Cycling Clothing for Long Lasting Comfort
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1. I saw a review of your products and they talked about your chamois being thinner than others. Can you explain to me the differences in your chamois inserts and how they work?

2. I'm looking for a waterproof and breathable rain jacket to take on an extended trip to Ireland. Can you recommend a jacket that will keep me comfortable? I tend to be warm and find most rain jackets to be very wet on the inside.

3. I recently finished a 460 mile bike ride in six days. I developed saddle sores that got infected and the last couple of days were miserable. I'm trying to find a solution and everybody has ideas. I'm currently trying a new saddle and have adjusted the way I sit in the saddle.

4. What if my new clothing doesn't fit? What is your return policy?

5. How do I take care of my new Merino Wool clothing?

6. What's the conventional wisdom regarding advantages/disadvantages of going with leg warmers verses over-the-short tights?

7. My shorts are showing wear and collecting crud in strange places. Can you help me?

8. I'm going to ride the "Ride the Rockies" this year in your shorts. Do I need to add any lubricant? Will that harm the shorts? Should I launder them after using lubricant?

1. I saw a review of your products and they talked about your chamois being thinner than others. Can you explain to me the differences in your chamois inserts and how they work?

Our philosophy: We are big believers in keeping the padding in the saddle, where it can be more effectively controlled to be kept smooth, full, and long-lasting. We have three basic different types of chamois inserts that each have spacial characteristics and we have matched them for performance and comfort with the materials used for our different types of shorts and tights.

The chamois inserts are made using open cell foam and come in various thicknesses and shapes. The Classic Chamois and Women's Supplex shorts chamois inserts are both 7mm, the Elite chamois is 6mm and the Pro chamois is 5mm. All measurements are when not under any compression.

Since they are made of open cell foam all of our chamois inserts compress fairly thin. The make up of the Classic, Supplex and Elite chamois is for a thin layer of soft material covering the foam. Each of these is fast drying and the foam is treated with an antibacterial solution at the factory. The Classic and Supplex chamois inserts are similar and have no seams on the seating surface, they have one side-to-side seam in the front where the modesty panel is attached to the front of the foam pad. The Elite chamois is a shaped chamois designed to eliminate padding on the areas that fold down the sides of your saddle into the leg holes. This is to eliminate what some people consider to be unnecessary padding on the sides of the saddle and only place the padding directly above the saddle. To accomplish this, a softer and thinner material is sewn to the padding and fills the void where the chamois insert goes down the leg holes. This creates a seam on each side where these two materials are connected. These chamois inserts are made in Italy where we buy them complete.

The Pro chamois has an Ultrasuede covering so that it mimics the feel of leather. We designed and make this chamois here at our shop. The concept remains that an artificial leather acts like a real leather chamois. It stays more moist and provides a natural lubrication, cooling and moves like your skin. In order to make this chamois fit the contours of the buttocks saddle interface, we have to put two curved pieces of flat material together to create a curved, potato-chip-like surface. This necessitates a seam down the center to create the curves. Additionally, the women's version has evolved, from customer comments, to include a void of the Ultrasuede down the center to provide a more comfortable and breathable area.

For some applications in wetter areas or for multi-day rides where you have to wash and dry your shorts nightly, the Classic, Supplex and Elite chamois inserts may be preferable. The Supplex material is a slightly slower drying than the other more traditional lycra materials and the Pro chamois Ultrasuede cover is the slowest drying. That said, the minimalist nature of all our chamois inserts makes them faster drying than thicker or denser foam materials used in many chamois inserts.

Overall, the Classic chamois is the thickest and is seamless, the Elite is shaped and helps eliminate the stuffed crotch feel between your legs, the Pro is designed to give you the feel of leather without the hassle of caring for real leather.

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2. I am looking for a waterproof and breathable rain jacket to take on an extended trip to Ireland. Can you recommend a jacket that will keep me comfortable? I tend to be warm and find most rain jackets to be very wet on the inside.

Your question doesn't have a single nor simple answer. Every person has a different tolerance for temperature variance and"breathability". If a material is waterproof it is also windproof which closes off your thermal layer(s) underneath and increases the underlying layers' thermal capability. Breath-ability is something that fabric companies are spending millions on and many people find them all inadequate.

Assuming that you are familiar with waterproof breathable fabrics, you understand that there are tradeoffs when it comes to breathable and waterproof. These tradeoffs include the fact that the breath-ability feature only works with a temperature gradient. If the day is hot and rainy, you won't move any moisture through the fabric. If you sweat profusely and continue to sweat you will overpower any breathable fabric of which we are aware.That said, if you go into a storm, put on your jacket and then ride out of the storm, keeping your jacket on, you will likely dry out and the jacket will dry out if the air remains colder than your inner jacket temperature. 

The third related variable, warmth, is an additional concern to plan for or around. Think of how "warm" a simple cotton sports shirt becomes with a "windbreaker" over the top (assuming moisture is not an issue).

Here at Boure, we believe in layering. Each person can control each layer to accomplish the various compromises needed for their personal requirements. I will talk mostly about your torso, but the same things apply to a lesser extent on your legs, feet, headand hands with some exceptions. We don't recommend that you wear anything under your shorts or tights that will separate you from your smooth chamois insert, which is designed to be worn against your skin and protect your crotch from seams while it reduces hot spots and other discomfort through design and padding. Yourtorso tends to be more temperature sensitive than your legs,which stay warm by putting out most of the work (heat) while riding.

We recommend that you start with a "next-to-skin" layer (baselayer) that will make you feel dry even if you are, in fact, wet (from perspiration or external moisture doesn'treally matter if you "feel" dry and comfortable). We feel that the best next to skin layer is a fine Merino wool.This fabric unlike, a polypropylene or other artificial fabric seems to have a natural ability to get rid of body odor instead of gathering it into the fabric. the exception to the "dry" rule is that in the heat of summer we like a cotton undershirt as it helps to cool you by holding moisture and separating the sun warmed outer jersey from your skin.

Next will come your "thermal" layer, or layers. In the summer, this might be a simple short sleeve jersey, since that is all the "thermal" protection you might need for the majority of your ride. In the winter, this might be a thick thermal jersey. This thermal layer should be chosen for the "majority part of the day" you plan to ride in. This is what you will dress down to after the day warms up or add onto if it starts to get windy (colder) or wet. In the winter,you would not expect to take off your thermal knickers or tights. In most summer "day" rides, these two layers may be all you need to take, although in touring, you must be "ready for anything", and we almost always take an "emergency weather layer".

Next will be the layer(s) you plan to shed (this might be a combination of arm/leg or knee warmers, summer weight tights and/or a vest/wind breaker or even long finger gloves). These items can easily be shed and stored when it warms up without having to find a "changing room".

Next will be your "emergency weather" layer, typically, a rain jacket. For most rides we recommend a lightweight singlelayer "compromise" fabric, which combines elements of waterproof and breathable. The reason we recommend this type jacket instead of a full waterproof rain-suit is that it canbe stored in a jersey pocket and then you will have it when you need it. We own multi-layer, Gore-tex rain-suits and the combination of pants and jacket will not fit in any two pockets, on any normal jersey. As a result, it gets left at home and awaiting a journey to the next winter "Fourteener" climb.

If you have a "feel dry" layer against your skin and if it rains, you will likely get wet either from the rain (if you opted for more breath-ability) or from your perspiration (if you opted for more waterproof). The key is to feel comfortable while wet and to dry out quickly when the rain stops (don't wear cotton unless you like to feel wet and cold). We find that the leg warmers or tights keep your legs warm even when wet with the warmth produced while riding and typical lack of sensitivity in this area.

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3. I recently finished a 460-mile bike ride in six days. I developed saddle sores that got infected and the last couple of days were miserable. I'm trying to find a solution and everybody has ideas. I'm currently trying a new saddle and have adjusted the way I sit in the saddle.

Let me ask a few questions. First, did this issue occur before you changed saddles? Even if a saddle is more comfortable, it can cause "breaking in" issues for weeks until your body adjusts to the new saddles, this can come in the form of pressure discomfort, or wear issues (rubbing). Either of these can cause saddle sores to develop.

In our experience there are two basic types of saddle sores. The kind caused by saddle pressure and the kind caused by rubbing(wear). The former takes the form of internal or surface bruising accompanied by small pimple type sores that in aggregate can be a sore and often a group of them causes an entire area to be red as the body fights the little pimple infections. The pimples can be caused by pressure closing pores which them become infected and inflamed.

Bruising is not likely from your shorts. If you are getting a bruising it is more likely from a saddle that doesn't fit your body well. A saddle pressure problem can almost never be solved by shorts and chamois. Since the longer you sit there the more pressure accumulates between you and your saddle.

Wear sores come from seams or improperly fitting shorts or from a bad position on the bike that causes excessive movement on the saddle. These kinds of issues cause the skin to rub repeatedly from side to side or front to back or some combination thereof. These issues cause a sore where the skin is rubbed raw often worn through the surface. Sometimes this is improperly sized shorts, they should never be so loose they move while you are riding or you invite wear and tear (this is the reason that the hip measurement is the most important when fitting shorts). Sometimes a seam on the chamois is in the wrong place for your particular combination of skin folds on that particular saddle or in general.The best solution here is to try a different chamois or different short material or design or perhaps all three.

Another saddle sore type can be caused by improperly cleaning the shorts. Most common detergents have fragrances, softeners and other ingredients to make clothing smell good and feel soft to the touch. These additives are bad for shorts and accumulate in the material. Atsko Inc. (available on the web) has done researchregarding this and it is published on their web site They make some clean rinsing soaps for exactly this reason. At any rate, the accumulation of soap products could be an issue if you are sensitive to these products. A chamois would act like a sponge for these additives over time causing a concentration that would be released by sweat. A pair of not fully cleaned shorts would have the same affect but it would be dirt/body oils and sweat by products causing the irritation. If you were, you would get a red swelling and irritation of the skin, over a longride this could result in a symptom similar to a wear problem but should be more general over a larger area.

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4. "What if my new clothing doesn't fit, what is your return policy?"

Our 100% satisfaction guaranty is absolute. At any time you have tried them and decided you want to return them. We will refund the purchase price against your credit card or as credit against a different item. Satisfaction is defined by you, you have to be happy enough with them to keep them.

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5. How do I take care of my new Merino Wool clothing?

1) USE a proper WOOL SOAP. The recommended brand is IVORY SNOW LIQUID, you can find it at any major grocery store. It isWOOLMARK endorsed.

*** NEVER EVER use a standard aggressive detergent like TIDE, Arm & Hammer, ERA, or "whatever" normal detergenton Merino wool. It is not made for wool and it'll eat holes in it and ruin the jersey. It's like sand blasting gravy off of fine china dinner plates! Way over the top and too harsh. ***Fair Warning. ***

2) WASHING - Your Merino wool garments are Total Easy Care treated, machine washable, Woolmark Company certified and tested.Follow the wash instructions on the inside of the garments and you'll be sitting pretty. Wash inside out, zippers up, in coldor luke warm water on delicate WOOL CYCLE ONLY with the aforementioned wool soap. Please do not use the permanent press cycle, nor mix with your other non-wool garments. WOOL CYCLE ONLY separate (or with other wool)!!!

The delicate wool cycle is a fast cycle of about 25 minutes.S ince wool doesn't hold odor like an artificial material, you won't need to wash these items until after the sixth or seventh use (individual body types may change this slightly, but they shouldn't need to be washed every time).

3) DRYING - lay flat on a towel, inside, away from direct sun light to dry. Don't hang them up nor dry them outside in sunlight.

That is all. Pretty simple. For some extra tips you may try the following but, these are user tips, not manufacturer tips.

To dry faster naturally, lay the garment flat and put a book in the bottom of the jersey to prop it up and point a floor fan at it filling it like a balloon. This can speed the drying time to 25 minutes, depending on temperature and humidity. Once the top is dry, flip it and put little biz cards (without bleedable ink) in each pocket and point the fan so it blows in the pockets.

4) SOFTNESS and RELAXATION - The wool gets much softer and more elastic after the first wash, so it is best best to wash your garment before using it for the first time. There will be an initial relaxation of the garment (about 3 cm in width for a size large jersey). This is not shrinkage, but relaxation. Like a rubber band under tension returning to it's natural state. The sizing takes this into consideration. Shrinking happened with wools 30 years ago along with itchiness. Back then, wool fibers were breaking an sticking out, and the inconsistent fibers used caused ratcheting down, which resulted in shrinkage. Today,technology in wool treatment has come light years forward. If you follow these instructions and continue to buy fine wool products such as our cycling apparel, you will see years of consistent sizing and comfortable use.

5) STORAGE - Our garments are made of the best Merino wool on earth treated for machine washing, color permanence, and super softness. Additionally, these garments have undergone an AntiMoth treatment. No one else does that! With that said, let'snot give any of those critters a chance of a free meal. Always store your fully dry wool items in a sealed ziplock bag in a drawer that is used often. Why you ask? Well the type of moth that likes your clothes, hate LIGHT and they really hate MOVEMENT. So when you toss clothes in a dark corner of a closet and leave it there for a long time, the moths think "SWEET!", chow time without being disturbed!" But when you keep the jersey in a sealed bag in a drawer with clothes that you access daily (t-shirts, underwear, jeans etc), the opening and moving things around makes it unattractive for moths and reduces greatly any potential of damage. Now you know how they operate!

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6. What's the conventional wisdom regarding advantages/disadvantages of going with leg warmers verses over-the-short tights?

I don't know if it can be called "wisdom" but we have thought through the hierarchy for leg warmth a bit. Starting with the understanding that each person has a different tolerance for cold and must therefore determine at what temperature or application each stage will come, the gradient of our leg oriented clothing is as follows:

Warmest situation to coldest/least thermal to most thermal clothing

-Just shorts
-Lightweight knickers
-Shorts with knee warmers
-Shorts with lightweight (Pro) tights
-Shorts with leg warmers
-Thermal knickers
-Shorts with thermal tights or thermal tights with a chamois

Now, with that said. Basically the material that is used for leg/knee warmers is warmer than the short and lightweight knicker/tight material. The thermal material is the warmest material.

The second consideration is the application and resulting flexibility required. Let's say it is winter and not going above 50 degrees all day. For me, I would need thermal tights all day.I prefer a thermal tight with a chamois, I believe it is more comfortable than tights over shorts, which to me is too bulky in the crotch and the two differing materials are not as comfortable when combined. During a fall or spring day, such as this time of year, it can be 40-50 degrees in the morning but warm up to 70+ later in the day with lots of solar gain as the morning progresses. In this situation, I want to end up in just shorts, so I would choose knee/leg warmers or the lightweight tights, all of which can be stowed in a rear pocket as the day warms up. Which item choice a person would make would be determined by their individual tolerance for cold.

Layering is the concept of wearing multiple layers of clothing to allow you to shed or add one or more layers during changing conditions. This concept works very well in cycling. Our clothing lines are designed to incorporate this concept. As such, our rain jacket, vest, leg warmers, arm warmers, etc. are designed to be small enough to store after their use in your jersey pocket, to be available when the conditions change back.

In summary, which item you wear for a given temperature range is a personal preference that must be determined with experience.Which set up you use is dependent on the application circumstances. The warmers and light weight tights can be easily stowed in a rear jersey pocket. Thermal material is bulky and harder to store.Whether you choose to have a bib top or a chamois with your thermal tights/knickers is a matter of personal preference.

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7. My shorts are showing wear and collecting crud in strange places. Can you help me?

We received your shorts and have enclosed a replacement pair. It is fairly obvious to us that the wear spot on your shorts is a result of an abrasion. Something on your bike, bike saddle, seat bag, seat post is rubbing the shorts. The Lycra simply doesn't spontaneously abrade. Almost every time we see this, it is due to rubbing that can be identified. Unfortunately, you need someone to watch you on your bike to catch the culprit. Most often the source is further than you think and appears to be innocuous. With another person to watch, you will find that a part of your leg is touching something on the bike, of which you are unaware.

What is happening is a rough surface is breaking the super-small fibers of elastic inside the fabric. Then the ends of the broken elastic pop up and bundle together as you continue to rub the same spot, lightly over and over again.

Any sort of fabric (like the outside of a Velcro strap, or the seam of a bike bag or event the bike bag itself) can cause the problem. A rough spot on the seat post (scratch or burr) or on the seat (a tear or abrasion on the nose of the saddle) can cause the Lycra to prematurely wear and abrade. A wide area like the one abraded on your shorts, located just behind the imaginary inseam, is usually from a seat bag rather than the seat post or saddle.

Most people can't feel the abrasion happening. Unfortunately, if you do not find the culprit, you will most certainly have the same result with your new pair. In the event that you have moved something or changed something since this happened you may not be able to identify the problem, however, you may have already solved the problem without knowing it. I like to find the problem so I know what not to do, otherwise the problem may crop back up when you make another change back to the previous set up.

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8. I'm going to ride the "Ride the Rockies" this year in your shorts. Do I need to add any lubricant? Will that harm the shorts?

Our thoughts on Chamois cream are that it softens your skin making it more easily abraded and that it can clog your pores giving you the dreaded butt zit syndrome. I don't know what each cream is made of but, if you are using them regularly, I would highly recommend a clean rinsing detergent such as Asko-SportWash or Planet-Biodegradable delicate/regular wash. I am concerned that the cream will accumulate and make the chamois less breathable and then less able to loft to its full height. Both of these manufacturer's soaps are clean rinsing detergents and I believe that aspect in and of itself will resolve most pimple type saddle sores. If the cream includes any petroleum products or similar substances that could break down another petroleum product (chamois.foam pad, shorts lycra), then it will slowly break down, not just the chamois foam but, the shorts material itself.

My other thought is that this sport is complicated enough and adding another thing to keep track of, worry about when you loose it, or become dependent on is not a good idea. My golf coach suggested that I not use a glove for that reason. One less expense, one les thing to keep track of, leave behind, etc. My hand toughened up and I believe you have a better feel without it. Not to mention, I don't have to take it off and put it on every time I putt. So for me, I wouldn't use a cream unless I had exhausted all other remedies.

That said, there are a lot of people who use creams. Although it seems to me that those people have a higher incidence of saddle sores, but then maybe they are more sensitive down there and thus more likely to be looking for solutions and/or noting the results (hard to say which came first: saddle sores or chamois cream). Assos says that their product will not damage the chamois. I don't know how many people would report back to Assos nor do I know how many they have heard from and subsequently ignored, when the customer claimed that the cream damaged their shorts, so I can't say whether that is fact or hype.

I certainly would try it for some time before I set out to do a full tour, you don't want any surprises that might make your well earned vacation less enjoyable.

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