Whether you are an active cyclist or are just getting started in the sport, remaining comfortable while on the road is a concern to keep in mind. Many cyclists wear bike shorts as they provide ample comfort and a non-restrictive covering so the lower body can move without difficulty.
If you’re new to the bike shorts scene, then let us help you make the most of this new cycling attire for you. Below are some tips to keep in mind when picking out cycling shorts.
Refrain From Wearing Underwear
It is best to wear bike shorts without a pair of underwear underneath them. Since underwear often has elasticized waists and leg areas, your legs and waist are more prone to problems like chafing, itchiness, and restricted blood flow with this piece of clothing trapped underneath your shorts. Opt for a pair of bike shorts with cotton paneling sewn inside of the material instead. This will give you an ample moisture barrier while allowing your body to move around without unnecessary pinching or bunching of material underneath the pair of shorts. You will also have a sleek, polished appearance while riding.
Pick Out An Appropriate Color
A great way to alert motorists that you are present on the roadway is with the color of clothing you select to wear while riding your bike. Instead of picking out a material color similar to the color of your bike, opt for a bright hue so you are easily seen by those that share the road with you. This will also allow for you to stand out so you are noticed by others if you are involved in a race or team effort. Match your bike shorts to your shirt color for a uniform appearance. Brighter colors like teal, pink, orange, or yellow are easily seen by motorists and will alert them to slow down or move to the side of the lane so you are at less risk of an injury. Many cyclists opt for black bike shorts and use their shirt as the brighter color to display. This is because black will match any color and it also provides a slimming appearance of the body.
Avoid Shorts With Elastic Leg Areas
Elastic can cause a variety of problems when riding a bike. If your bike shorts are equipped with elasticized leg holes, your legs are more prone to injuries because of the presence of this feature. The use of elastic can be avoided by picking out shorts made from body-conforming material. This will keep the material in place without the worry of it sliding upward as your legs move around when you pedal. In addition, bike shorts without elasticized waistlines are considerably more comfortable and less restrictive. Purchasing a pair of shorts with included bibs will keep your shorts from sagging downward while allowing you to twist and bend without restriction of any kind. Simply side each band over the appropriate shoulder to keep your pants in place and enjoy being able to move around freely as you ride.
Invest In Shorts With Ample Padding
Bike shorts are equipped with padded areas to help protect your legs as you ride. This is called chamois and is available in a variety of thickness levels. The thicker the padding, the more protection your legs have. It is important to note, however, that thinner padding will allow for you to move your body quicker and without added weight. People who use bike shorts for triathlons will use bike shorts with the thinnest padding possible. Knowing the durability of the chamois sewn into the shorts is necessary if you intend on using thinner material.
Make sure to read any reviews available about the particular pair of shorts you are interested in before making a purchase. This will give you an idea about the protection level the padding provides. It is also extremely important to purchase a pair of shorts that are designed specifically for your sex. Women’s shorts have padding in different locations than men’s padding. While unisex shorts are an option, the padding may not be enough to give your body the cushioning needed to keep you completely comfortable while cycling.
Consider The Elements
If you are going to be riding in the heat of the day or in crisp, cool weather, the shorts you wear will make an impact on the comfort-level you obtain during these conditions. Bike shorts that offer UV protection will help to keep your legs from unnecessary sunburn if you intend on riding during the sunlit hours of the day. Bike shorts come in an array of leg lengths. If you intend on wearing shorts when the weather is a bit cooler or if precipitation is expected, consider using a 3/4 leg or knicker style. These are made with a bit more fabric, helping to protect the upper legs from harsh weather conditions.
The best way to find a pair of bike shorts that will keep you comfortable, is to try on several pairs before making a selection. Remember that the back end of your shorts may appear to be a little baggy when you are standing upright. They are constructed this way because you will be in a seated position when riding, which stretches the back portion of the shorts when you hunch over.