Apparel & Accessories

Tech Podcast: What makes a good chamois?

What makes a good chamois that you can forget all about on your ride? Materials, positioning, and pressure mapping are the primary keys.

Out on a ride, as the old saying goes, “Sometimes I sits and thinks, sometimes I just sits.” And a good chamois makes that sitting and thinking (or just the sitting) much easier. A bad one makes it, well, unpleasant at best. What’s the difference between the two anyway?

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As I’ve been testing several bib shorts lately, I’ve gotten to know various chamois quite intimately. I’ve been squarely in the “sits and thinks” mindset, and when I’m riding with a good chamois, I find it much easier to just “sits.” I can forget all about the bibs and the pad between me and my saddle, and that, to me, is what makes a good chamois.

But there’s got to be something to the chamois construction that makes it forgettable — in a good way! So I reached out to Elastic Interface, which is incidentally the brand that kept keeping my undercarriage consistently comfortable throughout my bib testing. Irene Lucarelli from Elastic Interface joins me on today’s podcast, along with Tim Jackson from Pow Word Communications (on translation and clarification duties…thanks Tim!) to give us all a sense of what goes into constructing a comfortable chamois you can forget all about on your ride.

As it turns out, there’s more to it than simply tossing a pad inside a pair of bibs and calling it a day. Not only does construction matter quite a lot, but also positioning. Elastic Interface even works closely with bib manufacturers to figure out exactly where the chamois needs to be sewn into the bibs to make sure it supports the rider perfectly.

Since Irene was joining us all the way from the Veneto region of Italy, where Elastic Interface is based, the sound quality of today’s episode is a bit lower than usual, for which we apologize.

As always, if you have questions about this episode of the VeloNews tech podcast, or if you have suggestions for a topic you’d like us to cover on a future episode, feel free to reach out to tech editor Dan Cavallari via email, Twitter, or Instagram.