Padded saddle for indoor instead of bibs?

This may be a longshot, but I have a baby coming this spring and I’m expecting to have to cram 30min sessions… I love the fit of my castelli bibs and pro stealth saddle, but I was wondering if I could remove the hurdle of having to “get dressed” for training and use a slightly padded saddle and boxer briefs? It would also be handy during the off season to not have to do separate laundry or add a bunch of extra wear to my kit.

Anyone have experience or tips?

So I’m thinking, what’s the benefit of buying another cheap pair of bibs over buying a soft saddle. I’ve accumulated so many bibs now I have one for each day but sounds like with a little one on the way you are looking at conserving a bit of cash, so can appreciate your situation and approach.

If you think the saddle can be used with regular shorts or whatever clothes you want to wear for the ride then why not go for this approach.

Just don’t, that’s a very, very bad idea. First of all, boxer briefs are going to give you bad chafes on your legs, so at the very least you’d need to wear unpadded or padded bike shorts. And padded saddles are not more comfortable, they are prone to numbing your rear end because they put more pressure on a larger area of your buttocks, which will decrease blood flow.


I’m not sure your plan is good. You could pick up a pair of The Black Bibs (or shorts) and have inexpensive training shorts. You really should be able to change pretty quickly.

I don’t agree with the doom and gloom attitude on boxer briefs, though. I don’t think 30 minutes is enough for most people to really need bike shorts. You’d get the impression nobody rode bikes before bike shorts were invented.

You could try something like ,but I dont think it’s a good idea for reasons previously mentioned.

I think I’d rather wash my bibs, than having to sit down on a sweat-soaked squishy saddle that is still wet from yesterday’s ride…


I’d much rather wear out my kit than the area it protects.
If you ride regularly, you’d really benefit from having more than one kit.

I wouldn’t use anything other than cycling shorts to be honest, it’s not just the padding it’s also the seams. I tackle the laundry issue simply by having enough kit that I can keep on training until I have enough for a full load. And I tackle the extra wear issue by using older and/or cheaper bibs on the trainer, particularly for shorter sessions. Just did a quick audit and I’ve got 13 pairs of bibs currently in circulation! Everything from DHB ones that I picked up in the sale for £7, through 5 year old ones where the chamois is still fine but the lycra is getting indecently transparent so I can’t wear them outdoors any more, through to top end newer stuff which I save for races and long rides where comfort is at a premium.

Considering you’ll also have to put on shoes, HR strap, make sure you have a towel and water and all the electronics are working and talking to each other, not sure if swapping shorts is such an additional hurdle. Just keep a fresh cheap pair of shorts next to your trainer. You’ll get used to doing loads of washes once the baby is there anyway… :wink:


I have a softer saddle on my airdyne bike that I sometimes use for short interval workouts. No chamois needed. I’ll ride up to 30 mins in gym shorts.

I do this only about once every 1-2 weeks, so not very frequently. If I was doing 30 mins every day maybe it might lead to some issues.

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Padded saddle might also mess up your bike fit. You will need to re-adjust saddle height, might also need to adjust fore-aft.

I used to just ride in jammer-style swimming trunks 100% of the time. Didn’t even know there was padding in cycling shorts just knew they were super expensive compared to a nice pair of jammers. Eventually I got a real deal tri-suit and was like, ‘WTF is this thing in the crotch? A built in swim bouy?’

At the time it seemed absurd to pay $150 extra to drop 50 grams off your saddle just to stuff that 50 grams in the crotch of your shorts. :wink:

Anyhow, I say no prob. For a 30 minute workout you probably don’t even need much extra padding on the saddle. If it makes it easier for you and your family, do it.

Our local gym has Stages indoor bikes with larger padded seats. I used to do 2-3 workouts a week, from 45 to 75 minutes, only wearing gym shorts and briefs. At least one or two brands of briefs worked well (ones without noticeable seams). Not a problem.

Get a few pairs of these…problem solved:

I havent used them…but for $16 bucks can’t go wrong. I’m sure they’re more than adequate for less than an hour trainer rides. I kinda want to try them for cool weather commutes under khakis.

Also in regards to cycle shorts/bibs in genereal…the main benefit of them, IMO, is that they are cooler/don’t soak up lots of sweat, and that they’re tight, so they don’t catch on your saddle when getting on/off, getting in out of the saddle.

As someone else noted…people have been riding bikes for a lot longer than lycra has even been around for. Sometimes people make way too much of gear.

To be fair, I do short commutes, going the shops etc just in normal clothes on a normal (no extra padding) road saddle. I’m not sure if I’d fancy sitting on the trainer for an hour doing hard efforts like that though.

For 30 minutes, why not.
If you’re going for an hour or more though, bibs ftw

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I should mention for recovery rides at 50% ftp or less…I just take my pants off and hop on the trainer in my boxer shorts :grimacing:

I then go upstairs and act like I’m going to the store…muttering “I feel like I forgot something…” as I go by my 5 yr old. She starts yelling “Daddy! You forgot your pants again!!!”

Both of us find it hilarious. I’m not sure what that says about us haha.


I occasionally ride with boxer briefs under my mtb shorts without issue. Just rode 3 hours on Sunday with this setup. I have chamois underwear for my mtb shorts, but I don’t like them. On 30 minute workouts, boxer briefs would be no problem. The issue I see is that you really want to be dried out after a workout. If you don’t switch to dry underwear, that’s going to cause you problems. If you are going to take a shower anyway (recommended) then I don’t see the issue with bibs. Of course, I have more bibs than I can count off the top of my head, so your situation might be different.

I don’t see the need for padding. I usually use unpadded bibs on my trainer, and have ridden them for long distance outside as well. Maybe look at the suitability of your saddle. Padded saddles probably aren’t going to fit you that well.

I do it all the time and I don’t even use a padded saddle. For less then an hour its fine! Just make sure your thighs or anything else isn’t rubbing on anything. the purpose of padded shorts is not for the padding to make our butts feel cushy but to absorb sweat and keep it away from the skin on our precious hind sides when spending many hours on the saddle to protect from saddle sores and other things I don’t care to type.

Geez, I feel like I need my better, newer bibs when I do low intensity stuff on the trainer - I save the old beat up ones for when I’m doing really hard intervals