What Do You Wear Under Bike Shorts?

What Do You Wear Under Bike Shorts?
Bike or cycling shorts are tight fitting--to minimize bunching and chafing--and padded, to minimize discomfort while on the saddle of a bike. They're often carefully contoured to fit the specific curves of the rider's body.

No Underwear

Bike shorts are designed to be worn without underwear underneath; using underwear underneath bike shorts may increase chafing.



Bike shorts come with or without pads; you can also purchase insert pads to be added to bike shorts you currently own. While most riders may feel most comfortable with pads, those in fast-moving sports like downhill mountain biking may prefer to do without their bulk.


While bike shorts are designed to reduce chafing, you may still need to lubricate the pads inside the bike shorts on long rides. Common bike short lubes include Bag Balm and Chamois Buttr.


Because you don't wear underwear beneath bike shorts, treat your bike shorts with the same hygiene considerations in mind as you would a pair of underwear. Put on a clean pair of bike shorts every time you ride.


Bike shorts are designed to fit while you're riding, that is, while bent over on your bike; you can expect them to stick out a bit when you're standing straight up.

Time Frame

Wear your bike shorts for as limited a time as possible. Put them on just before riding and take them off immediately after. This helps to minimize moisture and bacteria buildup.


Article Written By Marie Mulrooney

Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics and contributes regularly to various online publications. Mulrooney's print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.

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