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Riding Trail / XC without a chamois?

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7/17/2015 11:41 AM

I'm hearing stories of experienced riders deciding not to run chamois under their shorts during trail / xc rides in various places across the country. Sometimes they're using more "tech" underwear etc, but not chamois.

Do any of you run that style? I've forgotten chamois on a occasion and for me, it sucks! I'd never do it on purpose. What say you (and your crotch : )?


7/17/2015 12:11 PM


I am part of this movement. It will change you life. I rode a century yesterday, and that was chamois worthy. However a 2-3 hour shred ride which ends in post ride beers or hanging out in gear for hours afterwards warrants serious 2nd thought on chamois use.

It'll take a couple rides to toughen the taint. But the freedom you'll experience for the rest of your life is so worth it.

And really, think about what a chamois really is and what it's subjected to... F'ing gross. ewww.


7/17/2015 12:19 PM

ok, but what are you running? regular underwears? yeah the chamois is subjected to grossness, but w/o it, your underwears are. seems like you'd have to do 2-3 hour rides 4 or 5 times a week for your taint to toughen up. sorta like "summer feet" or "reef feet" for surfers haha.


7/17/2015 12:22 PM

You definitely need to chose your undergarment wisely. Whatever it is, it should be some form of performance material. Either way it won't have a maxi pad sewn into it to soak up said grossness for you to fester in.

I wear SAXX underwear on the daily and while riding. They keep everything nice and tight, and so fresh.

It doesn't take as long as you think, and is mostly a mental paradigm shift.


7/17/2015 12:31 PM

saxx on the daily? just for rolling around? spendy underwear stash you have! they seem legit for a ride try though. my taint still trembles at the fear of the unknown though


7/17/2015 12:38 PM

Still way cheaper than a chamois for riding anyway. I like to be comfy.


7/17/2015 1:03 PM

No diaper in rides under an hour or shuttles.

I'll take Ride's advice and try it for longer rides.

Perhaps saddles have improved so much to need the chamois less.



7/17/2015 2:02 PM

Same as the above. Lunch rides, after work rides I often skip it and just go with some "tech" underwear. Works fine. Longer than 2 hours in the saddle and I'll spring for it....


7/17/2015 2:16 PM

No chamois for me, ever.

I'm always rolling along in some Under Armour boxxerjocks which are awesome.

I find that my thinner material shorts - Yeti Teller - let me know about my seat being down there a little sooner into a long ride than my thicker material shorts - Some older Specialized Demo's.


7/17/2015 2:38 PM

For those taint torture specialists, what kind of saddle would you suggest for this chamois-less approach?


7/17/2015 2:41 PM

Ouch, I even run chamois when shuttling or riding the lifts. I've seat bounced a couple times and have been thankful for the cushion.

Post ride beers...growing up surfing taught me the art of the towel change.


7/17/2015 2:54 PM

Always ride with a chamois, forgotten a pair a few times and it's not pleasant. We had a good day riding Shuttle runs on Telonics and one of our mates was free balling. He got out of shape on a little bump and leaned way back, the bike fully compressed the back tire met his saddle for that split second, but between that meeting his Johnson stopped the tire rub on the saddle, end result was horrible. Always protect your under carriage.


7/17/2015 2:55 PM

Never ridden with chamois, am I missing out or am I just really tough/lucky?


7/17/2015 3:02 PM

Never even considered riding with Chamois, long distance or uplift, never had any issues over the near on 2 decades of riding, maybe my gooch just toughened up over the years, by tech underwear i assume you are refering to the undergarments that sometimes come packaged with trail shorts with lightly padded gooch? like a thin lightweight built in chamois?
if so mine always end up in the bin, I find them uncomfortable and restrictive.
If i'm riding long distance/epic some underarmour/nike combat style underwear is enough to keep chafe and discomfort to a minimum, for uplift days its a case of "run what you brung".


7/17/2015 3:43 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/17/2015 3:44 PM

To all the people riding around in grossness:

use baby wipes on yourself before you ride (or after your poop). It will make time in your bike shorts much better for your nether regions. Plus you won't have random, um, stains AND you'll smell better in general if you get in the habit of using them.

As for getting a beer in your bike shorts afterwards...can't really be much different than regular underwear. Especially if you are not reusing bike shorts and are using the baby wipes.

I need bike shorts to protect me nugs.


7/17/2015 5:17 PM

iMountainBike wrote:

Always ride with a chamois, forgotten a pair a few times and it's not pleasant. We had a good day riding Shuttle runs on ...more

And then....


7/17/2015 5:49 PM

He looks uncomfortable even standing there.


7/17/2015 7:18 PM

I quit riding with a chamois unless it is built in to the shorts I am riding in. I wear some of the C9 tech undies from Champion I get at Target. The only time I was really missing them was when I rode Coldwater Creek in Alabama. Really rocky trail - and wound up hiking a bunch of sections after two hours....
I don't miss the chamois at all.


7/17/2015 9:21 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/17/2015 9:22 PM

EXOFFICIO UNDERWEAR WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Seriously though, best $25, yes... $25 I've ever spent.


I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

7/17/2015 10:22 PM

I've heard this helps


7/18/2015 8:21 AM

I have a light saddle with not much padding so I always wear a chamois for my off-road rides, then change into regular shorts after for the post ride beer recovery drinking.


2013 Intense Uzzi
2006 Santa Cruz Nomad
2000 Santa Cruz Bullit

7/18/2015 12:45 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/18/2015 12:46 PM

I always wear a chamois for pedaling more than 30 minutes. Rarely ever wear one for DH trails. TLD chamois ride up my crack. Fox chamois work well. I have tried so many different types of tech underwear and always came back to the $25 Ex Officio's. They are unparalleled. However, I finally found a suitable substitution for $5 each on Amazon: Hanes Men's 3-Pack Ultimate X-Temp Assorted Lightweight Performance Boxer Brief. However, there are different versions of these underwear. Make sure to order 100% polyester. No cotton content. You will thank me if you order these underwear. Trust me.

But if your're rich, go Ex Officio.


7/18/2015 2:16 PM


that was one of the best replies I've read in a while. lol'd in a a bar.


7/19/2015 1:22 AM

Grew up as a track cyclist and road rides for training and never worn Knicks with padding ever.
I've been MTB for 15 years and haven't worn padding ever, just compression pants for help with cramping.

In my opinion a saddle that fits your arse is the best investment, to the point that my current saddle I've had for 6 years and have a spare new of the same seat.


7/19/2015 7:16 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/19/2015 7:19 AM

No padding whatsover, no matter how long or what style of ridin'. And - I got two sons and a healthy daily routine I won't describe in detail here....ride on, no matter how! wink


7/21/2015 12:44 AM

Two words. Nzo Dobies. Ride free!


1/1/2017 8:32 AM

Never thought I need one. 8 year riding.

I recently bought FOX shorts including one diaper and it felt uncomfortable, almost painfull first rides. I think its just matter of getting used to wathewer you prefer.


1/1/2017 10:52 AM
Edited Date/Time: 1/1/2017 10:56 AM

i wear chamois every ride except for dh. every ride. i could never do it without. although i am skinny. and i stand by the idea of wearing the tight stuff (spandex) so i dont get snagged by the touchy-feely landscape.

btw, the tld, fox, lg, pi (aka everyone) that have "insert" chamois or an inner short with a chamois are HORRIBLE. only high quality bib shorts underneath aggressive trail shorts work well.


4/5/2017 8:59 AM

I'm giving it a try and ditching the chamois this season. Question, am I crazy to do it on a saddle w/ minimal padding (WTB Devo)? So far so good on shorter rides


4/5/2017 9:29 AM

Allen_Gleckner wrote:

I'm giving it a try and ditching the chamois this season. Question, am I crazy to do it on a saddle w/ minimal padding (WTB ...more

a common theory is: the less padding, the quicker your body will produce sufficient callused skin at the point of contact (them sit bones). that is why the pro's can run carbon saddles with no padding. BUT this takes into account a boat load of hours in the saddle to produce and maintain this skin. if you ride a lot, a firm saddle is fine. if you are a weekend warrior, maybe more padding is necessary.

in addition, riding style will have a heavy influence. XC with proper saddle height and a lot of saddle time on smoother trails means you can get away with less padding. if you are out of the saddle more often and ride aggressive trails which will inevitably cause some harsh interactions between your saddle and your goods, ....the softer the better.

and then there is the whole argument of an individual's unique anatomy... what works for you will not work for me. Everyone is different and has different needs.

for me, I like a firm saddle even if I am doing some aggressive riding. I also like wearing chamois to securely keep things in place (I have found that the most athletic boxer briefs will not do it). I do however stay away from saddles that have any sort of shape that could catch clothing (be it baggies or lycra... yes I have snagged even lycra on a saddle multiple times...). smooth curves all around for all my bikes from XC to DH. I currently like the PRO Turnix.