Are you sitting comfortably? If you’re not, then the Airide chamois (or padded insert) might be for you. It’s claimed by its makers to be a “revolution in cycling pad technology” and is currently on Kickstarter where it’s hoping to gain £20,000 in funding.
What leads the inventors to claim this new chamois is the most advanced yet? It puts it down to the 3D spacer fabric it’s constructed from. Most padded inserts are typically made from a polyurethane foam, with many different types of foam used depending on the design and the price of the shorts.
The Airide chamois uses 3D spacer fabric, which is produced using a special knitting manufacturing process that creates a three-dimensional fabric. Available in varying thicknesses from 3 to 20mm, it’s more commonly used in mattresses and office chairs.
The fabric has been developed at the University of Bolton in a project led by Professor of Technical Textiles at the University’s Institute for Materials Research and Innovation, Professor Subhash Anand MBE, and local company T3 Sports Technology. They have worked together to bring the fabric to the cycling market and it's been two years in development.
The benefits of the 3D spacer fabric are that pressure is distributed over a larger area and so provides more support for your sit bones, leading to - hopefully - improved comfort. It’s also breathable, washes easily and can even be recycled. Those are all the sorts of claims that should provide a comfortable cycling short.
“We believe there is a huge market for our product – cycling and triathlon are popular sports with massive numbers of amateur as well as professional participants,” says Professor Anand.
“The product we have created is not a million miles away from my cushion for wheelchair users – in fact, it is that research product that brought Matt and I together.”
Interested? You can pledge support for just £1, or if you pledge £100, you can be one of the first 99 pairs of the Airide Cycling Bib Shorts or Cycling Shorts. The shorts are expected to ship in April 2016.
David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes.