Breathability refers to the ability of air and/or water vapor to move through the fabric. A fabric can be highly breathable but not wicking (ex. cotton).
Wicking refers to the capillary action of moving liquid without,or in opposition to, and additional forces. (Think of a wick in an old kerosene lantern, or good paper towel.) When it comes to sports apparel high performance sweat wicking is essential. Our fabrics draw the moisture off of your skin and quickly disperse it throughout the fabric increasing the surface area and allowing it to dry faster. The high breathability of our fabrics keep you cool and also aid in evaporation.
Everyone has a level of bacteria naturally occurring on their body. This bacteria happens to feed off our sweat, which creates a smell and often builds up on our clothes. Bacteriostatic refers to the ability to prevent the growth or reproduction of bacteria. (Note this is different to antibacterial or bactericidal which kills bacteria.) Materials can be made bacteriostatic naturally occurring properties (ex. carbon thread) or synthetic substances (ex. a chemical additive like chlorine which can cause irritation). Naturally occurring are inherent and will last the life of the garment, where synthetics are applied and may diminish over time.
Antimicrobial refers to the ability to kill, or inhibit the growth of bacteria. This ability can be from naturally occurring properties or synthetic substances.
- Silver Ions- bond to bacteria's negatively charged ions, which prevents the bacteria from reproducing on your skin & the fabric, keeping the smell to a minimum while you wear it. Once the garment is removed from the source of bacteria (ie. in your pile of laundry) within a 24 hour period it will eliminate 99.9% of all bacteria (it's most favorable environment to function is actually a warm damp one). It's important to note that within 30 seconds of the garment being removed from your body, your skin will have restored is normal level of bacteria, so it doesn't mess with your health. And this is nanotechnology, the silver is permanently bonded to the material, it ions that are being released, so no metals permeating your skin or leaching into the environment.
Bigger isn't always better. Am I right, ladies?
Okay, so what are chamois? When it comes to bikes, we Aussie's refer to the padding built into shorts, bibs or tri suits as chamois. But a quick google search will have you reading about a European animal, of the antelope-goat variety. This is because nearly a century ago (when bike shorts used to be made out of wool, yikes!) the super soft, highly absorbent leather from this animal hide was far more comfortable in that extra sensitive area. Rest assured our "chamois" are not made from animals, and they're far more technical.
These days it's not just about abrasion. When a cyclist is uncomfortable they move around in the saddle which results in wasted energy (watts!) as they shift position and place more weight in their arms. We want your butt and your mind to be still. The more energy going to your legs, the less to your lungs, maximizing positioning isn't just about comfort, it will improve your efficiency and reduce oxygen consumption (not to mention injury prevention).
Our chamois, made by Nalini in Italy, have been engineered for the specific positions in each discipline (cycling kit vs tri suit). In a nutshell, the point of maximum pressure while riding a road bike is mid saddle while the forward angled position of the body on a triathlon bike has the point of maximum pressure further towards the front of the saddle. However, it's important to note that everyone's anatomy is different and something as simple as a pelvic tilt can shift the weight. Our chamois offer multiple densities to match the precise anthropometric parameters and female anatomy. And back on the topic of size- seriously, bigger is not always better. Aside from feeling like you're wearing a nappy, too much bulk down there can lead to extra friction, heat, sweat and also eliminate all the benefits of a great saddle.
It's also helpful to know that chafing/laceration can be cause by friction, heat or wet skin.
- Friction can be reduced by shifting less in the saddle, ensuring you have the proper fitting short, a chamois that is made from a soft microfiber and contains all way stretch elasticity (so it can move with you every pedal stroke).
- Our chamois also have heat dispersing properties, great breathability and are made with a microfiber that offers softness against the skin without heating it up.
- The materials and construction of our chamois wick sweat away from the body allowing your skin to dry faster. (A good chamois eliminates the need for chamois cream, unless you are riding in a particularly hot or wet day.)
But wait, there's more! All fabrics and foams used in our chamois are skin compatible given the, um, intimate contact when you ride commando. All raw materials, right through production, are verified non-toxic (unfortunately this is not the case for many of the chamois out there) by OEKO-TEX. And in terms of hygiene, our chamois are all antimicrobial.
Seriously we could talk all day on this topic (just ask James from La Velocita)! Be sure to check back as we add more specific information about our chamois on our website, as well as discuss the impact of a proper bike fit.