We’ve all had bikes with uncomfortable seats, and if you like to ride more than a couple of hours at a time, there’s a good chance your stock seat leaves you in some sort of pain by the time you stop for fuel. Riding shorts might seem like an odd thing to consider adding to your kit of riding gear, but hear us out: A pair of riding shorts is a lot more affordable than adding that custom-made seat you’ve been eyeing.
When I bought my 2006 Suzuki V-Strom 650 awhile back, it had the original, stock seat. The cover was in good condition, and the foam felt soft and comfy on my short test ride before I bought the bike. But after a few longer rides, I quickly discovered we weren’t going to get along. Sometimes rides as short as 45 minutes had me hurting. The soft foam had just gotten softer over time, and at times it felt like I was sitting on the seat pan. And then there were the hot spots and muscle cramps that came with it. When I bought the bike, I had a nice weekend trip planned and it was coming up quick, but no way was I riding on that seat. So why not try a pair of padded shorts?
Aerostich’s Riding Shorts aren’t anything new. In fact, they’re similar to padded shorts bicyclists have used for years. At 6 feet 3 inches and 150 pounds I’m thin, which means I’m short on natural padding to begin with. I ordered a size medium, and they fit snugly, as you want them to. Made of fleece and Lycra with foam padding in the front and rear, the Aerostich shorts add cushioning while providing wicking to keep you dry, and they don’t bunch up like cotton shorts often do under your riding pants.
So how do they work? Beautifully. They turned a seat barely comfortable for 45 minutes into one I sat on for 6-plus hours, several days in a row, no problemo. The only downside is they don’t have a fly, so keep that in mind for roadside stops. Available in black in sizes S-XL. $47. More info: Aerostich