This short primer on men’s cycling shorts will get you up to speed. If you are new to the world of cycling shorts you’ll read about the basics on this page. If you want to read some of the same info but with an amusing twist I recommend you go to Bike Shorts.
It’s more entertaining.
On this page we’ll cover materials, number of panels, pricing, leg length, bib shorts, and the chamois insert. By the time you’re done reading you’ll be ready to slap yourself back into an alert state of mind and order the perfect pair of men’s cycling shorts.
What’re Slinky Men’s Cycling Shorts Made Of?
It doesn’t take a genius to see that men’s cycling shorts are made of a very revealing, stretchy material (usually Lycra or a facsimile of Lycra).
Because all lumps and bumps are exposed, many a brave man has been reluctant to take up cycling. And then there is my rotund neighbor… Seeing him coach youth soccer in his cycling shorts made me wish he had a lot less courage.
Usually the materials used for men’s cycling shorts come in two different weights. Six weight material weighs six ounces per yard and eight weight weighs eight ounces per yard. The eight weight material costs a bit more, wears longer, and has a tighter, ‘gripping’ feeling.
Number of Panels In Bike Shorts For Men
Quality men’s cycling shorts are made of either six or eight panels (looks like cyclists are hung up on the numbers six and eight). Eight panel biking shorts are reputed to be more form fitting. They are KNOWN to be more expensive.
When cycling shorts were made of non-flexible materials, having more panels allowed the cycling short to ‘turn the corners’ of the anatomy better. Now with spandex, some of the ‘turning’ is done via the stretch rather than the extra seams in the eight panel short.
A Variety of Prices In Men’s Cycling Shorts
You can get men’s cycling shorts for as little as $30 and as much as $200+. Castelli shorts are known for the scorpion emblem that they put on your rear panel. That’s worth a lot to some cyclists. Assos brand is known for the earnest Swiss seamstresses who lovingly piece together each item of cycling clothing. They all live in Rivieras with the extra money you pay for their handiwork.
And then there is E-bay…
You can buy used men’s cycling shorts on E-bay. Because cycling shorts are worn without underwear, an E-bay buyer must have absolute, unwavering confidence in the disinfecting characteristics of their detergent.
Men’s Bike Shorts Leg Lengths
Are you ready for this? Some men’s cycling shorts are longer than others.
That reminds me of one review I read about cycling glasses.
“One must remember that cycling glasses are very close to the eyes”.
If that knucklehead can get away with an observation like that, this knucklehead’ll be bold enough to comment on the relative length of cycling shorts.
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Those Funky Men’s Bib Shorts
Bib shorts are cycling shorts with built in suspenders. The suspender’s upward pull keep the chamois up tight against the unseemly parts. This is advantageous because having a loose diaper wiggling around somewhere between you and the saddle is distracting. It can even rub you the wrong way.
The Indispensable Chamois ‘Makes Or Breaks’ Men’s Cycling Shorts
The most critical aspect of men’s cycling shorts is the chamois insert. This is where ‘the rubber meets the road’. Manufacturers brag freely about the innovative materials and shapes of their chamois. Some like ‘em thick, some like ‘em thin, and all like ‘em just right.
The comfort of each chamois is an individual thing. Unfortunately the rider isn’t sure about such comfort until the shorts have been worn on a few rides and it’s too late to return them. Ha Ha, the joke’s on him.
There is an emphasis on the ability of the chamois to ‘breathe’. Gel inserts are notorious for not breathing, and this lack of respiration results in too much sweat where you don’t want it. Then you have rash, potential for sores, potential for infection, and finally the potential for dismemberment and even death.
Let me know if you’re interested, I have a pair of men’s cycling shorts with a gel insert that I’ve only worn once. Half price.
Hey, here’s a better idea…go to Bike Nashbar where they have upwards of 26 different models of men’s cycling shorts at 50% or more off!
But if you want the Granddaddy of all men’s bike shorts suppliers, go to Amazon where they have over 4000 listings in the Men’s cycling shorts department!
Think you’re now a ‘bike shorts’ expert?
Take our short 10 question quiz to see where you stand. (don’t worry, we don’t collect your email, social security number, or mother’s maiden name…it’s just for fun.) Go to the bike shorts quiz page.