Skip to content Skip to footer

Top 10 Destinations for Cycling and the Importance of Padded Bike Shorts

Over the years, cycling has transformed from a simple mode of transport and fitness activity into a widely embraced lifestyle and travel experience. Individuals and groups around the world regularly embark on breathtaking cycling journeys, absorbing the diverse beauty of our planet from the saddle of their bikes.

However, taking on such adventures often demands more than physical endurance, and top-notch bicycle-appropriate cycling gear plays a pivotal role in ensuring a comfortable and satisfying ride. Among such gear, the padded bike shorts often stand out for their significance.

In this blog post, we’ll not only be exploring the top ten destinations every cycling enthusiast should have on their bucket list, but we’ll also delve into the importance of bike gear on these cycling expeditions. 

Scenic Cycling Havens Around The World 

French Alps, France

The French Alps boasts an array of dramatic landscapes and mountain passes steeped in cycling history, making it a top European cycling destination. Cyclists can weave through valleys and swift climbs featured in popular races like the Tour de France. Weather is most optimal during the late spring and summer when the snow has melted, revealing beautiful flora and fauna.

However, such routes are challenging due to their steep gradient, so be prepared for a high-intensity bicycle tour. Remember to carry warm layers along with water and snacks for energy.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam, home to more bikes than people, is a cyclist’s dream, with its flat streets, designated bike lanes, and historic sites. Cyclists can explore routes around the city’s famous canals, museums, and neighborhoods. Any season is suitable for cycling in Amsterdam, but the warmth and extended daylight of the summer offer ideal conditions.

The flat landscape ensures an easy ride suited for all proficiency levels. Don’t forget to bring a high-visibility vest and bike lock for safe, secure trips around the city.

Pacific Coast Highway, USA

The Pacific Coast Highway across the west coast of the US boasts breathtaking coastal views. This route starts from Washington, then Oregon, and finally ends in California, running parallel to the Pacific coastline. Weather conditions are usually favorable, although it can be chilly along the coast, even in summer.

The summer and early fall provide the best views with less rainfall. Intermediate fitness levels to negotiate hilly terrains and longer stretches would be ideal. Carrying warm clothes, rain gear, and sunscreen is advisable.

Man cycling in California

Banff National Park, Canada

Banff National Park offers stunning rides encapsulating snow-capped peaks, turquoise glacial lakes, and abundant wildlife. The Icefields Parkway route is particularly famous for its unmatched beauty. The park is best explored from June to September when the trails are free of snow.

Strong stamina is required for these relatively challenging routes. Cycling gear should include bear spray along with your usual repair kits, considering the park’s wildlife!

Patagonia, Argentina

Patagonia’s sprawling, stark landscapes feature beautiful mountains, glaciers, and lakes. The most popular cycling route is the Carretera Austral while the best time to visit is between December to March, when it’s warmest. However, Patagonian winds can be strong, and the terrain, rugged, meaning these routes are best suited for experienced bikers.

Silk Road, China

The Silk Road, a historical network of trade routes that connected the East and West, offers an enchanting journey through the heart of China. The cycling route stretches over diverse terrains including mountains, deserts, and cities, each presenting its unique beauty and challenges.

The best time to undertake this voyage is during spring or autumn when the weather is ideally moderate. Even though the route is challenging in parts due to varying landscapes, the views, dotted with ancient historical sites, make it worthwhile. Be sure to pack essentials like nutritional supplies, bike repair kits, and warm clothing for occasional chilly nights.

Shimanami Kaido, Japan

Japan’s Shimanami Kaido is a stunning 70-kilometer cycling route that connects the main island of Honshu to the island of Shikoku via a series of spectacular bridges. The journey offers a unique blend of crystal blue sea views and tranquil rural scenes. Spring and autumn offer optimal cycling conditions, with comfortable temperatures and lower rainfall.

The route, on dedicated bicycle lanes, is rather manageable, making it suitable for beginners and experienced cyclists alike. It’s recommended to carry a compact waterproof cycling jacket, given the occasional rainfall in this region.

Queenstown Trail, New Zealand

Down in Oceania, the Queenstown Trail in New Zealand invites cyclers to discover the mesmerizing landscapes of the Southern Hemisphere. Spanning across an impressive 130 kilometers, the route treats riders with a mix of tranquil lakes, majestic mountains, and lush vineyards.

Visit during spring or autumn for some of the best weather. The trail difficulty ranges from flat and easy trails to steeper, challenging tracks. A helmet with a visor is indispensable as it provides essential bug and sun protection alike.

Garden Route, South Africa

The Garden Route in South Africa offers an unforgettable cycling experience alongside a rich diversity of vegetation and wildlife. The route reveals an array of indigenous forests, mountains, and beaches. South Africa’s summer months, between November and February, present the best time for this journey. The route’s level of difficulty is moderate, but the sheer beauty of the landscapes makes every pedal stroke a joy.

Munda Biddi Trail, Australia

The Munda Biddi Trail offers an extraordinary journey through untouched wilderness. This lengthy trail of over 1000 kilometers stretches through dense eucalyptus forests and provides riders with unspoiled, natural beauty. The trail is accessible year-round, but for pleasant temperatures, plan your trip between April and October.

The trail caters to all levels of cyclists, with various sections ranging from easy to more challenging terrains. A sturdy, puncture-resistant tire will prove to be an essential asset for dealing with the trail’s rugged terrains.

Cycling in snowy landscape

The Multifold Benefits of Padded Bike Shorts 

  1. Comfort: The prime motive of padded cycling shorts is to offer comfort. During cycling, your body is in continuous contact with the bike seat. This persistent rubbing and pressure can lead to discomfort, but this is where these uniquely designed shorts come into play. They act as a cushion, minimizing direct contact and reducing overall discomfort, especially during long, strenuous rides;
  2. Offering Relief from Skin Irritation: The friction between your body and the bike seat doesn’t just cause discomfort; it can also lead to skin irritation. The magic of padded shorts lies in their ability to massively decrease this friction. By creating a smooth, even surface, these shorts can help to keep bothersome rashes at bay, enabling you to concentrate more on the ride and less on potential discomfort;
  3. Protecting From Pressure Points: An uneven bike seat can lead to severe aches at specific body points that are directly pressured against the seat. With the uniform surface offered by the padding in these shorts, found at, this undue pressure can be evenly distributed, easing these pressure points;
  4. Cycling Performance: By providing increased comfort, reducing irritation, and preventing pressure points, these shorts can allow you to cycle for longer durations. This enhanced endurance can, therefore, directly contribute to boosting your overall cycling performance.

Tips on Choosing Suitably Padded Bike Pants

  • Material: A fine blend of breathability and stretchability is key. Look for materials like spandex that offer flexibility for easy movement while cycling. Simultaneously, ensure the material has moisture-wicking competencies to keep you dry and more comfortable over extended periods;
  • Perfect Fit: A loose pair may lead to unwelcome abrasion, while excessively tight shorts may constrict your movement and blood flow. An excellent way to ensure an ideal fit is to consider the same metrics you would while adjusting your bike – the shorts should not cause any discomfort or limit your movement, but rather work in tandem with your bike setup to maximize comfort and prevent injury;
  • Padding Type and Placement: The padding, also known as the chamois, is arguably the most significant attribute of padded shorts. It, generally, comes in two main types: foam and gel. Foam padding is lighter and provides excellent breathability, making it more suitable for long rides, while gel padding offers superior comfort through better vibration absorption, ideal for rough terrains. Also, note that the placement of the padding should align directly with your sit bones, providing optimum support where it’s most required;
  • Cycling Style: Different types of cycling (like road cycling or mountain biking) can have varying demands, necessitating different types of padded shorts. For instance, road biking shorts are usually skin-tight and optimized for speed and aerodynamic efficiency, while mountain biking shorts are typically looser, prioritizing mobility. Choose the one that most aligns with your cycling style;
  • Maintaining Your Shorts: Bike pants with padding require proper care to ensure longevity. Regular washing prevents the buildup of bacteria and keeps your shorts clean and fresh. Also, avoid using a dryer as high heat can impact the material’s stretchability and the padding’s functionality.
Cycling on forest trail

Tailoring Your Gear to Your Destination

Depending on your chosen cycling destination, specific gear considerations need to be taken into account to ensure not only comfort but also safety as you navigate differing weather conditions and terrains.

Balancing Heat and Comfort in Warm Climates

For warmer destinations like the Garden Route in South Africa, lightweight, moisture-wicking, and breathable padded shorts are essential to ensure comfort while also preventing overheating. Choose shorts made from materials like Lycra or spandex; their unmixed breathability and elasticity will maximize your comfort. Remember to pair them with a breathable top and a cap for added sun protection.

Navigating Cold Climates with Efficiency 

Cycling in cooler climates like the French Alps demands careful layering to keep warm without compromising mobility. Start with an insulating base layer, add a mid-layer for additional warmth, and finish with a windproof/waterproof outer layer for protection against the elements. Maybe opt for bib-style padded shorts that offer added coverage for your lower back, essential in colder temperatures.

Maneuvering Wet and Windy Conditions

If you’re cycling in regions known for rainfall like Shimanami Kaido in Japan, water-resistant gear is non-negotiable. Choose padded shorts with a water-resistant finish and pair them with a waterproof jacket. A water-resistant cover for your helmet and waterproof shoe covers can also prove to be very beneficial.

Tackling Rugged Terrains

For rigorous trails like the Munda Biddi trail in Australia, durable and hard-wearing gear is a must. Opt for shorts with reinforced stitching and high-density padding for additional comfort. Pair them with sturdy, well-ventilated cycling shoes to handle the rough terrain effectively.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, padded underwear is indispensable in providing comfort and efficiency while embarking on cycling journeys, enhancing the overall experience significantly. Notable destinations such as the French Alps, the Silk Road, the Garden Route, and many more offer unique and captivating cycling routes that will surely satisfy the wanderlust of any cycling enthusiast.

But before you set off from the comfort of the familiar to the excitement of these exotic trails, your preparation must include choosing the appropriate gear.

Leave a Comment