Favorite padded cycling shorts?

I’m looking at trying something else for long rides… what’s your favorite cycling shorts?

Great topic. I have usually worn the type that have shorts over the padded liner. I have started wearing traditional biking shorts for the longer rides. I have seen some newer shorts with gel padding, and am curious if anyone else has tried these. Of course I am interested in something that is just really comfortable in the saddle, gel or otherwise.

I like the more traditional cycling shorts that have a chamois style leather like pad. Put a little Chamois Butt’R on them and they never rub me wrong. The new fangled cycling shorts with the fancy fabric style pads never agree with me. They work fine for me on a bike but rub me wrong on the unicycle. Old school is the way to go for me.

Unfortunately it is getting very difficult to find cycling shorts with the traditional chamois like pad. All the manufacturers have gone to the new high tech fabric pads. The higher end Pearl Izumi from about four years ago had the chamois like pad. The new Pearl Izumi shorts now have an improved fabric pad that doesn’t work for me. I’ve got 5 pairs of the old Pearl Izumi shorts. I don’t know what I’m going to do when they wear out.

The downside to the old school style pads is that they don’t have as much padding as some of the newer pads.

Has anyone tried the Pace Sportswear shorts with the Flex 500 pad? I haven’t been able to find the shorts locally so I could do a look-see in person. I’m reluctant to buy them sight unseen. I’ve heard good things about them. Looks like they’d be good for unicycling.

I use Zyflex bicycling shorts. They are the only type I’ve ever tried. Nylon / Spandex with padded butt. I find them very comfortable.

They are relatively inexpensive also. $29.00

Zyflex also sells a shirt made out of the same material. Extremely comfortable to wear. I wicks the sweat away from your body. No more sweaty cotton T-shirts for me.


I’ve had good luck with the Canari Response 2-piece shorts. A tight liner with pad connected to outer baggies. I don’t like the traditional tight lycras…grab me more than I like to be grabbed, at least by shorts. For longer rides, I double-down by adding a pair of Andiamo Skins underneath.

I’ve got some nice sugoi shorts that I like, not sure on the model but they are an 8 pannel I think. Really confy on long rides.

I like the bib style bike shorts they stay on me beter

Re: Favorite padded cycling shorts?

“john_childs” <john_childs@NoEmail.Message.Poster.at.Unicyclist.com> writes:

> The new Pearl Izumi shorts now have an improved fabric pad that
> doesn’t work for me.

I have the opposite experience! I’m very happy with Pearl Izumi
Microsensor3D shorts ($$$). So much that I won’t wear my old school
cycling shorts for long distance rides. The newfangled chamois
reduces pressure on the nerves that cause numbness on my dangly bits.


Re: Re: Favorite padded cycling shorts?

It is strange that what works as the best for one person may be uncomfortable or cause chafing for another person. That makes it difficult to give recommendations for shorts.

I have the new Ultrasensor shorts with the PRT (Pressure Relief Techology) pad. It is similar to the Microsensor 3D but not quite the same and about $40 cheaper. Maybe there is something different enough and improved enough with the Microsensor 3D pad compared to the Ultrasensor pad that makes it work better. But after my experience with the Ultrasensor shorts I’m not willing to fork over the $100+ needed to try the Microsensor 3D shorts.

Oh well. My hunt for comfy shorts continues. I might try the Pace shorts. I just wish I could find them locally so I could see and feel them before buying them.

Meanwhile I’ll make do with my old school Ultrasensor shorts till I find something better.

A few years ago I bought a pair of blue Canondale shorts with padding that had multiple shades of blue (like cow camouflage), and they were great. By the time I ‘wore into them’ and wanted to get another pair, none could be found. I found another Canondale pair that were black but had the same funky blue colored liner. They fit OK, but not as well as the blue ones. I’ve had similiar experiences with other brands of shorts. There’s such a wide variety of styles and shapes that it’s hard to know by looking at them. -Or even trying them on. I have a rack of worn out shorts, and I’d like to replace them but don’t know what to get. I’ve heard womens shorts have padding more suitable for unicycling -not that I know a lot of people that wear womens clothing…

The shorts with the outer shell don’t work at all for me -they bunch up and get into a big wad where I don’t need a big wad.

The s_wallis post about long rides without dismounts also touchs on this subject.


Jerry, Tom. Tom, Jerry.

In the cartoon Tom and Jerry did not wear any clothes. I hope you’re not going to take this Tom and Jerry connection too far.

Anyone looking for cycling shorts with chamois pads might try Mountain Equipment Co-op (www.mec.ca) in Vancouver BC (and elsewhere). They have a liner short meant to wear under other shorts, with a 3-mm chamois pad. There’s also the “Rapide” lycra cycling short designed for road riders. These are 8-panel with chamois thickness up to 7 mm. The liner shorts are $27 CDN and the “Rapide” shorts are $47 CDN. I have a set of the liner shorts and think they do a good job, but I don’t ride long distances so can’t comment on how they’d work in that situation.


I’ve tried a wide variety of shorts, from GB£15 to GB£45 and my best for unicycling was the £15 LBS own brand. plain chamois insert and much more comfy than the other fancy ones. I was totally surprised by the result, and would much rather use them for longer distances.

Re: Favorite padded cycling shorts?

“john_childs” <john_childs@NoEmail.Message.Poster.at.Unicyclist.com> writes:

> It is strange that what works as the best for one person may be
> uncomfortable or cause chafing for another person. That makes it
> difficult to give recommendations for shorts.

You had to go and tell me my shorts cause chafing, so they did! Grrr :slight_smile:

Riding on a Miyata seat for a couple of hours yesterday did result in
a little chafing, Not enough to be a problem, but I had to be careful
to sit down on the saddle just right. Normally I don’t notice any
chafing with the pricy Pearl Izumis.

I’m sticking with the shorts, though. A small amount of chafing is
better than numbness any day.


Like saddle choices, I think shorts choices are going to be a fairly personal matter. No two crotches are alike, so what works for your friend may not work for you.

That said, from my experience the traditional regular, single-layer bike shorts have always been more comfortable for me than the shorts-over-shorts mountain bike style. Though I usually wear that kind for MUni, this is more because of the pockets and otherwise utility of those shorts. If the ride is going to be long, it’s regular lycra shorts all the way.

My current best pair is Pearl Izumis, but I don’t know what model. I also have an old pair of Cannondale 2-layer shorts that have served me well for many years. The crotch is starting to wear out, but I like them better than the newer, more expensive, more complicated ones I’ve bought since.