Padded shorts - to wear or not to wear

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
User avatar
EdinburghFixed
Posts: 2375
Joined: 24 Jul 2008, 7:03pm

Postby EdinburghFixed » 18 Feb 2009, 2:04pm

patricktaylor wrote:
EdinburghFixed wrote:The point of 'padded' shorts is not to provide any cushioning effect. It's purely to provide a comfortable seamless interface between crotch and saddle and to wick away sweat ...


Well, I wear chamois-padded bib shorts only to provide a cushioning effect, and they are undoubtedly more sweaty because there are more layers and no ventilation.


I'm genuinely surprised that you find that normal underwear is less sweaty/more comfortable than a wicking base. I mean... well, hrmm! :?

User avatar
patricktaylor
Posts: 2299
Joined: 11 Jun 2008, 11:20am
Location: Winter Hill
Contact:

Postby patricktaylor » 18 Feb 2009, 3:24pm

Not underwear as such - I mean 'normal' flappy shorts. I'm sceptical about terms like 'wicking' and 'breathable' as well. Damp is damp.

User avatar
chrisw
Posts: 76
Joined: 12 Apr 2008, 9:44pm

Postby chrisw » 18 Feb 2009, 4:08pm

patricktaylor
I'm sceptical about terms like 'wicking' and 'breathable' as well. Damp is damp.


For a good demonstration of wicking, stick a cotton t shirt under a tap and drip some water on it, then stick a 'technical' top under. The tech top will instantly spread the water over a much larger area making it much quicker and easier to evaporate.

Breathability is a bit more tricky you need ideal conditions of temparture and humidity and you need this to be different on either side of the fabric in order to work. These ideal conditions don't always exist and as such there will be times were the fabric becomes overwhelmed and you end up like a boil in the bag turkey.

User avatar
EdinburghFixed
Posts: 2375
Joined: 24 Jul 2008, 7:03pm

Postby EdinburghFixed » 18 Feb 2009, 4:58pm

patricktaylor wrote:Not underwear as such - I mean 'normal' flappy shorts. I'm sceptical about terms like 'wicking' and 'breathable' as well. Damp is damp.


Definitely not. That's why these garments are so popular!

Until recently I was riding with a plain waterproof jacket from Wiggle. When I got home the inside would literally be dripping wet.

Now I have moved up to a 'fancy' windproof top and I can honestly say that I don't feel that sweaty at all - it's all being moved out by some black magic.

I know that I'm still sweating because it stings my eyes and makes my hair look ridiculous under the helmet :)

User avatar
patricktaylor
Posts: 2299
Joined: 11 Jun 2008, 11:20am
Location: Winter Hill
Contact:

Postby patricktaylor » 18 Feb 2009, 5:31pm

Garments can be popular for a number of reasons, including how they are marketed. I've worn Goretex and the Montane equivalent for years. I haven't done scientific tests but they do get damp inside. Merino wool is supposed to wick but in practice it seems much like cotton to me. It might be a bit warmer. I haven't tried a 'technical' top but the tap test seems a bit suspect. When it is actually worn it will dampen over an area, not a spot. I'm not saying these garments aren't good - I'm just sceptical about some of their claimed performance in use.

One thing I didn't know is that chamois padding is supposed to wick. I thought it was just padding (nice padding though).

kwackers
Posts: 14053
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Postby kwackers » 18 Feb 2009, 6:55pm

patricktaylor wrote:Garments can be popular for a number of reasons, including how they are marketed. I've worn Goretex and the Montane equivalent for years. I haven't done scientific tests but they do get damp inside. Merino wool is supposed to wick but in practice it seems much like cotton to me. It might be a bit warmer. I haven't tried a 'technical' top but the tap test seems a bit suspect. When it is actually worn it will dampen over an area, not a spot. I'm not saying these garments aren't good - I'm just sceptical about some of their claimed performance in use.

One thing I didn't know is that chamois padding is supposed to wick. I thought it was just padding (nice padding though).


I think you're right to be. I've spent a small fortune on various technical garments and have never come away with any feeling of money well spent.

In the end, wearing the right amount of clothing so enough 'wind' gets through to keep you dry and cool seems to do the trick nicely.
As a rule of thumb I expect feel a breeze through my clothing and feel a bit chilly to start, within a few minutes I'll be just right.
(Apart from summer, when I'm always too hot).

User avatar
chrisw
Posts: 76
Joined: 12 Apr 2008, 9:44pm

Postby chrisw » 18 Feb 2009, 7:42pm

Merino wool is supposed to wick but in practice it seems much like cotton to me. It might be a bit warmer. I haven't tried a 'technical' top but the tap test seems a bit suspect. When it is actually worn it will dampen over an area, not a spot.


You'll never stop yourself sweating, instead what these fabrics do is try and move it away from your skin as quickly as possible, so it can then evaporate. The tap test was just meant to be illustrative it's in no way scientific!

I've worked as a mountaineering instructor for 15 years now, as well indulging in a lot of outdoor stuff and I've seen a lot of kit in that time. There has been some massive strides forward and generally it's mostly good. Whilst I will get hot and sweaty walking up a hill I know that within a cuople of minutes of stopping I will be dry. That is something that will never happen with cotton.

My prefered layering at this time of year is a merino top, followed by a thin fleece jumper and a windproof fleece over the top. Magic, I dry out in no time with that if I do get sweaty. I'll swop the windproof for a Goretex if it's raining.

User avatar
patricktaylor
Posts: 2299
Joined: 11 Jun 2008, 11:20am
Location: Winter Hill
Contact:

Postby patricktaylor » 18 Feb 2009, 8:19pm

chrisw wrote:... Whilst I will get hot and sweaty walking up a hill I know that within a cuople of minutes of stopping I will be dry. That is something that will never happen with cotton ...

Point taken on the Merino top. Many thanks.

tomw
Posts: 15
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 4:41pm

wool and modern synthetics work well together.

Postby tomw » 18 Feb 2009, 11:13pm

I do the same as Chrisw. Modern wicking type materials are far better than cotton. In winter I wear a long sleeved synthetic base layer with a lightweight long sleeved wool jumper on top and an inexpensive windproof top with zip vents at the side. I find it a light and warm combination and I don't get sweaty.
Lambswool works well with modern synthetic materials. Also for summer a short sleeved wool jumper is very easy to carry but can be a very effective additional layer when it becomes a bit chilly.