Do you wear underwear with cycling shorts?

We are aware that wearing cycling shorts without your underwear may feel a little odd especially if it’s your first time trying this. However, you are not supposed to wear underwear with cycling shorts. This is because wearing your underwear with cycling shorts will prevent the chamois from effectively performing its functions. This may lead to painful saddle sores, spread of bacteria on your genital area and even development of UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections) from accumulated sweat.

Most of the high quality cycling shorts are made from Spandex material which is normally light and comfortable to wear whenever you are cycling. These shorts normally come with synthetic chamois (padding) that offer you maximum comfort and absorb sweat which makes them ideal for cycling even for long distances. There are two types of cycling shorts that you can buy for yourself, which include regular waist shorts and bib cycling shorts. They all serve the same purpose however, their main difference is that bib shorts sit over your shoulder while regular wait shorts are worn from your waist going down to your knees.

The reasons why you should not wear underwear with cycling shorts

Increases the chances of developing a UTI

The chamois of a cycling short is usually put in place so that it can absorb all the sweat around your genital area every time you cycle. In addition to this, the padding is also made of an anti- bacterial material that prevents the spread of bacteria around your genital area. This shows you how important the padding is to you.

When you wear your underwear with the cycling shorts, you will automatically prevent this function of the padding, which will lead to the spread of bacteria around your genital area. Unfortunately, this may lead to further complications and even increase your chances of developing a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection).

It leads to chaffing

At first, you may assume that wearing your underwear or briefs will allow you to have a comfortable ride throughout. The truth of the matter is that wearing your underwear with cycling shorts will cause you more harm than good. This is because the paddings of cycling shorts are made of elastic material that hugs your body which prevents friction when you ride your bike.

Once you wear underwear underneath your cycling shorts, you will increase the chances of experiencing friction on your skin which may lead to chafing. This usually makes your skin feel like it is burning which is pretty uncomfortable especially if you are riding your bike for a long distance.

It is also important to note that you are supposed to stop riding once you feel the friction on your skin. This is because prolonged friction during cycling will lead to swelling and bleeding.

Saddle sores

When you wear normal underwear with cycling shorts, you are highly likely to experience saddle sores especially if you normally cycle for long distances. Saddle sores are normally very uncomfortable and may require you to get medical assistance which may be quite costly. Therefore, you should always ensure that you trust the function of the chamois in your cycling shorts and wear them without normal underwear.

However, you should get for yourself a chamois cream if you still experience saddle sores even when you wear your cycling shorts in the correct manner. This is because this cream is normally made of Aloe Vera and Shea butter which are very good soothing ingredients and may prevent you from experiencing saddles sores. Additionally, chamois cream also helps to reduce friction between your thighs which prevents you fromexperiencing soreness after cycling.

If you apply this cream and still experience saddle sores, you should consider changing your saddle as this may be the issue.

Is there any alternative to wearing normal underwear with cycling shorts?

Are you still uncomfortable wearing your cycling shorts without normal underwear? Well, the good news is that you can actually buy for yourself padded underwear which is a very good alternative to normal underwear. This padded underwear also come with chamois that offer you comfort and effectively absorb sweat which ensures that you always cycle comfortably.

In addition to this, padded underwear is also made of anti- bacterial material which helps to prevent bacterial infections. Therefore, you can wear this type of underwear with your cycling shorts as they will still get the job done when it comes to moisture management and comfort. However, it is important to note that you should not wear padded underwear with cycling shorts that also have paddings as it may be uncomfortable around your groin area.

If you really want to wear padded underwear with cycling shorts, you should opt for baggie bike shorts as they don’t usually have paddings.

The table below consists of the differences between normal underwear and padded underwear

Normal underwear
Padded underwear
Cotton and cotton- blend knits
Cotton with polyester chamois
Chamois (padding)
Ideal for
Daily use
Compatible with cycling shorts


You are not supposed to wear normal underwear with cycling shorts. This is because it will prevent the functions of the chamois on your cycling shorts. However, you can wear padded underwear with cycling shorts as they come with chamois which help with moisture management, friction and comfort every time you cycle.


Is it okay to wear my cycling shorts after I am done cycling?

No it is not. You are supposed to remove your cycling shorts immediately after you finish cycling. This is because the paddings normally absorb your sweat and prolonged exposure to your skin may lead to yeast and bacterial infections.

Can I wear padded underwear with cycling shorts?

Yes, you can wear padded underwear with cycling shorts as they come with a chamois that helps with friction, comfort and absorption of sweat. These types of underwear actually help to prevent chances of experiencing sores, yeast and bacterial infections even if you cycle frequently.