When I first started cycling, I quickly learned the importance of a good pair of cycling shorts. The right pair can guarantee more comfort in the saddle (and afterward). But go with the wrong pair, and well let’s just say you can end up with a lot worse than just a sore butt. This post reviews a few pairs of shorts that have become my favorite for everything from long rides to multisport activities.
As a woman, I found it tough to find a short that wasn’t overly padded but still offered enough protection in all the right places. Thankfully, I came across a great company just for the female cyclist—Terry (http://www.terrybicycles.com/). Terry offers everything from jerseys and shorts to a great selection of female-specific saddles (a post on this coming soon).
For longer training rides, I’ve become a fan of Terry’s T-Short (http://www.terrybicycles.com/Apparel/Cycling-Bottoms/T-Short-Regular_2). The fabric is super breathable and quick drying but still offers plenty of support. Terry’s Flex Air chamois is soft, reduces pressure in all the right places, and provides plenty of protection against chafing. I also love that these shorts never seem to shift during the ride, so I don’t feel the need to pull and tug to get them back into place.
While not a short, I also fell in love with Terry’s Coolweather Tight (http://www.terrybicycles.com/Apparel/Cycling-Bottoms/Coolweather-Tight-Tall_2). I’m 5’9”, so I tend to have a lot of trouble finding tights that cover my entire leg (most simply turn into capris on my frame). Terry’s “tall” length is perfect for me and fits like a glove. I used these throughout the cooler months last year—several rides in 50 degree temps—and have no complaints. However, since this tight is still a bit thin, I would likely recommend a slightly warmer fabric if you’re in a harsh northern climate.
As for a tri-short, I really like Orca’s 226 Kompress Tri-Tech Pant. I’ve found these shorts to offer excellent support as well as full range of motion in the water, on the bike, and on the run. The fabric is highly water repellent and the short’s pocket placement is convenient for tucking away an extra gel or two. I originally purchased these shorts last season, and since then it seems like Orca has further improved them (http://www.orca.com/product/226-kompress-tri-tech-pant-female). One thing I’m pleased to see is that Orca advanced their women-specific chamois, which is now perforated for improved breathability. This was really my only criticism of the short, so hopefully Orca has solved this problem.
I’m currently a little over four months pregnant, which also means that I’ve begun to explore the world of maternity cycling shorts (from my indoor trainer, of course). While still in the experimentation stage, I recently purchased my first pair of shorts from a company called BornFit (http://www.bornfit.com). I went with the Lucille Bike Short (http://shop.bornfit.com/maternitybikeshort.aspx). I have yet to put in serious trainer time with these shorts, but so far I’m pleased with the fit. While some of my shorts still fit at this point in my pregnancy, I’ve found the waistband on the BornFit short to be much more comfortable these days.
I’d love to receive comments from other female triathletes/cyclists on their finds for the best shorts out there. And for my fellow preggo triathletes, I’ll no doubt be reporting back in future posts with additional information and reviews.