Ask the Expert: Should I Wear Underwear Under Cycling Shorts?

Every beginners first question when faced with a chamois pad.

Should I wear knickers below my lycra?

No, no and one hundred times no. But also yes.

So 99% of people and literature on the topic says to venture nowhere near your underwear drawer if you’re planning to lycra up immediately afterwards. This is a sensible thesis because the whole point of cycling wear, and bib shorts specifically, is to minimise the amount of seams and various materials in order to prevent chafing.

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This is very sensible when you think about the position you are in on a bicycle. Suddenly trousers that are usually incredibly comfy decide to make a scratching-post of your stomach. You realise that less is more when it comes to being comfortable on your bicycle.

Your inner-thighs are a prime target for rubbing against your saddle, and if you’re wearing underwear then the seam can end up rubbing against your downstairs for the entirety of a ride.

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The other reason to not wear underwear is that chamois pads are specifically designed to wick away sweat and they’re usually made of an anti-bacterial material. This could potentially prevent a urinary tract infection.

BUT. And there is a but. Many people wear normal, unpadded leggings for riding around town. Often a chamois pad feels like overkill for short journeys. And in these cases, underwear is fine.

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