They’re pricey, they look stupid, they reveal your religion, and there are hundreds of different kinds. You got it, they’re bike shorts. Ever wonder why bike shorts have padding in them? Well it all started when black knit wool was the primary material that made up bike shorts. Now imagine pedaling your bike for hours at a time with that nice wool seam rubbing in your nether regions. And you though dry humping your high school girlfriend gave you a bad chaff. Well many moons ago someone decided to put something a little softer in that area, and, Voilà, you have the bike short pad. Originally cyclists used the skin of unfortunate sheep which provided a nice smooth surface.
Now I suppose the sheep may have been opposed by this practice but since they never bothered to unionize, it’s obviously their own damn fault. Nowadays we have pads made out of everything but animal skins. Most of today’s bike shorts are made out of Lycra which is so soft that the chance of chaffing your undercarriage is pretty minimal. So why do bike shorts still have pads? Most people think they are there for padding purposes but they actually serve another purpose. Today’s bike pads are actually a superabsorbent material to keep sweat off of your skin. Now in some situations having a moist crotch may be a good thing, biking is not one of those occasions. These days the bike pad merchants are even trying to sell the community on customized configurations that would best conform to your body style. I’m not so sure about that one….first how to you determine your conformation?
Here’s a thought straddle your ass over two chairs and ask your girl to sketch your structural arrangement on tracing paper…..if anybody attempts this please let me know how that turns out for you. Which brings me to the next topic; I accept the norm for wearing Lycra when road biking but when it comes to mountain biking do you prescribe to wearing your Lycra with or without a baggy outer short? Coming from the west coast, you would be ridiculed if you wore roadie shorts on the trails. The jeers and hollering can be heard a half a mountain away. However, here in TN it seems to be much more accepted. Now considering that very few of us gain any real competitive advantage in terms of aerodynamics or weight, why would you want to subject the rest of us to a sausage casing display of your bollocks. The exception to this is you ladies out there. Please continue to wear those painted on Lycra pants, they are very functional and provide tremendous support to reduce muscle fatigue.
Will the future of biking contain padded bike shorts, you bet. In fact there is even some bike shorts with dimples on them. The technology behind that based on the concept of the golf ball. Those dimples create a greater aerodynamic surface. So we can all look forward to a day when our ass will look like a giant black diapered golf ball, Great……..