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Can I Wear Guys Cycling Shorts?

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The easy answer to the question “Can I wear guys cycling shorts?”

Yes!

The hidden answer after that is, as long as they fit you.

For a very long time women were lucky to have various types of moderate level shorts.  There has been a few companies that come to mind that have been doing women’s cycling shorts well. These companies are : Pearl Izumi, Giordana, Sugoi, and Sheebeast.

Even with these brands, for one reason or another I’ve still worn about 50-75% of the time, guys shorts.   One of those large reasons are bib shorts, which is another topic in its own, I love them and not one company has made a good women’s design bib.  This has left me wearing guys bibs.  Other reasons are team sponsorship, right now the shops team kit are guys bibs, which is fine with me.

Reasons Not to Wear Guys Shorts

Length of chamois.  The pad/chamois goes high on guys shorts as they have more “package.” This freaks some women out as it comes well in front of the pubic bone.
Chamois size.  Remember that whole women’s design?  That goes with shorts too.  Women tend to need wider chamois in their shorts.  Just make sure the chamois doesn’t end too quickly for you or end where the saddle will rub.  That will leave you with several saddle sores.
Inseam length.  Companies tend to put a shorter inseam on women’s shorts compared to men’s.  This is another reason that I wear guys, I have long legs and the 6″ inseam on girls shorts are just too short normally.

Recommended Guys Shorts/Bibs to Try

Bontrager RXL
My go to shorts for the past year since I found them.  They have different materials through out the short to help with compression and the chamois is made to mate with their inForm saddles.

Gore Power Bib
– One of my new favorites if you read my article a couple days ago.  One note, do NOT get the Men’s Xenon bibs as the chamois has a break in the middle.  Can you say “camel toe?”

Final Thoughts

Don’t let your local bike shop confuse you, your favorite pair of shorts are two fold.  The first is the dressing room test, is it comfortable?  The second is to make sure it fits well on your favorite saddle.  Seams away from the edge of your saddles and that the chamois doesn’t “fold” in half and start pushing up on soft tissues.

Men’s or women’s : who cares as long as it fits?

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About the Author

Bike Shop Girl has over 12 years of bicycle industry experience and hands on knowledge. Hoping to empower women and others on the bike so they too can feel the freedom and power that two wheels can give someone.

6 Comments

  1. I think several manufacturers are making womens bibs now. Assos had some racy ads showing theirs off for several years, but they are ridiculously expensive. Now brands like Hincapie, Pearl Izumi, Sugoi, Descente and Giordana all offer womens bibs in the $100-200 range. My wife is interested in trying some this year, now we just have to pick which brand. It’s almost impossible to find local shops that carry ANY womens bibs.

    The Bontrager RXL shorts are awesome–and even the Race shorts are a surprisingly good value. I actually prefer my Race shorts right now because the RXL material is so much thinner–but in the summer I’ll be a big RXL fan again.

  2. Pearl Izumi has also been making women’s bibs for about 2 or 3 years now and they very nice. I own a pair, and also Castelli and Assos makes some. This issue is Castellie and Assos are very expensive so not very many shops will carry them, it’s a special order. Specialized this year came out with a women’s bib as well. I personally don’t like their bib for women, but I know that their female riders are racing them this year. The Pearl Izumi bibs you can find at most shops for women as well.

  3. This year, Pearl Izumi is making some AWESOME women’s bibs (designed by a woman)! I have already done many rides in them and absolutely LOVE them – I highly recommend them as they are super comfortable! I am still awaiting for (ordered) Sugoi women’s bibs and am looking forward to wearing them (they have compression – similar to the RS short. not yet on their web site). I have mostly worn men’s clothing and now-a-days find that I don’t need to anymore – the manufacturers are meeting women’s demands.

  4. I’ve been tempted to get women’s bibs just for the fact that they go on sale (online discounters) more often than guy’s bibshorts. Am I crazy for thinking such things in such a fashion oriented sport?

  5. Stumbled across your site, love reading all kinds of perspectives.

    And yes, as long as something fits and you prefer it, why not go for it?

    It’s funny you mention being tall and wanting men’s shorts. I’m tall, 6’3″ and prefer women’s cycling shorts because well, they are typically shorter. Not to mention you girls get all of the fun colors and patterns.

    I’d say out of the closet full of cycling shorts I own, nearly all of them are women’s, and they fit just fine. I just can’t stand the typical black shorts nor can I stand any with all of the team logos all over them. I like to ride and ride hard and having something with fun color somehow makes the ride more fun.

  6. Cycling Shorts For Men – Mens Cycle Shorts
    12 Feb ’13 - 10:43 am

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