What is a chamois – and how do you even say the word?
Chamois – pronounced SHA-MEE – is the pad inside a pair of cycling bibs or shorts that cushions your ride and protects your bum from abrasions, bacteria, and more. Not every chamois is created equal, and not every chamois is suitable for every occasion.
The novice rider will check a chamois quality by the very popular “squeeze test” to determine the thickness of the chamois. While this test is great in a pinch, the thickness of a chamois only tells half the story. Here’s what you should check…
Chamois Manufacturer / Brand Name
TMF®, TEO®, and EIT® are great chamois manufacturers out of Italy. They are the top of the line and should be the starting point for great shorts. If the chamois manufacturer is not listed, the pad will likely be a lower-grade product and will not use the best materials available.
Different densities of material provide various levels of protection. Lower density promotes blood flow, higher density protects from vibration, and medium-density foam layered in the right area provides anatomical protection from numbness. Without the differentiated padding levels, your chamois may not protect you fully.
The chamois surface is critical, and the best shorts have anti-bacterial and anti-microbial fabrics. They also wick sweat and provide a smooth contact area with your skin. Cycling shorts are meant to be worn without underwear, in direct contact with your body. Primal chamois feature advanced Carbon, Silver Ion, and special anti-bacterial, anti-microbial fabrics.
Let’s get to know the Primal Chamois Family and find out which one is right for you.
F130- The F130 Landscape is the top performance pad ideal for cycling under extreme conditions for up to 10 hours and beyond. It has a unique ergonomic shape thanks to TMF "Skyving" technology applied to multi-density foam layers. The Carbon Face promotes blood flow with anti-static and anti-microbial properties. Rated 10+ Hours
HX8 Carbon - The HX8 Carbon Italian Chamois is engineered for progressive reduction of foam thickness, using a fusion technology that seamlessly bonds materials without chemical fixates. The 4-density, 4-way stretch premium chamois is designed to form to the body, providing superior comfort, while the Resistex® Anti-Static Carbon fabric prevents abrasion and promotes blood flow. All fabrics used are anti-bacterial and anti-microbial. Rated 8+ Hours
E6 Carbon - The E6 Carbon chamois is a revolutionary leap in chamois technology with Resistex anti-static carbon fabric, which promotes blood flow and the reduction of lactic acid, as well as being anti-bacterial and anti-microbial. This 4-layer, 4-way stretch chamois also incorporates an Airmesh insert for increased shock absorption and moisture management. The E6 Carbon is ideal for road or mountain bike competition and long-distance touring. Rated 6+ Hours
APX - The APX chamois is ideal for teams and competitive road cyclists. Three layers of density foam, a 4-way stretch, and an anatomical shape allow optimum comfort while maintaining a free range of motion. Anti-bacterial Silver Ion and Visigrid fabrics offer superior moisture transport and will not break down over time. Rated 4+ Hours
Now that you know the chamois is essential and what to look for, check out our ride guide to pick out the right pair.