When it comes to cycling for longer durations, it is always recommended to have a good cycling shorts on the rider. They aren’t just for show & form the most important part of a cycling kit’s wardrobe. Why? We will explain this up ahead.
Those who have an idea of cycling shorts as well as those who have no idea of what it is,this article will be in your interest especially if you are somebody who either spends a lot of time on the saddle or is thinking about it. We shall list the top 10 best cycling shorts for both males & females along with the other necessary details for starters.
Why Do We Need Cycling Shorts?
You might first ask us why is a cycling short important at all if you are new to it or nw to long duration racing. Well, if you don’t want some trouble in the sensitive regions then cycling short is somebody you need to keep in your good books.
Cycling short is the clothing that any rider will have in contact the most with the bike. Regular shorts are thin, loose & can interrupt the cycling motion. But, this doesn’t mean that you’ll have to be necessarily wear tight shorts as too tight a short will increase the friction due to paddling & lead to issues in the form of rashes & skin complications. Under such cases, you need cycling shorts which isn’t just tight but is also aptly padded in order to minimize the pressure from the seat. The padding also enables easy paddling with air circulation to keep the area breathing & airy. Why cycling shorts are important is also because you won’t have the option of adjusting every now & then during biking. Instead, you’ll have to be on the go constantly since you aren’t a runner who can adjust at will
The Chamois Play
The name “chamois” is a jargon in the cycling field & comes from a leather made from European mountain goats. We are not going to hurt the sentiments of animal lovers & hence would like to tell you that since the 1980s, majority chamois pads found in cycling shorts have adopted the “go synthetic mantra”. A good chamois will add the necessary padding & make rides more comfortable for you. It is engineered to pull the moisture away from the body so as to keep it dry & reduce chafing on the sensitive areas. This will keep irritation & bacteria build-up away, thus preventing saddle sore.
The making of most chamois these days is done in a way that they feature a padded inner zone wrapped in a low-friction, anti-microbial fabric. Obviously, the more you pay, the ones which have fewer & smoother seams would come as well as feature a more anatomical cut to fit you well. A good fit & quality is what stands between the experience of wearing a cycling gear & an adult diaper.
Shorts Vs Bibs – Making A Choice
Cycling shorts have two disciplines: bib shorts & waist shorts. Bib shorts are the better option when it comes to user experience as it promises greater comfort. These will be stretch around your shoulder right down from your thighs. Shorts on the other hand will end at waist. If you opt for waist shorts, try looking for something with wide bands so as to prevent the elastic feeling from digging in to you waist.
Put simply, both bibs & shorts have their positives & negatives. What you choose should depend upon your riding style, fit & size as the first three factors with other factors too. Shorts can turn out to be uncomfortable since the waist succumbing to the cinch outerwear will hinder the free movement. Bibs distribute the pressure on the shoulders but it is still a better option. However, everybody has their own comfort & some riders don’t favour even mild pressure on their shoulders. Bibs are advisable any day but, since the end user is you, try both & see what makes you feel better.
Mountain Biking Shorts – Men & Women
When mountain biking reached its paramount, there was a distinctly visible divide between the cross-country racers & the motocross racers. While the former had tight-fitting Lycra shorts & jerseys which were quite similar to the roadies & the downhill fleet who opted for the loose-fitting motocrossers gears. Today, times have changed & a midway has been found where both these differences have come to a common agreement with modern MTB short. These feature slimmer fitting “baggy” outer that has both style & protection like old-school motocross-inspired uniforms & a tighter fit with a lighter fabric to keep things cool as well as shaped so that it won’t stretch & fall under the knees when they get a bit sweaty.
Mountain bike shorts being in the wearables category are available in many lengths, sizes & styles. For kneepad users, you’ll want longer & more flexible ones. Otherwise, there’s always the choice to wear something a little shorter & tighter. Majority shorts come with a chamois liner.
Coming to the primary differences between men’s & women’s cycling shorts, first is the cut & second are the pads. These two things vary based on the body’s anatomy. Brands these days are improving their women’s range with drop-tail options which allow easier mid-ride pit stops where the rear straps can be detached to get only the back portion of the bib to be lowered or raise.
If we go for the starting range that isn’t too durable but is good enough given the price tag then you can find bicycling shorts as cheap as $22 & bibs as cheap as $80. The price will always keep going up & what makes them go up, what makes them cheap will be explained ahead. But, the starting range is pretty much affordable & if you have just started cycling & are not sure if you will continue long term or have money issues the same month when your old cycle pants wear out, then such options can be your friend in need as well as deed.
Top 10 Women’s Shorts
Below have been listed the top 10 brands for women’s cycling shorts & bibs. We have also mentioned the pricing to make it easier for you to make a choice.
- Pearl Izumi Women’s Versa
Let us start with the Pearl Izumi, the brand which actually made a statement on defining cycling shorts, their looks & designing ethics. The Women’s Versa brings water-resistant treatment & reflective details in the package. Priced at $100.00, these shorts won’t give you a visual feel of being a cycling short. The Versa, as mentioned earlier has the brand lineage advantage. The reflective elements make this short ideal for commuting here & there & even urban night riding apart from riding in the rains.
- Pearl Izumi Women’s P.R.O. Escape Bib
If we talked about the shorts, we were bound to talk about their best bibs as well. The P.R.O. Escape Bib Short comes at a low price point of $84.97. It also boasts the droptail feature. The Versa can be aptly described as “casual,” & the P.R.O. Escape as “committed.” since it is droptail, bathroom breaks are more of an easy feasibility here. The showstopper here is the -layer suspension-foam padding. It also has a men’s variant that drops the droptail idea but keeps the padding thing intact.
- Bontrager Tario Women’s Mountain Cycling Short
If there’s one cycling short in mountain biking that can be termed as casual & lightweight with trail-friendly features, then this is the one. Priced modestly at $79.99, the Tario is a minimalist women’s short with a 12-inch inseam. This makes it casual as well as trail-friendly. With an adjustable waist & a double snap front, the fitting is loose & allows you to tune your favourite liner with it. The best thing here is the breathability which will keep things ventilated when you wear it. Also on the shorts are two traditional hand pockets, a drop-in pocket which can fit your phone along with a zippered thigh.
- Zoic Navaeh Women’s
Another one on the cheap price tag list, the Zoic Navaeh Women’s shorts come at just $84.95. What does it look on the outside? It features four pockets with locking zippers on both hips & side of the legs which make room for plenty of secure storage. The material consists of polyester & spandex which makes it lightweight & breathable at the same time. again , the use of spandex makes it stretchable as well which won’t cause any sort of issues when cycling. The pockets, as mentioned earlier feature good storage & can house small tools or snacks,. The zippers ensure that the rough topsy-turvy route will keep your valuables from falling. The fit is nice & features Velcro adjustment straps just in case there’s room for some tightening.
- Terry Women’s Bella Short
From a brand that is known to keep a note of all customers when sizing comes & not just athletic body shape people unlike other brands, the Terry Women’s Comfy Bella Short is a nice women’s shorts without bib straps. They come at $115 & given the perforated chamois that sparks breathability in the region & also dryness due to air passage, these are the best in range. These shorts come without bibs & god for those girls who don’t prefer bib-short options. It has also won the Bicycling Editors’ Choice honor for women’s shorts previously due to its comfortable & ventilated chamois.
- Yeti Women’s Enduro
If you know bikes, you are bound to know Yeti. a brand that knows biking from all angles, the expertise is clearly visible in these soft, stretchy, slim-fitting shorts. Costing $119.95, these are like the apple of the eye for even those who prefer loose-fitting shorts. The form-fitting design has enough stretch to give the illusion of disappearing when the rider is pedaling. As told earlier. Yeti is an expert in the field & hence knows how to perfectly taper things at the right spots so as to avoid bunching or snagging on the saddle. The shorts dry quickly too. There’s a pocket towards the rear which is big enough to accomodate a phone & cards
- Giordana FR-C Pro Bib Short
The best thing about it is its availability in both men & women variants. This very comfortable bibs short makes long rides an easy happening & hence is for the ones who spend a wholesome time on the saddle. With a pricing of $187.46, it is a charm for the experienced campaigners as the product has been made keeping in made long rides specifically. Compressive Lycra panels on the front & the side, anti-abrasion for the seat & inner leg are sure to keep chafing away from the hours of long cycling. An anti-bacterial waistband prevents odor while the silicone grippers on the legs hold them in place without feeling too tight – all this with comfort in mind as well. The upper has a breathable mesh back to keep it cool during long hours & microfiber straps maintain ease.
- Velocio Signature Fly Bib Short
We often get to see two same competitors in the market with same features but different brands. A traditionalist short with modern features, the Velocio Signature Bib shorts offers similar functionality as the Giordana. The only difference is the look where Velocio simply owns it with the traditional look. There is a bit of a retro touch in terms of cross straps at the back. Also, the five-panel construction & relatively low mass of padding in the chamois exist. “Signature Fly” has a rear zip-down feature for bathroom. These bib shorts are custom made for hot weather & has another extreme-temperature sibling called the “Superlight” for high-end summers.
- Scicon X-Over Bib Shorts
A bib short which you can wear all-day long, the Scicon X-Over Bib shorts are a comfortable choice at $299.00. The X-Over is an engineered one in its league as it is very technical in terms of design & comfort. There are panels on the legs & torso which the brand claims reduce fatigue through compression. The four-way-stretch fabric dries quickly, is breathable & durable as well. Compression leg grippers are silicon-free & also provide stability around the leg. The bib straps are elastic.The brand has made it available in 10 sizes which is a big plus.
- Kitsbow Mescal Ventilated Short
The last one in the list of our top 10 bibs & shorts includes this $155 priced two-piece setup made specially for warm-weather mountain biking. It allows the users to make their own cycling apparel kit as they get to the choose the liner that provides them the desired amount of compression & cushioning. The choice of an outer layer for the desired coverage & temperature range is next. With plenty of breathable mesh & a multi-panel construction, the shell is highly adjustable & doesn’t snag due to its smoothness.
Top 10 Men’s Shorts
With the women’s best sorted, it is now time to get the best for men. We would mention the ones first which have their female counterpart already listed in the previous section followed by the new add-ons.
- Specialized Enduro Pro Shorts
With seven pockets, the Specialized Enduro Pro Shorts are fairly priced at $130. There are five on the bib liner & two on the outer to make room for all the ride essentials & cancel the need for a pack. It is a boon for dirt riders who generally hate carrying a pack. The bib liner makes use of the SWAT (Storage Water Air Tools) system that which allows to keep tools, CO2 tubes, etc tight against the rider’s body. The detachable liner is soft & comfortable with a breathable mesh bib & soft straps. There are two zipper pockets on the front legs too & are like widgets for easy & quick access of important stuff like money, phone, keys, etc. The shorts are baggy but not beyond the line & are lightweight & water-resistant. Since they aren’t that baggy, wearing them with light padding is possible.
- Assos T.Tiburu S7 Bib Short
At $259, the Assos T.Tiburu S7 bib shorts are for weather transition period biking like the spring’s early phase when there is still a winter touch & you need some warmth. The T.Tiburu S7 is for the cyclocross racers or those of early spring riding fans. These bibs keep you warm & work magically when paired with knee-warmers or leg-warmers. The company’s proprietary water-repellent technology is also a must companion of your shorts & the Stratagon Ultra fabric in the front crotch & lower abdomen keep the cool breeze away.
- Endura Pro SL
The brand’s attention to make it custom choosable for all riders is what makes it preferred by many riders. There are three different pad widths & two lengths which gives riders a wider option to choose what fits you perfectly. It comes loaded with the company’s confidence as it bears a 90-Day-Comfort-Guarantee meaning that you can try & even exchange it if it doesn’t make you comfortable. The Coldblack technology keeps your fabric cool under the sun even though it’s black & features a pocket. Silicone-print grips are there to keep the legs in place & all this package comes at a modest price of $195.
- Louis Garneau CB Carbon 2
High-tech shorts which feature a mix of carbon & fabric, these are available at a fairly reasonable price of $169.95. There’s no competition here & the Louis Garneau’s CB Carbon 2 Bib Shorts cools while you ride with the sun-reflecting Coldblack treatment. It also houses the antistatic & antimicrobial properties of carbon fiber. The chamois is a gift of the company’s scientific hard work which provides comfort with varying thickness throughout so as to match up with the pressure points during riding. There’s also a central channel for ventilation & the light compression in the legs is comfortable.
- 5 Salopette Dottore L1
To be precise, these bib shorts are a package of technology & comfort & hence priced a bit high at $270. The increased price is because of the two percent silver & one percent carbon fiber. But, don’t confuse it with a big mouth promise from the brand that this configuration is only to attract customers. The pad is multi-layer but light, there’s no compromise on comfort. Versions for men & women have a slightly difference in terms of material & construction so as to serve the needs of both gender flanks.
- Rapha Core Bib Shorts
Priced at $115 the Rapha Core Bib Shorts are a very popular name in the cycling shorts arena in categories like road cycling, touring rides & cyclocross races. It is the cheapest offering from the brand but there’s no compromise with quality & style which adds to the identity of the product. Even on rides that stretch on the clock, stretchy material in the bib doesn’t trouble the shoulders & you won’t feel the straps due to evenly distributed pressure. The laser-cut leg grippers sit close & are held in place with silicone. The flatlock seams prevent chafing. The fabric is rich with softness & doesn’t compress things by keeping things a bit free & loose.
- Castelli Cento Bibshort
One of the prime offering in the market under the $100 range as well the company’s cheapest product, the Castelli Cento Bibshort is a steel deal at $79.99. The thigh region is pretty comfortable due to the fondo cut & boasts a longer inseam compared to other range from the brand. It is not for the racing riders but the ones who enjoy riding with friends & family. Its chamois is designed so as to be comfortable & are made in a bit to keep road vibrations to as less as possible. If you are thinking about which seasons to take it out for then we would suggest spring & summers. There are reflective strips too so that you can ride late even towards the evening.
- Fox Ranger
If you’re looking for durability with some space for pads in mountain biking shorts then stop looking further around. The budget friendly Fox Ranger is a favourite for mountain riders & priced at $74.95. The stretchability is good too so as to suit peddling. There’s room for medium-duty pads. The fit is very decently & doesn’t feel tight. The waistband can be easily adjusted with one hand. The two front pockets are for the basic essentials & are deep enough preventing the chances of things falling out.
- Canari Men’s Velo Gel Short
These shorts are good for heavier riders but that doesn’t mean it is specially for them & is good for fitter riders as well. The price isn’t as heavy & these shorts come at just $50. The Canari Velo Gel are cheap, durable, simple & feature a thick gel lining to keep vibrations away as well increase the padded feeling. These are durable & last long. The best part? These are available for both men & women in normal as well as 3X options.
- Baleaf Men’s 3D Padded Pants Tights
We kept the cheapest saved for the last at a surprising price of just $21.99. Given the cheap pricing, these may not be as performance & quality based as other on the list but you can’t ask for much either. However, the Baleaf 3D Padded Pants Tights come as a decent pair of shorts made from stretchy, breathable, moisture-wicking fabric along with reflective detailing to aid in visibility. There are silicone leg grippers which hold the shorts in place. The waistband is wide in order to make the rider feel comfortable against the skin & the diggin-in feeling is not seen. The gel padding is intended to reduce vibrations & the chamois is comfortable at this price point.
From the above article, you might have developed a fair idea of the best biking shorts. These shorts have been listed with the category of rides too so as to make you leave with a smile & make a purchase as per the exact type of riding that you want shorts or bib shorts for.
The biking industry has seen a makeshift in the motive of manufacturing shorts. The brands are now very much focussed on proper detailing so as to deliver the end customers exactly what they were looking for. There is now an increased emphasis on fit that has made room for a wide range of product sizes so that no rider is left out & each one of them cycle comfortably. Bands have to an extent that they are also offering different fit types so as to serve not just the size but the anatomy too. The “pro” fit shorts are for flat stomachs & strong quads, i.e. the regular riders who work out as well for the saddle, while “club” or “touring” fits allow for those who house a paunch & a not so fit leg profile, in short, casual riders. Thus, the biking shorts scenario has only went ahead in the positive direction & is expected to have more improvement & add-ons.