10 Best Cycling Shorts Tested and Fully Reviewed
Cycling shorts range from extra padded to bib styles that hold up over the shoulders. We researched it all to give you 10 of the best options in cycling shorts so you could spend less time searching and more time cycling.
Scroll through the 10 Best Cycling Shorts line up and get acquainted with what’s current today. We also offer an extensive FAQs and criteria section below, so you can gain a better understanding of what it is you should be looking for in a great pair of cycling shorts.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 13 hrs of research
Made with quality materials
Fit as expected
10 Best Cycling Shorts
Made with quality materials
Fit as expected
Padding may not be adequate for very long rides
No drawstring for easy adjustment
Our top pick for best cycling shorts is the NOOYME cycling short for men. It makes the top of the list for its comfortable fit, accurate sizing, and excellent moisture wicking properties.Read more
The NOOYME men's cycling shorts made the cut because of their true to size fit. Made with non-slip leg grippers, the shorts are not prone to slipping or riding up and don't require frequent adjustments. An elastic waistband keeps the shorts sitting comfortably on the rider's waist.
Reviewers greatly appreciated the anti-chafing smooth seams featured on the shorts which eliminate issues related to friction. The 3D chamois offers a nice amount of padding for riders that users found quite comfortable. Side padding on the shorts was something users found to be a nice touch.
The shorts are offered in a variety of different color options and also feature stylish and practical reflective strips for added visibility during the evening or early morning rides.
The materials that make up the shorts (polyamide and spandex) work well when wicking moisture and work effectively to regulate body temperature.
2. Louis Garneau Men's Fit Sensor 2
Differnt ad options
Good fabric feel
No inner seems
Stay in place at legs
roll down some
Fit Sensor 2 cycling shorts are an upgrade to an already well-made line of shorts. They are made to stay and move while offering stellar padding in all the right spots. Louis Garneau is top of the line with consumers and we did our research to make sure you know why they are a perfect fit for the 10 Best Cycling Shorts lineup.Read more
Louis Garneau is lined with flatlock seams that keep the nylon blend material from cutting into the skin. They also designed the inner legs without seams so you're not getting rubbed or chaffed, which creates a very uncomfortable experience when cycling.
They added a drawstring waist to help keep the shorts in place while constructing the lower cuffs with a Powerband technology that provides support and allows unrestrictive movement and circulation.
Constructed with comfort in the blueprint, the Fit Sensor 2’s 10-panel design moves with the body while offering compression without the constriction some brands have. They are made with outer nylon and inner brushed polyester blend, which work together to help eliminate chaffing, control body temperature while wicking sweat from the skin.
Fit Sensor 2 is also made with more Lycra, aiding in muscle support, which makes for a longer more comfortable ride. It also works against constant road vibration fatigue due to its soft compression value.
Louis Garner also offers different pad styles for different comfort levels. These are lined with LG’s AirZone chamois, which prevents rough transitions from the pad to fabric that is known to cause chafing in other styles. This design also adds durability to the Fit Sensor 2.
The Fit Sensor 2 cycling shorts were made to keep you moving without any distraction they are a sleek black fit with outer reflective side panels for lower light cycling activities. The AirZone we mention in comfort is also crafted with anti-bacterial treatment that works to prevent unwanted smells or chafing.
The pads are a memory foam design that is fit to prevent pinching and are placed precisely for a more ergonomic to the seat. All of this style plays a huge roll in the comfort and durability of the Fit Sensor 2 design.
Fit Sensor 2 cycling short’s blended fabric is brushed back to make for better thermoregulation while cycling. This includes wicking and airflow to keep you tempered no matter the intensity.
The padding is also designed to breathe better as it is 4-way stretch design with airflow vents. They designed thee vents smaller in the Fit Sensor 2 but added more of them.
Good amount of padding
Fit as expected
Long length might not be suitable for shorter cyclists
Not as great as other options for overall sweat wicking
These athletic looking shorts are inexpensive and provide great compression with a generous amount of padding.Read more
The shorts fit true to size according to the majority of reviewers and the material composition (polyester and spandex) provides a nice amount of stretch giving riders the right fit. The shorts also happen to be UPF 50+ protective. This feature ensures riders are protected from the sun's powerful rays and is great for the rider concerned with skin health.
The 3D chamois in these shorts is male specific to ensure male riders receive padding in all the right places. Leg grippers keep the shorts in check for a smooth wear experience.
The shorts feature interesting graphics mostly on a black background. Several design options are available and all of them make the shorts look like they were made for serious athletes.
The Coolmax silicone crotch pad is breathable and mops up moisture as the rider sweats. The padding also works to fight off bacterial growth in order to eliminate unpleasant smells.
4. Pearl Izumi Sugar
Snug comfortable fit
Great sweat wicker
Quality short that will hold up after many washes
Padding tends to flatten out over time
This pair of cycling shorts is a great option for women looking for something durable and stylish. The wide range of sizing means there's an option for all shapes.Read more
Reviewers were extremely happy with the fit of these shorts and loved that they were offered in so many sizes. An anatomically correct fit hugs the body to ensure the shorts fit well.
3D chamois padding adds comfort during a ride. Placed in the right areas to provide protection for female riders even on longer rides. Leg grippers eliminate unwanted movement from the shorts.
These shorts look sleek and stylish and options with different color accents can be purchased. The buildup black base stays the same but pops of color add some interest.
These shorts wick sweat quite well, reviewers were happy to report that they liked how the shorts left them feeling dry even when the going got tough.
5. Sugoi Evolution
Nice fit overall
Logo fades away after a while
Chamois might be a bit too generous for some
Quality construction and durability have earned these shorts their spot on this list. They also feature a friction-free fit and comfortable padding.Read more
Construction & Fit
A blend of materials makes these shorts solid and durable. They will hold up even after several washes. They also fit well, according to the majority of reviewers who tried the shorts.
Flat seams on this pair of shorts prevent chafing from occurring and an RC Pro chamois ensures riders stay comfortable even on longer rides. The chamois padding is so generous that it may feel a bit much for some.
A sleek fit makes these shorts a stylish option for riders who prefer to opt for basic black.
These shorts wick moisture pretty well thanks to the breathable fabric.
6. Pearl Izumi Quest
3D chamois is extremely comfortable
Not as supportive as other options
Sizing is on the small side
The majority of reviewers cited the great fit as one of their top reasons for loving this cycling short. The Pearl Izumi Men's Quest Cycling Short comes in a variety of sizes to ensure you get the right fit.Read more
The nylon fabric of these shorts provides a nice amount of give to ensure sizing is right on. A snug fit means these shorts stay put during a ride and an anatomically correct design works to produce nearly zero chafing. Sun protection, in the form of UPF 50+ material, is another bonus with these shorts.
The great fit of these shorts makes them comfortable to wear. Adorned with leg grippers to eliminate movement, the shorts feature a male-specific shape for comfort.
A basic style with all-black coloring will suit cyclists who prefer to minimize flash.
In addition to antibacterial properties, the shorts feature select transfer material which wicks sweat really well, helping to keep the rider dry.
7. Louis Garneau CB Carbon 2
Not the most stylish
These shorts have quickly become a favorite. They provide optimal padding and will keep you comfortable even during your longest rides.Read more
These bib shorts are made of a Lycra material and have highlander mesh panels--which improves breathability and keeps you cool and dry. They are compressive and stretchable and help increase your blood flow.
These bib shorts are comfortable and breathable. They also reduce fatigue as well as muscle compression.
These bib shorts look pretty standard and comes in black.
These shorts are highly breathable thanks to their Carbon Lycra material.
8. Santic Men’s 4D CoolMax
12-panel seamless padding for maximum comfort
Few style and color options
The Santic 4D CoolMax padded shorts are perfect for even the lengthiest ride and are sure to keep cool on those hot days.Read more
Santic's 4D CoolMax cycling shorts are made of a combination of Lycra, Nylon, and Spandex--which provides you with a comfortable and breathable option.
These shorts are easily one of the most comfortable options available. They prevent sweat accumulation, supply adequate temperature control, and are breathable and padded for maximum comfort.
There are few color options available for these shorts, however, there are several sizing options--include Asian sizing and a women's version of the same shorts.
These shorts feature breathable mesh, which provides you with sweat repellent
9. Giro Chrono Expert
Chrono Sport Cytech Chamois for a stretchier and more flattering design
Breathable upper Mesh
Bibs are an excellent alternative for long distance riding. We wanted to include a stylish, functional, and comfortable bib option for women, and we found it with the Giro Chrono Expert.Read more
Construction & Fit
The Giro Chrono expert is made of a combination of Nylon and Spandex—with mesh incorporated on the upper body section, for increased breathability and comfort.
The lightweight and breathable material used for this bib provides the cyclist with optimal comfort and elasticity.
While there are not may color options, Giro does provide a flattering and functional design.
This bib is made up of breathable material and the use of mesh on the upper portion makes it ideal to wear in hot conditions.
10. Endura Hummvee Baggy
Lots of pocket storage
Sturdy zippers that won't break
Belt buckle is a little flimsy
Sizing chart is off, best to go up a size
A baggier short for those who want to avoid skintight options. Great for mountain bikers or those who just want a pair of shorts with a looser fit. Easy to wear off the bike.Read more
A baggier fit makes these great for those who don't want to feel constricted. The nylon fabric construction is durable and the variety of pockets offer great storage capacity. An adjustable belt makes finding the right waistband fit easy.
Seamless construction of the inner leg means that the potential for chafing is reduced. Reviewers found the looser fit quite comfortable and accommodating.
Unique style is offered in a variety of color options to suit different tastes. These shorts can easily be worn off the bike. Wearers won't feel self-conscious taking a break from riding to head into a coffee shop in these shorts. Work just as well as a casual short.
The water repellent material keeps rainy days from ruining the fun. Water won't be soaked up by the fabric. A side zipper can be utilized for extra ventilation and a mesh liner encourages breathability.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
No one wants to wear something with a weird seam or a waistline that digs in at an uncomfortable place. This takes away from the experience of cycling and can impact your performance. We looked at the way that the shorts were made, and how they were intended to fit. While a snug fit is important to prevent shifting mid-ride, you also don’t want them to be so tight that they restrict your movement. You shouldn’t have to fight your cycling shorts to pedal your bike. They should move with you naturally and be made of materials that are sturdy enough to bounce back after washing. If the waistband or elasticity gives way after one rinse cycle, then your cycling shorts definitely weren’t worth the money.
Another important aspect of fit is correct sizing. We attempted to choose options that reviewers labeled as true to size. This makes selecting the right size easy. We also wanted to feature shorts with a wide range of sizing that might suit riders needing the smallest sizes to those who require plus size choices.
Sitting on a hard bike seat for miles and miles isn’t exactly everyone’s idea of comfort. Cycling shorts add an additional layer of padding that can counteract the friction and thinly padded seats. Depending on how sensitive you are, you may need a larger amount of padding to eliminate your discomfort. Even the best bike seats can get worn down, hard, and uncomfortable with repetitive use. Gravity doesn’t help either. You’re constantly being pulled down, and the motion forces you to rely on the seat for stability.
We chose shorts with generous amounts of padding in the right places. Of course, fit is an important part of finding a comfortable short which is why it’s our top consideration. Comfort is also aided by breathability, which was another aspect we used to evaluate the shorts on this list and is explained in detail below.
When you’re riding a bike, how you look may not be your top priority but it’s not something to ignore completely. Each pair of cycling shorts on this list is well-designed and looks great when worn. There are a variety of color options for most of the shorts featured and different designs to suit cyclists who prefer a more minimal look or those who want something that looks obviously athletic.
Sweat has a tendency to pool around her tailbone. Especially when we’re sitting for long periods of time and working really hard. Everyone sweats at different rates, but it’s still something you’re going to have to deal with. Cycling shorts that aren’t made of breathable fabric can make this extremely uncomfortable. Not only do you end up sitting in a pool of your own sweat that has nowhere to go, you also provide the perfect storm for bacterial growth. Wet skin is more susceptible to tearing and blistering. All it takes is one open blister to introduce bacteria to your tailbone or lower areas. If that sounds horrible, it’s because it is. Good cycling shorts are breathable and will be able to wick the sweat away from your body. This gives the moisture somewhere to go and prevents a lot of unnecessary issues.
Good cycling shorts will wick sweat effectively from your body and the material will dry out quickly to ensure you don’t spend all your time feeling damp. A good pair of cycling shorts will also have some degree of ventilation in the crotch area where the chamois is located to ensure you don’t overheat and experience uncomfortable chafing.
Other Factors to Consider
We didn’t select these cycling shorts at random. We decided that the most important factors to consider when purchasing cycling shorts were construction & fit, comfort, style, and breathability. Each of these considerations played into our decision to feature the products on this list.
Length can have a real impact on how comfortable the cycling shorts are. This can be influenced by whether or not you’re taller, and where the shorts will come to on your thigh. A lot of products run shorter than average athletic shorts. This is to stop them from getting tangled in any part of the bicycle, and to help increase the freedom of movement. Most experts say that you don’t want cycling shorts that go over your knee. Unless you’re trying to ride in inclement weather, this can be distracting and actually reduces your mobility. You can always check the inseam measurement in the specifications when shopping online. Otherwise, it’s a really good idea to go in and try the shorts on yourself. This lets you know the differences in sizing between brands, and helps you choose something that’s going to be comfortable and modest enough for your needs.
You have the option of going with shorts with traditional waistbands or bib style shorts. A traditional waistband tends to be composed of some elasticized material to ensure the shorts don’t fall or move too much as you ride. The downside to an elastic waistband is that it may dig into the skin after a while and begin to feel too tight. Some shorts will come equipped with drawstrings to allow for a more customized fit.
Bib style shorts feature straps that act like suspenders. Some cyclists may shy away from this style of short because they’re self-conscious about the different look. Don’t be shy to try something out of your comfort zone! These shorts have the advantage of no waistband. If you constantly have the issue of waistbands feeling too tight and leaving markings post-ride, a bib style option may be a good choice. The straps help the shorts stay put and there’s no need to fiddle with a drawstring.
We didn’t feature price as the main consideration for the shorts on this list because there’s so much variation in terms of what you can get for your dollar. A pricier option doesn’t immediately signal better quality. There are plenty of value options that provide the same level of performance as more expensive shorts. Generally, less expensive options will prove less durable over time, although that’s not always the case.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Q: Do I really need cycling specific shorts?
A: Yes! Unless you want a sore bum after a long ride. Cycling shorts are designed to pad your bottom while you ride your bike. Sitting on a bike seat without sport specific shorts can lead to discomfort. Remember when you were a kid and rode your bike around the neighborhood? Then you’ll probably remember feeling sore the next day. Bike shorts will ensure you feel comfortable even if you go long.
q: Q: What exactly is a ‘chamois’?
A: This is the special padding that’s featured in bike shorts. It helps to provide a layer of padding between your bottom and your bike seat. But that’s not all, it also provides support while you ride and helps to reduce the incidences of chafing you experience. Chamois that’s labeled as being 3D constructed is meant to mold to the body, you’ll notice a few options on this list with this kind of chamois. Many bike shorts have padding with anti bacterial properties to limit the growth of foul smelling bacteria.
q: Q: Should I wear underwear with these types of shorts?
A: Nope! It might feel weird at first, but most cycling shorts are designed to be worn without undergarments. They fit close to the skin and wick moisture away from the body and the chamois is designed to pad without underwear getting in the way. Wearing undergarments might actually cause unwanted friction and result in chafing.
q: Q: What are the advantages and disadvantages of a bib style short?
A: Bib style shorts eliminate the need for a waistband. If you’re someone who finds elastic waistbands uncomfortable, a bib short may help you with this problem. The straps on a bib short help the clothing to stay put. The downside? Going to the bathroom might be more of an ordeal.
q: Q: Why are all these shorts so tight fitting?
A: A tight fit helps riders become more aerodynamic. Clothing that’s close to the skin reduces drag and helps to produce a speedier ride.
q: Q: What’s the best advice for caring for my new cycling shorts?
A: Generally, most athletic clothing features special care instructions. Check the tag of your particular garment to see what’s recommended by the manufacturer. Avoid the clothes dryer if possible. Drying your athletic clothing will reduce its lifespan and cause it to wear out a lot faster.
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