Everything You Need to Know About Cycling Pants

Cycling pants provide riders with long-term riding comfort by reducing friction and cushioning the crotch to provide some shock-absorbing effects. Here are some things you need to know before buying cycling pants from sporting wear stores.

Everything You Need to Know About Cycling Pants

Cycling pants are made of elastic materials, usually a mixture of Lycra and nylon, so they will move with your pedaling to avoid friction on your skin. On the inside of the cycling pants, you will see a crotch pad or pad, which will provide a certain amount of cushioning, but more importantly, it will provide a soft contact surface for the skin on the seat cushion.

That's right, you don't wear underwear when you wear cycling pants. This needs to be adapted, but it will be much more comfortable than being rubbed by the folds of cotton underwear. Like your underwear, wash it after each use. Turning them inside and out will not work for another day.
In addition to the classic tight-fitting nylon/lycra cycling pants, you can also buy loose-fitting cycling pants. They usually have a loose outer layer and an elastic cycling pants inner lining that looks like a cut, so they are also comfortable but do not show all the body curves. Australians call it "shy shorts", which is a good name.

And if you want to wear ordinary shorts or jeans for cycling, you can wear a pair of cycling underwear so that you look ordinary but still comfortable.

It should be pointed out that if you do not ride the bike regularly, it will be comfortable without the combination of riding pants and seat cushion. Your ass needs to get used to sitting on the seat cushion, and it takes some time to ride. If you want to participate, such as a long-distance charity ride, ride a few times before to give your butt a chance to adapt.

Bib cycling pants and ordinary cycling pants

There are two types of tight-fitting cycling pants: with or without strap support. Bib cycling pants will be more comfortable than ordinary cycling pants, because they do not need elastic belt around the waist to prevent sliding, so they are the choice of more professional riders. However, they can make the convenience problem more awkward, especially for female riders (some manufacturers solve this problem by adding quick buckles to the strap), and they are also more expensive.

If you don’t mind the inconvenience of going to the toilet, we definitely recommend using bib cycling pants. The extra comfort it brings is definitely worth it.

Bib cycling pants and ordinary cycling pants

Crotch pad

The crotch pad or "suede" of cycling pants provides cushioning and a low friction layer to fit the skin.

All cycling pants have some kind of padding to contact the skin. It can be a single layer of soft material, or a very complex filling, or something in between. You will sometimes see this liner called "suede", because the cycling pants liner used to be made of suede leather, it needs to be carefully applied and suede cream is applied afterwards to keep it soft. Modern suede cream (diaper cream) is still used by many riders to reduce friction during long-distance riding.

Material and version

Cycling pants should be cut to fit your body shape when riding, which means the back will be longer and taller than the front. This feels and looks a bit silly when not riding, but you will find it comfortable during riding. This is often referred to as "destructive" tailoring.

You will often see cycling pants marked by the number of pieces. Eight pieces are usually better than four or six pieces, because more pieces of fabric pieces make it easier to make a precise pattern. Cheap biker shorts are usually made of pieces.  But this is not absolute.

There are differences in the size between different sportswear manufacturers, which means that it is necessary to try on before buying, and carefully evaluate the fit of the version. There may be differences between different models of cycling pants of the same brand.

Mike Stead of the product review of this FAQ http://road.cc said: "For example: I wear Giordana in size M, but Castelli Nanoflex wears XL. Both size charts say I should be S-M. Size. As for the new Castelli Volo, I wear XXL."

"You might feel fit when you try them on. Then after riding for 20 miles, you feel like you have a pair of football socks stuffed in your crotch. And you try to return the cycling pants that you wear — it will be The battle between the market and the seller, even if you can provide photo evidence against the manufacturer’s size chart." 


Silicone anti-skid blocks ensure that the position of the pants is fixed.

Most cycling pants have non-slip blocks at the opening of the pants to prevent the pants from sliding upwards. They are usually made of silicone. They may feel a little weird at first, but you will soon forget their existence.

Everything You Need to Know About Cycling Pants

Lycra's weight and flexibility

The weight and elasticity of the nylon/lycra hybrid material will vary. Cycling pants can be made very thin and elastic, or thicker material so it will be tighter. This is mainly based on preference, but the manufacturer claims that compressed fabric is better for your thigh muscles.

Cycling pants are made of multiple pieces of Lycra spliced together by flat lock stitches (above) or overlock stitches.

The traditional idea is that the seams of cycling pants should be flat so that they will embed and rub against the skin. This is the meaning of "flat lock stitch" in the description of many cycling pants. However, in an earlier report, the Sydney-based clothing manufacturer Eleven Velo commented: “We use both methods, but we have recently stopped using flat lock stitches-the dedicated machines are now idle.”

"Material is the most important thing, that is, the quality of the pieces and the thread. The flat lock stitch looks very flat, but in fact it causes too much stitching on the inside of the seam, it will be'normal' The overlock stitches are also frictional. On a well-cut cycling pants, you will never feel the seams."


The traditional cycling pants are black, because it will not show the mud on the road and the black handprints left after repairing the car. Color highlights and color blocks are very common, but they make the price higher. It is a terrible idea to make cycling pants all in bright colors, especially white: they will become transparent when they get wet.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.