That’s right, you don’t wear panties under your bike shorts!

We had a great time teaching a mama spin class in Schaumburg, IL yesterday. Definitely a highlight of our first weekend on tour with our new baby, Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom. For a number of moms it was their first time in the cycling studio, feeling less intimidated in a room full of other mamas.  We hoped to encourage moms to try something new and we’re certain you’ll find an inviting atmosphere at your gym, too. Arrive early, take a friend, meet your instructor. Know that it’s just as much your class as it is anyone else’s.

In lieu of a few concerns our moms expressed during class, I posted three tips on Facebook for avoiding crotch pain while on the bike:

  • no panties under the bike shorts
  • fine tune your seat adjustment
  • give “it” a little time to get used to the saddle

Got a few replies from moms who wanted a little more info on the topic so, at the risk of offering TMI, here goes…

No panties under the bike shorts. That’s right, bike shorts are designed with a built-in chamois and are meant to be worn sans undies. Might sound crazy at first, but the last thing any woman needs is extra fabric bunching and burrowing in an already sensitive area. If you’re worried about feeling a little tender “down there,” look for shorts with extra padding and an anti-bacterial chamois. You’ll pay a little more for the bells and whistles, but odds are you’ll notice the difference.

Fine tune your seat adjustment. Indoors and out, it’s important to get your bike fit right; makes riding more comfortable and helps prevent injury, too. On indoor bikes, setup is quick and simple; never worry about asking your group fitness instructor to help you set up your bike or check the settings you’ve dialed in. Here’s a quick rundown:

A regular at group cycle. This mama's got it dialed in!

1. Make sure you have a slight bend in the knee when your foot is at the bottom of the pedal stroke. You should not have to rock your hips in order to get your foot through the bottom of the pedal stroke.

2. Once you have your seat height right, check to see if you need to adjust the seat forward or back. To do this, position your feet in the pedals so they are at 9 and 3 o’clock. In this position, the bottom of the knee cap over your forward foot should be directly over the center of the pedal beneath it. Adjust your seat forward and back until you get it positioned right, remembering to make sure you still have a slight bend in the knee when pedaling after you’re done.

3. Handlebars are really positioned for comfort. If you’re new to cycling try starting with a higher setup to avoid back pain. Aerodynamics are not important on an indoor ride, unless you’re trying to get used to the position for other outdoor pursuits.

Give “it” a little time to get used to the saddle. I went through three saddles in less than a month when I first started riding long distances. I was in search of that perfect seat that would cradle me “down there” and make cycling more enjoyable. I eventually ended up with a great seat, but truth is I probably would have been fine with the other seats if I’d given them a little more time. Yep, cycling puts pressure on a woman in new and uncomfortable way, but like most things in life, time heals. Make your way through four or five classes and you should notice it gets easier. Until then, move to a standing position when you need a break.

So there it is. Not too gory, huh? But really, is anything too gory for a mom? You’ve dealt with worse, I’m sure. So hop on that bike and enjoy a fun ride with new and old friends around you. Hopefully we’ll have another mama spin class coming soon…  (We’ll keep you posted!)

If you have any other questions, post ’em below. We’ll make sure to get back to you as quickly as we can! Ride on!




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2 responses to “That’s right, you don’t wear panties under your bike shorts!

  1. Samantha-
    Kills me that I was that girl when I first started riding about 15 years ago… How uncomfortable!

    Oh, and you get credit for my two favorite quotes of the day:
    1.) “I get to say ‘I told you so’ but I’d rather they just take off their panties and stop whining.”
    2.) “I did just use ‘thong’ and ‘comfortable’ in the same sentence.”

    Thanks for the smile!

  2. Samantha

    I have spent many moons trying to convince my cycling girlfriends to go commando in their bike shorts. Some have listened while others still complain about their epic crotch wedgies. Ah yes, I get to say “I told you so” but I’d rather they just take off their panties and stop the whining.

    If there are any ladies out there who absolutely do not want to go commando, a really comfortable thong works too. And yes, I did just use “thong” and “comfortable” in the same sentence.

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