A popular destination for cycling men and women alike is the pub for a pint and a catch up with friends. Upon arrival at the pub the last thing I ever want to do is walk in dressed in Lycra from head to toe. Luckily, I have a few pairs of casual cycling shorts that draw the right glances rather than the “Uuhh look at him he’s wearing Lycra” disapproving ones.
In this post I will go through what to look for in a good pair of cycling shorts and show you some highly recommended ones that you may want to look at.
What to look for in casual cycling shorts
A good pair of cycling shorts is all about comfort. This comes from many areas. First from a good fit. Most cycling shorts will have adjustable straps and flexible fabric that will create that nice comfortable feeling. Secondly, padding in the cycling shorts helps to reduce the strain on your body from frequent riding. Also, the right fabrics and design provide a smooth, comfortable feel that prevents chafing on the more delicate parts of the body. In-fact the shorts you wear often make more of a difference to this than buying an expensive new saddle.
Ventilation is also important and good cycling shorts will provide for this. The shorts should cope with the harshness of everyday cycling such as the stretching caused by the constant pedalling motion and the occasional scrapes. Finally they should have plenty of pockets for storage. A good pair of cycling shorts is likely to cost you around £35.
Ultimately you should choose a pair that feels comfortable to you both when you are in the riding position and when you are out and about.
Recommended cycling shorts
The below cycling shorts are a great place to start. They all come highly recommended by users and are well reviewed.
Men’s cycling shorts
These shorts have vents on the front and back, well positioned pockets and plenty of stretch panels for comfort (Read: they hide your bum!). They are designed with freedom of movement in mind. Although Madison Flux cycling shorts are normally priced at the higher end of the market, Chain Reaction Cycles have a good deal on them currently.
The Endura Hummvvee’s have been very well reviewed and are a great mid-range choice for anyone looking for a pair of cycling shorts. They are light and have the all important stretch panels that are necessary for comfortable bike riding. You may want to consider buying one size up because a number of reviewers have reported that they come up small. They are available in men’s and women’s.
Women’s cycling shorts
Madison comes up trumps for women as well as men with this fantastic pair of cycling shorts that offers good value for money. The shorts should fit well on most body shapes as they have plenty of elastic and Velcro fastenings for adjustments. With a grand total of 6 pockets you will forget which one you left your money in. They are available from Madison.co.uk.
These more upmarket baggie shorts offer excellent quality. They are made with soft fabric and offer plenty of adjustment and comfort. They are available from Gorebikewear.co.uk
Good places to shop for cycling shorts:
Picture courtesy of: Richard Masoner
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.