See Through Cycling Shorts: Are You Guilty?

See Through Cycling Shorts

Oh dear, there are not many things quite as embarrassing as realizing that you're riding around with see through cycling shorts, especially if you've been wearing them for a while.

How many others have to see your privates?! Read this guide to find out why they're see through and ways to prevent it from happening with the next pair.

Related: Most Comfortable Bike Seat In The World: A Guide On How To Find It

Why Are They See Through?

cycling fashion faux pas

Related: How Far Is Too Far To Bike To Work: What Do You Think?

There are a couple of reasons why you see this problem. 

  • They're too small.
  • The fabric that the shorts are made out of are low quality.
  • They're worn out.

These three reasons are all a result of the same issue, and that's thin fabric. 

Other than getting some new high quality shorts that fit you correctly, there are a few other solutions you could investigate.


You could always embrace the see through biking shorts issue as the chamois will usually hide the important parts!

However, this is not acceptable for most people, so some quick solutions include:

  • Wearing underwear under your Lycra.
  • Wearing shorts over your Lycra.
  • Wearing baggies on a road bike.

All of these options would hide your see through cycling shorts, but they're also cycling fashion disasters themselves. 

So a few other options worth taking a look at are:

  • Make sure that you choose dark color shorts as lighter ones are far more likely to show off your rear end, especially if it rains.
  • To only wear your tight shorts during evening rides, as the see-through problem is usually only an issue in bright sunlight. 
  • Watch how you wash your shorts. Sometimes certain detergents can cause the Lycra fabric to wear out quickly. Make sure to read the instructions carefully to avoid this issue.
Related Post  Want A Timbuk2 Spire Or A Rogue? Here I Discuss The Two.

Sometimes there's just nothing you can do about it other than beign grateful someone told you, and hopefully they're someone that didn't embarrass you too much.

You'll want to get down to your local bike shop and buy some upgrades, but make sure you check they're not see through before you purchase them.​

How To Check 

white cycling shorts bad idea

A top tip for when you buy you next pair of shorts is to wear some brightly colored underwear.

When trying on your potential shorts bend over in front of the mirror.

If you can see the underwear through the shorts, then they're see through, and you should take a look at other options!

Although this may not be the most elegant of techniques no one else will be able to see and it'll save any further embarrassment out on the road.

So there we have it. Why you get see through cycling shorts, how to address the issue, and ways to make sure it doesn't happen again. Hope this helps.


  • “The fabric that the shorts are made out of are low quality.”
    I disagree. Although some cheap fabric maybe be see through what I found is that the cheap shorts are usually very thick fabric and the very expensive cycling clothing, such as speed suits, are see through. My $374 speed suit has some very see through panels. A $400 dollar pair of bib shorts and it is the same thin fabric.

  • Good one! I find it’s just plain worn out shorts. Seems to happen always to dudes. Shows the buttcrack. It’s lame. I just laugh at them when I see it and tell them then they fix it by the next ride. Works!

  • I was passed this morning by a female cyclist in shorts that were an open window.

    Contemplated telling her.

    Thought that would be too creepy.

    I opted for the more creepy and fell in behind her.