How To Buy Cycling Tights

People who ride bicycles on a casual Saturday just to enjoy being outdoors tend to wear everything from blue jeans to regular shorts. But if you’re serious about the sport of cycling, you should invest in a good pair of cycling tights. Even if you’ve looked at other cyclists and thought you would never wear those tight, clingy shorts, you should consider the many good reasons for purchasing cycling shorts.

The Benefits of Cycle Tights

Cyclists wear these types of shorts because they allow them to move easily, they’re comfortable and they protect them from things like chafing. They’re made from Lycra and similar materials and though they look like a second skin, there is actually padding in the groin and butt area to make it more comfortable to sit on a bicycle seat. The padding is usually some sort of synthetic chamois product that’s very sweat absorbent and comfortable.

It’s important to choose the right type of tights. Womens cycling tights are very different than men’s, for instance. They’re cut higher and have more room in the hip area, and naturally the padding in the groin is situated a bit differently.

How Cycling Tights Work

Ordinary pants won’t give with your legs in the same way tights will. When you cycle, your thighs spread and contract as you move. Cycling tights allow for this without rubbing the skin or chafing. Regular pants or shorts can chafe because they don’t offer the same type of flexibility, and if they’re loose enough to really give you room they can actually bunch up and cause irritation that way. You can purchase cycle tights without padding that are meant to go over other shorts, if you prefer. You should try both varieties to see which you prefer. Some people prefer the padded tights while others don’t like the way they feel, so experiment to find the best ones for you.

Cycling Bib Tights for the Best Fit

If you get cycling tights that fit properly, you shouldn’t have any problems with them rolling down at the waist. You should be able to pull them up above your belly button so that when you bend over on your bike they stay in place. But if you do find that you’re pulling up your cycling shorts, you might try cycling bib tights. These go from ankle or knee to shoulder, but the upper part is made like bib overalls and is typically made from mesh so they won’t be any warmer than wearing ordinary cycling shorts. They eliminate the waistband, so if you find your shorts are falling down at the waist or cutting into you that won’t be a problem with bib tights. They also won’t sag or hang if you’re in the rain or they get extremely wet, thanks to the shoulder bands that hold them in place.


Neil (nickname Ironman) is an avid runner and sports fan, who writes about all things triathlon-related, especially running and cycling. He also writes about sports injuries and regaining fitness - mainly from personal experience rather than academic knowledge - although he does study that too!

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