Are Cycling Shorts Necessary? Here’s your Answer

Have you recently started cycling but feel that the heat and sweat are chafing your skin?

Or are you planning to start cycling but have questions about the right kind of clothes to wear while cycling? We advise that you put cycling shorts in your bucket list first.

While most people ride cycles in their running shorts, it is not comfortable as running shorts are not as functional as shorts made for cycling.

In this article, you will get to know all about cycling shorts: Are they necessary? how about their functionality, and the type of cycling shorts to buy.

And don’t worry about looking “uncool.” Cycling shorts are made to suit the latest fashion, and you will have a wide variety to pick from.

Are Cycling Shorts Necessary?

Are cycling shorts necessary to wear? Yes, cycling shorts are always a good investment. These are lined with padding to reduce the friction between your thighs and the seat. These are also seamless; hence you won’t feel any uneven texture against your skin.

5 Reasons Why You Should Wear Cycling Shorts:

1. Comfortable Padding:

The chamois or the padded inner lining of the biker shorts makes it smooth and comfortable to wear, especially when cycling at high speed.

Regular shorts or even athletic shorts do not come with this padding. Instead, they have a middle inner seam, which will make it more uncomfortable to sit on a saddle for a prolonged period.

Cycling shorts come with side seams on the outside, not in the middle, and even then, you won’t feel a thing because of the cushion-like chamois.

The chamois can protect your groin region in many ways. Apart from reducing friction, it reduces pressure on the perineum, where we have vital nerves and blood vessels.

Padding in your shorts also ensures that bacteria won’t thrive in the heat and humid condition; thus, you don’t have to worry about an infection.

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However, open-cell chamois-lined cycling shorts are better because those dry up more quickly than their close-lined counterparts.

2. Less Soreness:

Like most other bikers, chafing and soreness was my primary concern, and I wondered whether the chafing would hinder my speed.

It turns out; cycling shorts will protect you from all such problems. When you try on cycling shorts, you will find those are shaped in such a manner so that the pressure is relieved on certain parts of your body.

But first, let us know why the soreness occurs in the first place? It turns out that when we are pedaling, the shift in weight reduces the blood supply to the area in contact with the seat.

This increases the rubbing and the heat, and the sweaty skin and gear collectively cause soreness. If the shorts do not cover the inner thighs, they can rub against the cycle and itch, especially around the body hair.

Cycling shorts reach up to mid-thigh in most cases; hence the inner thighs stay protected. And the shorts will be fully padded, so rest assured that your lower abdominal region is entirely safe.

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3. Minimizes drag:

Did you know that when you cycle, the air resists you the most from increasing your speed? Skin friction only serves to increase resistance.

So, what is the solution? Have streamlined equipment so that the air passes more smoothly, and the drag is reduced. Note that cycles and associated gear are made more streamlined, such as a racer cycle with disc wheels.

Cycling shorts are also streamlined with a stripe or seam along the thigh so that it does not provide much resistance to the flow of air.

Moreover, the shorts’ tightness ensures that the fabric won’t flap or get caught in the saddle, and you can cycle at ease.

The biker shorts’ 4 or 6-panel construction makes them fit more efficiently, and you can glide through the air.

Even if it’s a windy day or the road is full of obstacles, you won’t get aches from the bumps because the padding’s silica gel lining will absorb the shocks.

4. Aids muscular function:

When we pedal the downstroke, our thigh and calf muscles work the most. Regular cycling shorts cover the calves and put slight pressure on the muscles.

This compression increases the supply of blood to those muscles. Increased blood flow means increased oxygen supply, which provides the forces with more energy to pedal.

A 2013 study discovered that wearing cycling shorts that reached just above the knee could significantly increase the power output.

Don’t worry; your muscles won’t get fatigued quickly, as the bike shorts are known for their functionality in flushing out toxins from the body by continually maintaining the blood flow.

The compression tights will also help your thigh muscles recover faster than loose-fitting shorts. Do you know why?

It is because of the fabric these shorts are made with. The spandex used in making these shorts will support your body better and work as a massaging agent.

5. Stylish and breathable:

Bike shorts are customized for both men and women, and they come in a variety of fits and colors. Since 2019, they have become the ultimate casual wear over leggings, and many celebrities have been seen sporting them with crop tops or oversized blazers.

If you are a workout junkie, bike shorts are great for you too. Apart from all the benefits mentioned above, bike shorts are perfect athleisure for you too! The nylon, lycra, or spandex fabrics are stretchy and will allow your skin to breathe.

The shorts’ lighter weight also means you can wear them when running for daily errands without the fear of being judged.

The seamless ones come with perforated fabric so that the heat is not trapped, and the sweat quickly evaporates, and you experience a cooling sensation that keeps you free and energized all day long.

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Types of cycling shorts available:

Now that you know about the cool benefits of having a pair of biker shorts in your wardrobe, it’s time to know which type you should buy.

  • Road Knickers: These are the most common cycling shorts and can reach till the knees or up to the mid-thigh. These also have a waistband to compress the abdomen and keep the shorts tight-fit.
  • Bib shorts: These shorts do not have a waistband. Instead, they are kept in place with the help of suspender straps.
  • Skorts: Specifically designed for women, these are the biker version of culottes. These regular feature cycling with a surrounding skirt.
  • Baggy shorts: Also known as MTB shorts, these are usually preferred for lighter rides and while cycling on trails. These are also lined with a chamois, and the nylon of the shorts protects the rider from branches, shrubs, and thorns that might entangle her. These are also adjustable.

When can you go without using shorts?

If you do not cycle much in the outdoors, or cycle slowly for short distances, you can wear more loose-fitted clothes.

While a slow and short ride of 1 or 2 miles can be done without biker shorts, longer distances require the protective covering to prevent bleeding without sores.

If it’s a cold day and you are confident about not sweating, you can take the liberty to go without those shorts.

However, wearing comfortable cycling shorts is a prudent move and will save you from infection and stickiness.


We hope that by now you know why cycling shorts are necessary to wear, not just for cycling trips but also for workouts.

Do not worry about the fit, as the brands have a size chart to customize your preference. Ultimately, we advise you to choose the type of bike shorts that suit your needs.