24 January 2011

Crazy question for you all

I got this email from a friend of mine, and am stumped by the "under bike shorts" part of it. I don't usually think of wearing underwear with bike shorts:
I have a very crazy question for you. My dad has decided that he is going to do the cross-country bike ride starting in March, and he was just over here asking my husband a lot of questions about gear etc.  Dad mentioned that a few years ago my mom gave him some underwear that had a leather insert and those were the most comfortable underwear he ever had for wearing under bike shorts. He said they were like the same kind of underwear that horse jockeys wear or something.  We had no idea what he was talking about, and I'm sure you can imagine what came up when I googled "leather underwear" and the results actually got worse when I added "horse jockey" to the search terms.

Of all the people in the world that might have an idea of this product that my dad is talking about which lives in the intersection of the Venn diagram for cycling, horse riding, and appropriate undergarments for all activities, you have to be one of the best :).  So - any idea what he's thinking of?

So my cycling friends, any thoughts? Is Dad thinking of just old-school chamois or is there some other garment out there, hidden behind all those photos we don't really want to look at?

Thank you for any leads!


Schorsch said...

Tell pappy that you don't wear underwear under modern bike shorts. I'm not aware of a separate chamois-padded underwear for under the old, unpadded shorts, but that might be what he's talking about. Tell him the modern all-in-ones are about to be the most comfortable shorts he's ever had.

Anonymous said...

I recall hearing amongst some tourists and/or randonneurs who will 'double-up' on their bike shorts in order to reinforce their comfort on longer trips. The main logic behind not having regular underwear beneath bike shorts is that seams in cotton underwear will chafe over time. If it's just another chamois with properly located seams, then it shouldn't be a big deal (though, perhaps, the exaggerated diaper aesthetic might give some pause)

so one vote for old school leather chamois

oh, and, yes, one probably shouldn't be combining 'leather' 'underwear' 'horse' and 'diaper' into Google. At least not while at work. Perhaps 'equestrian' might be more productive?

cycler said...

I wonder if he was confused about "Chamois"
Since they used to actually be chamois goat leather, maybe when he saw the word "Chamois" he thought it was real leather?
I don't know how long ago real chamois stopped being used in cycling shorts, but I'm betting it was a good long while ago..

I would suggest an alternative google search "Real Chamois cycling shorts"
Oh- I did and there's a company that still does- Kucharick Clothing.

Anonymous said...

aha! I knew that I saw it somewhere before - Kucharik Traditional Wool Shorts have an optional leather chamois. I think it may have turned up once when I was researching Kucharik's return policy for a wool jersey of theirs that I had bought when visiting Rivendell.

Anonymous said...

my initial reaction is that he might be referring to some old chamois. it's also possible that they were some sort of underwear that is similar to the padded underwear that you can get at MEC/REI. they are essentially bike shorts that you wear under regular shorts.


George A said...

I just left a comment but it disappeared when I clicked the leave comment button. I'll wait to see if it truly disappeared into the ether or if there is a period of purgatory and review before the post is published.

George A.

Charlotte said...

George, I'm sorry, we never got your original comment over on this side. :(

George A said...

Second try: REI has, or at least had (I haven't checked in a while) underwear with an insert. Why would anyone want such a garment? Without putting too fine a point on things, it's a matter of aesthetics. Some cyclists just don't like the look of spandex and prefer wearing "regular" shorts or trousers. Importantly, while on tour, there are occasions when one might feel awkward or perhaps even a little disrespectful, for example if pausing to tour a cathedral or a museum, if one was clothed in spandex cycling attire. The alternative would be to not stop at such points of interest but that rather defeats the purpose of touring don't you think? Anyway underwear with cycling inserts are on offer from a variety of sources.

George A.

George A said...

Charlotte: Here's a bit of due dilegency (I should have looked this up before my second attempt to post):http://www.rei.com/category/4500003_Cycle+Clothing/q/Cycling+Underwear

Hope the link is a help.

George A.

Carine said...

Of course, Rapha makes such a thing, and they're even merino:

My Dad (riding partner-in-crime) got them a few months ago and LOVES them under his winter bib tights instead of having to wear shorts. Of course, like all Rapha products, they are megabucks as far as underwear goes.

Bikey said...


Or just try some Andiamos padded briefs.

Also Jones Wares (of Massachusetts) makes some fine briefs and shorts.

Bikey said...

Jones Wares has real animal skin Sham Wow available:

Gunnar Berg said...

Neat blog. George inadvertently dragged me over here. Chamois is real, expensive and requires maintenance. I have two or three variations on simple padded bicycling underwear. I'm am 65 and a little overweight. Believe me, no one wants to see me in bicycling tights.

David said...

I believe the product you're looking for are called Andiamos. Try this: http://www.andiamounderwear.com/