How tight should cycling shorts be?

Majority of cyclists normally prefer to wear tight fit cycling shorts as they offer maximum comfort however, some still wonder how to choose a “perfect fit” for themselves. Your cycling shorts should not be too tight as they will be very uncomfortable every time you wear them. In addition to this, they should also not be too loose as the chamois will be moving which may irritate you. Therefore, the perfect tight fit cycling shorts are shorts that feel snug when you wear them.

Cycling shorts are pretty essential if you want to enjoy cycling every time you ride your bike. This is because they are made of Spandex material that offer you comfort even when you ride for long distances. In addition to this, they also come with a synthetic chamois that should feel snug around your genital area so that it performs its functions efficiently without irritating you. Therefore, you have to ensure that you choose perfectly fitting shorts that are neither too tight or too loose if you want to enjoy maximum comfort while cycling.

How to choose perfectly fitting cycling shorts

Did you know that spandex cycling shorts help to support your working muscles when you are cycling? Well, they actually do and that’s why they are made to be as close as possible to your skin. However, you should be careful when choosing cycling shorts as their fit is what determines whether you’ll be comfortable when cycling or not. Below are 8 steps that you should follow to get the perfect size of cycling shorts for yourself.

Try out various sizes

Cycling shorts are one of those attire that you are not advised to buy online, unless it’s a product that you have already used and you are sure of the size. This is because cycling shorts normally come in various sizes and the sizes vary depending on the brands. Therefore, what you should do is go to your sports store and choose a pair of cycling shorts that you feel will fit you. Additionally, take a pair of cycling shorts that are a size above and a size below of what you have chosen.

Once you have done this, you should fit all of them and see which one is the most comfortable. Remember that what you are looking for is a snug fit which means that you’ll have to be your own judge when fitting the cycling shorts. Without doubt, these shorts are supposed to be worn without regular underwear however, we’d like to discourage you from doing this when you are fitting the cycling clothes.

This is because there were probably people before you that also tried out the same cycling shorts and staying with your underwear will help to prevent chances of getting a bacterial or yeast infection.

Look for a “snug fit”

Now, this is the most important step when you are buying cycling shorts. You should ensure that you the material of the cycling shorts lie flat against your body. In addition to this, you should also check the fit of the chamois (padding) and check whether it gives you a perfectly snug fit when you stand up and sit down. It is important to always remember that cycling shorts that are either too tight or too loose will not be ideal for you if you are looking for maximum comfort.

After you have ensured that the cycling shorts fit perfectly when you are stagnant, stretch your legs and see whether you will still be comfortable. Then lean a bit forward as if you are cycling and see whether they still fit perfectly even at that position. This should be done especially if you are buying yourself bib cycling shorts that go over your shoulder.

Confirm comfortability of the cycling shorts

Once you have seen that the cycling shorts have a snug fit, you should pull the spandex or Lycra material away from your thigh and see whether it will snap back to your thigh. If it does this and still offers you comfort, you should definitely consider getting those particular pair of cycling shorts. You are not supposed to pick cycling shorts that pinch your skin as this is a clear indicator that thy are small for you.

Types of chamois pads

Cycling shorts come with two types of chamois pads which include thick chamois pads and thin chamois pads. Cycling shorts with thick pads are ideal for you if you frequently cycle for long distance as they are comfortable and have a high sweat absorption ability. Thinner pads on the other hand, make the cycling shorts lighter and are ideal for you if you cycle competitively.

You should definitely take this into consideration as well when choosing cycling shorts that perfectly fit you. This is because one may fit you better than the other which makes it more comfortable.

The table below is a summary of how to choose a perfect tight fit for your cycling shorts

Type of shorts
Bib cycling shorts
Regular waist shorts
What to look for
You should ensure that the straps are lying flat on your shoulders. The shorts on the other hand, should be tight against your thighs and feel snug when you stand up.
You should ensure that the spandex material is tight against your thighs without being too small on the waist. A perfect pair of cycling shorts should be tight and comfortable.


Without doubt, there are various types of cycling shorts such as regular cycling shorts and bib- shorts that you can choose from. However, you should always ensue that you pick and buy cycling shorts that have a snug fit even if they are tight in design. This will allow you to enjoy maximum comfort every time you cycle. Unfortunately, wearing cycling shorts that are too tight or too loose may not be ideal for you as they are normally uncomfortable.


How do I know the perfect size of cycling shorts for me?

You are supposed to try out various sizes of cycling shorts so that you can be able to identify your perfect size. It is usually recommended that you physically shop for your cycling shorts so that you are able to try out different sizes.

What is the problem of wearing loose cycling shorts?

Cycling shorts normally come with a synthetic chamois that is supposed to align perfectly with your groin area. If the shorts are too loose, the chamois (padding) will be moving around which may be uncomfortable for you especially when cycling for long distances.