This very controversial issue has come up several times within the span of my bike career. I remember sitting around with the ladies before a race and giggling because one of the ladies didn’t know you weren’t supposed to wear underwear under your bike shorts.
I thought, who doesn’t know this? To me it was pretty obvious. Maybe it was because I grew up swimming competitively and was comfortable sporting spandex. I even posted a Facebook post last year to take a poll!!! Consensus was definitely no; you should not wear tighty whities in addition to bike shorts. I personally prefer that my nether region not feel like I sat on a cactus after a long bike.
I understand where there can be some confusion, especially if you don’t have a friend or significant other that is kind enough to tell you to go sans-underwear. I once had someone tell me that they wear underwear because they are afraid everyone is looking at their package. Really? No one is looking there! (Well maybe just a quick peek.)
Kidding aside bike shorts should not be worn with underwear. I cringe thinking about all the chaffing that could happen with that extra layer. If you get a good bike short and chamois cream (if you’re into that), you’ll be golden and able to ride your bike hour after hour, day after day, without wincing every time you get on the saddle.
Another thing I want to point out is the awesomeness of the bib short. Yes, I was not a believer in the beginning, but would not wear anything but a bib short today. Super comfortable, breathable and it really helps keep the muffin top at bay.
Bike shorts should also be washed every time you wear them!!! It’s like underwear. You don’t wear a pair of underwear twice before you wash them, well maybe some people do, yikes!!
Oh, and one more thing, please change out of your bike shorts shortly after a race. Sitting around stewing in your own butt sweat is just gross! I am a firm believer of booking it back to the car, changing into something not so spandexy and then going to socialize with a beer!
So the answer is no underwear under bike shorts plain and simple. Save yourself the extra laundry and go commando!
Written by Sarah Agena – Borah Teamwear sponsored MTB rider