Saying Goodbye to Underpants

Not that kind of post.  Keep truckin’ mister.

I want to talk about this though, because I’ve been coming across more stuff online by cyclists who wear underwear under their cycling gear.  I made the “mistake” of doing it the first couple of times I rode a bike, but was swiftly schooled by a more seasoned cyclist who told me no, no way, no how, don’t do it.  The reason was practical–to eliminate chaffing and seams cutting into tender flesh.  But the cultural implication was more strongly emphasized that any practical reason.  Cyclists do have their rules, and can be a particular bunch.  I fell in line with the social norm.  But now I’m coming across more folks who wear underwear under their lycra and I’m a bit baffled.  Is this up for debate?  Am I old school?

Do you do this?

While I’m not a fan of going commando (me or anyone else, for that matter) in general, I can’t think of a scenario in which I’d opt for underwear.  What about you?



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About Karen

Mid-life female amateur athlete focused on cyclocross, mountain biking, and road cycling.

10 responses to “Saying Goodbye to Underpants”

  1. Samantha says :

    Never. Never ever.

  2. All Seasons Cyclist says :

    Wearing ANYTHING between your skin and cycling shorts defeats the purpose of the chamois (the main reason you bought the shorts to begin with). Someone needs to tell them about chamois cremes (I prefer Blue Steel Sports Anti-Chafe Chamois Cream).

  3. jthestudentnurse says :

    When one does not have access to a washing machine whilst on a week long cycling trip, one wears underwear because one feels quite disgusting wearing the same two sweaty cycling shorts all week. BLECH! The thin fabric of a fresh pair of underpants each day on such trips gives the rider a false sense of protection against gross sweaty cycling shorts…. Not that I’d know or anything. *shifty eyes*

    • Laura says :

      This is a brilliant concept – and probably the most sanitary on multi-day excursions! I assume you recommend seamless but is there a particular style that is best suited for this? I’m thinking boy-shorts to eliminate crease seams.

      • jthestudentnurse says :

        Honestly? I did it back when I was naive and got plenty of bum sores over it. The next time I go on such an excursion, I will use those handy super thin lady panty liners instead as well as spring for more cycling shorts.

      • Laura says :

        LOL – good to know! 🙂

  4. Shannon says :

    I personally feel weird if I don’t for short rides. In a lot of those cases, I’m biking somewhere that I’m changing clothes anyway, and I wouldn’t get that chafed. But for rides that are more than 30 to 40 miles, it’s super uncomfortable. I found that out on the third day of a five day, 300 mile ride!

  5. bgddyjim says :

    Never, not ever… EXCEPT… I have one pair of Brooks ultra thin, perfect compression shorts that I wear under my cycling shorts that eliminate chafing caused by cheap cycling shorts – they were the only way I could enjoy a ride longer than 100k last year. Now I have some real shorts so I won’t have to worry about it this year, and compression shorts are not ‘underwear’, so they wouldn’t count anyway for your post… But actual briefs? That would be silly – if people want to hurt while they ride a bike I won’t stop them but facts are facts: Brief/panty lines through the Lycra are the cycling equivalent of pocket protectors and white tape around the bridge of black glasses – you wear britches, it’s likely that you’re a dork who doesn’t know any better.

    I could probably pretty that verbiage up to make it more politically correct but meh, we’re adults, yes?

    Now, about that penchant to pigeon hole guys and panties… We’ll, of course for the purposes of this discussion, ignore the fact that you’re mostly correct…

  6. Laura says :

    I wore unders with my cycling shorts for a long time. Like over a year. It just creeped me out to be in public without appropriate undergarments. But I also noticed it wasn’t terribly comfortable after about 30 miles. And being a 50+ miles rider usually, this will not do.

    And then I read an article that basically said by wearing unders you are negating decades of cycling garment research and technology … so I picked up a tube of booty cream (Chamois Butt’r) and did some internet research on how to properly use such a product and hit the road.

    My life was changed. I can’t go back.

  7. cupcaketravels says :

    No, never, way too uncomfortable.

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