If you do more than ride your bicycle on the weekends just as a way to get around town, you should consider purchasing some cycling tights. Serious cyclists need the proper gear to truly enjoy the sport, so if you’ve avoided getting cycling shorts or tights so far, you should really invest in them to get even more out of your time on a bicycle. Some people avoid them because of the way they look, but you can find them in a variety of colors and patterns today so that you can find a pair that you love in addition to a pair that’s comfortable and will help you excel at your sport.
You can get cycling shorts that come just above the knee or you can buy cycle tights that go to the ankle. You can also purchase bib tights that go from ankle to shoulder, with the above the waist portion set up like bib overalls with straps that go over the shoulders. The highest quality tights are made of polyester or Lycra materials that are flexible, breathable and comfortable. You can purchase these tights with or without padding. And whether or not you use padding is a personal choice. Some people prefer padding, while others find it uncomfortable and unnecessary.
There are differences between men’s and women’s cycling tights, so be sure you get the right kind. Naturally, the groin padding is going to be different and more extensive for men. And to better fit a woman’s shape, the hips of women’s cycling tights are made a little bit larger. They’re also cut higher at the waist and designed for women’s needs specifically.
If you opt to cycle with shorts or tights that aren’t really designed for cycling, you could end up raw and chafed very easily. That’s because cycle tights are designed to expand and contract with your thighs as they move. Regular pants won’t do this but will instead constrict the thighs and rub against them or offer too much room and wrinkle up, which can also cause skin irritation and pain. So not only is the material a factor when choosing tights, but the fit is important, too. Too tight or too loose can each cause irritation.
If you prefer cycling shorts that stop above the knee, you need to make sure that the opening is not too tight and that it will give with your thigh rather than constrict around it. If you choose the tights that go to the ankle, look into those with a zipper at the ankle to make it easier to take them on and off. And for bib tights, look for those that are mostly mesh above the waist so that you don’t get overheated with too much material.