cycling pad testing machine

Vapor. A pad story.

cycling pad testing machine

Why we chose to develop our own padding, and how we do it.

Everyone makes “the best” bibshorts, right? Of course they do – why would they make a bad pair of shorts? 

“The best” in reality is a matter of opinion. What is it that you’re looking for in a pair of shorts? Personally, I want to stop thinking about my shorts after I put them on. I’m looking for comfort and style, but mostly comfort. 

I’d bet that you’re mostly interested in comfort as well, especially if you ever ride for more than an hour.

bioracer cycling pads design

The padding

This is an obvious place to start I guess. It’s what most of us think of when we consider the comfort of bibshorts. The padding is extremely important, but it’s not as much about the density and form as you might think… 

So first let me tell you a little-known fact. Most mid to high-end shorts use the exact same padding. That’s because there is one company that manufactures very good padding and sells it to a lot of brands who incorporate it into their shorts. Take a look at this page to see who uses the same brand of padding. Yep that’s right – even them – a little surprising isn’t it? 

What is wrong with this? Absolutely nothing! The padding is a very good quality indeed and enhances the products they sit in. When these companies talk about the quality of their padding – they may be right, but in reality, it’s exactly the same as their competitors. To be clear, a €200 pair of shorts may have the same pad as a €100 pair. By purchasing in volume it isn’t particularly expensive to buy “top of the line” padding. 

Our shorts use proprietary padding which we develop in-house. We specialize in biomechanics, a millimeter perfect fit and customized fittings. This is why so many World Tour riders trust in our padding. 

In addition to this, we test it. A lot. From early prototypes to production ready samples, everything gets tested on our machines which were designed for this sole purpose, and also on the road. In different circumstances, in different weather types, on different terrain…

How we test pads

We have developed protocols that measure the influence of road vibration, stiff carbon bike parts and bikes and translate this influence to a damping reaction. That’s right. We can calculate at what rate our pads have to reduce shocks. Based on this info, we can look after the materials with the right set of specifications. Lightness of weight, durable, extremely breatheable and most importantly, as shock absorbing as possible.

The result

In recent years our padding research focused on one question. 

Carbon frames, wheels, saddles and shoes become lighter and stiffer. The human body remains soft and has to cope with the harshness and vibrations of this material. How can we improve the support and impact protection for the human body? 

The result: Smooth Vapor For Men and Smooth Vapor Unisex. 

This new generation of padding features cutting edge technology. The most important innovation is the use of Evapor, an open 3D webbing that’s as breathable as it is elastic and durable. 

Evapor reacts differently under pressure. Where other materials bottom out under shock, Evapor reacts by contracting into a rubber like state, providing a constant shock absorption layer. 

The open 3D webbing structure is beneficial for wicking perspiration. Under pressure, moisture gets pressed through the 2 upper layers of the foam to the outside of the pad, where it evaporates (hence the name Evapor). 

The interaction between the cyclist, the bike and the Vapor pad create the ideal platform to move moisture out of the bib short. We call this Dynamic Moisture Evaporation. The result is an optimized state of body perspiration. The ideal body temperature is 37,5°C. Evapor is cooling the body down to this temperature. No more, no less. And only when the body warrants it.

smooth vapor uni pad
smooth vapor men pad