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If you're looking to buy some padded underwear for casual riding, then the Jewel inner short from Club Ride Apparel is flattering, feminine and, most importantly, comfy. Despite the name, the style is a high-leg brief, but they also do shorts-style and long-leg padded pants.
I tested the patterned 'Black Butter' colour scheme, with bike wheels adorning the waistband (and butterflies on the fabric). The waistband is wide and comfortable and sits well below the belly button. The pants' fabric feels soft and silky, is nice and stretchy, and fast-drying too. There are mesh panels at the side and a mesh strip below the waistband at the rear to help keep you cool and dry. There are thumb loops too, presumably for pulling the pants up, but I didn't feel the need to use them.
The 3mm chamois pad is surprisingly effective given how minimal it is. Club Ride say that the Jewel is designed for rides of up to one hour, but I wore them on a leisurely ride of several hours and found them more than adequate, combined with my Body Geometry saddle.
An advantage of their svelte padding is that you can wear the Jewel under tight-fitting shorts or trousers and it doesn't show. Also, there was no dreaded VPL when I paired them with Club Ride's Joy Ride capri shorts, which are fairly snug fitting. So, they'd be ideal if you wanted to commute in them under your skinny jeans, or jeggings even.
While £22 for a pair of pants might sound quite a lot, you can easily spend that on a pair of women's designer knickers – and they certainly won't have the features that the Jewel has. So, if you want to feel good and look good, treat yourself, I say – or get your fella to!
Pretty padded women's pants that are discreet and surprisingly comfortable given the minimal chamois
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Make and model: Club Ride Jewel Womens Inner Short
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
These pants are designed for wearing underneath casual cycle wear or ordinary clothes and riding for a short length of time (up to an hour). They're aimed at women who want to look good as well as feel comfortable on the bike. They fit this brief (boom-boom!) well.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
ActiveFlow™ quick-drying, breathable, stretch fabric with mesh inserts
Wide waistband with soft inside for comfort
Bikini brief fit
Anatomically shaped 3mm single-density chamois pad
Quicky™ single density pad moves with the body on & off the bike
All the stitching and seams are good (although after the first wash the care label frayed from its stitching) and the fabric feels good quality.
You can spend a lot more on fancy padded pants, and also a bit less.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
These do exactly what they're intended to: comfy padded pants that look pretty too and are discreet.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
How they felt to wear, how they looked on, and the fact they don't show through under your normal 'bottoms'.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 43 Height: 170cm Weight: 58kg
I usually ride: Marin Point Reyes 29er My best bike is: Giant Anthem X1
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, mtb, Audax