The Difference between Tri Shorts and Cycling Shorts

Mar 14, 2019

When athletes train for either a triathlon or biking event, there seems to be some confusion about whether to get separate tri or bike attire. However, many would feel comfortable running and swimming in shorts that come with diaper-like padding. Here we will explain the difference between tri shorts and cycling shorts to ensure you make the right choice.


There are some significant differences between triathlon and cycling shorts. The major difference is in terms of comfort and performance. The clothing triathletes wear needs to be different to cycling, particularly when taking part in a big event.


Tri Shorts


athlete on a bike wearing a pair of tri shorts


Every piece of triathlon clothing is designed to keep two things in mind: versatility, and performance.


The pads are minimal inside triathlon shorts, which use a non-absorbent and high-density foam pad. It makes it easier for the athlete to swim, cycle, and run without any issues. The non-absorbent material helps tri shorts repel water, which makes them the best for triathlon events.


These have been designed to provide comfort during all three sections, thereby helping the participant increase their level of performance. It is a significant difference.


Triathlon clothing is designed to offer exceptional comfort in the water, as well as on land. In short, it is intended for a triathlon. Some of the pros of a tri short include:


1. Designed with all three sports in mind
2. Reduced padding for ease of running and swimming
3. Less chaffing during runs
4. Decreased fluid retention in the pad

Cycling Shorts


athletes on their bikes wearing cycling shorts


Cycling shorts are designed and built around the position the rider maintains on the bike. One of the ways of testing the reliability of bike shorts includes holding them by the top of the straps. You will notice the legs folding forward as opposed to hanging down in a pair of non-cycling shorts.


These come with substantial padding, both in terms of pad thickness and the overall size, which is comfortable while riding but not so much when swimming or running.


Pros of having cycling shorts include:


1. Specially designed for biking purpose
2. Extra Padding
3. Increased Durability
4. Good Grip for Non-Slip Legs
5. Increased Comfort over Long Bike Legs

Summing Up

In a quick summary, tri shorts have reduced padding to make them versatile for the athlete across three disciplines, while cycling shorts provide added padding.


Select an item and let us show you just how incredible custom apparel can be, absolutely free.



More Than Fabric: A Collection with Purpose

In the realm of sports, where every heartbeat becomes a chapter in an athlete's unique story, we find Marci Goldberg's...

Innerforce | Dec 05, 2023

Ultimate Guide: Best Biking Eyewear for Safety & Performance

Choosing the right biking eyewear can improve your vision, comfort, and safety on the road. In our ultimate guide, we explore lens colors and technologies, frame styles, and materials that suit every cyclist. Discover the benefits of coatings, and learn about polarized and photochromic lenses. Make an informed choice based on your individual needs and preferences.
Innerforce | Aug 22, 2023

From Land to Sea: Transitioning from Running to Triathlon

Discover the essential steps for transitioning from running to triathlon. Learn about new training approaches, equipment, and tips to help you succeed in your new athletic journey.


Photos. @working.triathlete

Innerforce | Apr 10, 2023

Mastering the Mental Game: Tips from Pro Athletes Using Innerforce Apparel

Discover how pro athletes using Innerforce apparel enhance their mental strength to conquer challenges and achieve their goals. Learn from their experiences and implement these tips in your own athletic journey.
Innerforce | Mar 29, 2023
1 2 3 21 Next »