Giro’s Merino Boy Undershort for Women
Details: Merino wool, multi-panel design, comfortable waistband, moisture wicking, tight-fit, short cut, thin chamois
Back in the day when I first started cycling to work, I relied solely on my kit for comfort on my bike. I would wear my kit to and from my workplace and would just change a couple of times throughout the day. It certainly didn’t help that I had the worst, most uncomfortable saddle for my first year+ of riding, so I was very much convinced that I needed to wear a chamois pad anytime I got on my bicycle. I looked for merino cycling underwear for women for what felt like ages, and it wasn’t until Giro’s New Road line came out that I was able to incorporate some into my lifestyle. All the cycling companies that I followed closely had merino cycling undershorts for men, and none for women.
So, cue the Boy Undershort by Giro. I have invested in a few different types of cycling underwear at this point, and I would say that these are both the most comfortable and have the best chamois of the ones I’ve purchased.
Look and Feel
Though these shorts do sort of look like a pair of boxer-briefs, they are short enough and tight enough that they are hardly noticeable under clothing–whether it be a pair of shorts, pants, or skirt. The colors, in my opinion, are boring and unattractive, and inspired far too much by the men’s equivalent of these shorts. A striped, elastic waistband? Really? Overall, I think the New Road line could have had much more feminine designs, but I understand that this walks a fine line. Not every woman on a bike wants to wear traditionally feminine cuts, but there should be some compromise with women’s cycling apparel…it shouldn’t be acceptable to just take the men’s wear and change the sizing and fit to be more womanly. I’m not saying that Giro should have made them in powder pink to satisfy the ‘feminine’ crowd (though, honestly, I would love these in powder pink). What I am saying is that bright orange and dark grey are tired and kind of monotonous in the cycling world.
Though aesthetics matter to me a little bit, I suppose it hardly makes a difference considering these are meant to be concealed underneath regular clothing. I would recommend going with the dark grey option– when the orange ones poke out of my shorts while I’m riding, there’s really no hiding them.
Total Women’s Cycling says “These padded cycling underwear for women are great for wearing under skirts and baggy shorts, but we wouldn’t recommend wearing them under anything tight (no skinnyjeans or leggings ladies)”, a comment I highly disagree with. I wear them under tight shorts and skinny jeans almost everyday and they are hardly noticeable. I even wear my powder-blue Levi’s and the seams and chamois are barely visible. If you go with a tight fit(which is still quite comfortable), this won’t be an issue.
In terms of the feel and fit, there is no match for these shorts thus far. The merino is so soft and the multi-panel design makes them hug the body perfectly. In addition, they are very much true to size and stretch in all the right places.
Performance on the Bike
The chamois pad in these shorts is very well made and thought out. If it were too thick, it would not be comfortable to walk around in all day; if it were too thin, it would prove useless on the bicycle. This chamois pad is somewhere in the middle of these worlds, giving the perfect amount of cushion on and off the bike. The chamois also has a variety of cut outs and a wonderful, pressure-relieving design. If you have a pair of pants that have seams in all the wrong places, these shorts will make them wearable on the bike. In addition, these are great for short or long trips on the bike. I could easily see myself on a bike-tour in these shorts, and I also wear them on my daily commutes. They are extremely versatile, which is what really makes them special. I highly recommend these shorts, not only to enhance comfort on the bike but also as a staple for anyone’s cycling wardrobe. They are so comfortable, I hardly ever remember that I’m wearing them.
Also, merino is the fabric of gods. These never feel wet or sweaty and they dry very quickly regardless. I definitely prefer the merino shorts over my other cycling underwear made of lycra, as my lycra underwear tends to feel sweaty throughout the day.
The fabric is perfect and soft, the panelling is well thought out and very comfortable, and there are no itchy tags present. Additionally, the amount of stretch is perfect and the shorts never feel too tight on my legs while cycling. The waistband is a very comfortable, soft elastic.
These are well worth their price, as I’ve had one pair for over a year that has shown next to no wear and tear. I do have multiple pairs, so I switch between them, but they have seen their days and they still hold up. They last for a very long time and can be worn under almost anything. In my opinion, these shorts will enhance the life of any commuter or person that would like to wear an incognito chamois pad on the daily.
Ultimately, I started to get sick of showing up to work in full cycling gear, which is why these shorts have been such a blessing. I’m able to arrive totally comfortable–rocking my cycling gear while nobody notices. This is what makes these shorts a great idea and a wonderful item to invest in; they make it so much easier to stay comfortable and casual–whether you’re biking to work, a date, or even going on a long-distance tour.
Pros: Comfortable, merino fabric, high-quality chamois, multi-panel design, decent price
Cons: Looks like men’s boxer-briefs, unpleasant colors
Images were taken from Giro’s website