#askafish - Do I wear underwear with my cycling shorts?
In short, NOPE. Here is why. The material and fit of cycling shorts is designed to be a “next-to-skin” layer. If you put a pair of under-britches on before you slip into your hot cycling get-up, you’re creating a friction barrier between your skin and the shorts. Friction creates heat, and those two things are the last thing you want to be feeling while on a bike ride, leave those two feelings for later.
Now that you have gone on a few commando spandex rides, you might be asking, do I use...LUBE? AAAHHHHHH!!!!! While it is an awkward converstion, it needs to be talked about. People lather their nether regions with a host of different chemicals and solutions in order to circumvent the unwanted knotting of personal body hair (yes that happens), blistering, hot spots, etc. So, go back to your friendly salesperson at the shop that sold you the shorts and get some “shammy butt’r” or something of the like. Some people use higher end lubes for longer rides because it’s won’t dissolve as quickly when you start sweating (don’t act like you don’t!). While more expensive, products like Assos and Dznuts stay with you longer on the endurance rides that we all love.
Now you’re in your bedroom staring at spandex and a bottle of cream for your butt crack, this isn’t what you had in mind when you thought you’d get into shape by riding a bike is it. Anyway, don’t worry it is the norm. 99% of the people you see riding a bike at any given race, ride, etc. scooped up a handful of whatever cream they choose and lathered up their butts (and other places) with it before giving you a high five at the starting line.
A few tips on lathering: Anywhere you feel friction is a good place for it, some people put it between their toes, armpits, nipples, (Body Glide is good for this) and make sure you get any areas the bike’s seat may contact, yes I mean that. On longer rides some people will massage the cream into the shammy (the padded area of your shorts) so it’s saturated and will last for longer rides. Extreme users will even do this the night before a ride!
Using spandex and lathering yourself before a ride is a cricial part of enjoying this wonderful sport, it’s not the most glamorous, but it’s one of the most valuable things you can do to make the ride a success. Nobody likes a blister, especially when it’s a place you don’t want to have your spouse unless it's after a nice candle lit dinner!