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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok heres a newbee question for you.

Whats the point of padded bike shorts, if your bike seat already has paiing on them?

Just curious... :)
 

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KendleFox said:
Ok heres a newbee question for you.

Whats the point of padded bike shorts, if your bike seat already has paiing on them?

Just curious... :)
Nothing...you should ride naked if your seat is padded enough.
 

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They do different things.

The padding on the saddle (many have very little) distributes pressure and absorbs shock a little. The padding in the shorts is thinner and less springy, and is there mainly to avoid chafing -- i.e., it provides a comfortable, non-abrasive surface for your skin to rub against, and avoids small pressure points caused by seams or bunching of thin fabric. Traditional shorts "padding" isn't really much padding at all; it's a thin piece of suede-like (chamois) leather to provide this soft, smooth surface.
 

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chafing

KendleFox said:
Ok heres a newbee question for you.

Whats the point of padded bike shorts, if your bike seat already has paiing on them?

Just curious... :)
The reason for the padded chamois in the shorts is not so much for padding, but to prevent chafing. If a cyclist is pumping their legs up and down while perched on a narrow saddle, there is no way to avoid there being something rubbing against something. The soft, padded chamois is designed so that that the inner layer (directly in contact with the cyclist) conforms to and moves with the cyclist's skin, leaving all the rubbing to occur in the inner layers of the padding. In that way, the padded chamois becomes like the cyclist's "second skin", and takes all the abuse of the chafing and rubbing so that the cyclist doesn't have to.
 

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It depends. Shorts with non-stretch chamois are designed to hide your junk and protect your modesty. Shorts with stretch chamois do the opposite: while they may not not accentuate your stature, they are great at making a big ol' camel toe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you everyone for the replies

I guess since I only have a 25 mile roundtrip commute, I havent reaped the benefites of my bike shorts. I dont wear cotton underware, I wear the stuff that is simular to bike shorts, so chaffing has yet to be an issue.
 

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Yeah, what they said. It prevents chafing by form-fitting, yes, and helps pull moisture away, which causes chafing even worse.

Most casual / commuter riders won't ride long enough or pedal fast enough for this to matter, but it's absolutely essential for a roadie.
 

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(I've been MTBing for 3 years now & just got a '07 Trek SU200 for pavement riding. In the past I just switched the tires on my bike to slicks & went riding.)

Is there anything not mentioned above that I should look for in shorts to replace my "baggies"?
 

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Plus most good road saddles don't have much padding. The super padded gel saddles are a recipe for friction spots and saddle sores.

PS -- the "padding" in most shorts isn't really for cushion, as others noted. It's a anti-bacterial, anti-chafe, base protective layer.

Just like there is no crying in baseball, there are no feather pillows in road biking. Not because we're trying to be tough, but because after about even 25 miles, less is more, and more is miserable.
 

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I was talking to a chap @ work that I MTB w/ who is also a roadie. He prefers bib shorts over regular shorts. He says he finds regular short tend to slide down. Does anyone else have a preference in shorts style?
 

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Yes, everyone has a preference. Most people seem to generally prefer the comfort of bibs, but they cost more and complicate answering natures call. My suggestion is to try one of everything and see what you like best. What you like matters a lot more than what somebody else likes. Even many dedicated bib lovers often use shorts for their shorter rides.
 

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I have been riding with bibs now for about six months and I won't go back to regular shorts. They are so much more comfortable. I don't have a problem with going to the restrrom. The bibs will pull down far enough in the front so I can go without any problems.
 
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