There is an almost standard image of the professional biker wearing lycra tight cycling shorts and a matching jersey or t-shirt; such apparel items are often vividly colored, bearing the names of the brand they belong to as well the competition number of the biker. Many cycling shorts have special reinforcements for the contact area between the body and the saddle, given the fact it is very important to make sure that you feel comfortable during any ride, be it short or long. The protective pad added to the cycling shorts usually prevents chafing by the stretchy shape and the structure of the fabric.
The best cycling shorts must have an ergonomic cut, and this peculiarity can be achieved by the use of several pads in the design; one thing a biker needs to look for is the kind of seam the cycling shorts have. Though for the inexperienced eye the single or double-needle seam doesn't mean very much, experts claim that more comfort is achieved with a better sewing quality, as the risk of chafing is drastically reduced. Most cycling shorts have all kinds of pockets particularly at the back where sweating is more reduced. For the areas more exposed to perspiration, the breathable fabric features include a form of antibacterial treatment that prevents microbial growth in the moisture-exposed area.
What else do cycling shorts have superior to other sportswear? First and foremost, the material they are made of ensures leg muscle support while also allowing free air circulation; the saddle contact area most often includes a gel pad that absorbs or dissipates shock by forming a barrier between the hard surface and the rider's body. Quality materials used in the manufacturing of cycling shorts are usually synthetic with improved features for a good moisture dispersion. Try the cycling shorts on before buying them to make sure that the elastic used in the waist area ensures a satisfactory comfort level.
Cycling shorts created for mountain biking are a bit different in terms of durability and materials; there is usually a combination of cotton and spandex used which definitely ensures great casual comfort. Such apparel items need to have some extra protections given the rough terrain conditions where the biker wears them: shock absorbing pads and a special liner panel prevent the discomfort caused by bumps and allow full motion ability. Some models have pockets both in the front and the rear part, but it's your choice if you'd like any at all.