Best Bike Shorts 2020: Top 5 Cycling Shorts For Men & Women

May 2, 2020

Unless you are just going for a speedy jaunt around the neighborhood, any seasoned cyclist understands that you should never get on your bike without the appropriate cycling gear. We are not merely referring to the helmet or shoes; your attire also has to fit the bill.  

To slip on the right pair of specialized cycling shorts is just as crucial to the biking experience as the state of the bike itself. This is something you’ll realize when you going for a long-distance trek in a pair of ordinary shorts. 

But you don’t need to learn everything the hard way, do you?

In this post, we discuss the best bike shorts that will allow you to cycle for hours without getting uncomfortable! 

Two men riding bikes

In a Hurry…

The test winner after 30 hours of research is the Sponeed Men's Cycling Shorts Padded. These shorts are made using a mix of polyester and spandex to offer you a snug-fitting design that is breathable to keep you cool and dry. 3D gel padding has been incorporated to protect your vital parts and enhance the overall comfort.

Also, the UPF 50+ protective material of the shorts shields you against the nasty rays of the sun. 

Product 

DESCRIPTION

 RATING


Sponeed Men's Cycling Shorts Padded

Sponeed Men's Cycling Shorts Padded

Best Overall

89/100

Sportneer Men's Cycling Shorts

Sportneer Men's Cycling Shorts

Cheapest but not necessarily Budget

82/100

NOOYME Womens Bike Shorts

NOOYME Womens Bike Shorts

Best Choice for Women

80/100

Santic Cycling Men's Shorts

Santic Cycling Men's Shorts

Runner-Up

85/100

Beroy Women's Bike Shorts

Beroy Women's Bike Shorts (Women's)

Budget Choice for Women

78/100

Eco-daily Men's Cycling Shorts Padded

Santic Cycling Men's Shorts


77/100

Giro Men's Chrono Expert Bib Shorts

Giro Men's Chrono Expert Bib Shorts


75/100


Best Bike Shorts- Buyer’s Guide

There are various aspects that you should consider when searching for the best cycling shorts. These aspects will each have a different impact on the overall biking experience but since they come together to form one, it is critical that you assess them individually before deciding to buy. These aspects include:

Comfort

Sitting on a hard saddle throughout those long-distance bike trips isn’t exactly the perfect idea of comfort! Biking shorts add an extra layer of padding that will eliminate the discomfort arising from friction and pressure from lightly padded seats. It is wise to find bike shorts with generous padding to counteract your weight and action of gravity when you’re riding.

Keep in mind that even the bicycle seat gets worn down with every subsequent ride, leaving you with a hard and uncomfortable surface. So, before you decide to get another seat, your shorts are all you can rely on for comfort. Always go for a pair with ample padding!

Material

The majority of modern-day cycling shorts are made from lycra or spandex; the stretchy nature of the materials allows for smooth mobility as your ride. This is a huge upgrade from the wool shorts used in the earlier years. 

However, manufacturers are also blending these stretchy fabrics with natural fibers like cotton. This results in variances in the feel of the shorts that will affect the overall performance when you get on your bike. Ensure that you get a blend of materials with the most practical feel.

Fit and Size

Unlike shoes, there is no “break-in” period when it comes to bike shorts! This means you shouldn’t settle for an ill-fitting pair with the hope that you will adjust to them. Also, remember that manufacturers have differing ideas of what “small”, “large” and “extra-large” is; so, it would be prudent to try on the shorts to make sure that they fit you just right. 

Ideally, the right bike shorts should fit you snugly, but not too tight to the point there's no breathing room. This will greatly boost the level of comfort once you set out on a biking trip. You don’t want to cut short a fun day in the outdoors just because you couldn’t find the right size of bike shorts. 

Chamois

The Chamois refers to a pad in the middle of cycle shorts that is included to provide the groin region with protection. It also helps to wick away moisture that builds up inside your shorts when you start sweating after cycling for a long time. 

There are no two chamois that deliver the same kind of experience. Consider the material used for the chamois and the contours when searching for a pair of bike shorts. Also, your riding style is something that should be factored into the equation for the best cycling experience on the trail. 

Style

Bike shorts come in all sorts of shapes, colors, and designs. While this may not be a priority for most cyclists, some people like to look good when they get on their bikes. There is a variety of looks you can get from the bike shorts you want to wear.

Some people may want to go for a minimal look with passive colors whereas others will prefer an athletic design with salient colors to match the task ahead. Depending on what you want to achieve, style is something you might want to consider before choosing bike shorts to buy. 

Breathability

Sweat tends to pool around the mid-area when you embark on a biking trip. This is especially true for those long and intense rides where you put in the extra effort. Bike shorts that are not manufactured with breathable fabric can get extremely discomforting and irritating in such circumstances. 

Aside from making it impossible for the sweat to escape, the combo of wetness and friction as you ride makes your skin more prone to blistering and tearing. This will also be the perfect environment for bacteria to grow. All these can be prevented by wearing breathable biking shorts that provide an escape route for the moisture!


Best Bike Shorts- Individual Reviews

Our top pick for the best bike shorts is not only a bestseller on Amazon but also boasts more than a thousand glittering reviews. The Sponeed men’s cycling shorts boast a variety of excellent features that are sure to get the job done for both beginner and experienced cyclists.

These shorts are available in different sizes to suit different users, as well as colorful and reflective graphics that enhance your visibility on the road. They fit true to size thanks to a nice combination of spandex and polyester. The stretchy material doesn’t restrict movement during riding, ensuring that you get a smooth riding experience .

Leg grippers have been included to keep shorts in place at all times while a 3D gel padding in the “key areas” keeps you protected and makes for comfort on those intense runs. The shorts are also UPF 50+ protective. This feature serves to protect riders against powerful rays from the sun. You’ll have a comfortable ride even when the sun is scorching and this aspect will also come in handy for people with sensitive skin.

The six-panel anatomic design of the shorts ensures that you get superior and chafe-free comfort. Ample padding reduces the strain of sitting for long hours while limiting the stress of gravity as you ride. This makes the shorts suitable for all kinds of cycling, including mountain and road biking. 

Another great feature on the Sponeed men’s cycling shorts is that they are very breathable. The design incorporates a breathable Coolmax silicon crotch pad that allows air to freely flow in and out. This lets you keep cool when it gets hot while ensuring that you remain comfortable throughout the ride.

The padding further works to stave off bacterial growth, as well as eliminates the buildup of odor under the shorts. The shorts not only guarantee comfort but is also healthy to wear. You’ll appreciate the moisture-wicking capabilities of the shorts, which help to prevent wetness from building up.

This prevents irritation during your ride and prevents blistering and tearing due to friction. Finally, maintaining the Sponeed men’s cycling shorts will be an easy affair. You can either hand wash or throw them in the washing machine. Just make sure that you don’t brush or use bleach on them! 

Pros


  • Nice design and graphics
  • Plenty of padding for comfort
  • Great fit and breathable material
  • Reflective stripes
  • Good bang for the buck
  • Moisture-wicking to keep you cool and dry 

Cons


  • Long lengths may be unsuitable for shorter riders
  • Runs small

2. Sportneer Men's Cycling Shorts

- Cheapest but not necessarily Budget -

These are great cycling shorts that won’t cost you a fortune but still offer the kind of comfort you’d expect from a high-end brand. The Spotneer men’s cycling shorts provide you with the perfect balance between riding comfort and aero dynamism. They’ll have you switching gears seamlessly on your road bike as you enjoy the smoothest ride yet!

The first thing that will strike you about these amazing pair of shorts is the design. The shorts not only spot an athletic look but also come with a highly visible reflector on the logo that makes it safer for you to ride after dark. Engineered with a nice combination of nylon and spandex, these shorts maintain a lightweight and durable design. 

The stretchy spandex fabric makes for a second-skin fit that ensures your comfort all through the ride. It prevents shifting in the saddle to keep you at ease while silicone grips on the legs enable the shorts to stay in place even when you’re peddling intensely. 

You also get flatlock seams that are meant to offer maximum flexibility, leaving you with the freedom to forge ahead of your competition without feeling a pinch. 

These shorts also feature high-performance inner padding that is made up of three dense layers that provide crucial support to your upper thighs. The padding helps to absorb shock and spread out saddle pressure against your sit bone. It also features an anti-bacterial compound that serves to prevent bacterial growth, as well as bad odor.

Whether you’re planning to go for a quick ride around the city tarmac or tackle those hilly and bumpy backcountry roads, the padding will be a great treat to your thighs. With this, you’ll be able to ride for miles on end without getting uncomfortable and have the stamina to win a bike marathon.

The Sportneer men’s cycling shorts incorporate premium moisture-wicking fabric in their design to ensure that there is no accumulation of wetness when you’re cycling hard. This feature is complemented by the grid ventilation on either side of the thighs, which allows for free air flow while letting the vapor escape to the outside.

You’ll be able to stay cool and dry on long rides for an easy and comfortable experience, even while doing strenuous exercise. Overall, this is a great product that will be the perfect gift for a friend who is just discovering the joy of cycling.

Pros

  • Anti-slip design for stability
  • Plenty of padding for comfort
  • Highly visible reflector for night riding
  • Elastic and breathable material
  • Great performance for the price 

Cons

  • Can be a bit too snug

For female bike enthusiasts, this will be a wonderful choice to go on a cycling trip. These shorts were designed to offer maximum comfort and minimize chafing between the legs; they offer just what you expect from the best cycling shorts. 

Wearing this cool pair of shorts makes you feel like you’re on a spring vacation. The bright colors of the Nooyme women’s bike shorts are not only vivid and relaxing but also inject a sense of adventure that makes you want to jump on your bike and pedal till your legs fall off.

The colors will also match any cycling top in your wardrobe, allowing you to remain fashionable even while on top of a bike. The shorts are available in different sizes that range from small to XXL. This means they can be worn by women with different waist sizes and still offer the same comfortable fit. 

This cycling short has been manufactured using a blend of polyamide and spandex materials. This makes for a smooth build that is soft to the skin to keep you at ease all the way. 

Additionally, the soft build enhances body heat regulation, which ensures that your vitals are functioning optimally.

The spandex fabric makes for maximum stretch-ability as you pedal your bike, making sure that your movement is not limited. This is reinforced by smooth flatlock seams that keep you as flexible as you need to be while preventing friction. The ergonomic design of these shorts incorporates a gel-padded chamois to offer extra support and guarantee comfort during the ride.

The chamois absorbs shock to reduce discomfort in your inner thighs and this allows you to ride for hours on end with no irritation. You'll also appreciate the soft silicone grippers that keep the shorts in place at all times even while engaging in high-intensity exercise.

The waistband is also wide and won’t roll, helping to keep the short in place for comfortable riding experience. It is supported by an anti-slip silicone strip on either leg opening, which prevents the bike shorts from bunching up or getting in your way as you ride.

Overall, the Nooyme cycling shorts are the perfect choice for women. They are super light, highly breathable, and lushly padded for extreme comfort. To add on that, there is a reflective strip on the back of the legs to ensure that you remain visible when riding at dusk or after dark. 

Pros

  • Padded chamois for extra comfort
  • Perfect fit for women
  • Premium blend of fabric
  • Fashionable design 

Cons

  • Waistband not adjustable
  • Not the best choice for long rides

These premium mens cycling shorts will be a great choice for newbie enthusiasts looking for their first real biking experience, as well as seasoned long-distance riders searching for a practical piece of cycling attire. They come with a snug-fitting design that will keep you comfortable throughout your biking expedition.

The Santic cycling shorts for men feature a blend of nylon, spandex, and lycra in their material composition. This results in a light design that won’t slow you down while riding. The spandex and lycra enable the shorts to be conveniently elastic so that you’re able to pedal smoothly without any inhibitions. 

The surface features a smooth and cool microfiber that feels great on your skin. The shorts also are UPF 50 protective to shield you against the harmful rays from the sun. 

The 12-panel anatomic design enhance comfort while leaving you with the freedom to cycle with no hitches. 

A seamless pad on the seat reduces the likelihood of experiencing saddle sores and abrasion even after hours of staying on your bike.

The 4D Coolmax pad also reduces chaffing and it is breathable to keep you cool and dry as you speed towards the finish line. The breathability of the shorts is reinforced by 38 vents, which allow for free aeration inside the shorts. This effectively reduces sweating and wetness, helping to keep the growth of bacteria and awful smell at bay.

Another useful feature on the shorts is the silicone leg grippers that serve to maintain them in place when you have to pedal extra hard. Also, moisture-wicking capabilities make the Santic men’s bike shorts perfect for avid cyclists used to cycling for long distances. 

These shorts come in a few color options that will still look good on you. However, there are various sizing options to fit different body types, including Asian sizing, as well as a women’s version to ensure that the female folks are not left out of the action. For those who like to go for a jaunt in the wee hours of the morning, the reflective logo on the sides of the shorts will keep you visible to motorists and pedestrians on the road. 

Pros

  • Breathable with moisture-wicking properties
  • Temperature control
  • Silicone grips for a snug fit
  • 4D Coolmax pad for maximum comfort
  • 12-panel padding
  • Reflective logo for after dark riding 

Cons

  • Fabric rides up sometimes
  • Limited color options

This is another great choice for women, especially those who want to limit their costs but still get something practical to work with. With the Beroy women’s cycling bib shorts, a wide range of features help to offer cyclists maximum comfort, striking a good balance between incredible value and complete comfort.

These shorts come with an extremely soft microfiber upper layer that is malleable enough to align effortlessly to the body’s contours. This leads to a perfect fit when you wear them, ensuring that there is no friction or chafing as you ride. There is also a Bacteriostatic treatment that has been added to enhance protection against a wide range of infections and sores.

The material used on the Beroy bib shorts for women consists of a mixture of polyester and spandex. This enables the shorts to be highly elastic and keeps it close to the skin; a must-have feature when it comes to the best cycling shorts. You’ll have an easy time cycling for hours with this cycling short.

Also, you get a highly practical seamless integrated technology in the form of cushioning. The dual-density padding is conveniently thick, especially on the crucial areas of the body to enhance comfort and absorb shock as you ride on bumpy and rocky terrains.

The thickness of the padding has been designed in such a way that it is not uniform throughout the body but thickest around the bone regions, moderate thickness in the perineum, and minimum thickness at the perimeter. This way, no part of your body will be in distress because of uniform thickness.

The material also boasts excellent absorption qualities, which will come in handy on those hot and humid rides. This allows heat and sweat to wick out and prevents the accumulation of moisture inside, helping to keep you cool and dry. It also blocks bacterial growth while keeping away foul odor. 

There is a chamois on the bib shorts made from multi-density foam to protect your vital areas while riding. It is soft enough to be adjusted in thickness and position, but also firm enough to stay in the position you want it to be. 

Finally, the 3D gel padding on the shorts helps to adhere to the anatomy of your muscles to offer additional support that could eventually limit lactic acid production. This can prove crucial when it comes to those marathon runs on your mountain bike, giving you the stamina to scale inclines without pushing yourself to the brink. 

Pros

  • Highly elastic and comfortable fit 
  • Good price for the performance
  • Moisture-absorbent and 3D gel padding

Cons

  • Runs small

The Eco-daily men’s cycling shorts were made for riders looking for maximum comfort and performance. The quality sports apparel spot an athletic design with a charming blend of colors that will allow you to look like the pro you are once you get on the bike.

The shorts are made of a combination of spandex and polyester, which results in a second-skin fit. The material is pretty stretchy and flexible to offer you freedom of movement as you pedal down the road. It also combines moisture absorption, fine air permeability, and sweat releasing properties that all play a crucial role during a ride.

They prevent the accumulation of wetness inside the shorts and limit discomforting feelings of greasiness or stickiness when you’re riding. Your skin also gets to breathe freely. It will be easy for you to speed past your competition when the race starts to pick up intensity.

The shorts also boast a 14-panel anatomic design that provide extra support to the skin movements while enhancing uninterrupted blood flow to the muscles during exercise. 

This helps to reduce fatigue, as well as the build-up of lactic acid in the muscles. Flatlock seams further make for a chaff-free ride with no irritation.

Six layers of high-impact foam spread throughout the shorts guarantee riders protection against injury during long-distance biking trips. These are excellent shock absorbers and the design also features a four-way stretch, as well as laser-cut rounded edges to ensure there is no chaffing. The padding is extra-perforated to make it lightweight and breathable.

Another essential feature on the Eco-daily men’s cycling shorts is the mesh panels located on both thighs and waist. These act as ventilators to enhance breathability and allow sweat to escape in the form of vapor. The result is that you suffer less irritation from wetness and greasiness and don’t have to worry about blistering and tearing of the skin.

You also get anti-slip silicone leg grippers that prevent the shorts from riding up your leg and leaving behind nasty marks. This makes for a stress-free biking session, plus there are reflective elements on the bike shorts to make it safer for you during night time and early-morning rides. 

Pros

  • Perfect fit and very comfortable
  • They run true to size, nice design and colors
  • Anti-slip leg grippers
  • Plenty of padding for shock absorption
  • Reflective elements for safety 

Cons

  • Not enough support in the groin area

The Giro Chrono Expert Bib Shorts for men have been designed to provide cyclists with an enjoyable experience thanks to an expertly engineered design that focuses on rider comfort. The manufacturer has included a custom-made chamois on the shorts that comes with guarded padding to enhance support and cushioning.

Thee reduces chaffing while ensuring that you enjoy stress-free rides. These shorts are made with a hybrid of spandex and lycra, resulting in a highly flexible and stretchy form to offer you freedom of movement. The material also wraps around the muscles snugly for extra protection.

The elastic lycra fabric ensures that the shorts will always maintain their shape, as well as align to your body contours for a perfect fit. Compression leg bands have been included on both legs ensuring the shorts stay in place during extreme riding and prevent any form of skin irritation.

The upper of the bib shorts feature a mesh material that increases breathability by allowing fresh air to freely flow inside. This aids to keep you cool when the conditions are hot and add to the overall versatility of the Giro’s. Similarly, there is little accumulation of wetness, as the sweat is allowed to escape outside.

The upper of the bib shorts feature a mesh material that increases breathability by allowing fresh air to freely flow inside.

This aids to keep you cool when the conditions are hot and add to the overall versatility of the Giro’s. Similarly, there is little accumulation of wetness, as the sweat is allowed to escape outside.

Another interesting feature is the elastic leg grippers sewn into the short’s fabric, which serve to enhance the overall performance of these shorts. Premium Italian materials have been used in the construction of the shorts to guarantee that you’ll enjoy the highest levels of comfort.

The custom chamois does a great job of keeping you cozy throughout the ride while the stretch bib straps work effortlessly with your body when in motion. Overall, this is a high-performance product that any serious biker will be wise to add to their sports apparel wardrobe.

Pros

  • Highly customized fit and good padding 
  • Breathable mesh straps
  • Quite elastic and stretchy

Cons

  • Only one color available
  • The chamois is thick

FAQ

What are the Best Cycling Shorts?

There are numerous brands selling biking shorts in the market and these come in all shapes and sizes. However, the best bike shorts lay great emphasis on the overall level of rider comfort by incorporating several aspects in their design. These include elements such as padding, breathability, moisture-wicking properties, stretch-ability, etc.

While these qualities may differ between brands in the market, the following bike shorts offer the best balance of the above qualities in their performance:

What are the Best Padded Bike Shorts?

Padded bike shorts come in quite handy on those long-distance biking journeys because they enhance comfort by absorbing shock throughout the ride. Apart from the brands we’ve discussed in our review, some of the best padded bike shorts in the market include:

Do Cycling Shorts make a Difference?

Yes! Cycling shorts have a huge impact when it comes to endurance cycling and could actually end up being the difference between coming last and first in a biking competition. Cycling shorts protect the most sensitive regions on your body by reducing contact with the bicycle seat.

They are padded to limit your inner thighs from rubbing against the bike seat, which reduces friction and blistering of your skin. Their close-fitting design assists in enhancing aero dynamism while giving riders a full range of motion, which is a credit to the 4-way stretch materials they are made of.

Also, the compression offered by the tight-fitting shorts serves to boost blood flow to legs, which provides an optimal supply of oxygen to the working leg muscles. These shorts also have a chamois that eliminates impact-related soreness from vibrations and evens out pressure in the sensitive areas between your legs. 

All these factors work to ensure that you get a more comfortable riding experience with fewer deterrents to worry about. It gives you a significant edge over a person who’s just wearing an ordinary pair of shorts. 

Are Expensive Bike Shorts Worth it?

Generally, you get what you pay for when it comes to mountain bike shorts! There are notable differences between the cheap and expensive models in the market, although you don’t necessarily have to spend wastefully to get a comfortable biking experience. I think the best way to decide between the two is to consider the purpose of buying the bike shorts.

If you’re simply buying the shorts for brief and routine jaunts around the city, then I don’t see why you should go for an expensive design. However, if you’re buying for purposes of competition and endurance cycling, there’s no limit to how much you can spend to guarantee your comfort, especially when you can afford it!

After it’s all said and done, we recommend the Sponeed Men's Cycling Shorts Padded to any serious cyclists looking for a practical cycling short. These will impress you with the following qualities: 

  • Nice design and graphics
  • Plenty of padding for comfort
  • Great fitting spandex fabric 
  • Breathable material
  • Reflective stripes for night riding
  • Good bang for the buck
  • Moisture-wicking material to keep you cool and dry

Conclusion

The best cycling shorts help to bring out the best in you when you get on a bike. They not only ensure that you remain comfortable through long-distance bike voyages but also put you in the most optimal conditions to ride freely while allowing you to avoid distractions and irritations.

Whether you’re riding the best electric mountain bike or cruising on an ordinary road bike, the above bike shorts present you with a good opportunity to thrive on the biking trail. So, the next time you go shopping for practical bike shorts, remember to consider them!

Enjoy the Ride! 

Last update on 2020-10-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the author

Emma was born and raised in the UK, studied in Amsterdam (where she discovered her passion for biking), and is currently living in Ohio. Her main passion is cycling, that's why she is always looking for an amazing new e-bike to make her journey even more unforgettable!

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