How to Wear Cycling Shorts Properly

Wearing the proper cycling shorts makes a big difference in comfort while cycling. With so many styles on the market, it can be confusing to know what to look for when shopping for cycling shorts.

Use this guide to find the perfect pair of cycling shorts for you and your rides.

1. Choose the Right Chamois or Padded Insert

When you first start riding, you may not realize that there are different types of padded inserts or chamois available.

The padding in cycling shorts is important because it protects your sensitive areas from being irritated by the saddle while cycling. Chamois come in different thicknesses and densities, so it’s important to choose one that will be comfortable for you.

2. Select the Right Style of Short

There are three main types of cycling shorts: bib shorts, baggies, and Lycra® skinsuits. Bib shorts have suspenders that hold them up, which some cyclists prefer because they don’t have to worry about the shorts slipping down during a ride.

Baggies are traditional mountain bike shorts that are loose-fitting and usually have a padded liner inside. Lycra® skinsuits are designed for road racing and time trialing and are very tight-fitting with no liner.

3. Consider the Fabric of the Short

The fabric of your cycling shorts is important because it will determine how comfortable you are on your ride.

Most cycling shorts are made from Lycra®, which is a stretchy fabric that is comfortable and allows your skin to breathe.

However, there are also some cycling shorts made from cotton, which can be more comfortable but won’t stretch as much.

4. Determine the Length of the Short

Cycling shorts come in different lengths, so it’s important to choose a length that is comfortable for you.

Some people prefer longer shorts because they provide more coverage and protection from the elements, while others prefer shorter shorts because they are more comfortable in hot weather conditions.

5. Know When to Replace Your Cycling Shorts

Early wear and tear on your cycling shorts can cause them to lose their shape and become less effective at protecting your skin from saddle sores.

If you notice any rips or holes in your cycling shorts, it’s time to replace them. Before purchasing new cycling shorts, always check the care instructions so you know how to properly wash them.

6. Always Wash Your Cycling Shorts After Each Use

Cycling shorts should be washed after each use to remove sweat and bacteria that can cause infections.

Wash your cycling shorts in a gentle cycle with mild detergent and hang them to dry. You may also want to purchase a special detergent designed for Athleticwear.

7. Avoid Using Fabric Softener When Washing Your Cycling Shorts

Using fabric softener can reduce the effectiveness of the Lycra® in your cycling shorts and cause them to lose their shape. If you must use fabric softener, only use it on the outer shell of your cycling shorts.

8. Store Your Cycling Shorts Properly

When you’re not wearing them, always store your cycling shorts in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Sunlight can cause the colors in your cycling shorts to fade.

9. Don’t Wear Underwear Under Your Cycling Shorts

It’s not necessary to wear underwear under your cycling shorts because they already have a built-in chamois or padded insert. In fact, wearing underwear can actually make you more susceptible to saddle sores.

10. Invest in More Than One Pair of Cycling Shorts

Having more than one pair of cycling shorts allows you to cycle more frequently without having to wash them as often. It’s also nice to have a spare pair in case one pair ripped or got lost while traveling.


Now that you know how to choose proper cycling attire, get out there and enjoy the wind blowing through your new Lycra®! Following these tips is guaranteed to improve your next ride!

Allen Joe

Allen Joe is a cycling enthusiast and writer for a cycling blog. He loves nothing more than spending his weekends out on the open road, pedaling through the countryside. Allen is an experienced cyclist, and he enjoys sharing his knowledge and passion for the sport with others.

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