Home > Clothing

An 8-step guide to choosing your next pair of cycling shorts

Get the right pair for all day comfort

bib short try on
Are you heading out to buy your first pair of cycling shorts? Finding a good fit in your next pair of bibs can make a world of difference between a comfortable ride and uncomfortable chaffing that will hinder your enjoyment and performance. We want to help you, so follow this eight-step guide, which comes to us from Giordana, to help you find your next pair of cycling shorts.

  1. Choose a pair and try it on in three different sizes: grab the size you think you need and the sizes up and down from that.
  2. Be hygienic and please leave your underwear on. Did you take your underwear off? Put them back on!
  3. Make sure straps, bands and cuffs are lying flat against your skin. The shorts should feel snug while standing up.
  4. Do some leg raises, not for your daily workout, but to allow the leg hems to fall into a similar position to what you’ll find on the bike.
  5. Pinch the Lycra along your outer thigh, which will insure that you are in fact awake but also to check that the material snaps back tight against your skin to make sure you have the right size.
  6. Most shorts are made to fit a person who is on a bicycle, so lean over and get in your most convincing cycling position you can while standing. If the shorts still feel comfortable, you may have found the pair that’s right for you.
  7. If you feel any pinching, chaffing or see seams stressing or pulling hard, try on the next size up. If there are wrinkles, lumps or sagging panels, try the smaller size and repeat Steps 3 through 6.
  8. Now that you’ve found the right pair, get out and ride on the roads and trails. A well-fitting pair of shorts will make all the difference in your riding experience.

Additionally here are a few quick tips to making sure you will enjoy a long and performant relationship with your next pair of cycling shorts:

  • Bib uppers, waist bands and leg hems often flip or roll as you are stepping into the garment. Make sure everything is in the proper place before making your final decision.
  • Lycra is meant to be tight and compressive. It not only helps circulation and endurance by supporting and micro-massaging your muscles, but we can assure you that you also look fantastic in it.
  • The insert or chamois should be elastic and conform to the body in motion. The padding should be substantial enough that it doesn’t bottom out under your weight, but not to cushiony that it becomes obstructive. It needs to be made from a breathable material and wick moisture.
  • Check the garment’s tag before washing it. Generally avoiding the dryer is suggested since many performant materials will degrade in excessive heat. Chamois cream can also be damaging to the material of your shorts.

Your next pair of cycling shorts now fit and work for you. This was a friendly public service announcement from your friends at Canadian Cycling Magazine and Giordana Cycling Apparel.

Guide to choosing your next cycling shorts