The shorts are an essential garment to enjoy the bike, and your choice can make the difference between a memorable route and hell. Therefore, experts are going to give you some tips to choose the correct shorts, according to your activity.
- The pad
The pad is the most important part of men’s cycling shorts, because it is the one that protects the perianal area or pelvic floor, which is the one that directly contacts the saddle. The support is mainly done with the sitting bones, which are the bones on which you lean, but they also contact the perineum and genitals, very sensitive areas with soft tissue that you have to protect especially from:
- Friction and rubbing with the saddle
- Shocks and vibrations
- Moisture and bacteria that sweat causes.
- The fabric and pattern of the shorts
The essential qualities of a culotte, regardless of the pad, are:
- Elasticity and firmness, for a correct fit to the body, which makes them more comfortable and aerodynamic.
- And the breathability to properly manage temperature and sweat.
- The main fabric used in its manufacture is lycra, with different quality levels depending on its density, level of compression and lightness.
In the case of the winter culottes, thermal lycra and even membranes are used for better insulation against the wind, cold and rain, but they maintain the rest of the qualities.
Men’s workout bottoms are capable of achieving a good level of fit with lightweight and very comfortable lycra. They also achieve optimal compression in the legs and buttocks that, apart from preventing them from moving, avoiding chafing, contributes to reducing muscle fatigue by facilitating venous return and supporting tendons and ligaments. Some brands are also developing solutions that improve the safety in case of fall, usually with lateral attachments of deadening materials or tissues more resistant to abrasion.
Bib shorts are more recommended, because they hold the garment better, but they must be made of highly breathable fabric, with the right length so as not to generate excessive tension and be well designed so as not to cause discomfort or chafing, especially on the nipples. For girls, the suspenders are usually designed to avoid the breasts and, even, some brands make them removable or incorporate openings with zippers to be able to lower the culotte without undressing from the upper part.
Essential elements to achieve a more comfortable culotte are the number of panels or pieces used to make them and the quality of the seams. The more panels used, the greater the possibility of adapting to the body, especially in the riding position, which is where you have to try shorts. As for the seams, the most comfortable are the flat ones, and, even better, if they are external, as in the higher-end bib shorts.
The leg must be finished with an elastic retention system that prevents it from slipping on the thigh. In the simplest ranges it consists of a rubber reinforcement and in the medium and high ranges grips with silicone bands or similar materials are used. They should hold firmly, but without strangling the muscle and blood vessels and maintaining comfort.
- The choice of shorts
This must be consistent, because shorts are one of the basic elements, along with helmets and goggles, in which a product of insufficient quality can be very expensive.