Are you sitting comfortably? A question that makes every cyclist cross their fingers as they set out in a new pair of shorts. While the pad may not be the flashiest or most interesting part of a garment, it is what makes the difference between a good, bad or great cycling short. One ride in a bad pair of shorts and you’ll be grimacing for hours, desperate for an ice pack. We know that at the heart of a great pair of shorts is the perfect pad, and so with that in mind we teamed up with the company that invented the anatomically shaped pad – CyTech.
Founded in 2000 in San Vendemiano, Italy, Stefano Coccia and Marino De Marchi set about to revolutionise the protection pad sector with their brand Elastic Interface®. Now market leaders in their field, Elastic Interface® pads can be found in nearly all major European cycling brands and it’s no surprise why. The amount of scientific research and hi-tech development behind these pads is staggering, with the company teaming up with the University of Padua to deepen their knowledge of how and why all the individual components work together. They use a combination of five different foam densities (albeit not all at once) to tailor their product to suit the specific needs of the client, and if that wasn’t enough, up to around 40% of Cytech’s business is custom work.
ENDURANCE PAD 2 – THE COMFORT ZONE
At Spokesman, we use the Elastic Interface® Endurance 2 pad. As our main focus is on road cyclists, it makes sense to use Cytech’s premium road pad. Developed specifically with the cyclist’s position in mind, the areas that take the maximum pressure are the areas with the higher density foam – in road cycling this is where the saddle becomes narrower. As you can see from the image on the right – the rider’s weight is leaning forwards on the saddle to allow for a more aerodynamic shape. These pads use two different density foams to ensure ultimate comfort as well as being shaped specially to offer the optimum protection and fit. They are ideal for long rides as they hold their form well, as the name suggests they are an endurance pad.
EIT X-TRACT FABRICS
The fabrics on the pad are just as important as the foam support. Like the chamois of old they must be as seam free as possible to avoid any eye-watering chafing. The Endurance 2 pad is thermos moulded which creates a smooth transition and flush surfaces ergo no rough seams that could rub. The EIT X-Tract fabric is created from a double layer structure which helps collect and expel moisture. The top layer collects moisture, for maximum sweat absorption, and forces it down into the second layer, which then expels it, providing a fresh and dry effect along with increased breathability. This process is known as hydrophilicity (possibly my new favourite word) and allows the skin to dry faster and lacerate less. But this wasn’t enough for Cytech and they wanted to take the quality of their pads one step further. All Elastic Interface® pads have inherent bacteriostasis properties which means that they inhibit the growth of bad bacteria but preserve the good bacteria that occurs naturally in the skin.
It’s largely down to the huge advances made by Cytech in their Elastic Interface® pads, along with our designer’s keen knowledge of an uncomfortable short that guarantees supreme comfort and an enjoyable riding experience in our Spokesman shorts.