We all know that you should use the “right tool for the job“. And this is also true for cycling. If you want to ride for a long time, you need to look after your bum.
Have you ever set off on your bike wearing jeans and skimpy underwear? If so you know you’re bound to suffer plenty of discomfort, ending in several days of forced rest! To avoid all that, wear proper cycling shorts…
1. Cycling Shorts Are A Must
Are you planning to go on a long road or mountain bike ride? Then get the right equipment!
Each sport requires certain specific gear, and cycling shorts are essential wear for cycling.
If your legs are aching you can carry on cycling, if your bum is uncomfortable it’s really hard to finish your session without it affecting your movement. I’ve even had to finish a session standing up because the pain was so bad. Spare yourself this experience!
2. Men's Or Women's Cycling Shorts?
Opt for women’s cycling shorts: the insert is narrower and the padded parts are designed for your body shape. If you wear men’s shorts, make sure the pad has no seam in the centre.
If you plan on commuting to work and not looking too hardcore, or you want to look stylish riding around town, you could wear leggings or cropped bottoms. They also have a discrete pad. And some of them are very feminine.
Whatever you do, don’t wear any underwear underneath your cycling shorts as you could get small cuts!
3. So What Are The Ideal Cycling Shorts?
The ideal cycling shorts are ones you feel comfortable in.
To avoid rubbing, choose cycling shorts with seams on the outside.
The waistband should be fitted: if your shorts are too big the pad will gape, leading to rubbing and irritation. If they’re too small (you will know because of the unsightly “thigh bulge”), you’ll cut off blood flow to your thighs. And since your thighs are your main asset on your bike, don’t mistreat them!
The length of your shorts really depends on your tastes.
Your skin should be covered to at least halfway down your thigh, otherwise, the saddle rubbing against your inner thigh could cause irritation. If you’re sensitive to irritation, anti-chafing creams or even talc can help you manage several rides in a row.
Straps are really a question of personal preference.
The big advantage of bibless shorts is that you can go to the toilet without having to take all your clothes off.
The elastic should be high enough so that your lower back isn’t revealed if your jersey rides up.
Lastly, if you have a sensitive chest, you can get straps that go between the breasts.
4. Cycling Shorts Hygiene And Booboos
Think of your shorts as underwear. Don’t wear them twice in a row without washing them. Don’t leave them to steep: at the end of your ride, change your clothes so that you don’t develop a fungal infection.
If you already have cuts or areas of irritation, you can get special dressings that act as a second skin. You can also get zinc-based baby bottom cream that helps get rid of and soothes any redness.
As you can see, wearing cycling shorts is important. Only you can judge the quality of your shorts, leggings or cropped bottoms. It depends mainly on the kind of cycling you do and the intensity of your rides. Personally, I use women’s bib shorts, but I also have other kinds of shorts in my wardrobe. Over to you. What kind of cycling shorts to you prefer?