What’re bike shorts?

Print anything with Printful

Bike shorts are tight-fitting shorts made from Lycra, designed to reduce friction and improve aerodynamic support for cyclists. They usually have a suede or synthetic suede patch for padding and come in dark colors. Women’s and men’s shorts have different chamois pads. More panels usually mean more comfort, but prices can exceed $80-100. Modifications include bib shorts, knee-length shorts, and bike pants. Padding can also be added to the bike saddle instead of the shorts.

Bike shorts or cycling shorts are tight-fitting shorts used by cyclists. Early versions were usually made from a wool knit fabric and had a suede insert to protect the crotch and add some padding. Chamois (often pronounced shammy) is goatskin. Many modern versions of bike shorts don’t have real suede, instead featuring a patch made from synthetic suede.

Today’s bike shorts are most frequently made from Lycra, which offers thin, breathable comfort and promotes better aerodynamic support for the avid biker or cyclist. Bike shorts are designed to fit as close to the body as possible and usually fit slightly above the knee. They are meant to be worn without undergarments and usually come in dark colors that are not transparent.

Tight-fitting bike shorts help reduce friction on the upper thighs, which repeatedly come together as a person pedals. When you wear looser shorts or pants, the friction of the material can cause burns or a painful rash. This is especially true when cycling long distances or for extended periods of time.

Some styles of bike shorts, instead of having a suede crotch, are actually padded with materials like memory foam or a gel foam insert. These can be a good choice for the person who doesn’t cycle frequently, as most bike seats can leave you with a very sore rear end, especially when you’re not used to pedaling. It should be noted that frequent cycling usually solves this problem. An alternative to padded bike shorts is to purchase a padded gel liner seat. These can definitely be a comfortable addition to your bike, without having to carry the extra ‘pad’ while wearing it.

The chamois pads or patches are different on women’s and men’s bike shorts, due to our different anatomy. It is therefore not a good idea to replace the opposite gender bike shorts. You will get maximum comfort wearing well-fitting bike shorts made for your gender. The way the shorts are sewn can also make a difference in your comfort level.

While many may think that bike shorts with fewer seams are more comfortable, the opposite is usually true. More panels tend to translate into more comfort. You can expect bike shorts that contain multiple pieces sewn together to be more expensive. Prices usually exceed 80-100 US dollars (USD). If you only plan to ride your bike occasionally, however, you might be happy with a less expensive pair.
There are some modifications to bike shorts. Bib shorts or bike shorts are held up by suspenders and have a non-binding waist, which can provide a little more comfort. Some bike shorts extend past the knee, and you can buy bike pants that fit around the ankles. These may be a better choice when you plan to ride in cold or inclement weather. While padding may be desirable, less padding is usually more breathable, so consider adding padding to your bike saddle instead of buying heavily padded bike shorts.

Protect your devices with Threat Protection by NordVPN

Skip to content