round my knackers.
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Landslide
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Re: Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

Post by Landslide » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:11 pm

I've recently started riding without a chammy. So far I've done an overnighter with 50km either side of sleeping, and a couple of other 50-60km rides. Seamless pants and some Bum Butter seems to be doing the trick.

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Re: Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

Post by redefined_cycles » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:50 pm

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:01 pm
None for me. Never have. I like a bit of air flow and don't like the feel of having a sweaty sponge wrapped round my knackers.
Ian... I was gonna allude to this also but from a slightly different angle. Sweaty knacker syndrome seems to be the key here and hence why probably the bamboo boxers work for some on here (they don't become unfresh as fast).

I'm (from my religious perspective) required to shave down there and under arms as a matter of compulsory requirement and it needs to not go beyond 40days/monthly mark. I've found that when I'm shaved then the sweat accumulation is less and hence stay fresh/sore free for longer on longer rides... as a result I'm always particular before going on an epic that I'm erm, fully shaved and theres not a jungle down there :smile:

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Dave Barter
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Re: Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

Post by Dave Barter » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:19 pm

The right padded shorts can change a long day in the saddle from misery to pleasure. For me it is about being able to subtlety change position with a tweak of the pad. Can't really see how airflow happens without a pad unless you have an amazing ability to hover 1mm above the saddle.? Surely then the saddle becomes the pad? I can see it when you are regularly off the saddle, but that's not how I ride.
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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:34 pm

Can't really see how airflow happens without a pad unless you have an amazing ability to hover 1mm above the saddle.? Surely then the saddle becomes the pad? I can see it when you are regularly off the saddle, but that's not how I ride.
Ah, you might be assuming that there's something else beneath my baggies but there isn't, so a swift lift of a leg, etc produces a refreshing breeze. :-bd
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lune ranger
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Re: Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

Post by lune ranger » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:43 pm

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:34 pm
Can't really see how airflow happens without a pad unless you have an amazing ability to hover 1mm above the saddle.? Surely then the saddle becomes the pad? I can see it when you are regularly off the saddle, but that's not how I ride.
Ah, you might be assuming that there's something else beneath my baggies but there isn't, so a swift lift of a leg, etc produces a refreshing breeze. :-bd
Eek! :shock:
I once had the eye watering experience of sittings on one of my two veg whilst wearing some baggy boxers.
I’ve never been willing to take that chance again....
Padded shorts always :wink:

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whitestone
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Re: Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

Post by whitestone » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:45 pm

Not done long (according to this forum's definition) without padded shorts but have done shorter day long rides without.

I've not found my optimum trouser wear for persistent wet weather but for drier weather I prefer a good dusting of talcum powder on both pad and me. Adding moisture to a moist environment doesn't strike me as being the best strategy.

There's also the matter of particulates in the water we ride through, get that embedded in a pad or strap and things will start to get sore.
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Re: Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

Post by jameso » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:21 pm

Same sort of experience here Ian. Haven't worn padded shorts for 6 years, have ridden a lot in that time and have had no issues. Still get some discomfort on long rides as expected but much less than with padded shorts. People do think it's odd but that's only because we're told padded shorts are part of cycling. You do need the right boxers/pants, some materials are great others not, but the main thing that helps is chammy cream not the pad ime.

slarge
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Re: Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

Post by slarge » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:30 pm

I've learnt far too much from this thread. Both people's comfort preferences and a bit of religious knowledge.

It's the sort of knowledge I somehow feel has enriched my evening....... :-bd

Yours

Padded short wearer (but not padded saddle user)

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Re: Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

Post by jameso » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:32 pm

And at the risk of it being a BB equivalent of a classic Mumsnet thread (so I was told etc) and please go easy on the detail,
...required to shave down there...
isn't that a bit itchy after a few days? (never mind a technically demanding operation!)
I shaved a bit of the top of my thigh once when a few mates were getting a bit roadie and shaving their legs, it drove me crazy within a couple of days, stubble on trousers.. :lol: Was a long time ago, I'd like to point out. Have always been a bit wary of roadie habits since :grin:

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whitestone
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Re: Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

Post by whitestone » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:40 pm

Actually hair performs a useful biological function. In their quest for "marginal gains" the British track cycling team asked the women riders about hygiene, shaving and saddle sores. Those who shaved had more saddle sores.

The other take-away was that the the saddle should be slightly nose down, they presented the info to the UCI who had a rule that saddles had to be level and that rule got changed so now the saddle can be nose down by upto 9degs.

I think the article I read was on the Guardian site.
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Ian
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Re: Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

Post by Ian » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:53 pm

Dave - I've spent a lot on shorts in the past - usually decent ones such as Assos, but others too. For short rides, they've been fine, but it's the longer time in the saddle where moisture builds up in the pad that it becomes uncomfortable. It all started when I increased the frequency of my commutes, and I didn't own enough padded short to cycle them (excuse the pun) frequently enough. In the end, I couldn't be arsed (I'm here all week :lol: ) and just went with a normal compression short from Under Armour.
I've tried the commando style too; quite liberating, but I found the material of the outer short more uncomfortable and clammy than using a thin undershort.
So, my conclusion is similar to James - soreness can be managed with cham cream, but a thinner faster wicking material seems to cause fewer issues that negates the need for cream in the first place - even if you're sat down most of the time, the accumulation of moisture in a pad seems to play a part.

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Re: Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

Post by redefined_cycles » Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:13 pm

isn't that a bit itchy after a few days?
nope, not at all and in fact I'd say the contrary :smile:
technically demanding
It can be said to be that :lol:
BB equivalent of a classic Mumsnet thread (so I was told etc
ok lets stop there :lol:
Padded short wearer (but not padded saddle user)
does that mean carbon saddles on your epics?? Must be one of them super comfy £250 things from Spain right?
quest for "marginal gains" the British track cycling team asked the women riders about hygiene, shaving and saddle sores.
now its getting complicated... Will they be forwarding that research towards a MetaAnalysis :lol:

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Richard G
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Re: Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

Post by Richard G » Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:35 pm

I'm leaning towards not at the moment. I can deal with the bruising, but what I can't deal with is the swamp crotch.

Most padded shorts aren't vented nearly enough for my requirements.

Edit - Seems other people have had similar issues.

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Re: Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

Post by slarge » Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:39 pm

Shaf, my MTB and CX saddles are Selle Italia SLR Carbonio - 120 grams of carbon loveliness, with a very thin covering (not really padded, just covered). My road bikes saddle is a bare carbon thing off ebay (£25 some years ago). Both really comfortable as they fit my backside. I think the saddle shape and size is more important than the padding - the saddles I like are about 140mm wide and quite flat - all quite personal - I have tried some saddles that have either been like sitting on a football or a razor blade.

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Dave Barter
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Re: Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

Post by Dave Barter » Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:04 pm

See I don't understand this swamp crotch thing? I genuinely don't get it when it's dry and when wet ..it can't be avoided. You lot must have special bollock sweat glands that I don't possess? On long multi-day rides I am fastidious with cleaning down there and slather on the witch hazel every night. No real issues arise. I reckon this is an arse thing. It probably depends on your tailbone and posterior construction. Some will benefit from pads others not. If I was told to go do the divide again with only 2 things. I take the Cutthroat and my Gore shorts.
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slarge
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Re: Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

Post by slarge » Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:22 pm

Dave Barter wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:04 pm
See I don't understand this swamp crotch thing? I genuinely don't get it when it's dry and when wet ..it can't be avoided. You lot must have special bollock sweat glands that I don't possess? On long multi-day rides I am fastidious with cleaning down there and slather on the witch hazel every night. No real issues arise. I reckon this is an arse thing. It probably depends on your tailbone and posterior construction. Some will benefit from pads others not. If I was told to go do the divide again with only 2 things. I take the Cutthroat and my Gore shorts.
Is the Cutthroat for shaving Dave? Bit risky I'd imagine, and not sure if witch hazel would be top of the list afterwards!

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Richard G
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Re: Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

Post by Richard G » Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:23 pm

For what its worth, when I get up from a machine at the gym, I need to wipe the seat... so yes, I likely possess sweat glands that you don't, or rather ones that do more than others. Sweating tends to be a VERY individual thing (for me it's crotch / forehead and almost nothing anywhere else).

I also overheat extremely quickly, so I'd really rather that I sweated more evenly as I imagine I'd be able to deal with heat far better then.

Edit - That said, on recent rides where I've forgone overshorts I've enjoyed the brisk cooling effects of standing with my legs spread... mmm, chilly bollocks. :lol:

Additional Edit - A crotch wet from rain etc isn't "swamp crotch". It's very specifically from heat / sweat. Trust me, you'd know if you suffered from it. :sad:
Last edited by Richard G on Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:53 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

Post by redefined_cycles » Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:23 pm

slarge wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:39 pm
Shaf, my MTB and CX saddles are Selle Italia SLR Carbonio - 120 grams of carbon loveliness, with a very thin covering (not really padded, just covered). My road bikes saddle is a bare carbon thing off ebay (£25 some years ago). Both really comfortable as they fit my backside. I think the saddle shape and size is more important than the padding - the saddles I like are about 140mm wide and quite flat - all quite personal - I have tried some saddles that have either been like sitting on a football or a razor blade.
Thanks for that Steven (I got yer name right yeah... took me almost 9 hours connecting Wotsits name to Jason on Sunday from around 11am). Interesting you say that about the padding as I experimented with a superlight Superleggera high grade (apparently) copy. Was comfy for what it was (111g) but it might have been me hovering rather than sitting on my 90 miler commute* (probably only to get the unofficial UK record so I did do it a few times)...

This is the one I had contemplated on and the people on the roadie STW equivalents rave about...
(goes away to search for a while)... This is the one I believe https://cycletechreview.com/2019/access ... on-saddle/

Ian... One other thing about padded shorts etc (I think its been mentioned before but fish-memory means, apologies for repeating) is, dont forget that (apparently) the main comfort is supposed to be a good marriage between bum sit bones and saddle shape. Apparently once you find the optimum saddle you supposedly forget about it :smile:

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Dave Barter
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Re: Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

Post by Dave Barter » Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:31 pm

slarge wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:22 pm
Dave Barter wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:04 pm
See I don't understand this swamp crotch thing? I genuinely don't get it when it's dry and when wet ..it can't be avoided. You lot must have special bollock sweat glands that I don't possess? On long multi-day rides I am fastidious with cleaning down there and slather on the witch hazel every night. No real issues arise. I reckon this is an arse thing. It probably depends on your tailbone and posterior construction. Some will benefit from pads others not. If I was told to go do the divide again with only 2 things. I take the Cutthroat and my Gore shorts.
Is the Cutthroat for shaving Dave? Bit risky I'd imagine, and not sure if witch hazel would be top of the list afterwards!
If it is then those bastards in Manchester have ripped me right off.
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Wotsits
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Re: Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

Post by Wotsits » Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:25 am

I'm with Dave on this, rode the Tuscany Trail last year in just merino boxers under my shorts. Was ok, definitely cooler down there, but still prefer some padding. I prefer a thinner pad & cleanliness is key! Gore do a really good padded short (not a bib) for hot weather.
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Re: Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

Post by gairym » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:47 am

I'm with Stu on this, rode the Tuscany Trail last year in padded bibs under my usual baggies and it resulted in trip ending bruising. :cry:

I did all of my pre-trip riding (training is too strong a word) in baggies with Merino boxers and then, for some daft reason, decided to wear some merino padded bib shorts underneath for the trip (I never claimed to be bright).

Sweat issues suddenly appeared and needed to be dealt with and it totally changed the location of the pressure/impact of the saddle and I ended up unable to sit down - boo!

Not worn them since and been much happier with no issues :-bd

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Richard G
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Re: Padded shorts: yay, or nay?

Post by Richard G » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:52 am

Wotsits wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:25 am
Gore do a really good padded short (not a bib) for hot weather.
I think the key is getting something that's designed to be an underlayer so that it's massively ventilated (and possibly indecent if worn as an outerlayer). Stick normal MTB shorts over a standard roadie bib and things are definitely going to get sweaty.

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