How to Choose the Right Cycling Shorts

Text by: Adrienne Auclair

Castelli, Catlike, Garneau, Mavic, POC, Smith Optics, SUGOi. How to Choose the Right Cycling Shorts

I once tried a spinning class. I gave it my all. I spun so fast that I had trouble getting off my bike. In the end, I wound up pulling my hamstring, resulting in two physiotherapy treatments and a home exercise plan. Not only did I have a sore leg, but I waddled like a duck for three days. Why hasn’t anyone ever spoken to me about bike shorts before? Huh? Let’s talk about bike shorts!

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1. Inner Short or Regular Shorts


2002 Men’s Sport Innershorts



2002 Women’s Sport Innershorts


There is such a thing as an inner short, which acts like an undergarment and is ideal for an easy commute. The short is easily wearable under a pair of pants or even a dress. Just because you only have a 25-minute bike ride, doesn’t mean you can’t be comfortable.

All you need to think about now is, would you rather go to work in your slim fitting bike shorts or keep a low profile with the innershorts and hide them underneath your three-piece suit?

2. How to select the right chamois for you?

It all depends on the time you spend on your bike and the number of times you use it. If you’re a cyclist traveling 200 km per week, you probably know what kind of padding you want and need. You will most probably opt for the gel and foam chamois that will absorb shock.


Women’s CB Neo Power Cycling Shorts



Men’s CB Neo Power Cycling Shorts



If you plan on biking for 10 to 15 times per season,  a foam chamois should do the trick. An easy way to test a chamois’ quality is to simply press it between your fingers. Ideally, you’ll want the foam to return to its original form. The denser part of the chamois should align with your bones that are in direct contact with the saddle. More padding, more comfort.

3. With or without suspenders?

Once again, this completely depends on the time you spend biking. A bib (a short with suspenders) is perfect for long outings. There is less pressure on the stomach, therefore better comfort due to the lack of seams on your waist. Also, you should ensure that the suspenders are large enough to avoid sliding off your shoulders. It’s all about comfort. Definitely worth a try!

Gore Bike Wear

Men’s C5 Gore® Optiline Bib Shorts +



Women’S Velocissima Bibshort



Men’s RS Century Zap Bib Shorts


Oh! One more thing, bibs offer better support and stay in place more easily. Sometimes, the short gives the impression that there is a lot more padding than the usual chamois and it is quite a delight, if I may say so myself.

4. How much are you willing to spend?

It will depend on your actual needs. Ask yourself this: Do you really need a professional cycling short with the highest quality chamois? These shorts and bibs vary between $90.00 – $200.00.

You can get away with an entry-level model that ranges from $60.00 – $90.00. Entry level does not mean that it will be less in quality. Try it, test the chamois and ensure that the thigh band will not roll up during cycling movement. If it’s what suits your needs then you’re all set!

Investing in an inner short will cost approximately $40.00. I like the Sugoi, which I bought last year. It’s my best ally when I wear a skirt, especially when caught in a gust of wind.


Now that you have the shorts that benefit your needs, wear a helmet.

Come on, we’re not 15 years old anymore. You’re not any cooler without a helmet.


Unisex Octal X Spin (CPSC)


Smith Optics

Network MIPS 





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