Choosing Mountain Biking Shorts 6 Tips
Mountain biking shorts come in a variety of options. It can be intimidating and confusing to try to figure out how much money to spend and which options will really provide more comfort. Before buying cycling shorts, it is important to consider what style you want.
Lycra bike shorts are the snug-fitting shorts that are often seen in black. These are very aerodynamic and are designed to be light and efficient. Baggy bike shorts look more like cargo shorts and have a durable outer shell with a padded liner inside. Baggy shorts have pockets and other features, but are heavier and less aerodynamic than lycra shorts. Many racers prefer lycra shorts over baggy shorts. Bibbed lycra shorts are also an option that are becoming increasingly more popular. They are less restricting in the waist area because the shoulder straps hold them up rather than a waistband.
The following 6 tips identify what features are important to consider when choosing lycra mountain biking shorts.
1. Snug, but Comfortable
Cycling shorts should fit like a second skin and not move around during activity. They should, however, be comfortable. If your legs are falling asleep, they are probably a little tight.
2. Adequate Elastic
I recently bought a really nice looking pair of mountain biking shorts and was stoked to wear them on my next ride. Ten minutes after I started pedaling, they begin to creep up on my legs and the waistband started creeping down. Make sure the shorts have good elastic. Many come with silicone leg grippers, which stay in place very well.
3. More Padding is not Better
The padding inside cycling shorts is called the chamois. A chamois that is too thick feels bulky and awkward and does not stay in place. The shape and breathability of the chamois are more important to consider than the overall thickness.
4. More Panels are Better
Lycra bike shorts are stitched together using several pieces of fabric called panels. The more panels, the better because this makes the shorts more contoured and comfortable while in the riding position. Usually six panels provide fairly good comfort. Eight panels or more are the most comfortable, but they are usually more expensive.
5. Comfortable Seams
Make sure that the seams in the lycra and chamois are flat, smooth, and nonabrasive.
6. Correct Anatomy
Cycling shorts that are made for men have a different shaped chamois than those that are made for women. Women’s cycling shorts are also more tapered in the waist and legs.