Skin-tight cycling shorts can be daunting for new riders, who often start riding in a pair of gym shorts or workout pants. While loose-fitting clothing seems more modest and comfortable, enthusiastic cyclists quickly find that padded cycling shorts offer far more comfort, performance and protection than nonspecific clothing.
The perineum is the area on the lower part of the pelvis that receives most of the pressure from a bicycle's saddle. Cycling shorts have pads, or chamois, designed to distribute pressure in this area to maintain blood flow and provide support to sensitive tissues.
Wicking and Skin Protection
The skin-tight synthetic fibers in cycling shorts offer superior moisture management and chafing protection.
Many cycling shorts are designed to provide muscle compression that acts much like compression suits in other sports. The support offered by the garment allows muscles to reach peak performance with less fatigue.
Because cycling shorts are stretchable and use no excess fabric, there is very little movement restriction to the cyclist.
Although mountain biking shorts offer the advantages of tight padded shorts with a modest outer shell, skin-tight shorts offer road riders and racers improved aerodynamic performance, making riding slightly less tiring over long distances.