As with most things riding lycra bike pants come in numerous variations which means if you want to bike in padded lycra bike pants you have a few choices to consider.

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Why Lycra Bike Pants

Lycra Bike Pants have been around since the 1970s. Their design came out of competitive cycling where it is important that the clothing is fitting to prevent any drag and keep the padding in place. is breathable and provides a great billboard for branding. So Lycra is great for the competitive cyclist but is it a good choice for the more casual biker.?

Lycra has qualities that make it a good choice for the casual biker. The fabric is a performance fabric, breathable, wicks moisture and is very durable so lasts a long time,  The stretchy fabric ensures that; your leg movements when biking are comfortable, the garment will be fitting and there will be no potential hazards with clothing getting into parts .of the bike or be the cause of chaffing. The fitting pants are very effective at keeping the padding (chamois) in place.

There are now many different designs and styles of lycra bike pants available to suit different types of riding and riders..

Features of Padded Lycra Pants

Let’s take a look at what is recommended in a lycra bike pant designed for women so it will perform well.

For comfortable supportive bike pants go for

  • Womens specific – a shape and leg length that has been designed for a women including a womens chamois
  • S-shaped seams (a curved seam) – to allow more comfortable movement at your hip during pedalling
  • The right size – so they are a firm fit to keep your chamois in the right place
  • A leg cuff that will avoid any roll up – elasticated leg cuffs with grippers prevents them from riding up BUT work out whether this will suit your leg shape
  • The padding sewn into the lycra pant known as a chamois is what sets a biking lycra pant apart from other lycra pants used for other activities. There are different chamois designs to suit different types of riding and the length of time spent on a bike. For more information see: How to Choose the Right Chamois

How to wear Lycra Bike Pants

You wear NO underwear. The padding ( chamois)  sits directly next to your skin. This is important as any additional seams and fabric from underwear can cause chaffing and moisture retention and cause comfort issues. 

What length is right for you?

Lycra Bike Pants come in different lengths short, 3/4 or full length. What is right length for your riding? 

Short (above the knee) Lycra Pant

Probably the most recognised padded cycling pant is the black lycra short which ends at varying lengths above the knee. Good for aerodynamics. Good summer option as with more exposed leg you will have a cooler ride.

3/4 Padded Lycra Pant

An all season versatile and easy to wear style that can be worn throughout the year. Often a more flattering style. Definitely need a lycra content of 10% or more, as the pants cross 2 joints. Good for aerodynamics.  If wearing them in winter at night consider reflective strips to add to your visibility.

endurance padded pant & chamois cream

3/4 Pant available at goRide

  • casual style
  • endurance style

Full length Padded Lycra Tight

This full length version offers warmth and protection. They will need a lycra content of 10% or more, as the pants cross 2, sometimes 3 joints. Good for aerodynamics. If they will be used mainly for commuting, do they need zips at the ankle for quick removal? Definitely want warmth? Try some merino in your long padded tights for winter riding. If wearing them in winter at night consider reflective strips to add to your visibility.

The Padding 

Sewn into the crutch of your padded pants is a Chamois. This padding gives you the cushioning and therefore comfort when you ride. To optimise the comfort on the bike… match the type of chamois to the type of riding you do and the length of time you ride. Learn more at How to choose the right chamois

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