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.

Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.
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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 important no matter what type of rider you are and particularly 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

Wearing padded bike underwear or pants will help you enjoy your riding by helping you be more comfortable on your bike seat. This improved comfort can support you working towards increasing your time on your bike by allowing you to ride further or more often .

Choose the correct chamois

Variety of Chamois ( padding) sewn into underwear or pants

How to wear your padded pants or underwear

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….it needs to be next to your skin.

If you choose to ride in padded underwear ( goUnders)  then you choose everyday or actvity clothes to wear over your underwear You do not wear padded lycra pants over your goUnders. You only need one lot of padding. Having too much bulk is likely to create issues

If you choose to ride in lycra bike pants like our 3/4 pants then you wear no underwear. The 3/4 pants and the chamois that is sewn in sits directly next to your skin.  You do not wear your padded underwear (goUnders) under your lycra bike pants. You only need one lot of padding. Having too much bulk is likely to create issues

If you choose to wear a liner under bike specific shorts the chamois sewn into the liner is worn directly next to your skin

Chamois (padding) needs to held in place

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. So a stretchy fabric is essential.

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 Trails with the kids, like to ride regularly 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.

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.

For more information on Chamois’ see our story:  How to choose the correct chamois

There is more you can do to be comfortable on your bike seat?

Finding comfort on your bike seat can be challenging. You  have options others than padded pants or underwear.

  • You need the right bike saddle. 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’ 
  • How you ride’ plays an important part in your comfort

To understand your options read Comfort on the bike seat – what are my options.

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