Some context - I have a pair of bib shorts that fit me well though could certainly be tighter without causing discomfort. I have a good bike fit, and I can do 100km+ rides without saddle discomfort.

A few months after I got the bibs, this chafing began little by little. My testicles rub against my legs as I pedal, and I end up with a sore/raw spot on the outside of each one. I begin to notice this after about 40km on most rides.

I have tried different 'positioning', but they end up back in the same place (does this mean my shorts could be too loose?).

I never had this issue riding with normal shorts, nor with my old pair of padded shorts that were too loose for me.

I've found I can alleviate this somewhat by pulling my bibs down a bit, simulating looser bib straps. It seems that the tighter the bibs are, the less space there is for my junk, and the more my testicles are pushed out into my legs.

So, are my testicles supposed to touch my legs, at least during part of the crank rotation? And should I get an even tighter pair of bibs?

I've been resisting resorting to chamois cream, I'd like to solve the root issue if possible.

  • Do you per chance have a women's model of bib shorts? I had some problems when I once used bibs designed for women (because they were on sale, duh) exactly because there is no space designed for male reproductive organs. Commented Jul 11, 2018 at 14:18
  • No, I've got male-specific shorts.
    – BSO rider
    Commented Jul 11, 2018 at 15:54
  • Your shorts aren't tight enough. And use chamois cream! Liberally!
    – Carel
    Commented Jul 11, 2018 at 16:35
  • The curse of genetics
    – Rider_X
    Commented Jul 11, 2018 at 21:13
  • Yep, you need to use butt butter. Commented Aug 21, 2018 at 0:43

2 Answers 2


"we're all adults here..."

In my experience, when riding with bib shorts or cycling shorts, they have to be pulled up, way up. And they should be a snug fit around your lower body - the shoulder straps are more forgiving.

Ideally your pants cloth should be in contact with your skin all the way up your thighs and right up to where the skin turns around and comes back down as the scrotum. (sorry I can't find a medical name for this crease in the skin.)

This should leave two layers of cloth between the boys and the thighs.

Chamois cream might help, but you won't know till you try it. Vaseline / Petroleum Jelly is worth trying if you already have some (most households do) but its not as good as the proper product.

  • 1
    Chamois cream might help Unless you have an allergy... Two nice thing about plain petroleum jelly: extremely hypoallergenic and cheap. Commented Aug 21, 2018 at 12:49
  • 1
    I've started using vaseline and my problems have gone away
    – BSO rider
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 0:41
  • @BSOrider Good news - you could try buying some proper chamois cream now that you know the idea helps. A related thought - hairiness could be related. You could try thinning the areas if they're particularly bushy, or a shave of the sack and top of leg, Doesn't need to be perfectly groomed.
    – Criggie
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 2:09

Sounds like from you're own trial and error, your bibs are too tight, as counterintuitive as that may seem.

Is there a reason why your resistant to chamois cream? IMO it's all personal though. For instance, I usually do fast 60mile+ rides in bibs and chamois cream, but have also done 125miles in wool boxers, shorts, and no chamois cream. No issues either way. Trial and error I guess is the only way to know for sure.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.