Whether you just sat on your first indoor cycling bike for the first time or you are a seasoned rider, the question remains: should I invest in pair of padded cycling shorts? They may make or break your cycling experience in the long run.
First off, let’s figure out what exactly are padded cycling shorts? Stretchy spandex shorts providing breathability and wicking to keep you dry. The fabric also provides stretch and compression to allow for a streamline performance. Sewn inside the shorts is what’s called a chamois allowing it to stay in place while you move around, so it doesn’t cause any chaffing. A chamois is a gender specific comfort pad covering the groin and bottom area in the shorts. A high quality chamois will allow the rider to experience a more comfortable ride without experiencing the pressure to that area down under. It protects from chafing and irritation, and chamois are also meant to be worn against the skin. If any undergarments are worn it will cause rubbing, chafing, irritation to the skin, and general discomfort.
There are a few different styles of padded cycling shorts. Like stated earlier before, they are gender specific for the makeup of each person to maximize comfort. However, you can have the option of purchasing bibs for a more seamless fit. Straps attach from the shorts and rise up and over your shoulders. Bottom line is make sure the shorts fit snugly through your hips and legs, but aren’t overly tight through your waist. There are also different lengths and contours as well, from the leg grips holding the shorts in place, to the amount of padding in the chamois, be on the lookout for a pair that fits your comfort level.
So should I invest in a pair? The amount of time you spend riding factors greatly into your decision. If you are only riding every now and then at an indoor facility for less than an hour at a time, investing in a pair may not be for you. However, if you are a regular indoor rider and/or outdoor rider consistently in the saddle, it may be time to invest in a pair. Of course the choice is yours, extra padding will only allow for a more comfortable ride. If you experience pain, numbness, or any other related issues of discomfort on a regular basis, it’s always best to consult your doctor.
If you want breathability, comfort, and a more dry ride, a chamois might be a great option for you. Just don’t forget to keep it against the skin. Happy riding!