Good cycling shorts should be like Goldilocks’ preferred bowl of porridge: neither too hot, nor too cold, but just right. And when you’re venturing out into the changeable British weather, you need clothing that’s versatile enough to cope with warm, chilly, wet and windy weather so you can keep riding in comfort.
It’s a tough balance to strike because anything that helps you stay warm in the cold is going to make keeping cool in the heat harder, so ventilation is as important as insulation. Cycling shorts worn with leg warmers until you warm up are a versatile option. Here’s what to look for next time you’re treating yourself, plus a couple of good short options no matter what your budget.
If you’re going to be putting in plenty of miles on the bike, bib shorts offer a more comfortable option than shorts as the straps remove the need for a waistband, which might dig in and create discomfort.
Pay careful attention to where seams are positioned, especially near your knees. Stitching, sweat and constant movement is a recipe for chafing so look for clothing that keeps seams clear of areas prone to irritation.
Broader straps are better at holding up your shorts without cutting into your shoulders. For a good fit, you’ll want the braces to be stretched fairly tight but they need to be long enough to allow you to stand up straight.
The chamois provides padding, which improves comfort, prevents chafing and wicks away sweat. There are thousands of options out there, so aim to try before you buy to find the perfect fit.
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