Cycling Comfort with Padded Bike Shorts
How to Get Comfortable Cycling with Padded Bike Shorts
Here is how a chamois pad works inside a pair of bike shorts:
Cycling discomfort is often from pressure points and abrasion from the bicycle saddle. A padded bike short is a solution after you make sure you are properly fitted on your bicycle, so that your legs are just slightly bent on the down stroke, and your bicycle seat properly fits your size of rear end.
The chamois pad inside a pair of padded bike shorts is designed to help relive pressure points and eliminate chafing and promote freedom of movement. The design of a chamois pad is based on end user. Each type of cyclist rides at varying degrees of bend in their body, which puts their weight in different spots on the saddle. Each chamois pad has characteristics that make it appeal to the individual preferences of bicycle riders. There are thick and thin chamois pads. Some are ideal for chafe and others are ideal for cushioning the bones. There is a line of urban cycling apparel that looks like casual clothing yet moves with the cycling position.
The chamois pad is engineered to bridge the gap between the bicycle saddle and the points of pressure in the pelvic area. The area's that beg releif during longer bicycle rides. A multi layer lamination of different types of foam padding make up most pads. They are developed in the context of the human pelvic girdle which contains the Ischium bones also known as your sitting bones.
The Ischium supports the body weight while seated on a bicycle. The human pelvic area consists of two hip bones which contains three fused bones: the ilium,ischium and the pubis. The Ischium bones are padded for cycling by the density or thickness of the pad. Chamois pads have the thickest area of the pad under the ischium bones.
Men's chamois pads usually have a cutout in the center of the pad to remove pressure on the pudendal nerve.
Bicycle seat neuropathy is a common injury for avid cyclists. It is related to vascular and neurologic injury to the pudendal nerve. The bicycle saddle you use needs to support your bones and pelvic region without pressure.
The pudendal nerve runs below the pelvic bone, and can create numbness and discomfort if too much pressure is placed. The problems associated with the pressure on the pudendal nerve can cause a lack of blood flow to the entire pelvic region and the genitals of a man. The lack of blood flow into this region can also lead to numb limbs and fatigue. To relieve pressure from this nerve, many men's bicycle saddles and bike short's chamois pads have a cutout in the center, to reduce the pressure and thickness in this nerve area.
Long Distance Bicycle Saddles are designed to take the pressure off the pelvic nerves:
Newly designed saddles have the cutout in the saddle for this purpose. In addition, there are some bicycle saddles that have no front nose and the entire seat is shortened to support only the bones. This takes away all of the pressure on the pudendal nerve in the soft tissue of the pelvic area. One way to add comfort on long bike rides (over 50 miles) is to rotate standing postures with sitting postures. This rotation every half hour or so will improve the blood flow and reduce pressure for added comfort that will enhance endurance for long bicyle rides.
A great chamois padding usually has these features:1. Face Fabric that is a wicking polyester with a soft, fleecy surface
2. Fabric is treated with antibacterial or antimicrobial fibers like carbon or silver fibers.
3. Multiple density of foam that is engineered to pad the Ischium sit bones.
4. Women's are wider than men's designs
5. Men's chamois pads may have a cutout in the center to reduce the pressure on the pelvic pudendal nerve.
Chamois Pads - "The Best" are highly engineered combinations of foam thick and thin.
Multiple density of foam are used to create shock absorbing spots within the engineered designs. The thickest areas of the padding exist to pad the Ischium sit bones. Some pads have gel inserts that are strategically placed the create a pillow or shock absorbing pad for the bones on the saddle. Most of today's pads have a unique air mesh material that absorbs shock yet remains cool and breathable. Since most cycling activity happens in the heat of the summer, a perforation withing the pad creates air flow to keep the crotch area cool and ventilated.
This chamois pad has a fabric surface from Eschler bioactive. Eschler is the best of class for high certification standards that guarantee their ability to wick perspiration, quickly evaporating moisture. Natural antibacterial properties from silver ions in yarn. This is a luxury Italian made chamois pad that is developed for long hours of riding on road or mountain bike. Long Distance Cycling, Road or Mountain Biking.
There are many choices of chamois pads to pick from that range from thin to thick.
Each pad has it's features and fans. There are lots of opinions on what is best to ride in, that is why there are so many good choices. We like the Top Shelf or the Black P. for everyday riding comfort, they are comfortable up to about 50 - 60 miles. For higher mileage, we like the elite pad the best, ideal for century rides. The gel padded shorts are good for sore but bones to comfort the but while you are getting in shape. The pro pad is a thin chamois pad that features anti-chafe design. If you are rubbing and getting abrasion, this think pad may be the ideal solutions rather than a thick pad that adds pressure to an already hot spot.
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