Whether you ride for sport, recreation, or a means of transport there are a range of clothing options available to you that are designed to meet the demands of biking. Some of you may choose a wardrobe full of riding specific clothing, others may have just one piece. But there is one must have item – a chamois (padding) that is sewn into bike underwear, bike pants or liners at the point where you make contact with the seat.
Why do you need padding (a chamois)? It is all about comfort and protection at the contact point of your bottom on the bike seat. This is very important when you begin to ride for longer distances, more frequently, or you have issues with tenderness. This contact point has a lot of weight being transferred through it. These forces as well as sweating in this region can cause you problems so let’s get the right padding solution for you so you can find your riding SMILE.
You do not want a one size fit all chamois – a lot of design work has gone into the padding (chamois) to make sure you get the best possible outcome for the type of rider you are.
Things you need to consider for a good chamois (padding) match.
- If you are a women the chamois will need to be women specific. The placement, shape, areas of altered thickness in the padding as well as the width and length are all designed to match our women specific structures and the pressure on those structures. We are different to males so do not settle for a chamois that is designed for a male.
- The other variation to consider is the length of time spent on the bike in one ride. The thickness and materials used vary depending the length of time you spend on the bike. Common categories are up to 1hr, 1-3hrs, 1-5hrs and 5hrs+.
- Kids also need kid specific chamois to fit their smaller structure.
- The quality of the chamois will affect its ability to absorb the forces as well as breath and wick away moisture. These are all important to the success of the product to provide comfort and protection. Therefore it is best that the chamois is produced by a proven company.
Padding (the chamois) is sewn into underwear, bike pants or liners. goRide uses Chamois imported form Italy that are designed for women and kids
Whatever is holding that chamois in place, bike underwear, lycra bike shorts, or liners they need to be firm and stretch onto you. Well that padded bit – the chamois – needs to provide its cushioning in all the right places so to be held in position it needs to be tight but not restricting. This is where the stretch in the fabric enters. For more on fabric see Women’s Riding Clothing – Fabric Choice
If you are choosing to wear padded bike underwear this may seem a funny question but not so if you choose padded lycra bike shorts. Let me clear the air on a question many people are too afraid to ask… Do you wear undies under your padding? No. What? Why? Because the seams on your undies are the very things that can cause rubbing and chaffing leading to saddle sores. The chamois is also designed to wick away sweat and moisture from the area… so the chamois needs to be the point of contact.
You may be wondering whether children need padded bike shorts? Again it’s all about comfort and protection so it depends on the length of their rides and the frequency of riding. If you are considering riding some of the fantastic NZ Cycle Trail rides with the kids, like to ride regularly over summer or want to go on family biking holidays, then get them a pair of goUnders for Kids . Like adults children enjoy wearing clothing that is designed for a specific task and if riding is their main sport padded riding pants should be considered part of their uniform.
There is more you can do to make you comfortable on your bike seat.
You need to make sure you have the right bike seat. Just like the chamois they are designed to match the type of rider you are. The seat should be fitted correctly to your bike so you can find your bike seat ‘sweet spot’ As well as the right bike seat and chamois you need to ride in the correct position. .At goRide we call this Chi-Riding. Riding with efficiency and comfort. Check out the video on the correct riding position and other Chi- Riding tips.
Kids Specific Chamois (padding) to match their smaller structure
Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.
goRide helps you find your riding SMILE. Now it’s your turn….Contact goRide. Your thoughts, comments or feedback will make us SMILE.