Why would I need them? I’m not that serious! Well that maybe but you would be surprised of the advantages that cycling specific shorts can give you over regular clothes and its not all about looks. Most cyclists that have used a good quality cycling short will be slightly alarmed at the prospect of doing any reasonable distance without them. Don’t worry about the “Mankini” look as the straps will be hidden under your jersey and, for comfort and not slipping down when your hunkered on the drops, they’re far superior to standard shorts. This is one area where spending money on a quality brand is recommended as a high quality chamois pad is essential for long ride comfort.
Cycling shorts are designed to fit and support your body when you’re in a cycling position. For this reason, they are made from eight to 12 vertical panels, providing extra curvature. Their flat seams don’t press into your skin when you ride, unlike regular shorts’ seams. Cycling shorts have grippers at the bottom of each leg to keep them from riding upward. Men’s cycling shorts typically have a shorter rise and a wider waistband. Women’s cycling shorts typically have a longer rise and a smaller waist. Don’t worry about wearing gender-specific shorts, however. Go for the shorts that fit best.
Because cycling shorts should fit your riding shape, they are made of stretchy fabrics. Stretchy fabrics have a compression effect that supports your muscles and stimulates blood flow. Another big advantage is that the fabrics have high-tech fibers that wick away moisture and allow your skin to breathe.
Cycling shorts come with a padded liner called a chamois, which protects your groin area from chafing and friction and helps to cushion your ride. This is vital because sitting on a bike saddle puts pressure on your perineum, the junction of major nerves and arteries in the area between your buttocks and genitals. A padded chamois also protects against bacteria build-up.
To Pant or not to pant..
Cycling shorts are designed to make your ride more comfortable and to protect you from irritation and chafing. Because the shorts have bacteria-fighting chamois and flat seams, you are supposed to wear the shorts without underwear. Underwear will add seams that can cause skin irritation and fabric that will keep you wet if it rains.