Cycling shorts for your next bike trip
Cycling shorts are crucial in a high quality cycling outfit. They are comfortable, adapt well to the pedalling movement and with their chamois they contribute to you enjoying a carefree cycling tour. Some leisure-time cyclists are a bit reluctant concerning the tight form fit but the advantages of cycling shorts clearly outweigh any vanities.
Cycling Shorts for Comfortable Cycling
Cycling shorts are made from elastic Lycra. This Stretch material adapts to your body and movements in an ideal manner. The denser the Lycra is woven the more compression the cycling trousers offer. Compression enhances your blood circulation and thus metabolism in the muscles of your legs. Your legs do not suffer fatigue, they have more power and muscle pain is prevented. The material of cycling shorts also offers good moisture transport, wicking away perspiration from your skin to the surface where it can evaporate quickly. This means your legs stay dry and protected from getting cold on warm days and on demanding rides.
The fit of cycling shorts, as already described, is tight. The body-mapped cut is adapted to the anatomy and the seated posture of a cyclist. This means cycling shorts are rather higher in the rear area and thus protect your kidneys from getting too cold. Seams can cause friction and skin irritations which is why, depending on the quality of the trousers, either flatlock seams are used or a cut with a small amount of seams.
But in cycling shorts definitely the chamois plays the most important role because a painful and sore behind can let your pleasurable tour turn into pure torture. The chamois is shaped in accordance with your gender-specific anatomy and has a highly shock absorbing effect. Foams with different densities, with or without gel inserts, with ergonomic makeup optimally absorb shocks and damp vibrations. These foams and the chamois’ surfaces are usually breathable and bacteriostatic. The chamois is elastic so it can follow the pedalling movements. Chamois are conceived for short, medium range or long distances, depending on the foam materials used and the finish. And of course it is obvious that the quality of a chamois correlates with the quality of the cycling shorts as a whole and with its performance. This correlation, again, is reflected in the price of cycling shorts.
Cycling shorts for men or women are conceived similarly, with their minor gender-specific differences, of course.
Women’s and Men’s Cycling Shorts, What you should Consider
The general makeup of cycling shorts for men or women has been described in depth. Yet there are numerous features which stand for higher quality in cycling shorts or have a specific function:
- Reflective elements either as print or as small flags of reflective material introduced into the seams of cycling shorts enhance visibility and thus safety in traffic
- UV protective material protects you in midsummer
- An elastic comfort hem has an anti-slide effect. In women’s cycling shorts often a wide front yoke without rubber is used for enhancing comfort.
- Wide, silicone screened, elastic leg grippers not just keep the legs of your shorts well in place but also offer compression to your muscles
- Flatlock seams or lasercut grippers minimise the risk of chafing
- ColdBlack fabric reflects sun beams and prevents the mostly dark fabrics of women’s and men’s cycling shorts from heating up too much due to sun radiation
- A water resistant and dirt repellent DWR coating (Durable Water Repellency) protects you from drizzle and spray, ideal for the time between the seasons
- Cycling shorts for women and men with panels made from textured material in leg area are lightweight and breathable. Depending on the texture, these panels have an aerodynamic effect.
- A chamois with a smooth surface and with anatomic structure pointing towards the saddle is very friendly to your skin
- A chamois with perforated foam pads is highly breathable and protects you from overheating especially in summer
Cycling shorts for men and women are available with or without straps. In the end it is a personal decision whether cycling shorts are perceived as more comfortable with or without straps. There is a tendency of women rather choosing cycling shorts without straps. With men it is the other way around, they clearly prefer bib shorts, perhaps because they do not need to undress for biological breaks.
Bib Shorts – the Classic for Performance Oriented Cyclists
Bib shorts have a clear advantage: they stay well in place without the risk of restricting you around the waist. This is why bib shorts are advisable for women and men who spend several hours on bike. Even more so when in a posture bent down low like ambitious cyclists do. The bib construction in bib shorts is usually made from very lightweight and highly elastic mesh material or perforated Stretch material so that it doesn’t add bulk or restrict nor makes you overheat. In the back area this mesh material even wicks moisture away. The more high quality the shorts the finer the straps.
Some producers have tackled the problem of biological breaks for female cyclists by adding a fastening mechanism to the straps of women’s bib shorts for easy removal (zipper, click-closure or hook-and-eye closure). This way women do not need to take off their jersey when using the restroom. But for women there is a second biological obstacle to bib shorts as their straps classically run across the breasts. Even if there are straps which run in the middle of the chest or way out at the sides, leaving sufficient space for the female anatomy, for most female cyclists it still is more comfortable to opt for cycling shorts without straps and with a wide and comfortable front yoke instead.
So no matter whether you are looking for cycling shorts with or without straps, at Bobshop both women and men will find a huge selection which will serve their individual preferences.