We’ve seen all kinds of chamois “systems” come out to save, well, our butts. We’ve seen thick padding, gel, dual sliding layers, and other marketing masterpieces. Aside from a good shape, and high quality materials, there hasn’t been a magic bullet so to speak. Is Airide’s new concept using a 3-dimensional “spacer fabric” the answer?
Continue on to see what they’ve come up with and how it works…
Airide founder, Matt Tomkin first came across the 3D Spacer fabric when he and team mates were doing a 4 person rowing event in the Atlantic Ocean to raise money for a local charity. Instead of chamois, they were using the 3D “spacer fabric” for bedding. Soon after, Matt competed in an Ironman triathlon and while spending a lot of painful time on the saddle, the thought of that “bedding” crossed his mind.
The “spacer fabric” is made up of fibers that create a sort of structured lattice between two layers allowing a cushioning effect as well as tons of air-flow to keep things cool and dry. Since the pad shapes to your undercarriage, it supposedly helps to even out weight distribution preventing numbness and other issues female and male cyclists face.
Testing the Aride pad aganist a premium pad from another brand, they found it to reduce the pressure points on the sit-bones significantly, eliminating a large portion at the perineal area. Working with Professor Subhash Anand MBE at the University of Bolton, they developed a way for the spacer material to be used in a cycling chamois and now have launched a Kickstarter campaign to get things into production assuming suppliers can come through, (read the “risks” section).
They are also making a seat cover, all old school with a drawstring tie like the gel ones that collect dust in shops for years at a time, but containing the 3D spacer fabric instead of gel.