You want to dive into a cycling adventure, but you have doubts about the practical details? We couldn’t be happier to help you on the subject…

What are cycling shorts?

You should know that not so long ago, cyclists would insert an escalope into their shorts to prevent any undesirable pains… Today, don’t worry, there is no need to go to such lengths, things have evolved a bit… cycling shorts are composed both of shorts, generally tight fitting, and of the traditional “shammy” sewn into the shorts. This is a type of soft and thick fabric designed to protect your private parts from irritations…

To find out more, I invite you to consult the following article, well documented, very edifying and a pleasant read (but that’s in French ! Sorry about that…):

What you need to know:

Neophytes, you surely didn’t know, but you don’t need underwear under your cycling shorts… The use of the cycling shorts is to avoid as much as possible irritations due to friction. So no need to wear elasticated underwear coming to shear your groin… Unless you only have one pair of cycling shorts for the week!

What kind of cycling shorts to choose?

  • Bib shorts or not? The advantage is to avoid an elastic placed around the lower stomach, which is not the most comfortable when you are riding, chest bent forward (typical cycling position). So yes, bib shorts make it necessary to undress when you go to the toilet, but maximal comfort is key. Most often you don’t to satisfy your needs every half hour… It does of course depend on your usage of the shorts, length and frequency of your rides.
  • What budget? You will find in commerce a vast choice, with a budget ranging from 15€ to 200€ or even 300€ depending on the brands… It is true that the true usage of it (1h of riding twice a year, or 6hours a day for a week) will define the need and the chosen model, knowing that who can do the most can the least.

What quality should you choose for the shammy of your cycling shorts?

There are numerous models of different sizes and shapes, of these you can note:

  • The presence of gel in some shammies, which are then slightly pricier… But more confortable!
  • Shammies for men or women? The shapes, seemingly studied for everyone’s anatomy, would permit an optimal adaptation… In the facts, cycling shorts for men possess a large shammy, which, against all odds, fits women fine. I’ve tested it for over 15years! Shammies for ladies are often narrower at the front, which protects less; as such they are often more adapted for sitting at the café rather than pedalling. Another important detail, ladies, we are often offered the “micro-cycling shorts” (which leave the totality of the thighs free), to avoid the famous “cyclists tan”. These tan marks are certainly not very elegant, when you are in a bikini on the beach… Except that, we would pass on the elastic at the end of the shorts rubbing against the saddle after 2hours. So pinup look or comfort, you need to choose!

How to take care of my cycling shorts, just as they take care of me, and so that they last !

You should wash them after every use, ideally by hand, and from time to time at 30°C, if you really want (lycra doesn’t support high temperatures and the dryer very well), by opting for a “delicate wash” option. Your cycling shorts are fragile, and washing it at high temperatures will not guarantee its longevity… Its free to you to experiment other techniques but this recipe has shown its quality. So if you want to make your cycling shorts last, take care!

You’re playful and like experimenting? You can, men, consult this forum (unfortunately in French !)( and find the formula which is most convenient to you between wide shammy bikers shorts, generally used for mountain biking, or tight shorts, used on the road.

To finish, it is important to underline that what will diminish your painful sensations at the level of the seat (no less than 40% of the weight of the cyclist is on the saddle and the perineal area) is getting used to pedaling regularly. You will notice the skin of your posterior – particularly the zones in contact with the saddle – gets used to these new constraints and finishes sessions in less pain the more you ride. So, an excellent pair of cycling shorts does not solve everything, you may still need to get your body used to undergo unusual and non negligible constraints.

So, to your saddles!

A future article will orient you towards the choice of a saddle adapted to your use and your morphology. Keep your eyes open!

A subject interests you and you ould like to see us write about it? Don’t hesitate to send an e-mail at the address, we will be happy to help you on subjects that truly interest you!


For any question :

00 33 (0)5 61 71 00 55

Véloccitane – Maison du Vélo Toulouse

12 Boulevard Bonrepos, 31000 Toulouse



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