Tips for Choosing Bicycle Shorts
When it comes to buying bicycle shorts there is no one size fits all. There are a number of factors that determine how well a pair of shorts will work for each individual person--such as their anatomy, the type of saddle they use, how they ride, and the construction of the shorts themselves. There is such a difference in riding positions, seats, crotches, butts, and sizes that the best way to find a good pair of men's cycling shorts or women's cycling shorts is to try them on for yourself. However, there are a few basic components that you want to look out for when you are shopping for cycling shorts.
The standard, and preferred, fabric for today's cycling shorts is either Lycra or Spandex. This material allows the shorts to stretch with the movements of your body. There are several styles of shorts you can choose from. Regular shorts conform to the body and have a waistband. Bib shorts are another popular style that fits similar to a leotard. Cyclists like these types of shorts because they do not have a waistband which can be uncomfortable for people who do not have a flat stomach. Skorts are fashionable women's cycling shorts that feature a short skirt that covers the shorts.
Bike shorts are made with panels which all them to conform better to the human body. In the past, the more panels a pair of bicycle shorts had the more freedom of movement they allowed while on the bicycle. With the fabrics being used today to make bike shorts, this isn’t that much of an issue anymore. Higher end shorts generally have 8 panels and are for cyclists who are primarily in a bent position while cycling. Lower end short have 4-6 panels and are primarily for cyclists who remain upright while riding.
Perhaps the most important part of the bicycle shorts you purchase will be the padded liner. Called chamois, the pad helps minimize friction, wick moisture away, cushion bumps you hit on the road and inhibits bacterial growth. Just like the shorts themselves, there are many different styles of chamois. Shorts on the expensive end tend to use open cell, multiple density foam liners while closed cell, foam liners are used in budget shorts. The best way to determine which type of liner style works for you is to try them on.
To discuss the traits of a good pair of bike shorts and other cycling topics, join us in