This is one of the most asked questions on cycling forums, after the famous issue of hair removal. And most often, by men. Ladies, it's time to free ourselves from these taboo subjects!
Did you say chamois?
It is a padding sewn on cycling shorts (also called shorts, or cyclist). It protects the coccyx from shocks, avoids irritation and pain due to the saddle. So, are we supposed to wear something under these famous shorts or do we have to be in direct contact with this chamois?
When the debate starts between women, there are two visions of things:
The naturals (long live freedom!)
Those for whom change doesn't bother to the least, and who are much more comfortable without anything.
Testimony of _iceberg_ on a forum*:
“The shorts are like underpants. Do you wear briefs in your briefs? »
According to doctors, wearing underwear under your shorts1 (whether cotton panties or a thong) could create various intimate pains:
- Irritation of the inner thighs (the groin): Because of the seams, but also from the perspiration which accumulates there during the effort.
- Infections: Wearing underwear under cycling shorts does not allow perspiration to escape properly nor the skin to breathe... The skin will then become damp. Heat + humidity: THE mixture that promotes infections!
- Vulvar wounds: The seams of our (unsuitable) lingerie will rub our private parts during pedaling, the skin of the lips will then be burned.
- Sore buttocks: If the saddle of your bike is unsuitable for your posterior (saddle too wide or too narrow, too soft or worn), you will have poor positioning during your session. If you wear underwear under your chamois, your butt won't be as well protected from chafing!
In short, wearing a pretty lace tanga under shorts makes us risk a lot, girls! It is to cancel all the benefits of the shorts and the chamois! So above all, do NOT wear anything under a cyclist to avoid humidity, irritation, infections, pain...
But despite these facts, the question of the underwear under the cyclist continues to divide on the forums and in the changing rooms...
…And those who are a little more shy.
In general, they prefer to keep underwear underneath because they feel more comfortable and less exposed.
Testimony of _cumstorm_ on a forum*:
"When I put on shorts => always a slip underneath... given the face of the chamois leather, I don't really want to go and rub my parts on an old piece of dirty leather"
Testimony of _bmartin_ on a forum*:
“Personally, I wear seamless Lycra boxers under my shorts. Not for hygiene purposes but for comfort: when riding my shorts tend to go down a little and relax, but with these boxers the parts aren't as loose and don't get stuck in the saddle (happens several times, the reason for my purchase). »
For hygiene, many cycling enthusiasts (high level or beginners) prefer to wear underwear under their cycling shorts.
For what ?
Some are uncomfortable with the idea of wearing nothing underneath, they do not consider the shorts as a piece of underwear. In particular because of the integrated chamois leather:
- Special material: it can bother those who aren't used to it, because it feels different from ordinary underwear.
- Size and volume: because the chamois goes up to the middle of the buttocks and it's not very glam to walk around with a 3D layer. Some walk like cowboys as soon as they get off their bikes.
- Not very discreet: they feel ridiculous because their private parts are highlighted!
In short, there are several reasons why sportswomen wear underwear under their sports shorts, even if it means taking on the risks of irritation and injury. Some also speak of additional comfort, especially in terms of cushioning.
After observing the whole debate, we conclude that the real cause is the lack of underwear available on the market (since they do not meet all the needs of consumers in terms of comfort and aesthetics) .
In fact, we would need an undergarment that cushions during exercise while being much more discreet, and that would not have the "bump-grafted cushion" effect.