Everything You Need to know about Proper Cycling Shorts
Are you a newbie cyclist or recently fell back in love with cycling yet you thought a bib was something that babies wore? The world of cyclewear can be a bit intimidating to the fresher set of eyes–especially when you want to buy the correct gear to protect everything downstairs, so here is everything you need to know about proper Cycling Shorts.
WHAT AM I WEARING ON MY BUM?
Road cycling shorts are generally made from a fabric called Lycra. The name might ring a bell with the acronym “MAMIL’ (middle-aged man in lycra). Lycra is a stretchy, breathable fabric and offers support and muscle compression so that you stay comfortable and don't end up with bunched up fabrics which can chafe and catch on bits of your bike. The open structure lycra fabric gives exceptional breathability and compression, as well as wicking material so you won’t feel clammy either. Lycra is that comfortable, it’s like wearing a second skin.
BIB SHORTS VS NON BIB
With road cycling, there’s two types of shorts; bib shorts and normal cycling shorts. Bib shorts come with shoulder straps and normal shorts have a standard elasticated waistline.
Bib shorts are a popular choice with a lot of cyclists as the pro teams wear them and they also provide a little support in the back and shoulders and help support the belly. They also make you appear more streamline, avoid the waist band digging in and of course ensure that your shorts don't fall down. In addition, the mesh bib helps keep you cool, so you won’t be sweating buckets.
The main downside with bibs is that it’s more of a faff when you go to the toilet! However, there are some new fancy inventions out there nowadays that help make it easier e.g. unbuttonable shoulder straps. The lads just pull them down at the front and 'go' but that's no so easy if you're a lass!
Even though they give off a cool suspenders look, we recommend you wear your cycling jersey over the top of your bib shorts!
If you have a base layer, wear that underneath and tuck it into the shorts.
If you aren’t a fan of bibs, especially for all of the lasses out there, our Women’s padded cycling shorts have a deep waistband which fits high around the tummy and the back so they are super supportive and extremely comfortable. The silicone waist also ensures that they stay up. They have all the benefits of a bib short but without the inconvenience.
PADDING ALL DAY, EVERYDAY
Padded shorts over non-padded shorts any-day! We’re aren’t hating on all of you non-padded folk (actually we salute you, you brave people) but for most of us and certainly for longer rides a life without padded shorts would be a bit of a bummer!
Short padding provides a cushioning between the soft tissue and the saddle as well as support which should mean a more comfortable ride. In our mens shorts we use a couple of different types of pads which are suitable to slightly different riding styles. Checkout our Ey Ups and Jewel shorts - because you've got to look after the crown jewels.
If the idea of having sore downstairs, frightens you, click here to look through our range of padded bike shorts
When your shorts arrive, have no fear if they feel odd in some areas, when you are standing up or walking around. First off make sure that you have them properly pulled. We always advise that you adopt a cycling position or sit on your bike to see how the shorts fit and feel. They should snugly fit your legs, and there should be no flappy fabric. If you are trying on bibs they should be comfortable and not pulling over your shoulders and back. If the shorts feel too tight in the legs when in a cycling position, consider going up a size.
Please note we always advise to get measured before purchasing any FLAB cyclewear to make sure you get the best fit for you. Here is our size guide and if you need more help just drop us an email..
Rumour has it, if you look after your cycling shorts they will look after you.
Always check the label for the washing instructions, but in most cases you can machine wash your shorts at 30 degrees, but DO NOT TUMBLE DRY or DRY THEM ON THE RADIATORS! (sorry if that sounded threatening). The heat source will cause damages and may shrink fabrics, and no one wants a pair of shorts that suddenly fit a small child. Always line dry to maintain the high quality of the fabric. And lastly, DO NOT USE FABRIC CONDITIONER - it reduces the performance and contributes to the deterioration of technical fabrics.
If you successfully follow these instructions, then you and your cycling shorts are going to be best friends for life!