Can You Wear Cycling Shorts Under Jeans? 

With knowing the core function of cycling shorts which is to offer comfort and improve efficiency as you cycle, does it really make sense to wear anything under or over it? Would what you wear whether under or over, impede the efficacy of the cycling shorts?

Cycling shorts are actually meant to be worn like that with nothing under it or over it. Wearing jeans over your cycling shorts, depending on how long you will be cycling for, might leave you with some saddle sores. 

Asides from that, there’s the risk of damaging your jeans. The damage comes as a result of sweat in the buttocks area. The cycling shorts with sweat on it, constantly rubbing off on the jean would get your jean stained. 

You do not like the way cycling shorts are on you? You want to look more covered up as you cycle? There is an option that would work for you instead of having layers of clothing on your cycling shorts. Simply go for baggy mountain bike shorts. You will appear more decent on them than the normal bike shorts. 

Reasons why you might want to wear cycling shorts under jeans


The reason that comes to mind is the fact that you feel that the cycling shorts do not offer enough coverage for you hence, the need to cover up better by wearing a jean over it. 

However, that can prove to be counterproductive as cycling shorts needs to have direct contact with your skin and the seats. 

Another reason might be the fact that you might be cycling to work and might just want to dress up straight from the house, since, cycling shorts are definitely not an acceptable dress code for a work environment. 

But, alternatively, you can just carry your work clothes in a backpack and put them on once you get to your place of work. Remember to remove your cycling shorts before wearing them. 

For a long journey, jeans might limit the efficacy of the cycling shorts, making you likely to get a few saddle sores despite having them worn. 

The wearing of jeans or other kinds of pants over cycling shorts might also be a form of safety breach. This is because, with jeans or other pants, there’s the risk of it getting caught in the gears, pedals, or chains. 

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Do you have to wear cycling tights under/over cycling shorts? 

Okay, let’s reiterate this as directly as possible. Cycling shorts are designed to be worn like that; without anything underneath or over it. This is the best way to ensure they sit comfortably on you and perform the functions that they are supposed to perform.

We will be giving a further breakdown of things that are likely to happen if you put on underwear before wearing your cycling shorts. 


You are definitely bound to experience some discomfort as you cycle if you have your cycle shorts over underwear. The farther your journey, the greater the level of discomfort. 

This is because the cycling shorts is not having direct contact with your skin and so, cannot guarantee seamless movement as you cycle. The constant friction caused by the underwear weakens you and, makes you feel pain in your legs.


Yes, wearing underwear might lead to skin chaffing around your thighs. It’s really a no-brainer considering the level of friction the underwear would be causing on your skin as you cycle. 

To prevent this, purchase cycling shorts with built-in Chamois or, use a Chamois cream before putting them on to prevent any form of skin irritations. 

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The proper way of wearing cycling shorts

The first tip to wearing your cycling shorts properly is one that you should be conversant with by now. Do not wear underwear before putting them on. Let the cycling shorts serve as your underwear. 

As long as you get the ones with a built-in in Chamois, it will help in wicking out moisture, keeping you dry and cool all through the ride. This will also ensure the prevention of bacteria growth and spread. 

Once you have the cycling shorts worn, do some stretching in them to ensure that they are sitting smoothly across your skin. Ensure that the Chamois is positioned rightly; that is fits snuggly to your skin at the crotch area and, see that the shorts are not sagging or bunching up anywhere. 

To see to this, place your hand on the pad that can be found between your legs then, take turns to bend both legs up and out slightly, while gently tugging at the pad till it falls into place. 

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Applying Chamois cream

This is a cream that is specially formulated to reduce friction and prevent chaffing. The high-quality cycling shorts are designed to prevent friction therefore, you would not be needing this cream. 

If your cycling shorts do not offer you that, then you can apply some Chamois cream before putting them on.

How to know the right fitting cycling shorts for you

Cycling shorts are naturally made to offer comfort while you cycle. If you experience any form of discomfort with them, it might be because you have ill-fitting cycling shorts on. 

Therefore, there is a great need to carefully select the right fitting one at the point of purchase to get your money’s worth and experience the great level of comfort the cycling shorts were designed to offer in the first place. Below are some factors to consider before purchasing to ensure you get the right one:

Getting the right cycling shorts

There are so many types of cycling shorts designed for different purposes. It is important you know that there are cycling shorts for both genders. 

Getting the right cycling shorts begins with getting the appropriate one made for your gender as only then, can you be assured of the ample protection and comfort of the Chamois

The Chamois is located at the crotch area and they are designed differently according to gender. 

The right material

Ordinarily, cycling shorts made with stretchy mesh material would be considered very comfortable as they allow for better ease of movement. 

Choosing cycling shorts with good quality material is also important to guarantee the durability of the shorts. 

Your cycle shorts can last for years, depending on the quality of the material used and the proper care and maintenance of them especially, as you wash them. 

Getting the right fit

A right-fitting cycling short is one in which the built-in Chamois fits snuggly against your skin. This way, you are guaranteed ample protection against skin chaffing as it will help prevent any form of friction as you cycle. 

Always ensure that you try them on before purchasing to be sure you have the right-sized. 

Go for Multi-density Chamois

You can get this feature with higher-end cycling shorts. With this, you get to enjoy more dense padding in areas where it is most needed and thinner ones where it should be. With lower-end shorts, the padding is the same all around. 

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When to replace your cycling shorts

Don’t get it twisted, your cycling shorts serving you well for a couple of years is largely dependent on how much you use them and how you take care of them subsequently. 

Below are signs that your cycling shorts are due for replacement:

  • The fabric begins to pill excessively
  • Presence of holes on the shorts whether big or small ones. Especially, those embarrassing ones that can be found in the crotch region. 
  • Thinned-out fabric. You can know your fabric is thinning out when your skin begins to show through them.
  • More and more loosened stitches
  • When the shorts ceases to fit snuggly and begins to stretch out
  • When the fabric begins to fade
  • When cycling shorts do not feel as comfortable as they used to be. 
  • When fabric bunching up is noticed. 

Final Note

We understand the reasons why people might want to wear jeans over cycling shorts. Most people might be riding to work or other important places and might want to just dress up over their cycling shorts. 

However, you would be doing yourself a great disservice by wearing jeans over cycling shorts. 

Not only are you rendering the cycling shorts almost useless, as what you have over them would be impeding their efficiency level, but you would also have to deal with the discomfort that comes with doing so.

Now, if you feel the need to have your cycling shorts covered for whatever reason, go for a garment that has got flat and comfortable seams. They would treat your skin as you cycle, better than denims. The thick seams of denim makes them unfit for cycling. They do not allow for easy mobility at all. 

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