Choosing the right road or mountain bike shorts is essential. This element of the cycling outfit will determine the comfort on the saddle, but above all cycling shorts will prevent injuries and optimize the cyclist’s performance.
Cycling shorts are particularly sophisticated technical clothing that must fulfill several functions. It is therefore necessary to know all the elements to take into account so as not to make a mistake.
Lycra Cycling Shorts: a second skin with functional properties
Choosing a cycling shorts
A cycling shorts is first and foremost a second skin in Lycra. This material has the advantage of being elastic and sticking to the skin, which avoids friction which is a source of irritation. It is also an asset for aerodynamics. Another advantage is optimal freedom of movement. Off-road, we can turn to MTB shorts that display a slightly wider cut but also benefit from a reinforced construction suitable for difficult terrain. A short cycling shorts will obviously be preferred for the summer. When temperatures are dropping, long cycling shorts will be the order of the day.
But if the shorts are also tight, it is because this also gives them vascular and muscular properties. By compressing the thighs, the thigh piece promotes muscle drainage during exercise. Even after the effort, you can keep your shorts on for a while. Thus, the cycling shorts help to avoid stiffness and the feeling of fatigue.
For example, the X-Bionic shorts from the Effektor range feature a design entirely dedicated to performance with the Partial compression system that improves blood flow, while allowing optimal evaporation of perspiration. Note that the thickness of the Lycra fabric conditions this compressive force. A light summer cycling shorts may have lower compression capacities than a normal shorts. Finally, in terms of comfort, on degraded roads, the shorts will maintain the muscles and reduce the vibrations transmitted to the cyclist’s body.
The insert of the shorts (chamois)
Choose bike shorts insert. The function of the insert of the short, or chamois, is to filter out irregularities in the ground and to reduce friction caused by pedaling. It is arranged on the surface of the ischia and perineum. For your comfort, it must therefore cover this surface ideally, without protruding. This piece must be dermophilic (anti-bacterial treatment). It should also wick away perspiration during exercise.
In foam or gel, they can offer different thicknesses. A comfortable insert should provide good cushioning for several hours. It can be sewn onto the short, or integrated into it. The latter solution makes it possible to avoid seams, sources of irritation or even burns, on the support points.
If you are an occasional practitioner or hike long distances, we invite you to turn to a thick and comfortable gel insert. If you are looking for performance, and you are a regular practitioner, choose elastic cycling shorts that wick away perspiration optimally.
Choosing a women’s cycling shorts
Choose women’s cycling shortsThe shorts are not unisex. The women’s shorts are mostly devoid of suspenders and the insert is obviously totally adapted to the female physiognomy. This should for example be devoid of a central seam.
Wicking away perspiration
A short should ensure good perspiration wicking. Different solutions then come into play. For example, X-Bionic uses advanced 3D-BionicSphere technology which allows perspiration to evaporate during exercise while preserving heat at rest. More conventionally, a mesh or openwork mesh fabric on the stomach or back allows good ventilation.
Maintenance and hygiene: detergent for cycling shorts
Lycra does not support high temperatures and tumble drying: favor hand washing. You must obviously wash your shorts after each outing. When drying, avoid bending the insert which could deform or even crack. You can use a detergent dedicated to cycling shorts, such as Assos Active Wear Cleanser detergent. With a neutral pH, it is designed for hand washing, it promotes breathability and neutralizes odors.
A cycling shorts and its insert are treated against bacteria, but this protection disappears over time. A cycling shorts cream will not only reduce friction but also prevent bacterial infections.
The price / quality ratio of a cycling shorts
Tips for choosing a cycling shorts Count less than thirty Euros for a first price short shorts and up to more than 300 Euros for a high-end long shorts. There is no set rule for finding a cycling shorts that will suit you: you may not be able to support an ultra-evolved model while a more modest one will fit you like a glove.
Know that cycling shorts do not last forever, even the most expensive. Exposure to the elements, friction will eventually overcome it (tears, seams that come loose, sagging of the insert, etc.). However, a mid-range cycling shorts offer a good lifespan and quite decent performance. You can buy best cycling shorts here.
Difficult to give a precise lifespan for a cycling shorts. Less than one season for a cycling shorts used in competition, two to three years with moderate use. Moreover, it is not necessarily the seams that will make the weapons first, but more probably the insert of the shorts. This will eventually sag, or even crack, over the miles, to the detriment of comfort
Our advice for choosing a cycling shorts in a few points
Choose shorts with minimal seams. These can be a source of irritation and burns.
Make sure that the anti-lift silicone bands at the bottom of the thighs do not tighten them to the point of cutting off blood circulation.
Choosing a cycling corsair Suspenders or not: it’s up to you, however they are recommended. Indeed, they make it possible to hold the shorts in place very effectively, without tightening the waist and therefore favoring the passage of air for ventilation.
The cycling shorts must be perfectly adapted to your body type. Due to the special cut of the shorts, the test is carried out in the position of the cyclist, leaning forward. Ideally, on a bicycle saddle! If the shorts go up to the thighs, they are too big. If the shoulder straps fit into the skin or if the shorts tighten your thighs too much, the cycling shorts are too small. As for the insert, it must be ideally positioned on the area of the ischia and perineum.
Finally, you can take into account the practical and security aspects. Thus, pockets located on the back of the cycling shorts will allow you to carry energy bars or a CO2 cartridge. For their part, reflective strips will allow you to be better identified in night traffic.
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