Padded Shorts Recommendations?

It’s been a long night at work and to make things worse, another phone call from home. After 15 years, my trusty no name gel padded cycling shorts were destroyed by accidentally going through the dryer. Luckily the gel turned hard as a rock and stayed in one piece instead of separating and destroying the rest of the laundry, but separated out from the shorts, tearing through the fabric in the seat which was probably worn from a couple thousand miles on the bicycle.

So now I’m looking frantically for a new pair, Went to Dick’s Sporting Goods, they had their brand which is a neoprene pad (not impressed with) sown into a cycling short, but they don’t have my size in stock.

So what would you recommend for a good padded pair of cycling shorts for riding the uni?

Less is more. Too much padding causes numbness sooner. But, I’m female and maybe it’s different for dudes with outy equipment. Out of all my shorts, the cheaper ones are my favorites.

Cycling shorts are all over the place, and the fit will be the most important followed by the padding. I have a few pairs of InMotion shorts that I like a lot and they have a fluid filled bladder for a pad. I guess it’s kind of like a micro air pillow. The funny thing is that the more expensive ones, that have the chamois, and the brushed (not shiny) lycra, are less comfortable than the cheap pairs. Still, I really like the shorts overall and I would get more if I needed them.

I just did a search and found these In Motion mountain bike shorts that I might have to try out.

Stopped in a couple LBS today, all they carry are chamois covered foam padded shorts. Wasn’t too thrilled with the foam in the past, and these seem to have less padding than the older ones I have used in the past. When I asked about a gell filled, the guy at one shop told me that wasn’t anything they would carry, the guy at the other shop looked at me like I had 3 eyes and from another planet. Could it be that gel padded shorts are going the wayside for cheaper neoprene foam padding?

My favorites are Hoss brand mtb shorts, but if you’re looking for a road short you probably need to try some on. Also consider a liner that you can wear under any short. I don’t know that anyone makes a gel liner pad anymore, probably for the reason you stated: Not drier compatible.

My husband wears these:

I wear the women’s version of the same shorts. I still have comfort problems, but I think it’s my seat (not my shorts).

We’ve put these through the dryer a few times and nothing was damaged (the shorts themselves weren’t even damaged).

Liner? Are you talking about something like UnderArmour?

I’ve tried all that, and for the road find that the bib shorts, snug fit, with some lubrication works the best for me.

I dedicated an hour and 1/2 to hill climbing only yesterday (36" working on 110 cm cranks now), and thinking “short ride no problem” did not use the cream. Mistake. (I vary between Assos, and the Bag Balm from Lee Valley Tools

Today, even with some raw from the previous day, did 50k with the appropriate preparation - no problem.

As from the prep, my experience has been that it is more important to make sure the parts are in the proper place. If not, stop early and re-arrange. That’s why I like the bib shorts - puling up, and snug to keep it all there.

I’ve had a couple of pairs of gel shorts over the years, but neither were superior to regular padded shorts. In fact the pair I have now is inferior enough now, that it hasn’t aged because I hardly ever wear them.

My best pair at the moment are Pearl Izumis. Nice. Many people talk of doubling up with two pairs of padded cycling shorts for long rides. I did that once, for my RTL qualifying long day and it worked well, but not enough experience to know if it was worth the extra insulation… :slight_smile:

I have the Canari gel shorts AND the Pearl Izumis chamois covered foam padded shorts.

I ride every other day about 4 miles. I switch off between the two.

THE Pearl’s are WAY nicer… in my honest opinion.

For longer rides, bib shorts are nice–they hold the chamois in place better than other shorts. Pear Izumis are a nice compromise–cheapish (US$30-100+), well made, and comfy. For shorter rides, esp. muni, I wear baggy mountain bike shorts. Nema makes nice ones in the US$50-80 range.

I use a product called Glide (buy it in runners’ stores). It looks like a deodorant stick. It helps with avoiding hotspots in your shorts!

I have tried various mountain bike shorts and tried Pearl Izumi padded shorts under cargo shorts for muni. I have found that the Canari gel shorts are a major step up.
I ride mostly muni and do some city riding so I do minimize seat contact.
Doubling up on the shorts is an interesting thought – I may try this for my next longer ride.
Good luck.


So far it looks like the Canari gel is going to be the way for me to go. I’ve used neoprene in waders, and I know how much abuse they can and can’t take, and most common problem is the neoprene foam flattens out and doesn’t recover. In a short this may not be as bad, but for a pair of waterproof waders, this is a different story (along with a wet section inside the wader)

I’m going to try and hit a couple more LBS up near the Westborough area Friday afternoon, maybe they’ll have the Canari brand available to look at.

This is getting to be interesting, as some prefer either gel or chamois covered padding, some prefer to also use creams to prevent blistering and soreness, and some prefer to wear 1 set under the other (more protection I guess)

+1 for Hoss shorts. I also have the Canari shorts but I like the multiple pocket options of the Hoss Ponderosa, I own three pair and love them! The Canari’s are alright but not my favorite. I just can’t quite cross that line and just wear pure cycling shorts; too much like just wearing your underwear around! :astonished: My acid test is always this: If your way out on a long road/trail ride and have a mechanical break down forcing you to either hitchhike home or go knock on some stranger’s house for assistance what would you rather be wearing. Keep in mind these strangers probably know nothing about cycling… For me I’d rather have shorts, for modesty purposes and the extra pockets. But to each their own.

I found mine at a Sports Authority instance.

And as far as tight vs. baggy, I wear them under a pair of board shorts.

I wear Tserfas gel shorts and they are just great - i highly recommend them. I put on top a regular short and no problems.