Which biker shorts are best?
Bicycle seats are meant to promote balance and support for cyclists, but they can get very uncomfortable, particularly on long bike rides. Both beginners and more experienced cyclists can get sore and uncomfortable, and biker shorts help address this issue with proper cushioning. If you are looking for the top biker shorts on the market, the Assos Men’s Cento EVO Bib Short is an excellent option.
What to know before you buy biker shorts
When you’re wearing a pair of shorts that doesn’t fit very well and collects sweat, your skin can start chafing from the thighs upward. This chafing can cause discomfort within only a few minutes.
On the flip side, biker shorts that are very well made wick away sweat from your skin to the external fabric, where it evaporates. When the sweat is wicked away, this can help reduce and prevent chafing and help you maintain your body temperature.
Avoid fabric wear and tear
If you commute to work on your bike, you probably have had to replace a lot of pants because of constant contact with the bike seat. Fabrics such as denim can be stained and damaged from things like falling off the bike, splashing through puddles and contact with the bike chain. That’s why you should wear your biker shorts on the way to work and change into slacks when you get to the office.
Consider freedom of movement
Biker shorts are important when you need complete freedom of movement. Whatever you wear when you’re cycling shouldn’t restrict your legs or make it hard to pedal, twist or bend. Your biker shorts should fit well so they don’t slip around during your bike ride.
What to look for in quality biker shorts
The chamois pad is cushioning that’s sewn into the biker shorts to protect your crotch and sit bones. The gel or foam cushion can be thin for hot days and short rides, or thick for beginner riders or those traveling long distances. Some might extend downward to better protect your inner thighs.
Biker shorts use a mix of synthetic fabrics for improved durability, compression and comfort. Polyester fabric is comfortable, while nylon fabric holds up well to wear and tear. Spandex yarn woven throughout the biker short fabric can help shape and support the garment.
A drawstring or elastic band, known as a leg gripper, is often sewn into the end of each leg on the biker shorts so the cuffs grip the thighs.
How much you can expect to spend on biker shorts
Biker shorts range in price, depending on the material and quality. The most basic nylon/spandex padded biker shorts go for $15-$30, while loose-fitting MTB biker shorts with elastic waistbands cost about $19-$33. Midrange biker shorts range in price from $39-$79, and high-end biker shorts vary in price from $120-$220.
Biker shorts FAQ
When can you opt for thinner chamois pads?
A. Thick chamois pads work well for long bike rides of several miles or for beginner cyclists who are not as skilled at cycling tactics that ease soreness. But you can test out thinner chamois pads as you gain confidence and experience in cycling.
The thinnest chamois pads help reduce and prevent chafing, and they can dry out fairly quickly. Multi-sport athletes or anyone who does triathlons like thin chamois pads since they can be wet after the swimming part of the triathlon, but the pads dry out quickly.
Are there other options for biker shorts besides the skintight compression shorts?
A. Yes, there are other options for biker shorts aside from the skintight compression shorts. For example, there are biker shorts meant for casual cycling available, which look like everyday Bahama or cargo shorts but with the padding and moisture-wicking features cyclists need. Casual biker shorts also feature pockets, usually with a cargo flap to keep things from falling out.
If you want a more technical pair of biker shorts that aren’t skintight, you can try all-terrain biking (ATB) or mountain biking (MTB) shorts. These kinds of shorts usually combine a stretchy chamois pad and interior liner with a more baggy exterior garment that falls nearly to the knee.
Should you look for biker shorts with more panels so that they fit better?
A. Biker shorts with more than six fabric panels were sought after in the past, since they fit closely without being too uncomfortable. This typically meant paying a higher price for extra panels.
Today, modern fabric blends get the job done with fewer panels, and less-expensive biker shorts with fewer panels are comparable in comfort and fit to those with six to eight panels.
What’s the best biker shorts to buy?
Top biker shorts
What you need to know: These high-performance men’s biker bib shorts from Assos are considered the best of the best.
What you’ll love: These biker shorts provide a compressive material that supports you while wicking away sweat. The shorts are perfect for endurance riding and long-distance cycling.
What you should consider: These biker shorts are more pricey than most bib shorts from other brands.
Where to buy: Sold by Backcountry
Top biker shorts for the money
What you need to know: These low-profile women’s biker shorts from Louis Garneau give you a lot of bang for your buck.
What you’ll love: These affordable women’s biker shorts come with a wide waistband that keeps them in place without pinching, as well as low coverage, which works well for hotter weather.
What you should consider: These women’s biker shorts are fairly short and might not work for people with long legs.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: These classic cycling shorts from Pearl Izumi are a simple option for men’s biker shorts at an affordable price.
What you’ll love: These biker shorts feature an eco-friendly, recycled nylon fabric. Since these biker shorts are budget-friendly, they are an excellent choice for beginners to cycling.
What you should consider: The waist elastic on these biker shorts can be uncomfortable on longer bike rides.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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