Bike shorts and the dreaded Monkey Butt

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by arrcrussell, Jun 28, 2006.

  1. arrcrussell

    arrcrussell Gimme Dirt

    Sep 8, 2005
    NE OH, USA
    I'm doing a long trip this summer and am fearful of the dreaded "monkey butt" (CO to OH via north shore of Lake Superior on a D/S XR650R) . To ward of the monkey I'm considering a pair of bicycle shorts to wear under my pants. Anyone have any experience with bike shorts and if they'll get the monkey off my butt?
  2. ldbandit76

    ldbandit76 Life is good.

    Jan 11, 2006
    Madison, WI
    Monkey butt is basically infected diaper rash, which is caused by rubbing moist skin.

    You need to keep your butt dry. Part of that means wearing clothes (pants, shorts, underwear) that wick moisture away. Bicycle shorts are pretty good in this regard, but the heavy lycra may not breathe as well as some other options. Underarmor shorts may be an alternative, as are LDComfort shorts ( and similar shorts made by Aerostich (

    But what you really need to do is let your butt breathe. Get air under your cheeks. And for that you need a seat pad with gaps in it. I recommend a beaded seat cover like this one: It'll do wonders for your backside. Sheepskin covers ( and the Airhawk pad may also work, but I like beads. They're cheaper, too.

    Get over how they look and enjoy the bliss of beads!
  3. torags

    torags Long timer

    Oct 25, 2004
    SF Bay Area
    I addition to the comments above, I would recommend dusting up with Gold Bond Gold (Unless you want to dance, then use the green). You get a rash with syn shorts because of simple friction. Moisture seems to give it irritation. The Gold Bond is medicated & prevents it.

    Silk also works and if you like the freedom of boxers use that material. Unbelieveably silk may be cheaper than cotton. I also use an old silk shirt w pockets and syn safari shirts (Cabelas) if I'm in hot weather.

    I also use a sheepskin seat for butt padding.

    My .02
  4. kres

    kres Arrrrrrrrr! Super Supporter

    Feb 23, 2005
    Back home in Charlottesville! Woot!
    + 1 on the underarmour suggestion.
  5. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

    Dec 1, 2004
    Elk Grove Village, IL
    You can get cycling shorts with a LiquiCell insert instead of chamois (or synth chamois). Personally, I use those along with Body Glide which is a skin lubricant (prevents chafing). I've never experienced any 'monkey butt' on the DR or my (road) bicycle, ever.
  6. motorradfahrer

    motorradfahrer leichtmetallpferdereiter

    Jun 9, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Under Armour is great, I wear it, but it does such a good job of wicking that whatever you wear over it will be soaked with butt sweat. You're going to need some ventilation.
  7. RedNeckGuy

    RedNeckGuy Adventurer

    May 22, 2006
    Here for now, I maybe somewhere else later though
    Underarmor. Worth every penny.
  8. jonb

    jonb Montana Adventurer

    Nov 2, 2004
    Montana backcountry
    Anything out there with the comfort and the protection all in one short that you can sit in all day long?
  9. ThomD

    ThomD Is this thing on?

    Apr 25, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    Not all bike shorts are created equal. My wife swears by Louis Garneau Airgel shorts. She wears them on bicycle rides from 80 to 200 miles. Around mile 120 is when you start to find out why the expensive stuff is worth every penny.
  10. Phlooburoo

    Phlooburoo More Pagan Proclivities!

    Aug 26, 2004
    Ann Arbor, MI
  11. chaserkeywest

    chaserkeywest Been here awhile

    Jun 27, 2006
    Key West
    I've been using for a few years,like under armor.

    The best stuff I found and the BACK SUPPORT MODEL is wonderfull.

    Gold bond is still necessary! and easy.
  12. campy

    campy Adventurer

    May 4, 2005
  13. Photog

    Photog Charismatic Megafauna

    Oct 13, 2003
    I'll let ldbandit answer but I'll also throw this in--I recommend getting two pairs and rotating 'em as needed if you get the gel types, especially if you have long days and short nights where drying time is iffy. You can get by with one pair but if the idea is to keep moisture down, go for two. It's a good investment.

    I'm in a wheelchair so I wear bike shorts a LOT and have the same issues daily. :bluduh

    Gold bond powder is good but if you're really sweating up a storm, go for any of the "butt balm" stuff that's sold to help prevent diaper rash. Look on the label for a "moisture barrier".

    If whatever you're wearing is wicking you've still got to get that sweat gone somehow. Take a break and ventilate fairly often. If you need to, hit a restroom (or behind a tree) and pat down the excess moisture.

    FYI there are guys and girls versions of the bike shorts with the seams and stuff in the right places.

    +1 on the gel shorts BTW...if your ride trips and centuries and you get really religious about shorts. :lol3
  14. NJ Moto

    NJ Moto Glory Bound

    Aug 27, 2005
    Bergen County, NJ
    Baby powder works wonders for me front and back.
  15. ldbandit76

    ldbandit76 Life is good.

    Jan 11, 2006
    Madison, WI
    I have no idea. I don't own either one. I do own regular bicycle shorts, and have tried riding in them (before I got the beaded seat cover). I found them a little constricting. While the muscle support is great on a long bicycle ride (I've done a handful of centuries) they don't seem to work optimally on a motorcycle when all I'm doing is sitting there. Haven't used them on the motorcycle in years.

    I do know that the LDComfort shorts were developed by a long distance rider, and have proven popular among Iron Butt types. But that's hearsay from me.

    I've also used Gold Bond; I have an economy-sized bottle of it. Now it's in the garage where I use it to lube tires and tubes when I change them. Don't use that anymore, either. It didn't stop me from sweating, and once I got wet, I was still wet. I just had wet powder on me.

    Once I put beads on my seat, I found I could get away with just about any kind of underwear/shorts/pants at all, and I had no need for powders. I wear coolmax boxer-briefs and nylon hiking pants for long rides in warm weather. I've had no trouble at all, even on Iron Butt distances.

    My bicycle shorts do not dry out over night; they're too heavy, even though they're all lycra and nylon. Granted, I have "heavyweight" models; I think the shorts cited above have lighter material. My coolmax boxers dry out in a matter of hours, likewise with the nylon hiking pants.

    This is all just me and my butt, though. You and yours may need or want something different.

  16. peterb

    peterb Long Distance Adventurer

    Feb 4, 2005
    Torrance, CA
    I DO want to sound authoritative and so here goes - everyone is essentially correct above - BUTT avoid cotton like the plague and DO scrub very well before starting the ride and during showering on the ride.

    By scrubbing I mean with a louffa pad and some PhisoDerm or PhisoHex cleanser. MB is about moisture, the wrong clothes, not being in shape - down thar', and INFECTION. Cleanse the area, wear correct shorts, wash them out each night - and rinse well and you should be flyin' right.

    So, what to do if all fails? Use UdderBalm or BagBalm that comes in a green can and can be obtained from your local big pharmacy, along with the aforementioned skin cleanser. It is a soothing and healing ointment that will work wonders on excoriation.

    Have a fun trip!:clap
  17. dwillie57

    dwillie57 Adventurer

    Sep 29, 2004
    Seat beads helped me a lot, but what made the biggest difference for me was applying anti-perspirant deodorant on the cheeks and upper back of the legs.:evil Laugh if you want to but a few days before a long ride, if I know it's going to be hot and miserable, on goes the anti-perspirant to give it a few days to sink in......and I am dry!!!!![​IMG] dwillie
  18. bmwktmbill

    bmwktmbill Traveler

    Jul 16, 2005
    The KTM 640 Adventure I bought used came with a leather seat from Renazco Racing. OK, it is a great seat as far as not getting monkey butt and for general comfort.

    You might consider finding a piece of leather to line or cover the seat somehow. I think you would be suprised at how comfortable that would be.
    A piece of cotton towel can work too.

    I ride in poli pro underware and synthetic pants, shorts or a swimming suit with Darien lite overpants. This really works well.

    Bicycle pants are for bicycles??
    Bill in Tomahawk, WI.
  19. Gregg Wannabe

    Gregg Wannabe Just killing time

    Nov 10, 2003
    San Diego
    Everybody has their own version of what works well for them, here is mine:

    I am mostly a dirt biker and dual sporter. Meaning, I don't just sit on my butt all day, I am up and down and sweating hard in the desert. For both I wear regular old bike shorts with a synthetic chamois. The longer inseam is nice when standing and sitting all day on a dirt bike and gripping the seat with your thighs. For extra long and/or hot days I smear a bit of lube on the "chamois" or my butt. The lube is made specificially for this purpose and is also available at bike shops.

    I can't always wash the shorts everynight but I at least make sure they dry out. My next pair of bike shorts will be the ventilated ones, now made specifically as undershorts for motos, I think EVS makes some.

    I never get monkey butt.
  20. rnr

    rnr Simple. Fast. Paid for.

    Jul 26, 2005
    my 0.02.

    I wear a "Jammer" style swimsuit under leather pants. No pads or anything, and great for back-to-back (cheek-to-cheek?) 500+ mile days.

    Leather pants help breathe; so does sheepskin. Haven't tried beads (yet).

    I also ride a bicycle long distances, and have two pairs of bicycle shorts, but don't like the crotch padding on the motorcycle.

    Have a Dolphin jammer, just bought a Nike Jammer as a back-up spare on sale at Sports Authority. (Packs super small.)

    Wash and rinse at night, dry, clean and good to go in the morn. has good prices.

    already monkey-butted? White's A&D heals good.