On the road or in the cycling studio, the
best bike shorts for women help you go the distance in comfort, and maybe even some style, if you’re also riding the athleisure trend.
A quality bike short intended for avid cyclists will likely have chamois, a sewn-in padding for where your bottom sits on the bike seat. The added cushioning makes long-distance rides much more comfortable and helps prevent
saddle sores from biking. However, bike short with chamois that are specifically made for women are likely to be slightly wider in the rear. And since they're intended to take the place of underwear while cycling, shorts with flatlock seams will be the most comfortable. Other features to look for may include pockets for convenient carrying, hemlines with grip to stay in place, and reflective materials for road safety. Bib or No Bib?
Some bike shorts also come with long straps that look like suspenders but are actually built into the shorts. Some women prefer these
bib shorts for cycling because there’s no waistband that can roll down or shift, and they may do a better job of holding the chamois in place. While the straps allow for an unrestrictive abdomen area, they can be distracting and also make for longer bathroom breaks. Material Matters
Fabric is also something to consider when shopping for the perfect pair of riding shorts. Bike shorts made with polyester, nylon, and spandex will offer
moisture-wicking mobility. Some options use materials that are bacteriostatic (i.e. inhibit the growth of bacteria), which is a quality that can be particularly helpful for women on long, sweaty rides. However, if you're shopping for bike shorts for style more than function, you can opt for ones that meet your athleisure aesthetic preferences, whether it's a sleek high-rise fit or a bright shade of red. After all, everyone from celebrities to fashion editors seems to be embracing the bike shorts trend these days.
With all that in mind, below are the
best bike shorts for women. 1 The Best Overall: Terry Breakaway Performance Cycling Shorts
Though there are few reviews on Amazon for these
nylon-spandex bike shorts, it’s important to know Terry has been making cyclist products for women for more than 30 years. Bicycling magazine is a big fan of Terry products, and with these shorts in particular, they wrote that their testers "raved about the unobtrusive chamois, pajama-soft fabric, and nonbinding waist and leg openings."
Plus, the chamois is made in Italy with four-way stretch, perforated material for enhanced breathability, and flatlock seams.
According to one reviewer: “These are just my all-time favorite! They’re comfortable and lightweight. I don’t care for a super-thick Chamois, so they’re perfect for me. The padding is lighter, but even on long rides, I never get any chafing or seam-rub.” Available Sizes: Small - XX-Large Available Colors: Black, Charcoal 2 The Best For Sun Protection: Baleaf Women's Bike Shorts
The built-in sun protection of UPF 50+ sets these nylon-spandex
bike shorts from BALEAF apart. Cyclists seeking a comfortable ride will also love the wide waistband and silicone grippers to keep mid-thigh hems from shifting while riding. The 3D chamois is multi-layered for density, adding comfort and longevity to the padding, with four-way stretch and a silica gel layer to absorb shock from vibrations. Flatlock seams reduce friction. Even better? These are also available as a bike short with side pockets and a bike short with a back pocket. According to one reviewer: “Best padded bicycle shorts that I have ever had. These are not only fitted spandex, but they were made in such a way that it isn't super apparent that you are wearing padded shorts. They are comfortable as well.” Available Sizes: Small - XXX-Large Available Colors: Six different colors/styles 3 The Best Bib Shorts: Urban Cycling Apparel Pro Series Cargo Bib Shorts
bib bike short, uses a combination of breathable mesh straps and wicking fabric so you can stay cool and comfortable. The chamois is made of Italian 3-D gel padding for long rides. Silicone elastic toward the bottom of the shorts keep them securely in place, so they don't chafe or slide. Reflectors on the backs of the thighs keep you visible at night, and a side pocket is sized especially to hold your phone. For #35-$70, this a great starter bib bike short. And if you want a top to wear with it, the bib also comes bundled with a matching jersey. According to one reviewer: “This was a perfect starter bib for cycling. I have a short torso, but the(y) worked for my build. Wore this on a 30 mile ride around Seattle. The bib provided comfort and visibility on the road (there are strips of reflective material on side of thighs).” Available Sizes: Small - XX-Large Available Colors: Three different style/prints 4 The Best Gel Bike Shorts: beroy Women's Bike Shorts
beroy bike shorts feature a chamois with 3D-gel, multi-density padding to provide comfort where needed, without extra bulk. With a microfiber top and a blend of 80 percent polyester and 20 percent spandex, these bike shorts are soft and have been treated with a bacteriostatic agent to inhibit bacterial growth to prevent saddle sores. Mesh panels help keep you cool, and reflective logos on the shorts provide added visibility on the road. According to one reviewer: “I am a mountain biker who likes shorter shorts, but with the cooler weather I wanted a longer pair. I also do not like thick pads and when I opened the bag I thought "oh no, this pad is too thick". Thick padding rubs my inner thighs.These shorts had padding where I need it, on the sits bones and best of all, the padding is not thick on the inner thighs. I will buy another pair. I am very happy with these shorts.” Available Sizes: X-Small - XXX-Large Available Colors: 34 different colors/styles 5 The Best Short Shorts: Eco-daily Cycling Shorts
Eco-daily Cycling Shorts are the shortest bike shorts on the list, but they offer plenty of comfort, even for longer rides. The multi-density padding in the foam chamois is moisture-wicking and shock-absorbing enough for a medium-distance, five-hour ride. The polyester-spandex bike shorts feature flatlock seams and have a V-shaped waistband for comfort. They come in four vibrant color options and are backed by a money-back guarantee. According to one reviewer: “Fabric with the flat lock seams is very comfortable. Colors are great. The chamois (padding) is well designed and I did not get sore at all of a 75 mile ride on rough terrain. You could ride a stationary bike or a paved road for days without pain.” Available Sizes: Small - XX-Large Available Colors: Dark Gray, Purple, Pink, Blue 6 An Athleisure Option in a Bright Hue: Champion LIFE Everyday Bike Short
For a fun athleisure option that you can lounge or work out in, you can't go wrong with
these Champion shorts. The on-trend shorts are made from a stretchy blend of cotton and polyester and hit about mid-thigh. They are chamois-free since they're geared more toward fashion or light workouts than cycling. Nab them in a variety of colors, or with a repeating Champion logo print. According to one reviewer: "These are my favorite shorts. They don’t squeeze your thighs too much & are perfect if you have a problem of shorts riding up normally." Available Sizes: X-Small - XX-Large Available Colors: Six different colors/prints 7 A Sleek Pair With Pockets: DILANNI Women High-Waist Yoga Shorts
If you want a pair that's more on the athletic side of athleisure, these
high-waisted bike shorts are for you. With light compression and moisture-wicking fabric that's mostly nylon, these are bike shorts that can go from a barre class to meeting friends at a casual bar. The wide waistband, which features an 8-inch inseam and flatlock stitching, makes them comfortable, and a pocket on each side will hold a phone and keys. According to one reviewer: “I’m actually really surprised that these fit the way the pictures show. High waisted, doesn’t pull down from the back or front. I’m tall and they’re a couple of inches above my knees. The quality is nice. They don’t feel cheaply made and are not overly tight to where it looks awkward. I will be ordering another pair in a different color.” Available Sizes: X-Small - XX-Large Available Colors: 12 colors 8 Also Nice: An Anti-Chafe Creme
Finding the right bike short and fit is key, but here's another tool in the biker’s fight against saddle sores and chafing: chamois cream.
Chamois cream reduces friction between skin and bike shorts and features antibacterial ingredients that aid in preventing yeast infections and saddle sores. The Chamois Butt'r Her' Anti-Chafe Cream includes aloe vera, green tea leaf extract, tea tree oil, shea butter, and lavender oil. With 240 reviews and a 4.6-star rating, this paraben-free, fragrance-free chamois cream is a clear favorite. According to one reviewer: “I love this product. I decided to invest in it at the beginning of my cycling training regimen. I was ramping up my cycling miles from 10-80 miles to prepare for a week-long bike tour, so I went from basically a casual cyclist to clocking nearly 200 miles per week. As you can imagine, this is prime territory for saddle sores and chafing. So to avoid this, I bought this chamois butter early on and applied it every time I rode. It really helps! I had almost no chafing during the 4 months of intense cycling I was doing."