I had a spinning class once. I worked out so hard that I couldn’t get off the bike at the end. In one hour, I pulled my thigh muscle and had to take two physio treatments to recover. Not only did I have a sore leg, but I waddled like a duck for three days. Why hasn’t anyone ever spoken to me about bike shorts before? Huh? Let’s talk about bike shorts!
1. Inner Short or Regular Shorts
These are what we call in the business inner shorts or shorts. It's like an undergarment, so it's ideal when you're riding to the office. You can wear them under your pants or dress. Just because you're riding for 25 minutes doesn't mean you have to compromise on comfort. Now you just have to decide if you want to get to the office in tight shorts or in your 3-piece.
2. How to choose the right chamois?
It all depends on how long you ride and how many rides you expect to do. If you're a 200km-per-week rider, you should know what kind of padding you like. Most likely gel and foam to absorb vibrations, such as the Garneau CB Neo Power Bib Shorts.
If you expect to ride 10 to 15 times a season, for one to three hours at a time, then a foam chamois will do the trick.
To see if it' s a good quality chamois, squeeze it between your fingers. You don't want it to collapse easily. The densest parts of the chamois should come up to where your bones are in direct contact with the saddle.
3. With or without suspenders?
Once again, this completely depends on the time you spend biking. A bib (a short with suspenders) is perfect for long outings. There is less pressure on the stomach, therefore better comfort due to the lack of seams on your waist. Also, you should ensure that the suspenders are large enough to avoid sliding off your shoulders. It’s all about comfort. Definitely worth a try!
One more thing: bibs offer better support and stay in place more easily. Sometimes the short gives the impression that there is a lot more padding than the usual chamois and it is quite a delight, if I may say so myself.
4. How much are you willing to spend?
It will depend on your actual needs. Ask yourself this: Do you really need a professional cycling short with the highest quality chamois? These shorts and bibs vary between $90.00 – $200.00.
You can get away with an entry-level model that ranges from $60.00 – $90.00. Entry level does not mean that it will be less in quality. Test the chamois and ensure that the thigh band will not roll up during cycling movement. If it’s what suits your needs then you’re all set!
Investing in an inner short will cost approximately $40.00.
5. WEAR. A. HELMET!
Now that you have the shorts that meet your needs, wear a helmet.
Come on, we’re not 15 years old anymore. You’re not any cooler without a helmet.