If your bike is the bread of cycling, then clothing is the better – your body will always have physical limits that no amount of training and practice can break, but wearing the right gear can make a huge difference in the length and quality of your ride, especially when you’re trying to take on extreme weather.

If you don’t count road bike helmets as clothing, then shorts are probably the most common piece of cyclist’s gear you’ll see – there’s so much of it that buying a pair can feel overwhelming.

Below is our hand-picked list of some of the best cycling shorts we could find, for both newcomers and long-time cyclists.

View The Best Cycling Shorts Below

1. sponeed Men’s Cycling Shorts Bicycle

sponeed Men's Cycling Shorts Bicycle

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These padded bicycle shorts use a mesh design to let your skin breathe on intense rides, but are still water-resistant enough to shake off heavy rain and accidental splashes from puddles, and even use quick-drying materials to keep you comfortable after the rain stops. The anti-slip silicon and on each leg means that they won’t naturally pull up while you’re moving, keeping them tight against your body at all times.

Thanks to the sports-grade elastic used in their construction, these shorts are also deceptively durable without being rough on your skin, using plenty of soft padding to protect you from harm and keep you feeling secure no matter what conditions you’re cycling in. The 3D gel helps lessen shocks from impacts and adds an extra layer of comfort to whatever position you’re sitting in, and certain areas use antimicrobial and moisture-wicking materials to keep your body clean in dirty conditions.

Pros:
+ Water-resistant
+ Won’t ride up your legs
+ Lots of padding
+ Skin-friendly
+ Quick-drying materials

Why We Liked It – These shorts protect your waist, pelvic area and upper thighs from multiple weather-related annoyances, letting you enjoy your ride in any conditions.

You might like Mountain bike shorts.


2. Santic Men’s Cycling Shorts Loose-Fit 4D

Santic Men's Cycling Shorts Loose-Fit 4D Bike shorts

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The 4D COOLMAX cushion pad that lines the inside of these shorts solves one of the most prevalent problems with riding a bike – the pain the saddle can cause to your lower body. This extra padding keeps you comfortable on even the bumpiest trails, while also helping to wick away moisture and filter out water vapor.

The baggy fit of these shorts is an intentional design choice that helps keep you cool during hot weather without feeling stuffy or claustrophobic. Unlike a lot of tight-fit cycling clothes, they allow for better airflow and make sweat much less of a problem without having to rely on specific materials, giving them a familiar texture and appearance that lets them double as normal shorts when you’re not cycling.

Pros:
+ Loose-fitting
+ 4D COOLMAX padding
+ Look like regular shorts from the outside
+ Reduce sweat
+ Non-binding legs

Why We Liked It – These loose-fitting shorts are ideal for cyclists who want to wear a comfortable, normal-looking outfit on their rides without getting too sweaty or overheating.


3. Santic Cycling Men’s Shorts Biking Bicycle

Santic Cycling Men's Shorts Biking Bicycle

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The breathable mesh on the sides of these shorts helps eliminate most of the sweat being produced by your lower body, making the average ride far more comfortable – especially in warm weather. The waistband is designed to be tight without feeling clingy or awkward to wear, stopping them from slipping down your body or letting dirt, sand, and water get under your clothes.

The double layers of 4D COOLMAX padding add a surprising amount of comfort to whatever you’re doing, whether you’re riding for relaxation or in the middle of a heated bike race. The small reflective logo on each side keeps you visible in low-light conditions, meaning that you can cycle late at night without putting yourself at risk.

Pros:
+ Comfortable
+ Breathable
+ Won’t slip
+ Reflective labels
+ Double-layered padding for more protection

Why We Liked It – Externally, these shorts don’t seem too special, but their design hides some heavy-duty padding and an excellent set of breathable panels in key places.


4. sponeed Men’s Cycling Shorts

4. sponeed Men's Cycling Shorts

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These sponeed shorts combine a skin-friendly design, a tight fit and weather-resistant materials to make a piece of clothing that can keep you comfortable through almost all conditions, as well as regulating your own body heat and sweat. The silicone band at the bottom of each leg helps keep your shorts in place while you’re on the move but doesn’t constrict blood or air flow, and the high-quality 3d gel padding on the inside protects the vulnerable parts of your body from unnecessary pain or irritation.

The stretchy, flexible design prevents rubbing and chafing mid-ride, no matter how fast you’re going or how intense the ride has become, and are much less likely to rip or tear during general use. The materials are also supposed to resist wet weather, high temperatures, and fading from direct sunlight, meaning that they can last a long time if you wash them regularly.

Pros:
+ Flexible
+ Weather-resistant and durable
+ Tight, comfortable fit
+ Regulates sweat
+ Doesn’t restrict your body

Why We Liked It – These shorts are an excellent choice for new cyclists and veterans alike since they last a long time and will provide constant consistent protection.


5. Santic Cycling Men’s Shorts Biking Bicycle

Santic Cycling Men's Shorts Biking Bicycle

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These shorts make heavy use of padding to keep your lower body safe and secure on bumpy roads and trails, but still, stretch and flex enough to allow for fluid movement, even in cold weather that could make other clothing feel restrictive. The two-panel design keeps them simple and easy to wear without leaving any vulnerable spots that could let the elements in.

The two layers of antibacterial padding give you plenty of protection from bacteria and sweat build-up, using a breathable mesh to let air flow through without giving rainwater and dirt a way to get under your clothes. Not only that, but the silicone grippers around the legs mean that they tighten against your skin, keeping your shorts sealed from the elements.

Pros:
+ Breathable
+ Reflective logos on both sides
+ Antibacterial padding
+ Double-layered design
+ Stretchy and flexible

Why We Liked It – These Santic shorts are a great balance of comfortable, protective and flexible, making them useful in almost any situation under any weather conditions.


6. Baleaf Men’s 3D

Baleaf Men's 3D

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These Baleaf shorts are lightweight and comfortable, offering a great level of protection for something so thin and easy to wear. The wide waistband is made of elastic, letting it tighten to perfectly fit your skin without feeling uncomfortable or irritated during long rides, which also helps make it more rain and dirt-resistant.

The 3D cushioning on the inside absorbs shocks and impacts by a decent amount, dampening repeated bumps and bashes from rough ground, and the moisture-wicking fabrics keep sweat and water vapor from building up while you’re focusing on trying to ride.

Pros:
+ Shock-absorbing cushioning
+ Elastic waistband
+ Comfortable
+ Lightweight
+ Uses moisture-wicking materials

Why We Liked It – These shorts are simple but effective, combining a lot of useful features into a single garment that doesn’t hide its sporty appearance.


7. Louis Garneau Men’s Fit Sensor 2

Louis Garneau Men's Fit Sensor 2

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These shorts are designed to stretch on your body, accommodating a range of different body shapes and sizes without tearing or getting permanently deformed, and use a range of different materials chosen to avoid irritating your skin. The chamois padding keeps sensitive parts of your body safe from harm on rough terrain, letting you relax and enjoy your ride even if it’s not on perfectly smooth ground.

The brushed-back fabrics help wick away moisture and regulate your body heat, keeping you dry and managing your temperature in both hot and cold weather to make each ride slightly more comfortable for you. Thanks to the reflective accents on each side of the shorts, you can stay visible in low light without needing to attach extra reflective strips to your bike.

Pros:
+ Comfortable chamois padding
+ Doesn’t irritate skin
+ Hard to damage
+ Moisture-wicking materials
+ Reflective labels

Why We Liked It – The padding used in these shorts is its main selling point, and it can keep rough rides comfortable no matter how experienced you are at cycling.


8. Eco-daily Men’s 4D Cycling Shorts Breathable

Eco-daily Men's 4D Cycling Shorts Breathable

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The six layers of foam used inside these shorts help keep you protected from irritation, injuries, and pain during long rides and tough races, and are durable enough to survive hundreds of hard impacts without showing any signs of wear. The stretchy materials can easily accommodate your body, even if you gain or lose some weight or muscle after first buying them, and the perforated surface keeps them lightweight and breathable under any weather conditions.

Due to the 14 panel-based design, the shorts can help support your muscles to promote better blood flow, making your cycling slightly easier by simply wearing them. Due to their size, they can also work as an underlayer for other clothing, giving you extra physical protection from both collision and poor weather without limiting your wardrobe.

Pros:
+ Durable
+ Comfortable and protective
+ Stretch to fit your body
+ Thin design
+ Promotes blood flow

Why We Liked It – These Eco-daily shorts can work really well as both a standalone garment and as an underlayer, offering great protection regardless of how they’re worn.


9. beroy Womens Bike Shorts with 3D Gel

1.  beroy Womens Bike Shorts with 3D Gel

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Beroy has carefully designed these women’s cycling shorts to reduce the lactic acid build up in your muscles, making intense cycling much easier regardless of whether you’re a first-timer or a long-time cyclist. The smooth materials serve two purposes: they reduce friction on the outside of the shorts, letting them fit comfortably under other clothing without pulling or dragging, and also will prevent skin irritation on the inside of your shorts to make them much nicer to wear.

The silicone hems used in their design prevents these shorts from riding up your skin or letting sweat build up on your upper legs. Most of the fabrics used to line the inside can absorb the moisture from your sweat, which helps make the internal padding far less irritating on your skin and making humid weather much less of a problem.

Pros:
+ Moisture-absorbing lining
+ Low-friction
+ Reduces lactic acid build up
+ Won’t ride up your legs
+ Doesn’t irritate the skin

Why We Liked It: These women’s bike shorts are incredibly comfortable and moisture-absorbent, and offer excellent protection from skin damage or irritation while wearing them.


10. Santic Men’s Cycling Shorts Loose-Fit 4D

Santic Men's Cycling Shorts Loose-Fit 4D

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These lycra and polyester shorts are able to stay breathable in any weather, using a baggy design to leave more space for air to flow through. The non-binding legs don’t use any tight hems or bands to stick to your legs, keeping them loose and giving you a better range of movement without exposing too much of your lower body to the elements.

The cushioned seats use 4D COOLMAX padding to give you extra protection from injuries without adding any uncomfortable bulkiness to your clothing, and the internal lining helps eliminate bacterial infections and skin irritation while wearing them. The simple outer layer design means that they can also be used as regular shorts while you’re not cycling,

Pros:
+ Casual, comfortable design
+ 4D COOLMAX cushioning
+ Allows natural movement
+ Lightweight
+ Very breathable

Why We Liked It – These casual cycling shorts are great for wet and humid weather, but they’re also excellent for cyclists who want a better range of movement while they’re off on their bike.


Cycling Shorts Buyers Guide

Design

There are dozens of different styles and designs on offer, with different manufacturers and brands having their own twists on what a “regular” pair of cycling shorts will be. Some might offer tighter fits, whereas others will focus on looser pairs that leave space between the inner lining and the skin. Materials, colors and even the size chart could differ from one brand to another, so the general design and style of a pair of shorts won’t necessarily be an exact match with another pair that look the same.

Comfort

Comfortable shorts are much better than rough, clingy or irritating pairs, but the exact definition of comfort will change depending on what you see as the highest priority. For example, if you prefer a smooth ride to help you relax, comfortable padding and materials might be more important than things like water resistance and body heat regulation. On the other hand, you might also consider water-resistant and breathable shorts the most comfortable if you’re often cycling against poor conditions or through humid areas.

Buyers Guide Questions:

How many pairs of shorts do I need?

Some types of cycling will wear out your shorts faster, especially if you’re focusing on using them for intense races or rough tracks that need to make full use of their padding and protective materials. It’s a good idea to have at least one pair spare, but if you’re always cycling in different conditions, you might need to keep multiple sets that you can choose between depending on what the weather will be like.

If you’re a professional cyclist or get involved in serious races, you should always keep spares of any equipment and clothing you buy – you never know when you might damage or lose some, and getting a replacement could take a while. This is especially true for clothing that has team logos or brand colors on it since those are often custom prints that will take longer to finish and ship than a generic set of shorts.

Should I use my shorts as an underlayer?

A lot of cyclists like to use thin shorts as a second layer underneath an outer layer of cycling shorts or pants. This usually comes down to whether or not you need the extra protection – you won’t usually get much extra comfort out of a second layer compared to simply having a single padded one, but they can make it much easier to deal with cold weather and wet conditions.

You could also use them underneath regular shorts to give yourself extra protection while still having casual clothes on, which is great if you like to use cycling to travel from place to place but don’t want to be walking around in full, visible cycling gear all the time.

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