Why do cyclists wear padded shorts?

When I first started cycling through London almost 10 years ago, I used to think ‘how silly are those nappy shorts’. But now I completely understand the benefits of padded shorts.

When increasing cycling distance and frequency I’m sure you will too. In my experience cycling over 45 minutes on regular occasions warrants suitable padded underwear, short or tights to avoid pelvic and or inner leg pain. Even if you don’t have any pelvic discomfort, prevention is always better than cure. It’s no fun when injury prevents you doing the hobbies you love, not to mention the health implications associated with compression of the pudendal nerve in this area (Read more here). 

Saddle shape can also play a role in pelvic irritation. For longer distance cyclists, narrow, less padded saddles can create harsher contact points on the pelvis. This is why we recommend a full bike fit. The entire body must be positioned correctly to achieve optimal performance, without compromising on comfort or causing injury.

Why use a narrow saddle when a padded seat is more comfortable?

Narrow saddles are often chosen by long distance and or competitive cyclists for many reasons. The first being because they only contact the ‘sits bones’ (when fitted correctly), reducing the chance of irritation to soft tissue in the area and entrapped / trapped nerve’s. Other reasons include:

  • Increase riders speed 

  • Optimise rider performance

  • Improve aerodynamics when complimented with a full bike fit

  • Reduce overall weight of the bike

  • Reduce rider weight on the saddle

  • Reduce chaffing

However, purchasing a slick fancy looking saddle isn’t necessarily the answer, and if you don’t know what you are doing can lead to agonising rides. If you’re getting serious about cycling, I recommend a full bike fit.

One of the most common nerve irritations or entrapment’s experienced by cyclists is of the pudendal nerve. To learn more about pudendal nerve irritation or entrapment click here.

Today’s question was ‘Why do cyclists wear padded shorts?’

There are many benefits to wearing padded shorts, one is to reduce the chance of pudendal nerve irritation or entrapment. Chiropractors treat musculoskeletal complaints relating to joints, muscles, fascia, tendons and ligaments. They can help you find out what is causing your pelvic pain and help release the tight muscles, joints and fascia which may be contributing to the pain. To book your Chiropractic treatment in Cranbrook book online, call 01392 984959 or email us info@khchiropractic.com