Unspoken Tips on Wearing Bike Shorts/Bibs

The usual tips about wearing bike shorts/bibs cover (a) getting the right sizing; (b) not wearing any undergarments beneath; and (c) using a healthy dose of chamois cream where necessary. They are all valid but most do not talk about how one should wear it.

Most shorts and bibs are lycra based – very stretchy and grippy. It feels like a second skin when worn correctly. But it can feel like getting shrink-wrapped in the wrong places if one does not pay attention. This happened to me for a while and so I thought I would share what I did. It may read a bit TMI but getting it right ensures greater comfort when riding.

  1. While standing, hold the area of the shorts that will sit between your groin and your thigh. Pull it all the way up so that it sits on your skin at the said area without being tugged downwards.
  2. Run your finger along the entire portion of the shorts at the groin and thigh area (both legs) and ensure the shorts sit on your skin gently.  You might want to squat when doing so to increase the surface area of the skin in contact with the shorts. Pull the shorts up if you feel there is in sufficient shorts material sitting on your skin. Failing to do so might cause your skin to suffer abrasion when peddling.
  3. Do the same for the chamois. Make sure it sits on your genital area loosely such that skin in that area is not getting tugged or compressed. You may need to adjust your genital area accordingly – ensure you feel secure and comfortable.
  4. Run your finger within the shorts at the said areas again to ensure the shorts are placed correctly and there is no tension on your skin.

No one really runs through the above in detail because can be sensitive but I thought it was worth penning this down because it can really make a difference to the comfort of your ride.


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