Last year a friend started road riding, and he purchased a pair of cycling shorts and other accessories such as a helmet and gloves. It wasn’t until after a few rides that I heard him complaining about chaffing and sore spots. At that moment I was transported back 25 years to my first pair of cycling shorts and my beginner blooper. I carefully broached the subject and sure enough, he made the same mistake. His blunder was wearing underwear underneath the shorts. To new riders I understand how it seems counter-intuitive that you would wear cycling shorts bare, but it’s a common mistake.
For a new rider, and especially men, it’s difficult to face the public wearing tight lycra for the first time. It’s even more difficult when the thin lycra is all that’s between you and the world. Cycling shorts are designed to move with your body, wick away moisture, and limit material rubbing against the skin. They have a pad in the crotch, called chamois (most commonly pronounced “shammy”), made of a synthetic wicking material. The cycling shorts and this chamois are purposely designed to go directly against your skin. When you add a layer of cotton underwear, it has bulky seams that create pressure points, and doesn’t move with your body causing chaffing. So ditch that underwear and feel the relief!
One last thing for guys, black and only black in the areas that count when it comes to cycling shorts. Google image search Polish Cycling Team if you want to know why a fabric without shadows is best.