The topic of whether to wear underwear with padded cycling pants has long been a subject of debate among cyclists. While some swear by the added layer of protection and comfort it provides, others argue that wearing underwear can cause discomfort, including chafing and bunching. In this blog post, we will present both sides of the argument and provide factual information to help cyclists make an informed decision.
In the early days of cycling, riders had to contend with heavy wool shorts or trousers that did little to enhance their performance or comfort on the bike. However, the evolution of cycling clothing led to the introduction of specialised cycling shorts with a unique design featuring a chamois pad or padded insert in the early 1900s. This innovation revolutionised the cycling world, providing riders with the much-needed cushioning and reducing friction between the rider and the saddle, resulting in increased comfort and protection.
In those days, it was not common practice to wear underwear with the newly designed cycling shorts, and riders would simply wear the shorts on their own. Over time, this became the norm, and going commando while wearing padded cycling shorts became established practice.
Today, the debate still rages on, with some cyclists arguing that advances in synthetic fabrics and padding technology make wearing underwear unnecessary, while others argue that underwear can provide an additional layer of comfort and hygiene.
When it comes to wearing padded cycling pants, there are two schools of thought regarding the wearing of underwear. One group argues that going commando provides increased comfort, breathability, and a more natural fit, while the other believes that underwear provides an extra layer of cushioning and support that can reduce friction and chafing and offer an additional layer of protection against bacteria and other harmful substances.
For those who choose to go commando, the avoidance of additional fabric is a primary concern. Underwear can bunch up, create friction against the skin, and result in chafing or saddle sores. Going without underwear provides a smoother, more comfortable ride without these issues. Additionally, underwear can trap sweat and moisture, creating an environment for bacterial growth that increases the risk of infections or unpleasant odours. Without underwear, padded cycling pants can breathe more freely, reducing the likelihood of unwanted bacteria growth and keeping you cool.
On the other hand, some cyclists find that underwear provides an extra layer of cushioning and support that can reduce friction and chafing, particularly for those with sensitive skin. Moreover, the right pair of underwear can offer much-needed warmth on colder rides, providing an added layer of insulation between the rider and the elements. Additionally, adding an extra layer of underwear can provide an additional level of protection against bacteria and other potentially harmful substances, which is especially important on longer rides where sweat accumulation is more likely.
Ultimately, the decision to wear or not wear underwear with padded cycling pants is a matter of personal preference. While going commando provides greater comfort and breathability, some cyclists may prefer the extra cushioning and protection provided by underwear. On the other hand, others may find that underwear restricts movement and interferes with the full benefits of the chamois pad.
Whether you choose to wear underwear or not, it is essential to prioritise your comfort and hygiene needs to ensure a pleasurable and hygienic ride. For those who choose to go commando, proper hygiene and regular laundering of padded cycling pants are crucial to avoid bacterial growth and unpleasant odours. For those who opt for underwear, selecting the right type and fit is essential to reduce friction and chafing and maintain a comfortable ride. In the end, the decision is entirely up to you and your individual needs and preferences.
The debate over whether to wear underwear with padded cycling pants will continue to divide cyclists for years to come. However, with a better understanding of the pros and cons of each approach, cyclists can make an informed decision that will provide them with the comfort and protection they need to enjoy the ride. So, whether you are a Birds on Bikes
enthusiast or prefer the added support of padded bike pants, choose what works best for you and hit the road with confidence.
Share your thoughts on this. Do you go commando?