Choosing the right pair of cycling shorts is important for both comfort and function. Just like saddles, bike shorts are an individual decision based on your body’s unique anatomy.
When you’re buying cycling shorts, it’s best to try them on and get a feel for how they fit. Some brands have a fitting guide that will help you figure out what size to get.
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Choosing the Wrong Size
Choosing the right cycling shorts is a key component to your overall performance and comfort. It is important to consider your riding style, weather conditions, and the purpose of your ride when deciding on the perfect pair of shorts.
The best way to make sure you get the right fit is to try them on. You should look for a pair that fits snugly but is comfortable to move around in.
You should also ensure that the crotch lining is not too thick or too loose. If it is too thick, the shorts will bunch up in your crotch and chafe against your skin.
Most high-quality bike shorts use a combination of 8 to 12 panels that conform to the body and promote comfort. You can find lower-quality shorts with fewer panels, but they are likely to be too loose for your body type.
Skipping the Padding
A pair of padded cycling shorts can make all the difference between a good ride and a painful one. This is because a chamois (pronounced “shammy”), which sits against your crotch and forms a cushioning barrier between your legs and the bike saddle, reduces chafing, absorbs vibrations from the road or trail, and wicks sweat away so you stay dry and comfortable.
However, if you’re buying cycling shorts off the rack without trying them on, you’re making a mistake. They should fit snugly like a second skin and not sag, bunch, or bag as you move .
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Most cycling shorts come with a seat pad, which is often called a chamois. It has a foam padding that is bonded to the outside of the shorts. The padding is in various densities to address different pressure points.
Focusing Only on Price
Regardless of your riding style or budget, investing in a quality pair of cycling shorts can make your day on the bike more fun and more efficient. The right shorts can also help prevent saddle sores and chafing while boosting comfort, speed and safety. But with so many options on the market, it can be hard to know where to start.
As with most of the best biking gear on the market, a good rule of thumb is to look for the cheapest price first and then move up the chain from there. A good starting point is to check out the manufacturer’s most popular styles and sizes, and ask for recommendations from friends and peers who have been around the block a few times.
Comfort is an important factor when buying cycling shorts. If you ignore this issue, you may end up with a pair of shorts that make your ride more uncomfortable than it should be.
A good pair of cycling shorts should be made with materials that flex well when you pedal and move moisture away from your body, much like a cycle jersey. However, cheap cycling shorts are often made with very flimsy materials that don’t flex very well and don’t move sweat off your body.
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Another important consideration is padding. There are many pads on the market to choose from, and each one has its own specific benefits.
The right pad for your riding needs can be determined by a few factors, such as your weight and riding style. It’s also worth trying on a pair of pads before you buy to see how they fit on your body.