Cycling Shorts Buying Guide

Cycling Shorts BMX

Below we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the multitude of possible cycling pants.

The criteria that you can use to compare the bike pants with each other include:

  1. Size
  2. Length
  3. Material
  4. Features
  5. Seat pad

In the following paragraphs we will explain to you what is important in the individual criteria.

Size of Cycling Shorts

The most important thing about cycling pants is that they fit properly. They must be neither too tight nor too wide, otherwise the protective factor of the bike pants is not given. To test for yourself which bike pants fit best, the only way is to try on different models and types. Only in this way you can find the perfect bike pants for you.

Some manufacturers offer size charts.

These can help you in the pre-selection! However, it is still important to try on different bike pants, because different manufacturers have different models.

With the size you should make sure that the pants fit especially when sitting on the bike saddle. When standing, the pants may fit tight and crisp, as they will widen a bit when bent over while cycling.

Bicycle Shorts Length

The proper length of a pair of cycling pants depends on the intended use. In general, there are long, three-quarter length and short cycling pants.

As with any pants, short cycling shorts are mainly suitable in summer. The three-quarter models are a good alternative for spring and autumn. In winter, it is recommended to choose long cycling pants, which may even be particularly thick.

It is important to pay attention to the width of the legs. If the trouser legs are too wide, they can rub against the chain. At best, this is only uncomfortable while cycling. At worst, this leaves oil stains on the pants or the pants even get caught in the bike chain. With tight-fitting hems on long bike pants you are on the safe side.

Materials Used for Cycling Shorts

The material of a pair of cycling shorts is usually made of spandex and polyester. It is important that the bike pants meet the following points:

  • Breathable
  • Windproof
  • Abrasion resistant
  • Non-slip

Furthermore, the material of cycling shorts can be considered to the sustainability of the fabrics. For this purpose, the choice can be made to buy cycling shorts from companies that clearly represent their processes and supply chains and use recycled and environmentally friendly materials.

Special Features of Bike shorts

Special features of a pair of cycling shorts you can look out for are:

  • Reflectors
  • Anti-slip rubber
  • Seams

Reflectors on the bike pants are especially important for people who like to go for a ride in the evening. To prevent accidents, it is important to ensure good visibility. The reflectors can help with this, as they reflect the lights of passing and approaching cars. This makes you more visible to drivers and hopefully an accident can be avoided.

The anti-slip rubber band is important for a good fit of the bike pants. This exists mainly in bicycle shorts without straps and should help to ensure a good fit even while riding.

To cause as little skin irritation as possible, it is important that the cycling shorts have as few seams as possible. Most manufacturers already pay attention to this in their production. However, if you can not decide between two models, one way to decide is the number of seams present.

Seat Cushion

One of the most important parts of a pair of cycling shorts is the seat pad. For this reason, it is also important during the purchase decision to pay attention to the seat and the quality of the seat pad.

The seat pad should be antibacterial, so that they can do without underwear while cycling. This will allow you to avoid unwanted redness of the skin.

When comparing different cycling shorts, you should always look at how the different seat pads feel. You should also make sure that they fit properly. This is important so that they can protect the sensitive nerves in the pubic area and avoid unwanted skin redness and irritation.

What Types of Bike Shorts are there and which One is Right for You?

If you’re looking to buy a pair of cycling shorts, there are three different alternatives you can choose between.

Type Pros Cons
Bicycle shorts Tight fit, less wind resistance, breathable material Slips easily, kidney area not protected, no pockets
Bib shorts Kidney area protected, straps prevent slipping, little wind resistance, breathable material No pockets, not stylish
MTB - cycling shorts Stylish, very durable, pockets for small items Much wind object, not aerodynamic

Let’s learn more about the different types of cycling pants.

Cycling shorts

These classic bike shorts, as you probably know them, are usually part of the basic equipment of every hobby cyclist. Most of the time, these bike shorts are made of a blended fabric of spandex and polyester. This allows the bike pants to be stretchy and tight-fitting at the same time. As a result, the pants provide less wind resistance.

Cycling shorts are usually breathable and windproof. They are also abrasion and slip resistant and usually have reflectors.

For the warm season, it is recommended to purchase a pair of short cycling pants. A three-quarter pants is practical for the transitional period and a long for the colder season.

Due to the fact that the normal bike pants have no straps, it is possible that they slip while riding. This can again cause unpleasant pressure points, which can become inflamed. Bicycle shorts and T-shirt are not connected. This can cause the kidney area to be exposed when the two parts slip. This can quickly lead to kidney inflammation in sensitive people. Another disadvantage of a pair of cycling shorts is that they are very tight-fitting and therefore do not offer any storage space.

Bib shorts

The second type of cycling shorts are the bib shorts. These are especially popular among men. This type is also made of a blended fabric of spandex and polyester. As a result, it offers the same advantages as regular bike pants.

The biggest difference from regular bike pants is clearly the straps. These help to keep the pants in position and thus prevent them from slipping. This can prevent unwanted pressure points and inflammation. Another advantage of bib shorts is the lack of elastic at the waist. This is often perceived as annoying and irritating.

Most bib shorts are very high at the back. This protects the lower back and prevents kidney inflammation.

Unfortunately, bib shorts also have disadvantages. One is that the pants offer no storage space. This means that a bicycle backpack must be carried on longer tours. Another disadvantage is that the pants are also very tight and thus perceived as not very stylish.

MTB cycling shorts

Some cyclists prefer a pair of cycling pants, which is not tightly cut. This is where the MTB - bike pants come into play. These usually sit a little looser and are perceived as more stylish.

As the name suggests, MTB - pants are besenders popular with mountain bikers, BMX - driving as well as trekking - cyclists. However, these pants are also increasingly worn when road cycling and other cycling groups. Especially for people who value coolness, they are well received.

The material of MTB - pants does not differ from the other two pants. Here, too, there are models with and without integrated seat cushion.

As a rule, MTB pants are extremely robust and abrasion resistant. This is important, because it can come especially when downhill riding increased to fall.

Mountain bike pants exist in long and short. Long pants often have an integrated ventilation system, which allows optimal air circulation while cycling.

Another advantage is that a MTB - pants usually has several pockets. This makes it possible to transport smaller items directly on the body.

Disadvantages of MTB - pants is that by the further fit a higher air resistance arises. Also, these pants are less aerodynamic. For this reason, MTB pants are not usually worn by road cyclists, unless they place more emphasis on style than on their speed.
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