ExOfficio Women's Give-n-Go Sport Undies
I recklessly break every rule of chamois-wearing.
Honestly, I don’t use them much. I throw caution to the wind and ride…in my undies.
Wait, wait, wait, I don’t even stop there! When I have to use a chamois, I wear underwear underneath them.
*GASP* *GASP* *GASP*
Let me tell you about it.
I hate chamois—even comfortable ones.
They are torture devices deviously marketed under the guise of comfort
Before you roll your eyes, hear me out! While they pad your butt bones, they simultaneously chafe your butt and legs. Once, during gravel race, I bled when some dirt got between my chamois and skin for ten hours.
They are difficult to keep clean
In order to keep from getting saddle sores, it’s recommended that you wash your chamois after every use. That means you either have to wash your chamois 5-7 days a week or buy seven pairs of expensive chamois! A good pair costs upwards of $50.00 and generally only lasts a season or two. What a waste of money!
They are U-G-L-Y
Sometimes I think we cyclists live in our own little microcosm that makes us forget how ridiculous we look walking around in our adult diapers. I kind of love the absurdity of bike gear, but in the same breath, I feel like a real tool whenever I accidently wear my gear to the grocery store.
Okay, so here’s my secret:
For rides under two to three hours, I don’t wear chamois.
I know, I know. It sounds crazy.
The chamois industry has convinced the biking world that every time their booty is so delicate that every time they so much as touch a bicycle seat they need to bubble-wrap their ass in a skin-tight maxi-pad.
Think about it: what was the last ride you went on that you actually needed that chamois? When was the last time you even wanted it? How frequently do you go on rides that are long enough to necessitate a chamois? If you like your chamois, please, continue to use them. I’m not trying to tell say you shouldn’t wear a pad, instead I’m telling you it’s okay not to.
There are lots of benefits of not wearing a chamois every ride:
Your chamois will last longer
A decent chamois is a real expense, and I think your money is better spent elsewhere.
You won’t have to constantly wash it
Who has time to wash their chamois every day?
You can confidently walk into a coffee shop after a ride
And isn’t it nice to not scream roadie every time you enter a public space?
In lieu of chamois for short rides, I wear ExOfficio’s Give N Go Sport Mesh undies.
I bought my first pair of Sport Mesh undies for my brief season as a firefighter. I needed undies that would be comfortable underneath my thick, hot fire-retardant pants. I couldn’t find a pair that went far enough down my legs to keep my thighs from chafing due to the cavernous crotch of the men’s-specific pant. Then I found ExOfficio, and my thighs could finally rub in peace.
I love these undies for so many reasons!
The seams on the Give N Go are incredibly soft and turn away from your skin. Most chamois don’t even sport well designed stitching, despite being in direct contact with your skin. There isn’t a single stitch out of place, and I’ve never had any discomfort from the seams. That’s a lot more than I can say for any chamois I’ve ever worn.
The waist band
Maybe I should say the lack of one—I’m not sure how these stay on my hips, it’s like they aren’t even there. Goodbye, weird cycling muffin top, hello comfort!
They are anti-microbial
That’s right, anti-microbial underwear. They don’t stink like cotton or other synthetic fabrics, making them great for exercise, even on hot, sweaty days.
The price vs quality
I love those undies because unlike chamois, they are affordable. At $20.00 a pop ($10.00 on sale), I can afford to have a pair for every day of the week. Not only are they affordable, but these undies are built to last. I’ve got a few pairs that are three years old now, and I don’t plan on tossing them any time soon. Let’s see your chamois last three + years without sagging to your knees!
It’s like I’m not wearing anything. The only reason I know I’m wearing a pair at this moment is because I distinctly remember putting on underwear this morning.
They are also made of a mesh fabric, which means they dry quickly.
ExOfficio offers three different lengths, and I like each length depending on what I pair over them and what kind of adventure I’m getting into. From a downhill shuttle to a gravel grind to a multi-day bikepacking fest, these undies do it all.
Give N Go 4”
Any time I’m riding in boy shorts, like my Club Ride Eden Bike Short, I’ve got a pair of these underneath.
This pairing is great for Downhill and Enduro riding, as well as short XC rides. The long length of the inseam keeps my thighs from chafing against the short. With a short that looks as good as Club Ride’s, why would I ruin it with a chamois? My only comment on the Eden is that the chamois inside is absolute garbage. Throw it away before it can turn your butt into swiss cheese.
Give N Go Hipkinni
The Give N Go Hipkinni is the newest member of the Give N Go line. It has the shortest inseam of all three, and is the closest to a traditional pair of underwear.
I like to pair the hipkini with a short pair of classic athletic shorts on a super hot day or a pair of paddingless riding capris.
When I have to wear a chamois, I wear Ex Officio as a chamois liner
Even more outrageous than not wearing a chamois at all, I pair ExOfficio’s Give N Go Sport Mesh 2” under my chamois during long rides.
Give N Go 2”
The Give N Go Sport Mesh 2” is an amazing piece of gear. I wear these under my chamois for any ride longer than three hours.
They breathe, they don’t stink, they’re comfortable, and they act like a chamois liner.
For multi-day excursions into the back country, instead of bringing a fresh pair of chamois for each day I bring a single chamois and a fresh pair of ExOfficio for every day in the saddle. If I’m limited on space, I can even opt to bring two pairs and wear one pair while washing the other. These undies are anti-microbial and quick drying, so you can wash them in cool mountain streams like a real mountain woman.
I was a little hesitant to wear them on my first 6+ hour ride. Could they hold up? Was I making a huge mistake? The only mistake I made during my first century (as far as clothing goes) was not wearing my ExOfficio. My poor butt was so torn up by a bit of gravel in my chamois that I couldn’t ride for a week afterwards.
I plan on wearing them on my first ultra endurance 24 + hour ride in January.
Don’t let the chamois-crazed bike industry fool you—chamois aren’t necessary on short rides. They’re just a pain. For longer rides that demand a pad, try using Ex Officio underneath. You’ll get more life out of your chamois and more comfort on your butt.