Hey there, gym lover. So you’ve been thinking about getting into biking, whether for a quick spin around the neighborhood or for more serious cycling sessions. Before you hop on your bike, you’re going to need the right gear to make your ride comfortable. At the top of that list are biker shorts. Biker shorts might not be the most fashionable attire, but they serve an important purpose. They provide padding and support so you can ride for miles without chafing or discomfort. If you’re new to biking, biker shorts can seem a bit strange at first. But once you experience riding with them, you’ll wonder how you ever cycled without them. In this article, we’ll give you the lowdown on everything you need to know about biker shorts so you can gear up and get riding.
What Are Biker Shorts?
Biker shorts, also known as cycling shorts, are specialized athletic shorts designed specifically for cycling. They’re made of a stretchy, breathable material like nylon or spandex and have a padded chamois liner for comfort over long rides.
What’s the Chamois For?
The chamois (pronounced “shammy”) is the padded liner sewn into the crotch of biker shorts. It prevents chafing by reducing friction between your body and the bike seat. The chamois absorbs shock and provides extra cushioning for your sit bones, perineum, and other sensitive areas. Without a chamois, riding for more than 30 minutes or so can become quite uncomfortable!
Biker shorts cling tightly to your body to minimize wind resistance and prevent excess fabric from catching on the bike. Silicone leg grippers are often added to prevent the shorts from riding up. The combination of a snug fit and chamois allows you to stay in the saddle for hours.
Why Wear Biker Shorts?
Biker shorts make cycling safer, healthier and more enjoyable. They prevent saddle sores, chafing, and other injuries from long rides. The streamlined fit also makes you more aerodynamic, allowing you to ride faster while expending less energy.
You may feel self-conscious in biker shorts at first, but most cyclists come to view them as essential safety gear. Biker shorts provide physical and psychological comfort so you can focus on the thrill of the ride.
The History of Biker Shorts
Biker shorts have been around a lot longer than you probably realize. Originally designed for cyclists in the late 1800s, these form-fitting shorts were intended to provide padding and prevent chafing during long bike rides.
The Early Days
In the early days, biker shorts were purely functional and not meant to be seen off the bike. They were usually made of wool or cotton and provided minimal padding. It wasn’t until the 1970s that biker shorts started being produced from spandex and nylon, which provided more comfort and flexibility.
Rise of Popularity
In the 1980s, biker shorts made their way into mainstream fashion and exploded in popularity. They were seen as stylish and sporty, and celebrities like Princess Diana helped bring them into the public eye. The 80s craze eventually faded, but biker shorts have seen several resurgences since.
Nowadays, biker shorts are a versatile athletic staple. They’re made of high-tech, moisture-wicking fabrics and often have a padded liner for cycling comfort. However, they’ve also become a popular fashion piece and are worn for workouts like yoga, as loungewear, or even out and about. From solid colors to bright prints, biker shorts offer style and comfort for any activity or occasion.
Biker shorts have endured for over a century thanks to their practicality, comfort, and timeless style. Like the bicycle, they’ve become an icon and revolutionized the way we exercise and get around. From pro cyclists to fashionistas, biker shorts continue to appeal to people from all walks of life.
How to Style Biker Shorts
Biker shorts are versatile and easy to style for any occasion. Here are some tips to help you rock this athleisure trend:
Keep it casual with an oversized tee
The most classic way to style biker shorts is with a loose, oversized t-shirt or tank top. The contrast between the fitted shorts and relaxed top creates an effortlessly cool look. Pair with white sneakers for a sporty vibe or slides for extra comfort.
Balance proportions with an oversized button-down
For a stylish look, try pairing your biker shorts with an oversized button-down shirt. Leave a few buttons undone and tie the ends in a knot at your waist to accentuate your figure. The tailored shirt helps balance out the tightness of the biker shorts. Roll up the sleeves and you’re ready to go!
Dress it up with heels
Feeling bold? Glam up your biker shorts with a pair of strappy heels. A fitted camisole or tube top pairs perfectly with this unexpected combination. The heels instantly dress up the athletic shorts and create a stylish juxtaposition. This unique outfit is guaranteed to turn heads!
Add a belt
If you want to make a statement, add a wide belt over your biker shorts. Place it high on your waist to create a flattering shape. Pair the belted shorts with a crop top for a sexy, stylish ensemble. The belt takes the basic biker shorts up a notch for an instantly fashionable look.
Biker shorts are the ultimate versatile piece that can be styled up or down for any occasion. Whether keeping it casual for a day out or dressing it up for a night on the town, biker shorts make the perfect trendy addition to any wardrobe. Play around by mixing fitted and loose pieces or adding accessories like belts, heels or hats. The possibilities are endless!
The Best Fabrics for Biker Shorts
The materials used in biker shorts are key to providing comfort, breathability and performance for cycling. Several popular fabrics are commonly used:
Nylon spandex blends are a popular choice for biker shorts. Spandex provides stretch and compression, while nylon adds durability. This combination creates shorts that move with your body, reducing friction. Many brands use a blend of 80-90% nylon and 10-20% spandex.
For some cyclists, merino wool is a premium choice. Merino is excellent at temperature regulation, keeping you warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather. It’s also naturally odor-resistant and soft against the skin. However, merino may not be as durable as synthetics for high-mileage cycling. Often a blend of merino and synthetics like nylon or polyester is used.
Fabrics like polyester or Lycra are also commonly used in high-performance biker shorts, especially for the chamois pad. These synthetic materials are engineered to be lightweight, breathable and quick-drying. They provide compression and mobility. Many brands use synthetics for the main short material as well as the chamois.
The tight-fitting, flexible and breathable fabrics used in quality biker shorts allow you to ride comfortably for longer. They provide the right amount of compression and support for your muscles, while reducing chafing and friction. The specific fabric blend comes down to personal preference for softness, temperature regulation and durability. Any of the above options, or a blend of them, can make a great pair of biker shorts.
Where to Buy the Best Biker Shorts
When it comes to finding the perfect pair of biker shorts, you have plenty of options to choose from. Here are some of the best places to shop:
Baleaf on Amazon
Baleaf offers high-quality biker shorts at affordable prices. They have two inseam lengths (3 inches and 8 inches) and sizes ranging from XS to 3XL. The spandex fabric is opaque, breathable and provides light compression. With personalized size options and over 25 colors to pick from, you’re sure to find a pair that suits your needs.
Aerie’s biker shorts are made of a buttery soft modal fabric that’s perfect for lounging or low-impact exercise. They come in sizes XXS through XXL and fun patterns like leopard print or tie dye in addition to basic colors. Reviewers rave about how comfortable yet flattering they are.
You can’t beat Target for convenience and value. Their All in Motion and JoyLab brands offer basic black biker shorts in spandex blends. Sizes range from XS to 4X and prices start at just $15. Place a drive-up order on the Target app and have your new shorts the same day without leaving home.
Old Navy’s Powersoft biker shorts provide light compression and come in sizes XS to 4X, as well as short (3-inch) and long (8-inch) inseams. They frequently have sales offering 30-50% off, so you can stock up on multiple pairs for less.
For high-performance biker shorts, check out Athleta. Their shorts are made of Powervita fabric, which is lightweight yet provides targeted support. Sizes run from XXS to 3X and they have options with handy side pockets for your phone or keys. Although prices are on the higher end, Athleta frequently runs sales and promotions to help you save.
With so many great options to choose from, you’ll be sporting your favorite biker shorts in no time. Let me know if you have any other questions!
Now you’re armed with everything you need to know about biker shorts. You understand how they can be comfortable and practical for cycling or other physical activities. You’ve learned about the different materials, styles, and brands so you can choose a high-quality pair that fits your needs and budget. Whether you’re hitting the road for a long ride or just running errands around town, biker shorts will keep you feeling comfortable all day. So don’t be afraid to embrace this trend – you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them. Slip on your favorite pair of biker shorts and get ready to ride in comfort and style.