Are Cycling Shorts Worth It Or Not? (Truth About Biking Shorts!)


Are you new to cycling? Since you have picked up cycling, the rule of the game is to never compromise on your safety.

That’s why you basically need to wear a recommended pair of shoes, a helmet, and cycling shorts. But are cycling shorts worth it?

Cycling shorts are worth more than meets the eye. First, the shorts have a padded crotch section (chamois) to help minimize pressure from the saddle to the crotch area. In addition, the padding also prevents chaffing and irritation of friction points by the saddle. The chamois also cushions you from road vibrations that could eventually cause pain.

At the same time, a good cycling short should help in moisture control throughout your trip. Let’s get into more details about why cycling shorts are worth it.Are Cycling Shorts Worth It- women's waist cycling shorts

Why Wear Bike Shorts –Are Cycling Shorts Worth It?

From the short introduction above, it is evident that the main reason why cyclists wear cycling shorts is for comfort. For those who take long rides, the saddle can deal adversely with your crotch area and the backside as well. Are Cycling Shorts Worth It - Man and woman in cycling shorts

Therefore, the cycling shorts, casually referred to as chamois, have paddings on specific pressure areas. In addition, these shorts have paddings in strategic places for the comfort and safety of the rider. 

Technically, bike shorts makers avoid seams at the crotch and incorporate extra padding. This keeps your skin from chafing and eases the pressure points by the saddle.

For road racing cyclists, wearing well-fitting bike shorts helps to reduce air resistance. This allows the rider to achieve higher efficiency and speed levels.

In another article, Is Cycling Bad for Your BallsOpens in a new tab., we found that sitting on a saddle exerts pressure on the pudendal nerve, which causes pain and numbness to males’ genitals. Also, this pressure affects blood flow to the testicles, which consequently affects one’s reproductive health.

Notably, riding long without cycling shorts does not only cause pain and numbness in men. It also affects women, so they also need to get the best bike shorts for ladies. For example, the NOOYME Women’s Bike Shorts features a 3D structure designed for women who cycle for long distances.

Do I Really Need Bike Shorts- Are Cycling Shorts Worth Wearing?

As you get into cycling, you may have bought your protective gear, but do you need bike shorts?

Looking at our discussion so above, it is clear that cycling shorts matter a lot when it comes to your comfort. Bikes shorts can make a big difference in loving or hating cycling.

For example, you are likely to suffer from chafing on your bum, crotch area, and thighs due to friction. If bacteria get into these bruises, you will most likely suffer from saddle sores.

On the contrary, if you are in cycling shorts, you are not likely to get those tears that open your skin, leading to infections.

So, are cycling shorts worth it? Yes, they are. There isn’t a price that is worth paying for with your safety or health. Better have the shorts on.

If you aren’t sure of which short to go for, you may consider buying the BALEAF Men’s Bike Cycling Underwear Shorts that are ideal for long-distance biking.Are Cycling Shorts Worth It - Baleaf padded cycling short

Why Does Cycling Hurt Your Bum – Can Cycling Shorts Help?

Several reasons could be making your bum hurt when you ride a bike. Some of these include misaligned saddle, wrong saddle size, sitting wrongly on the saddle, and improper handlebar position.Are Cycling Shorts Worth It - Women trisuit

Have you considered your cycling gear? Yes, it could also be the reason behind your hurting bum.

If you ride for long distances with loosely fitting clothing between your body and the saddle, you will definitely get saddle sores.

A good pair of cycling shorts will compress any loose skin and tack it away. At the same time, cycling shorts provide a smooth flat surface between your body and the seat.

This reduces friction that could hurt the bum with a chafe that leads to saddle sores.

Again, when choosing bike shorts, go for the ones with high-density chamois. The Louis Garneau Men’s Neo Power Motion Bike Shorts is a good example of shorts that men should consider. For ladies, you can as well look at 2XU Women’s Perform Front Zip Trisuit.

What Are the Different Types of Cycling Shorts?

Generally, the two main types of bike shorts are waist and bib cycling shorts.

As the names suggest, the waist short has a waistband, while the bib short has no wait band but has shoulder strappings. These straps work like suspenders.

  • Bib Cycling Shorts

Bib shorts happen to hold the chamois padding better and feel more comfortable at the wait. Unfortunately, they may feel hotter than the waist shorts. Also, when you need to relieve your bladder, they are more difficult. 

A good example of bid shorts is Przewalski Men’s 3D Padded Bike Bib Shorts which has high wicking abilities. These shorts have a back mesh that helps in improving breathability.Are Cycling Shorts Worth It - Przewalski padded cycling shorts

  • Waist Cycling Shorts

The waist shorts keep you cooler since they don’t have the extra material for the bib. Also, waist cycling shorts make toilet stops less complicated. If you prefer a waist cycling short to a bib short, then Beroy Women’s Bike Shorts is one of the best waist cycling shorts for ladies.

For men, CYCWEAR 4D Coolmax Padded Cycling ShortsOpens in a new tab. are what you need. These waist cycling shorts have a five-layer sponge for improved moisture wicking and shock reduction.

Unfortunately, waist shorts can pull down and bare your lower back to the wind. Also, the waistband may sock in sweat and feel uncomfortable on your tummy.

Finally, go for a bib or a waist cycling short, depending on what you like; they are all functional. 

Is There a Difference Between Men’s and Women’s Cycling Shorts?

Without a doubt, the human male and female bodies are different. As a result, when it comes to the making of cycling shorts, the anatomical difference is still in effect.

  • Different Chamois Sizes

Basically, the main difference is seen in the padding at the crotch area. The chamois is shorter in female shorts and longer in male shorts as it has an inlet down the middle to the front.

The other padding difference is that female chamois tend to be wider at the sit bone area.

Are Cycling Shorts Worth It - fityle cycling chamois

  • Different Waist Cuts

Basically, shorts for women will have a higher and narrower waist. Notably, the female body is broad at the hip and tapers to the core.

 As for men, their bodies take a box shape and a slight taper to the waist. Since females have longer waists, their shorts have a lengthier inseam as compared to men’s shorts.

  • Different Leg Lengths

Finally, most women prefer shorts with shorter leg length as opposed to men. For men, they go for longer leg lengths that cover quadriceps muscles in the thighs.

Appreciating these differences will help you in choosing the best fitting cycling short. For women, there are limited sizes to choose from. Therefore, it isn’t a crime to cross the gender line and get a pair of shorts that are comfortable for you.

How to Wear Cycling Shorts Properly –Let’s Go Commando

So, you have your cycling shorts, or you plan to get one, there is still that one thing you need to hear. The matter is on how to wear cycling shorts properly. Actually, no one tells you this stuff, especially when you are a beginner.

Are Cycling Shorts Worth It- a man riding a bike

 The golden rule of cycling shorts states that you shouldn’t wear anything under the bike shorts. The chamois on your cycling shorts will do fine without your undies.

Actually, wearing your underwear contravenes all the benefits of padded cycling shorts.

Mainly, the purpose of chamois is to provide comfort and prevent friction. Also, the padding should fit next to your skin. This prevents chafing and friction on pressure points.

Again, the chamois’ fabric wicks moisture away and dries fast.

Wearing your underwear adds seams that will definitely chafe your skin. Besides, additional garments under your cycling shorts will hold moisture, creating an excellent surface for bacteria growth.

So, the fact that you may never hear from even those who sell you the cycling shorts is that you are supposed to go commando in your bike shorts. Therefore, the most proper way to wear your cycling shorts is without your underpants.

Also Read: Do Bike Helmets expireOpens in a new tab.

Final Take

You just got into cycling, but you need good bike shorts for you to enjoy long rides. You may have seen cyclists in bike shorts, but are cycling shorts worth it? From what we have seen, bike shorts are essential.

When going for long trips on your bike, cycling shorts will help reduce pressure in the crotch area. Consequently, it will reduce the chances of feeling pain in the lower groin area. Also, it saves your bum from saddle sores.

So, if you want to enjoy those long trips, investing in a good pair of cycling shorts is worth every penny.

Bike Finest Team

We’re passionate about bikes and love sharing everything we learn about them. Bike Finest is your ultimate resource for learning everything about bikes and cycling or any information when trying to find the right bike for you.

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