What do good cycling shorts with a chamois meet?
Advantages of cycling shorts with chamois
Before we explain what a good cycling shorts with a chamois meets, we will explain the most important advantages of cycling shorts with a chamois. Because there are many different types of riders, there are also different types of cycling shorts. A fanatical cyclist who likes to go fast likes cycling shorts that are tight with a thin padding. Someone who prefers to travel long distances is often more looking for comfort. And then, in addition to different types of riders, there are also different disciplines such as: cycling, mountain biking and gravel biking. Although these are different types of cycling shorts, they often offer the same benefits.
Advantages of cycling shorts with chamois are:
- Prevents chafing of legs and saddle (no seams and special pad)
- Provides comfort while cycling by offering sufficient freedom of movement
- Suspenders to keep the pants in place
- A chamois to relieve the sit bones
- Good quality fabric that does not wear out with repeated movements along the saddle
- Tight fit so everything stays in place
In this blog we cover the following topics:
- The history and development of cycling shorts with chamois
- The different types of chamois/paddings
- Suspenders Rubber grippers
The history and development of cycling shorts with chamois
When it comes to the history of cycling shorts, the most crazy stories are told. Almost everyone knows the myth of a piece of steak in cycling shorts, but what fewer people know is where the word chamois comes from. In the past, the padding was also called a chamois, but today people no longer use leather chamois but synthetic paddings that increase cycling comfort. In the 70s and 80s, cycling shorts were still made with a real leather chamois as padding. That is why we still often call the paddings today a chamois. This chamois used to be rubbed with cream and special oil to prevent friction between the skin and the chamois during cycling. Today we no longer use genuine leather, but professional cyclists still use anti-abrasive products.
As described above, chamois leathers were therefore made of leather. That is no longer the case now. Cycling shorts are nowadays provided with padding made from synthetic fabrics that are specially designed to provide comfort. The paddings are often made up of several layers of foam rubber or gel. In addition, modern paddings are designed in such a way that they repel moisture so that they stay dry. Most paddings also receive an antibacterial treatment to prevent unpleasant odors.
Cycling pants used to be made of heavy fabrics such as cotton and wool. Today we use lighter and stronger fabrics such as nylon and spandex. Most pants you will find have a ratio of about 80% nylon to 20% spandex. Nylon ensures that the cycling shorts are sturdy and do not wear out. Spandex ensures that the fabric stays tight around your body and thus supports your muscles. In addition, spandex prevents the fabric from sliding, which prevents chafing. The division between nylon and spandex can differ per cycling short, but the percentage of spandex should not be lower than 16%, in cases below that the comfort and support decreases too much.
The different types of chamois/paddings
As mentioned above, there are many different paddings/chamois on the market. Which padding you prefer is often a personal consideration. Some people prefer thick to thin or foam to gel. A thick chamois has the advantage that it provides more damping of the road. The disadvantage of a chamois that is too thick is that it can chafe and hinder your freedom of movement. A thin chamois has the disadvantage that it absorbs shocks less well, but it does provide better power transfer to your bike. Initially, make sure your saddle is perfectly adjusted, try to move it from time to time between your rides until you are most comfortable. You will notice that you no longer need a thick chamois.
There are also major differences in the quality of the chamois. A thin chamois of good quality gives much more comfort than a thick chamois of moderate quality. So don't be blinded by the thickness of a chamois, but rather look at the quality. A good chamois is definitely worth the investment as it gives more comfort and lasts much longer. In other words: cheap is expensive.
Another aspect of the chamois that can differ between manufacturers is where the chamois is sewn in. A cycling clothing brand that focuses on competitions can place the chamois in the back of the cycling shorts. Because of this placement, the chamois is in the right place in an aggressive cycling position. Other companies that focus more on casual riders may move the chamois a bit forward, which improves comfort. At Acelera we have chosen to extend the padding so that it is suitable for both avid and recreational riders.
To immediately answer the question of whether cycling shorts should have braces: yes. There is actually no discussion about this, but we are happy to explain why. You don't sit still while cycling and to keep everything in place (especially the padding) you need as much support as possible. Cycling shorts are full of parts to keep the padding in place as well as possible. For example, the padding itself has a relief, the legs have rubber grippers, spandex has been incorporated into the fabric and cycling shorts consist of different panels. The suspenders are an important part of this because they ensure that the cycling shorts cannot slide forward or back.
The suspenders usually have straps that are about 3 inches thick. They are also often made of elastic material so that they cannot cut into your shoulders. The straps of the suspenders should preferably not be wider than 3 centimeters because they often roll over or fold in half. For women, there are also suspenders that can be unclipped to make it easier to make a sanitary stop.
The silicone grippers are incorporated at the bottom of the legs. You have edges that go all the way around your leg or pipes that contain small pieces of silicone. In addition, you have thick and thin tires. The grippers are often made of silicone because this substance has a lot of grip on your leg. They ensure that the cycling shorts do not twist and that the legs do not creep up or down.
Buy cycling shorts with chamois
Last but not least, another piece of advice when buying cycling shorts. Think carefully about what you want to use your cycling shorts for. Are you looking for comfort or the best performance. By taking this into account during your purchase process, you will enjoy cycling more!