If you ride a lot, it’s likely that you have at one point or another experienced chafing or soreness in the absence of proper cycling shorts. We’re here to tell you you’re not alone. It’s no coincidence that professional cyclists in all disciplines wear cycling shorts. Here’s why:
- The chamois (pronounced shammy), which can be translated to padding in all the right places, works to provide cushion and serves as a buffer between you and your saddle. Choose gender specific shorts as they’re designed with anatomy in mind. Remember, they were designed to be worn without underwear.
- These skin tight shorts do more than show off the gams that get you up the hill. Cycling shorts also offer compression which helps manage muscle fatigue.
- Made from fabrics like spandex or lycra, cycling shorts offer moisture control by wicking sweat away from your skin.
- A longer inseam protects your thighs from friction with the saddle on long rides.
- Bib shorts, which feature suspender-like straps, eliminate muffin top or chaffing from a waistband, while also keeping the chamois in place. This will keep you from shifting around on the saddle in an effort to get things just right.
When trying on cycling shorts for the first time, keep in mind they were designed with cycling in mind. They look much cooler on the bike than they do in the change room. If you’re feeling unsure about the look, be sure to try on a jersey too.
Still not ready to wear head to toe spandex? Fear not, you’ve got other options.