How to Properly Wear Cycle Shorts

Cycle shorts provide cyclists with protection from chafing and irritation on the legs, backside and groin from the bicycle seat. The skin-tight shorts also increase cyclists' speed by reducing wind resistance and drawing sweat away from their bodies. Although short bike rides usually do not require you to wear cycle shorts, cyclists who travel for long periods can benefit from them. However, you will only get the full benefit of bicycle shorts if you wear them properly.

Without Underwear

Do not wear any undergarments with your cycle shorts. Bicycle shorts are specifically designed to prevent the bike seat from chafing the skin on your thighs, crotch and backside; the cloth of underwear will rub against your skin, negating one of the main benefits of cycling shorts.

Pull Shorts All the Way Up

You must pull your cycle shorts up as high as possible to ensure proper fit and placement of the padding. The tops of the shorts should cover your waist and there should not be any sagging in the crotch or seat of the shorts. If your shorts will not stay up, you can purchase a smaller size or opt for bib bike shorts with suspender-like straps that go over your shoulders.

Adjust Padding Properly

Cycle shorts have internal padding on the seams, on the back of the thighs, in the groin and in the seat of the shorts.This padding is made from chamois fabric or gel and serves as a cushion on the areas that stay in contact with the bicycle seat. Sit on the bicycle seat with the shorts on and adjust the padding so that it provides cushioning everywhere your body makes contact with the seat. If you cannot get the padding to stay in place, purchase a smaller-size pair of shorts.


You must wash your shorts after each ride. This is because the perspiration and dirt that accumulate on cycle shorts after a long ride create a warm, moist environment in which bacteria quickly cultivate.

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