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.

8 Essential Things to Think About When Buying Cycling Shorts

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.

Saddle Sores: 16 Tips for Avoiding Them

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.

Like ‘Ask the Expert: Should I wear underwear under cycling shorts?’ Try these on for size:

Seven of the Best Chamois Creams

Bib shorts: the joy and the pitfalls

Endura Pro Bib Shorts: The Answer to the ‘Comfort Break’ Problem?




Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.