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3 Tips About Buying And Using The Right Chamois Shorts For Aspiring Female Road Cyclists

by Ellen Lucas

If you are a woman and interested in exploring the challenges of becoming a cyclist, you are not alone. Recent statistics have established that more than four out of five American women see bicyclists  in a positive way, but unfortunately, as recently as 2009, only 24% of bicycle trips were made by women. One common reason that women do not cycle or do not do it frequently is due to their lack of comfort spending long periods of time on a bicycle. Fortunately, you can avoid that problem once you know the tricks that successful female cyclists have used before you.

Choose The Most Appropriate Chamois Shorts

One of the worst things that you can do is to use the bike shorts that you wear under a skirt while biking. The seat of your bicycle, regardless of how ergonomically correct or padded it is, is simply not enough to keep you comfortable when you use it for more than a few minutes. Therefore, chamois shorts are essential, but they are not all created equal.

For example, just like you cannot expect to buy your exercise shoes off-the-rack without trying them on and get a perfect fit, take the time to try on a few different pairs of chamois shorts as well. Since you may be applying chamois cream to the shorts later on, you will need to know that your new shorts fit your rear end well.

Consider The Chamois Pad

You should also avoid believing the fallacy that you need the thickest possible chamois pad. You're more likely to need a pad that is consistent and sleek in size, so it does not re-distribute its bulk during a long trip.

In addition, snug fitting shorts will make it easier to ride without catching air and the inclusion of the pad can change that. However, a good fit is one thing and cutting off circulation is another. If you are not comfortable in the dressing room, you will be less comfortable on the road, so don't commit to to the wrong pair. Although you will be wearing your new shorts without underwear on the road, you will not have that option in the dressing room, so plan for that small change accordingly.

Use Chamois Cream

Your new shorts will use a chamois pad, so now you need a chamois cream. Chafing is no fun and sores or abscesses are much worse, so you absolutely need it to prevent those issues.

Apply generously and re-apply as needed in the following places :

  • Anywhere that your skin comes into contact with the seat

  • Where the seams in your shorts frequently touch your skin

  • On the chamois pad

In conclusion, it is not easy to be a cyclist and it is frequently less so to be a female cyclist. Fortunately, by implementing the above options on each trip, you will find that you can be more comfortable, regardless of how long your have been cycling.