Cycling shorts and sausage legs!
Cycling kit is designed to look sleek and chic so how do women feel when slipping into their lycra to take a pre-ride selfie to look down and see the dreaded sausage leg starting back at them? There is no pussy footing around it ‘the struggle is real’ and it seems a large percentage of women feel this way.
We all get ‘the look’ from normal dressed folk in coffee shops when we stop for a well-earned rest. Glowing slightly, possibly a little bit sweaty from grinding out those climbs, and all too eager to see the cake options – once these ‘non-cyclists’ see us inhale a wedge of lemon drizzle and they see the sausage legs in our ill-fitting shorts, the eyes roll and assume that x (cake) + y (inhaled) = you can’t wear skin tight clothing and eat like that my dear! Generally, cakes don’t give cyclists sausage legs; bad lycra does!
Cycling shorts and bib-shorts for women.
No woman wants to reveal their lumps and bumps to the world but when in the minefield that is choosing the best cycling shorts for our body shapes and sizes it seems that most women are left with opting for pad comfort over looks. After all if you are not comfortable in the saddle then your whole ride will probably be ruined. But who says we can’t have it all?
When I set about designing my ideal summer cycling wardrobe for women, the first thing that I focused on were the shorts. A comfortable and great looking kit is nothing without great shorts or bibs and while cycling shorts look simple, they are in fact quite a complex piece of kit. I wanted to create shorts and bib shorts that could meet the performance requirements while also solving the dreaded sausage leg issue. The cut, the fabric choice, the stitching, the leg length and leg cuff were all as important as the pad.
Back in earlier prototyping, Pure Velo shorts were taken ‘off template’ and had the traditional silicone leg gripper and whilst I found these comfortable for a quick ride or indoor training I was still staring down at my podgy thighs. Disheartened, I was left feeling is this it, do I have to live with these unflattering thighs in lycra forever more? I knew there had to be a better way.
Casting the sausage shorts aside I went back to the drawing board. Speaking to many women cyclists and noting their experiences with cycling shorts along with my own, I set out to create the most flattering yet comfortable shorts I could. I wanted Pure Velo to be different and to become known to be reliable for performance, comfort and design (and customer service, after sales support etc, etc, the list goes on….) and so the standard needed to be a lot higher.
Female specific cycling shorts and bib-shorts
Taking time to create my own female specific cut template. Researching pad manufacturers, trying many different pads made for different ride disciplines and distances. Searching for the highest quality performance fabrics and looking for those added extras to create the feminine touches that Pure Velo is all about took some time and hard work.
All this research and prototyping lead me to choosing a premium women’s specific chamois from Elastic interface, a pad that was designed for longer rides and that guarantees adequate support for on and off road cycling. I had made the leg length shorter to reduce those summer cycling tan lines (allowing you to still look good in your dress of an evening) whilst opting for a luxury Italian performance fabric that offers breathability, muscle control, excellent coverage and is resistant to sun tan lotion. Finally adding a softer and more forgiving leg cuff to help alleviate the unwanted sausage leg.
Elastic Interface chamois in all Pure Velo cycling shorts and bib-shorts.
The pads used in all Pure Velo shorts and bibs are made by Elastic Interface, who are an industry leading cycling pad manufacturing company. The testing of the pads took me on a journey riding the entire length of a country to make sure that they were comfortable enough – you can read about The Pad Pickle here.
Handing my Tech pack over to the factory in Italy, I knew my designs were in safe hands working alongside women who themselves understood the plight of the inner thigh bulge. Would a man have understood the same? Do they struggle with sausage legs? Does asking a man if your legs look like sausages in lycra get the same results as asking “does my bum look big I this?” (no emojis in this blog but head in hands here). Anyway, finally Pure Velo shorts and bibs were born! Lovingly designed by a woman in the UK and made by skilled female machinists in Italy.
I can now happily pedal off for a comfortable day of sunny cycling and a pleasant coffee and cake stop with sausage free thighs.