The right cycling pants are a reliable companion on any tour! But how do you choose the right ones? What even makes a good pair of cycling pants? The season, the type of bicke and even the cyclist determine the smartest purchasing decision.
For this reason, road cyclists need different pants to mountain bikers and women won’t get very far with men’s pants. Here is a little advice to shed some light and help you buy the right cycling pants.
Cycling pants must fit perfectly
First of all, cycling pants should fit perfectly, regardless of the intended use. As an ambitious cyclist, you will spend hours or even days sitting on your bike. This means, your pants must not itch or pinch at all. Even under exceptional circumstances and on difficult trails, they have to fit like a second skin. Flat seams make your pants more comfortable to wear as they don’t rub against your skin. You should also remember to choose a soft material.
How to choose the right material
These days there is an enormous range of highly-advanced fabrics that make for a very comfortable fit. These materials also support cycling pants in terms of their durability. At the same time, the fabrics should also be breathable. Exhausting tours in particular require fabrics that are capable of wicking moisture outwards. This avoids an uncomfortable wet feeling on your skin, as well as chafing. These fabrics also prevent unpleasant smells which occur due to sweat.
With the right padding nothing can go wrong
Since most of your weight is placed on the saddle while cycling, sufficient padding should not be underestimated. On longer tours, it keeps you motivated and protected from pain while pedaling. Padding is designed according to gender, the shape of the saddle and specific types of bike. Padding is not only made of regular foam. Individual pads are highly-advanced crumple zones with a high-tech interior, which provide perfect protection for your backside and crotch.
Road bike pants
You should always make sure that your road bike pants fit skin tight. This is the only way to achieve an optimal range of motion. At the same time, a skin-tight fit improves the aerodynamic properties of your pants. Road cycling is primarily about speed and covering long distances. For this very reason, it would be completely counter-productive to choose baggy pants. Real road bike pants make sure that there is little or no air resistance at all, which gives you an outstanding riding experience.
Since road bike pants come with a very tight fit, they should also be very elastic and robust. They must not give you a feeling of constraint or press against your legs. Because your legs are constantly moving, reinforcements in the thigh and crotch area are an absolute must. You want to be able to wear your pants more than once after all.
Bib shorts for road cyclists
In order to improve the perfect fit of your road bike pants even further, many models are equipped with straps. They make sure your pants stay where they belong at all times. At the same time, these pants allow you to take off your jersey at high temperatures without being frowned upon. However, choosing the right jersey to go with your cycling pants shouldn’t be underestimated either.
Suitable pants for mountain bikers
Unlike road bike pants, mountain bike pants are not overly figure-hugging. They look like casual shorts, but there is much more than meets the eye. Mountain bike pants are perfectly padded on the inside to provide you with optimal protection on downhill rides. Their somewhat wider cut gives you a greater range of motion, which is absolutely necessary for keeping your balance on difficult terrain. Of course mountain bike pants have to look good, as well. In combination with a casual jersey, matching gloves and cycling shoes and a cool helmet, you’re both well protected and ready to hit the trails in style.
Good mountain bike pants? Tough materials!
A mountain biker’s territory is usually rough and full of branches, logs and other things blocking their way. Therefore, cycling pants must protect the cyclist accordingly. They should be made of tough materials which are able to withstand certain external impacts. The crotch area and the inner thighs must also be reinforced in order to prevent the material from wearing at these spots. Many cycling pants come with a great number of pockets and offer enough space for important items, so you don’t have to take your backpack with you all the time.
No padding? Then make sure to get padded cycling underwear
Not all models come with integrated padding. To maintain comfort on the bike, you should try padded cycling underwear. Just like regular underwear, it is worn underneath the actual cycling pants and provides important protection for your crotch area.
Cycling pants or cycling shorts?
The answer to this question is simple. Pants for cold temperatures, shorts for warmer days. However, there are major differences in the insulating ability of cycling pants. Special cycling pants for very cold days in winter or autumn offer a great deal of protection against the cold. In contrast, airier cycling pants for spring or cool summer days provide a little protection against the cold and are highly breathable.
And then there are pants designed to protect your legs from injuries. They are often used for downhill rides or forest trails.
Manufacturers like Scott, Endura, Mavic, Löffler and Vaude offer a wide range of different models for all purposes. However, all the technical details, the fabric and the quality of the product all come second to the individual preference of the rider and the respective fit. At the end of the day, only when you’re happy with your cycling pants will you want to jump on your bike and head off on your next tour!
If you have any further questions, our customer service team are happy to help. You can contact them on weekdays from 10:00 to 17:00 by telephone +49 (0)7121/70 12 0 or by email.