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Cycling Pad Evolution: Types & Performance Analysis

Introduction, performance, and types of cycling shorts and pads explained - Darevie Shop

Introduction

As one of the key essentials for cyclists, the cycling pad has evolved over the years through technological improvements, becoming an indispensable component of cycling shorts. This article comprehensively analyzes the history and development of cycling pads, along with a professional perspective on their contributions to health and safety.

DAREVIE, specializing in cycling gear, was established in 2012 and has been engaged in the design and manufacturing of cycling apparel and related OEM products for 11 years. The company is well-positioned to discuss why the pad has become the core of cycling shorts from a relatively professional perspective.

  • History and Development: From the early use of natural materials such as wool to the application of synthetic fibers and advanced high-tech materials, the cycling pad has undergone significant evolution throughout history. Advances in manufacturing technology and a deeper understanding of ergonomics have driven innovation in the pad, transforming it from a simple shock-absorbing device into a comprehensive cycling accessory with outstanding performance.
  • Importance of Pad: Cycling pad plays a crucial role in enhancing rider comfort. Its specialized design effectively disperses pressure on the pelvis and sit bones during cycling, reducing friction, alleviating rider fatigue, and enhancing the sustainability of long-distance rides.
  • Health Aspects: The contribution of the chamois to health is primarily reflected in its protection of the rider's reproductive system. Scientific ergonomic design, coupled with the use of breathable materials, effectively prevents the adverse effects of moist environments on the female reproductive system, aiding in maintaining optimal reproductive health.
  • Safety and Protection: In cycling, the safety and protective performance of the pad are of utmost importance. The use of high-tech materials, such as leak-proof designs and antimicrobial technology, ensures that riders experience not only comfort but also safety during their rides. Preventing bacterial growth due to moisture helps avoid potential infection risks.

How to Choose Cycling Pad? 

  • Gender Differentiation: Cycling pads are typically designed based on the physiological differences between men and women. Therefore, ensure that you choose a pad that is suitable for your gender to provide better support and comfort.
  • Material and Breathability: Choose a pad made from materials with good breathability and strong moisture-wicking properties to maintain dry comfort. Some advanced pads feature antimicrobial treatment, which helps prevent bacterial growth.
  • Pad Thickness: The thickness of the pad affects a rider's perception of vibrations and pressure. Thick pads generally provide better shock absorption, but not everyone prefers or needs a thick feel. Therefore, choose a pad thickness based on personal preferences and cycling requirements.
  • Cycling Type: Different types of cycling pads are suitable for various cycling activities. For example, professional cycling pads are suitable for long-duration, high-intensity rides, while basic cycling pads may be more suitable for everyday or short-distance cycling.
  • Brand and Quality: Choose well-known brands or pads with a good reputation to ensure quality and performance. Higher-quality pads usually incorporate advanced manufacturing techniques and materials to better meet the rider's needs.
  • Individual Differences: Everyone's body shape and cycling habits are different, so it's advisable to try different styles of pads to find the one that suits you best. Some stores allow for trying on or have return policies, so take advantage of these opportunities to find the most suitable chamois.

Cycling chamois are gender-specific, how can they be distinguished?

Cycling chamois are typically designed based on the physiological differences between men and women to provide enhanced comfort and support. The primary distinctions lie in the shape and placement of padding.

  • For Men's Cycling Chamois:
  1. Narrower front design: Less padding in the front to accommodate the anatomical structure of men.
  2. Longer padding: Padding in the front of the cycling chamois may be longer to offer better support.
  • For Women's Cycling Chamois:
  1. Wider front design: Tailored to the wider pelvic structure of women, the front may be designed to be broader.
  2. More evenly distributed padding: Padding is distributed more evenly between the front and rear to accommodate the physiological structure of women.
In summary, the designs of men's and women's cycling chamois aim to provide optimal comfort and support, taking into account their respective physiological differences.

    The fabric and padding of cycling chamois:

    Padding Material

    As the first point of contact with the skin, the padding must meet requirements such as durability, antimicrobial properties, comfort, elasticity, and breathability, serving as a crucial element supporting you throughout the entire cycling process.

    Common fabric components include polyamide fibers, polyester fibers, spandex, etc. Different performance cycling shorts are produced depending on the padding's fiber ratio. Polyamide fibers, as the main material for textile fibers, combined with surface groove structures and the thread of the underlying polyester fiber fabric, reduce contact points, prevent inflammation and itching, enhance micro-air convection, prevent skin overheating, and reinforce a dry sensation during wear.

    Padding Filling

    If the outer fabric determines the touch and moisture-wicking performance, the filling determines the support and comfort of cycling. The padding consists of a multi-layered filling structure, ensuring a balance between elastic memory, reliability, breathability, support, and density for each type of padding.

    Foam sponge serves as the top-layer filling, the part requiring the most breathability. The foam with perforations inside the padding aids in air circulation, reducing temperature.

    The functions of cycling pad include:

    • Shock Absorption: Alleviating pressure and vibrations on the seat during cycling, enhancing riding comfort.
    • Friction Reduction: Preventing friction between the pants and the seat during cycling, reducing discomfort and chafing caused by friction.
    • Moisture Wicking: Prompting the rapid expulsion of sweat through materials and design, maintaining dryness and preventing discomfort and friction caused by moisture.
    • Skin Protection: Providing a protective layer to reduce friction and pressure on the rider's skin during cycling, preventing pain and abrasion caused by friction

    Cycling pad is a crucial component of cycling apparel, positioned inside cycling shorts and in direct contact with the rider's seat. The design and material of the cycling pad can vary based on the rider's needs and the type of cycling.

    Here are some common types of cycling pads and their characteristics:

    • Basic Cycling Pad: Suitable for short-distance and daily cycling, providing fundamental shock absorption and comfort. Typically features a simple design and more economical materials.
    • Medium-Distance Cycling Pad: Designed for medium to long-distance rides, offering improved moisture-wicking performance, and additional shock absorption technologies to alleviate discomfort during extended rides. Suitable for leisure cycling and general fitness rides.
    • Professional Cycling Pad: Tailored for high-intensity, prolonged professional cycling. Utilizes advanced materials and technologies, such as high-density foam padding, groove designs to enhance air circulation, etc. These pads are typically lightweight, breathable, and effectively reduce friction and vibrations during cycling.
    • Specialized Cycling Pad Designs: Tailored for different types of cycling, pad designs also vary. For example, mountain bike pads may be thicker for enhanced shock absorption, while road bike pads may prioritize lightweight and breathability.
    • When purchasing cycling chamois, one can choose the appropriate type based on their cycling habits and needs, thereby improving overall comfort and effectiveness during rides.

    The following are different types of cycling pads:

    DAREVIE offers a variety of professional cycling chamois, and here we have utilized the thickened 3D gel pad.
    4-layer structure, Size: 35.5*21cm, 2cm thickness.

    1.  First layer, fluffy sponge, comfortable fluffy surface, slightly absorbs vibration and provides comfort riding.
    2. The second layer, high-density sponge, absorbs vibration.
    3. The third layer, most important elastic gel silicone, thicker and more elastic than ordinary sponge and provides stronger protection for your hip, reducing 67.3% impact.
    4. The last layer, Breathable light sponge, keeps the air permeability of the pants cushion

    • High density and widened anti-pressure module in the perineal and ischiatic area from the back side make it perfect for road and off-road activities. The top surface is characterized by being totally flush, providing close and continuous skin contact. This aspect is usually much appreciated among riders who prefer a smooth, flat surface with no areas of transition or "steps" that denote density changes.
    • The shaping of the central channel is engineered according to specific anthropometrical measurements, guaranteeing adequate protection and supporting male anatomy while in the saddle, providing perfect fit, saddle stability and most importantly reliving pressure from the urethra, favoring blood flow.
    • The "pelvic tract" area was tested and engineered to support the rotation of the pelvic bone on the saddle while pedaling. The ultra-high density insert makes this product ideal for 6-plus hour riders. The perfect combination of perforated foams and different foam densities provides breathability and freedom of movement.

    4-layer structure 3D gel sponge shockproof pad
    Size: 37.5*21cm, 2cm thickness.
    Feature: ① The soft comfortable contact layer with thin sponge ② High density sponge ③ The core elastic silicone gel ④ Lightweight breathable sponge

    TP59 is just perfect for long-distance rides both road and MTB. The extended front end allows for a better wrap to fit your body, its 120kg/m³ high-density sponge in the core zone provides ample protection to the cyclist who spends long hours riding.

    Three-layer structure:

    • 1st, contact surface, super soft plaid brushed fabric + 2mm 30kg/m³ breathable sponge. The perforations on the sponge allow for higher air permeability, resulting in lower skin temperature and reduced moisture.
    • 2nd, buffer zone, 1mm 45kg/m³ transitional sponge. Combine the benefit of the multidirectional curvature with a smooth surface improving cycling pad stability and fit.
    • 3rd, core zone, 15mm 120kg/m³ high-density sponge, great support for more than 7 hours of road riding, perfect for long-distance rides.

     

     

    5 Layer structure is 1.6cm thick and provides a 6~8 hours-long time ride

    • 1st, Suede Surface: provides soft comfortable touching
    • 2nd, Base Sponge: 3 mm density 55kg/㎡
    • 3rd, Medium Density Sponge: reduce shock
    • 4th, High-Density Sponge: 6mm 120 kg/㎡absorb most impacts, rebound in 1s
    • 5th, Breathable Sponge: keep cool & dry during riding

    Feature

    1.  Stereoscopic Cutting technology, combining 3 pieces of 3d cutting foam with different densities (3 mm density 55kg/㎡, 6mm 120 kg/㎡, 6mm 90 kg/㎡). Reduce volume and thickness to create multiple-density cores. Lightweight, shockproof and breathable beyond imagination. Perfect fit with the complex curve of the crotch.
    2. Eagle Nest Protection Technology, with an innovative Eagle Nest structure in front and a soft turtle-like shape to protect male protruding parts. Strengthen heat dissipation and reduce sweat
    3. Super breathable microfiber checkered tablecloth makes the skin feel soft and breathable.

    • PARIS HP MEN has ultra-high density inserts in the perineal and ischiatic area that make it perfect for road and off-road activities.
    • The central channel is engineered according to specific anthropometrical measurements to support male anatomy while in the saddle, relieving pressure from the prostate and favoring blood flow.
    • PARIS HP MEN combines the benefit of multidirectional curvature with a smooth surface; these two specifications work together for the perfect fit, increasing saddle stability and offering gradual areas of transition. The perforations on the surface allow for higher air permeability, resulting in lower skin temperature and reduced moisture.
    • The EIT ECO X-MIX top fabric combines a special channel structure with the natural antistatic and bacteriostatic properties of the Carbonium thread. With the channel structure, the extremely soft and recycled polyamide helps collect, canalize and expel moisture. Rapid-drying and eco-friendly.

    Cleaning and Maintenance of Cycling Short and Pad:

    • The pad in cycling shorts is prone to bacterial and viral growth, so it is important to pay attention to cleaning and disinfection after each use. While the fabric and pad of cycling shorts have excellent elasticity, there is also a concern about deformation.
    • Therefore, it is recommended to hand wash. If machine washing is necessary, it's best to set the washing machine to a gentle cycle and use a laundry bag designed for underwear or sweaters.
    • The fabric and pad of cycling shorts have quick-drying characteristics. After washing, gently squeeze out the water by hand and then air dry. Avoid using a washing machine for spin drying.
    • Some people believe that high temperatures are effective for sterilization, but this is not suitable for cycling shorts. High temperatures may damage the fabric and sponge of the pad. According to research, household detergents can completely eliminate viruses in an environment of 40 degrees Celsius, so a washing temperature below 40 degrees Celsius is recommended.

    Conclusion

    As a crucial component of cycling shorts or pants, the choice of cycling pad should consider individual cycling needs, preferences, and body characteristics. Ensuring the selected pad provides excellent support, shock absorption, and comfort is essential to enhance overall comfort and safety during cycling. In the future, continuous innovation in cycling pads will continue to offer riders more professional and reliable cycling support.