Dear mtbchick, Are you supposed to wear underwear with bike shorts? -Chamois Chaffed
Dear Chamois Chaffed,
For anyone just getting in to the sport of cycling, this is typically the first question, right after, “Do I HAVE to wear lycra bike shorts?” (No, you don’t, trust me, however, you will be glad you made the switch!)
It may come as a surprise to some, yet there is no need to wear underwear with cycling shorts. Bike shorts are designed to work best without an extra layer and extra seams. Besides, panty lines or underwear lines are unsightly. The design of the chamois, or “pad”, is such that there are no seams where the body hits the saddle. Another way to look at this is the less you have to put in between your body and your saddle, the better off you are. Which lends itself to another discussion about the size of the saddle and the chamois.
Additionally, chamois creme was developed to eliminate chaffing and saddle sores. Most chamois cremes are anti-bacterial and have some sort of cooling ingredient to help keep you comfortable. Apply chamois creme liberally to yourself and your chamois, and enjoy the ride!
I don’t want you to feel silly if you are currently wearing underwear with your bike shorts. It wasn’t
long before a good female friend whispered in my ear, “you’re not supposed to wear underwear with your cycling shorts!” The first time I felt so taboo, so naked, but after using chamois creme and understanding the “why”, I never went back, and I am forever grateful to my friend. Trust me, you are going to love it!
Now you know! No underwear with cycling shorts!