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Gel padded cycling shorts.

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 Russell Lovett 09 Nov 2020

Just got myself a hard tail mountain bike and was looking to get some gel padded under pants. Looked online and was wondering if I should buy a pair of the plentiful £10 one,s you see everywhere online or is it a case of buy cheep buy twice and should I splash out a bit more. Do they even make a difference and what should I get that won't cost silly money. Cheers in advance for any help. Just thought I'd add I will not be using the bike for anything other than a few cross country routes on goodish paths and for cycling into some of the more remote munros. I'm not going to be throwing myself down some bumpy death run I'm just after making the ride a bit more comfy. 

Post edited at 21:24
 gethin_allen 09 Nov 2020
In reply to Russell Lovett:

I'd go better than £10 for sure but I wouldn't be drawn into the expensive Castelli/ Rapha end of the market. Decathlon have some good value stuff and I have some Funkier shorts that were very good value.

The pad on a £10 pair will likely cause more discomfort that none at all.

 GrahamD 09 Nov 2020
In reply to Russell Lovett:

Why not just get a £10 pair and see how you get on with them ? For what it's worth I'm pleased enough with a relatively inexpensive Altura pair.

In reply to Russell Lovett:

I would say good cycling shorts are much more important for long days in the saddle, even if that's on smooth road, than if you're doing some bumpy cross country route for an hour. I've got some perfectly good pairs from Aldi and Lidl when they've had their cycling weeks. After decades of pretty trouble free cycling in the under-carriage department at least, I have in the last couple of years found if I go and ride for 3-4 hours and longer I have developed saddle sores even in what had been previously my most comfy bibs. I did splash out on Decathlon's second from top model this summer and they have been great on longer rides - I think they were 40 quid. But their top of the range pair is only 50 quid and won a comparative review this year against branded ones cost at least 100 quid.

I'd start off with some basic ones from Decathlon or Lidl, see how it goes, and if you ride more and longer, splash out on some 25-30 quid ones from Decathlon.

Bibs tend to fit better than shorts, and if you feel self conscious - I do riding to work - just get a pair of baggy shorts to wear over the lycra. Again Decathlon do some great cycling specific baggies but any sort of "outdoorsy" shorts do the job.

 Russell Lovett 09 Nov 2020
In reply to TobyA:

This sounds like good advice and the wife is always shopping at aldi and lidl's so I,ll ask her to look out for cycling stuff although I suspect that will mostly be summer. There is a decathlon near me will check them out. Cheers for replys. Think i might check out my local bike shop to and see what they have and how much it is.

 DaveHK 10 Nov 2020
In reply to Russell Lovett:

Never had gel ones but I've used the same model of short for the last ten years or more, Endura 6 panel. They strike a good balance between cost and comfort and I've used them for some fairly long days in the saddle (10hrs+) with no problems.

 chris_B 10 Nov 2020
In reply to Russell Lovett:

I’d recommend upping the budget to about £30-40. Dhb (Wiggle‘s own brand) are good quality for the price. Buy several pairs to figure out your size and send back what doesn’t fit. Bibs are more comfortable for longer rides but you‘ll probably find the non-bib version fine for the rides you describe. For Munros you might want to change out of them because they can feel a bit weird to walk a long way in!

Btw, they’re not actually filled with gel, just different types of foam.

 LastBoyScout 10 Nov 2020
In reply to Russell Lovett:

What Chris B said - Wiggle/ChainReaction (actually the same company) have free returns:

https://www.wiggle.co.uk/cycle/legwear

Apart from variations in fit, there's variation in size - Endura come up big, Castelli come up small and Sportful suit tall and thin, in my experience.

 Basemetal 10 Nov 2020
In reply to Russell Lovett:

I've not tried gel-padded, but have four pairs of padded bottoms, two shorts two longs. They're Lidl and Aldi and good for about 2-4 hours on a road saddle. Better quality chamois equates to longer comfort -. I'm not sure what the mechanism is, or whether it's personally defined- but I can get a bit sore at the end of the longest runs with these so I should get a better pair just for those days.

But for my mountain bike I've never felt the need for any padding, even on the longest XC trips or carrying a climbing rucksack. Even on road trips on the MTB ordinary trousers cut it for me. I think the padding really just suits the "no underwear road bike forward leaning crouch".

 GrahamD 10 Nov 2020
In reply to Basemetal:

I can certainly manage less padding on the MTB but I'd baulk at a long ride with no padding !

 Basemetal 10 Nov 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

The amount of padding we... er .. come with... might be a factor?

 Martin Wood 10 Nov 2020
In reply to Russell Lovett:

We all choose what to spend our money on, right? For example, personally, spending money on an expensive hotel room seems a bit of a waste. Contrastingly, I think investing in a more expensive seat on a long-haul flight is well worth it. Cycling shorts definitely fall into the latter category.

Spending "silly money" is relative and a personal choice, but, in my experience, cheap shorts will not likely be comfortable, certainly not in the long term. I'm a filthy roadie rather than an MTBer and so regularly spend 2-4 hours on a bike but Basemetal's "commando" alternative makes my eyes water just thinking about it! 

In reply to Martin Wood:

I'm with Martin. Look after your bot-bot, and your bot-bot will look after you. My go-to bibs are 13 year old Assos - still going strong. 

Post edited at 14:26
 Hutson 10 Nov 2020
In reply to Russell Lovett:

There's currently a seller on ebay selling 'Phb' cycling shorts and longs very cheaply, cheaper than Wiggle Dhb. When they arrive they are brand new in packaging Dhb (Wiggle own brand) and the pad and quality is very decent. I generally spend more on shorts but I was curious so I bought some and when my husband saw what a bargain they were he got some too.

I'm not sure exactly what is going on, whether they are seconds or something that means that the seller isn't allowed to sell them as Dhb (I couldn't find anything wrong with mine), but they are very good value for the money.

In reply to Russell Lovett:

Also consider one of these for when you forget your shorts https://www.decathlon.co.uk/p/500-memory-foam-saddle-cover-size-m/_/R-p-9756

2
 webbo 10 Nov 2020
In reply to Carless:

> Also consider one of these for when you forget your shorts https://www.decathlon.co.uk/p/500-memory-foam-saddle-cover-size-m/_/R-p-9756

Don’t consider it saddle covers are crap. Buy the best shorts you can afford andyour arse will thank you for it.

 nniff 10 Nov 2020
In reply to Russell Lovett:

Over the years I've tried most price points and there's nothing quite like a sore backside to spoil a ride.  These days, I tend to be at the mid-stupid end of the range, but the Decathlon stuff I do rate, although the last pair I had did have an inordinate amount of padding at the front.  I'd go for the upper end of their range though if you are going to spend more than an hour or so in the saddle.  Bid shorts all the way too.

I've just bought a pair of bib longs and someone is going to have a go at me, but seeing as a pair of roadside cragging trousers is £100 or more these days, it's all relative  (and I won't countenance spending that much on trousers that are going to get dragged up a crag)

 webbo 10 Nov 2020
In reply to Russell Lovett:

Actually the above is wrong,  get the best bibs that your daughter or wife can afford to buy you for your birthday or Christmas. The only cycle clothing I have bought is shoes, helmet and gloves.

 Martin Wood 10 Nov 2020
In reply to nniff:

>  Bid [sic] shorts all the way too.

Absolutely! 

Non-bib shorts WILL end up half way down your arse, Russell, especially if you're going XC and thus on/off the bike a lot.

I've never used the Decathlon stuff but have had several mid-range Castelli and Santini. I wouldn't bother with either again. They're great when new but I find they don't last - get saggy! Assos are a well known and brilliant (but premium) brand.  

I'm now in road-oriented MAAP, which is at the stupid-end of the range (a nod to spending almost a decade in Oz, where shorts hilariously are known as "bib-knicks"). So far, faultless.

 GrahamD 10 Nov 2020
In reply to Martin Wood:

I've never bothered with bibs on the MTB but then I wear baggies over under shorts.

 nufkin 11 Nov 2020
In reply to webbo:

>  Buy the best shorts you can afford and your arse will thank you for it.

Possibly a good point to introduce the idea of chamois creams as well

 Basemetal 11 Nov 2020
In reply to nufkin:

When I started cycling in the '80s chamoises were actual pieces of Chamois leather sewn in - then a dab of chamois cream was used to re-soften the leather that could go 'crunchy' after washing & drying.

In its current form I've never tried it - it seems odd to add udder cream (cheaper equivalent from agri shops) to a fabric and TBH I don't really fancy it. Maybe if it absorbs really well - to shorts or skin -any feedback on what it's like to use?

Post edited at 10:15
 webbo 11 Nov 2020
In reply to Basemetal:

I used to use it a lot on longer rides. However I can’t say I’ve noticed any great benefit. I find that it works best after a ride if anything.

 GrahamD 11 Nov 2020
In reply to webbo:

I've never used it or felt the need to but I have followed a keen cycling friend who does use it in the pouring rain.  There was an interesting bubbles effect going on.

In reply to webbo:

Crap is unfair - they're perfectly fine for short rides and at 8 quid not going to break the bank

For longer rides, definitely shorts

1
 webbo 11 Nov 2020
In reply to Carless:

If you are going for a short ride why would you need any padding.

 nufkin 12 Nov 2020
In reply to Basemetal:

>  any feedback on what it's like to use?

I mostly assume it helps cut down friction between shorts and skin (I apply it to me, not the shorts), though I must admit I don't really know for sure. But my rump does generally seem to feel better after longer rides if I've used it

 nniff 12 Nov 2020
In reply to nufkin:

Oh Lordy, what a subject!  On me rather than my shorts.  Helpful when it's tipping down or very sweaty - I think it keeps skin more supple when there's a lot of water/sweat around - it's basically moisturiser, but sometimes I think the Morgan Blue wet weather stuff is more like nikwax.  Certainly, how can I put this delicately? - the main vent is happier at the end of a long hot ride when it's been slobbered with the stuff - no chafing or associated soreness - and skin generally happier too.

Shorter rides - no great point, unless the weather's minging

 ChrisJD 13 Nov 2020
In reply to Russell Lovett:

So I wear baggies short on MTB (FS & HT) and on my X-bike.  [MTB trousers in full wet/winter conditions (including on the X)]

I used to wear padded shorts under the baggies, but now I just wear cotton boxers with no issues (even on 100km X-ride). In fact, I find it is more comfortable.

Get a good saddle, get the angle right and toughen up that rear.

Note: just wearing lycra shorts on an MTB is just plain wrong.

In reply to webbo:

Doesn’t seem to make much difference for me, but my wife thinks chamois cream makes a huge difference to her comfort.


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