Do You Wear Underwear Under Bike Shorts?

Do you wear underwear under bike shorts is one common question we hear from every beginner cyclist and the answer often leaves them shocked and confused. 

Well, if you’re one of those people wondering what to wear under bike shorts, the simple answer is that you don’t wear anything. That’s right, you go commando.

However, in some cases, you can wear underwear with biking shorts, and that has its own list of restrictions. So, when do you wear underwear with cycling shorts? 

Read on ahead to find out whether or not wearing underwear is okay when cycling!

Do You Wear Underwear with Cycling Shorts?

The obvious answer is no, you don’t wear underwear with bike shorts. 

While going commando may make you feel incredibly uncomfortable, it has many benefits. This is in terms of improving the aerodynamic capabilities as well as maintaining the overall cyclist aesthetic. 

Let’s take a look at the reasons why you’re better off not wearing underwear when getting into cycling as a sport.

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Wear Underwear with Bike Shorts

Now that we know the obvious answer, here are all the reasons why you should avoid them and what benefits they have. 

  • The underwear seams tend to rub against the sensitive skin down there, which can cause incredibly painful chafing. This chafing makes longer biking rides extraordinarily uncomfortable and can also lead to saddle sores. 
  • Cycling shorts are specifically designed to fit your body in a way that the shorts provide support. They come with built-in padding to keep the chamois pad in the correct areas while your ride. 
  • The inbuilt pads within the cycling shorts are formulated to absorb sweat quickly. If you wear underwear underneath, you can hamper the absorption rate of these shorts. This may lead to severe conditions such as developing a urinary tract infection.  
  • Underwear isn’t designed to accommodate a cyclist, and the material can often make the area moist and the skin soft. This makes the skin more susceptible to chafing and can make the ride incredibly excruciating. 
  • Another reason why you shouldn’t wear underwear under cycling shorts is the apparent panty line. Yes, the lycra material of the shorts sticks incredibly tight to your body and will definitely give you a visible panty line.

So, how can you stay comfortable on the ride without overstepping your modesty boundaries? Certain products help you have a comfortable ride while making you feel secure. 

How to Stay Comfortable Throughout a Bike Ride

Here are all the tips and tricks for you to be comfortable throughout your biking experience despite the absence of your undies.

1. Wear Padded Cycling Shorts

Padded cycling shorts can make your experience without underwear slightly more bearable. First, you need to find shorts that fit you snug. Any tighter or looser may cause chafing and burns which you don’t want. 

Due to the body structure differences between a male and female body, it’s better to opt for the shorts that best suit your body type and make you feel comfortable.

Additionally, the chamois pad comes in a variety of thicknesses depending on the kind of biking experience you’re looking for. 

2. Wash Your Shorts Before Every Ride

This goes without saying, but hygiene is incredibly crucial in marinating your health down there. It also plays a role in making the biking experience enjoyable. Always wear a fresh pair of shorts when going out for biking.

Your cycling shorts are replacing your underwear, so it’s best to clean them every single day to prevent the chances of getting infected same as you clean your backpack.

Similarly, once you come back, immediately take those shorts off and shower. Clean your genitals and the area around it thoroughly to minimize the spread of any bacteria. It’s also a good idea to shave your legs for improved hygiene.

3. Get the Right Saddle Cover 

Finding the right saddle cover is like finding your soulmate. While saddle covers come in various designs, thickness, and lengths, it’s recommended to choose one that works best with your body contours.

While one might assume that excessive cushioning brings about extreme comfort that rarely is the case for saddle covers. You should look for covers that are made with cuts and reliefs to support the butt while providing you comfort when you rest the whole weight of your body on it. 

Lengths also play a huge role in determining the comfort value for the user. Too long or too short may make the ride full of discomfort.

The same goes for the width, too wide or short can cause chafing even after wearing the right shorts. We suggest you test out different saddle covers before settling for one.

4. Apply Chamois Cream

In case you’re still experiencing chafing after taking all precautionary measures, then chamois cream is your savior. This first aid cream targets saddle soreness on both fronts and chafing. 

By lubing up, the area between you and the chamois can help lower the chances of getting severely chaffed. The anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of the chamois cream help reduce bacterial growth. They reduce the chances of getting infected further. 

You can easily find chamois creams at your local pharmacies and drugstores. While these creams come in tubes, it’s probably best to find ones that are in tubes. This is to avoid the chances of contaminating the whole tube.

You can also take these creams along with you on rides and use them during your breaks to get instant relief. 


The dilemma, if you should wear underwear under bike shorts when using a recumbent exercise bike, can often leave you dumbfounded, but by following our tips and tricks we assure you that you won’t feel the slightest bit of discomfort when riding your bicycle.

We hope that you found this article helpful in determining what to wear under cycling shorts and making your cycling experience enjoyable, and now you can easily transition into wearing biking shorts without underwear.

Happy biking!

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to plant trees and play with my pet bunny when not out cycling through the best routes, reviewing the latest gear, and sharing tips on everything biking.

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