Running is often hailed as the king of cardio, but cycling can be just as good for your legs and back. It’s a low impact exercise, which means your joints and muscles are less likely to suffer the wear and tear of other intense workouts such as weight training. Plus, it’s a great way to build endurance for your next suburban 10K or half marathon event!
But when it comes to getting a comfortable ride, you need more than just the right footwear and a well-fitting pair of shorts. Padded bike shorts, known as bib shorts, are a must-have for all cyclists who want to log miles and enjoy the comfort that comes with a high-quality pad in the crotch area.
Unlike standard sports or casual shorts, most cycling shorts come with an inner liner (also called a chamois). The padded crotch piece reduces friction and prevents chafing when you’re in the saddle for long periods of time. These pads come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. The best ones are sewn into fitted, stretchy spandex and if sized correctly, will stay in place while you ride.
In addition to reducing friction, bib shorts help you maintain the proper riding position. They also eliminate the need for an elastic waistband, which can dig into your stomach during a long ride. And they can make it easier to get on and off the bike.
Cycling shorts come in different styles, with some reaching almost to your knee joints and others finishing mid-thigh. The length you choose depends on your personal preference and the type of bicycle you have. Longer shorts can rub against the tendons in the back of your knees, while shorter styles might cause them to ride up and expose bare skin to road or trail debris.
If you’re going to invest in a pair of cycling shorts, you should know that it’s a good idea to buy them from a reputable brand that offers a return or exchange policy. Buying cheap, generic cycling shorts can mean poor padding, fabric quality and fit.
Another important consideration is washing your bib shorts properly. Use a gentle cycle wash with cold or warm water and don’t put them in the dryer. Instead, line dry or give them a quick run in the sun to kill any bacteria.
Finally, if you’re new to cycling and haven’t tried a pair of bib shorts yet, go for it! Just be sure to purchase a good-quality pair that fits you properly, and don’t forget the chamois cream. You can find a wide selection of bike shorts at your local cycling store or online, including branded options from brands like Assos and Castelli. You can even design your own bib shorts with a custom team logo or cause awareness message. So, what are you waiting for? Go out and explore the great outdoors in a comfy pair of bib shorts! You’ll be glad you did.
Milena Estêvão is a YouTuber passionate about sharing her experiences (challenges, successes and motivations) in the fitness activities she is involved in.
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