TripSavvy Trip Planning The 13 Best Bike Shorts in 2022 Ride in comfort whether you are embarking on a long or short cycling trip By Adrienne Jordan Adrienne Jordan Instagram Adrienne Jordan is a freelance writer for TripSavvy. She has a passion for writing about travel, adventure, and lifestyle topics. TripSavvy's editorial guidelines Updated on 02/04/22 Share Pin Email We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission. If you’re planning a cycling trip or maybe just want to experience the outdoors on shorter bike rides, one of the most important parts of your kit is bike shorts. Experienced riders make sure they ask questions like, do the shorts ride up? Do they have a hygienic pad? Or can they comfortably handle long days in the saddle? These answers can determine the difference between a solid day in the saddle or an infamous suffer-fest. "When looking for cycling shorts for a long-distance tour, comfort is the most important factor," says Barb Hoyt, owner of Timberline Adventures, a bike tour company based in Boulder, Colorado. “Make sure the cut fits your body—snug but not too tight, the padding is cushiony but not too bulky, and the waistband stays comfortable in any position." Here are the best bike shorts we recommend, whether you are embarking on a long or short cycling trip. The Rundown Most Stylish: Lululemon Align Short at Lululemon Great for short bike rides or cycling classes. Most Stylish for Men: Wolaco North Moore Short 6" Inseam at Wolaco These shorts have two water-resistant pockets that pack tightly to your body. Best Bib for Men: Louis Garneau LGneer Bib at Backcountry A great choice for all men's body types with the Endurexx fabric that has square mesh technology for ventilation and quick drying. Best Bib for Women: Louis Garneau W FitSensorTx Bib at Garneau Comes with a soft grip at the side of the shorts and anti-chafing technology at the inner thighs. Best for Women: PEARL iZUMi Sugar 5” Short at Backcountry Cuts high in the back for rear coverage and features breathable polyester and mesh material. Best for Travel for Men: Giant Race Day Bib Short at Giant Bicycles Comes with built-in SPF 50 sun protection and reflective details around the bib make it safer to cycle in low light. Best for Kids: Joah Love TD Biker Shorts at Joah Love Each set of tie-dye shorts are unique and comes with a matching face mask so your little one can ride in style safely. Best for Road Cycling Men: Sponeed Men's Padded Cycling Shorts at Amazon Leg grippers keep shorts in place and there's 3D gel padding in key areas. Best for Road Cycling Women: Women’s North Moore Biker 7” Inseam at Wolaco The shorts are constructed with nifty flat-locked stitching for true form-fitting material so that your shorts stay put. Best for Travel for Women: Samsara Performance 9” Short at Samsara Cycle The Samsara construction technology eliminates chamois stitch lines across the bum. Best Padding: dhb Aeron Bib Shorts The main body of the short is made from a stretchy, compressive fabric to help support your muscles and aid recovery. Best for Mountain Biking Men: Louis Garneau CB Carbon 2 Cycling Bib Packed with compressive technology with the CB Carbon + Lycra and Endurexx fabric. Best for Mountain Biking Women: Machines for Freedom Essential Cycling Short The brand designed the waistband from yoga-inspired cuts in order to eliminate uncomfortable pressure on the waist. Most Stylish: Lululemon Align Short 6" Courtesy of Lululemon Buy on Lululemon What We Like Weightless Soft Has pockets Great for short rides or cycling classes What We Don't Like Doesn't include extra padding This new short by Lululemon is constructed with proprietary Nulu fabric, designed to feel weightless and super soft. The 6-inch Align Short is great for short bike rides or cycling classes since there is no chamois. However, they look great and have clever features like the waistband pocket that can fit a card or key. Most Stylish for Men: Wolaco North Moore Short 6" Inseam Courtesy of Wolaco Buy on Amazon Buy on Wolaco.com What We Like Has water-resistant pockets Durable Comes in various colors What We Don't Like Sizes run small Need some compression shorts that you can rely on for short-distance cycling? The North Moore Short with a 6-inch inseam has two water-resistant pockets that pack tightly to your body, to easier carry car keys and a phone during your ride. The reinforced stitching and durable waistband will help keep you comfortable while on your road or mountain bike. While we dig the sweat-proof pockets, note the North Moore Short is similar to the Lululemons above—no seat padding. Bums beware. Best Bib for Men: Louis Garneau LGneer Bib Courtesy of Garneau Buy on Backcountry.com Buy on Competitivecyclist.com What We Like Dries quickly Has a UPF 50 rating Compressive What We Don't Like Expensive The stretchable Louis Garneau LGneer Bib Short is a great choice for all men's body types. We love the Endurexx fabric which has square mesh technology for ventilation and quick drying. Cycling multiple days at a time? The fabric can be washed or rinsed and dried quickly in-between rides. The inseam is a comfortable 10.5 inches and has a laser-style finish and integrated grip in the thigh area. A bonus: The bib comes with a UPF rating of 50 to protect you from rays. The 10 Best Places to Buy Bikes in 2022 Best Bib for Women: Louis Garneau W FitSensorTx Bib Short Courtesy of Garneau Buy on Backcountry.com Buy on Competitivecyclist.com Buy on Garneau.com What We Like Anti-chafing technology Has reflective logos Has a UPF 50 rating What We Don't Like Expensive Louis Garneau's W FitSensorTx Bib Short for women packs a lot of punch—from functionality to tech-savviness. Once you strap on the convertible straps, you will feel a soft grip at the side of the shorts and anti-chafing technology at the inner thighs. If you like to ride at dusk or night, the reflective logos at the front and back will help keep you safe, while the SPF rating of 50 will help deflect sun rays during the day. Best for Women: PEARL iZUMi Women's Sugar 5” Short Courtesy of PEARL iZUMi Buy on Backcountry.com Buy on Pearlizumi.com Buy on REI What We Like Has great rear coverage Comes in various colors Machine-washable What We Don't Like Sizes run small Perfect for hot cycling classes or summer days, the Sugar 5-inch shorts from Pearl iZUMi are cut high in the back for rear coverage and offer breathable polyester and mesh material. “I like these shorts for their shorter length, better tan lines, and the fact that you can get them in a color other than black,” says Hoyt of Timberline Adventures. “Pearl iZUMi always has great quality gear and they are headquartered in the Timberline Adventures hometown of Boulder, Colorado.” The 11 Best Golf Sunglasses of 2022 Best for Travel for Men: Giant Race Day Bib Short Courtesy of Short Race Buy on Giant-bicycles.com What We Like Has a UPF 50 rating Has reflective details Durable What We Don't Like Expensive From proprietary TransTexture fabric with UPF 50 protection to a coated rear panel for reducing sogginess from back tire splash, the Giant Race Day Bib Shorts have a lot to like. Reflective details around the bib also make it safer to cycle when the sun starts setting. "My favorite bib shorts are Giant’s Race Day bib short,” says Todd Starnes, owner of Bicycleadventures.com, a bike tour company. “The pad is comfortable and long-lasting and the mesh bib is breathable and fits comfortably over the shoulder. They have a wide band around the quad that stays in place but does not bind or pinch.” The 9 Best Sunscreens of 2022, According to Dermatologists Best for Kids: Joah Love TD Biker Shorts Courtesy of Joah Love Buy on Joahlove.com What We Like Affordable Comes in various colors Machine-washable What We Don't Like Mask sold separately When you need a good pair of high waist bike shorts for your child aged two to 14, the Joah Love TD Biker Shorts are a great option for cycling trips at home or while traveling. Kids will love that each set of tie-dye shorts are unique and have a separately sold matching face mask so your little one can ride in style and be safe during bike stops. Made with 95 percent polyester and 5 percent spandex, the stretch material will mold to many body types. Best For Road Cycling: Sponeed Men's Padded Cycling Shorts Buy on Amazon What We Like Non-slip Excellent padding Comes in various colors Machine-washable What We Don't Like Sizes run small Boasting a four-way performance stretch, the Sponeed Men’s Padded Cycling Shorts also feature leg grippers that keep the shorts in place and 3D gel pads in key areas. For cyclists on the go, the shorts are also moisture-wicking and will dry quickly after sweating or washing. “One of my highly recommended bike shorts would be Sponeed's Men's Padded Cycling Shorts,” says Mark Stephenson, editor at How to Shoe, a footwear review website. “They are designed with sublimation print, have excellent padding, and provide optimum comfort. It fits well, is breathable, and the color never fades.” Best For Road Cycling: Women’s North Moore Biker 7” Inseam Courtesy of Jenson USA Buy on Wolaco.com What We Like Has sweat-proof pockets Flat-locked stitching prevents ride up Durable What We Don't Like Doesn't have built-in sun protection There's a lot to like about Wolaco's Women's North Moore Shorts. For one, the shorts feature a sweat-proof phone pocket. The shorts are also constructed with nifty flat-locked stitching for true form-fitting material so that your shorts stay put. The waistband is also top-notch with infinity construction that keeps the shorts on your hip without pinching or shifting. Best for Travel for Women: Samsara Performance 9” Short Courtesy of Samsara Buy on Samsara-cycle.com What We Like Hides chamois Comes in various colors Great leg coverage Has a UPF 50 rating What We Don't Like Expensive For a blend of a trendy look and performance, the Samara 9-inch shorts are made of Italian fabric with Elastic Interface Chamois material. The Samsara construction technology eliminates the chamois stitch lines across the bum for a more discreet chamois. The 9-inch length ensures that there is adequate leg coverage. Best Padding: dhb Aeron Bib Shorts Courtesy of wiggle.com Buy on Wiggle.com What We Like Has a UPF 50 rating Great for long cycling rides Excellent padding Comes in various colors What We Don't Like Doesn't have built-in sun protection If comfort is what you seek for those long scenic bike rides, you need a bib short like the dhb Aeron Bib Shorts. They were constructed with a chamois made specifically for at least seven hours of riding. The product also features comfortable mesh bib straps with carbon fiber to boost moisture transfer and a mesh back for ventilation. The main body of the short is made from Italian fabric called Granfondo, which is a stretchy, compressive fabric to help support your muscles and aid recovery. “As a keen cyclist, I’ve owned several different bike shorts over the years,” says Nick Minor, manager at Bikepush.com, a bike accessory review website. “My current favorites are the dhb Aeron Bib Shorts. I’ve tested them on long cycling days. These shorts have excellent padding that helps to stop you from getting sore sit bones.” Best for Mountain Biking for Men: Louis Garneau CB Carbon 2 Cycling Bib Courtesy of Backcountry Buy on Backcountry.com Buy on Dick's Buy on Moosejaw.com What We Like Excellent padding Has a UPF 50 rating What We Don't Like Expensive The Louis Garneau CB Carbon 2 Cycling Bib features 4Motion integrated chamois and ample ventilation with the bib’s vented mesh back. For those needing extra support, the Carbon 2 is packed with compressive technology with the CB Carbon + Lycra and Endurexx fabric. “My favorite bike short is the Louis Garneau Men's CB Carbon,” says Von Collins, editor at Complete Tri, a website that provides guidance, tips, and gear reviews for triathletes, cyclists, runners, and other fitness enthusiasts. “The shorts are not cheap, but they are high-tech and you get what you pay for. The fit is excellent, the contact points in the leg grips and waist are comfortable, and the length on the legs is just right.” Best for Mountain Biking for Women: Machines for Freedom Essential Cycling Short Courtesy of Machines for Freedom Buy on REI What We Like Non-slip Has a UPF 50 rating Moisture-wicking What We Don't Like Expensive The mid-thigh fit you’ve been looking for arrived with the Machines for Freedom Essential Short that comes in an 8.5-inch inseam. The brand designed the waistband from yoga-inspired cuts in order to eliminate uncomfortable pressure on the waist. Bonus: The chamois was made and tested for at least six hours in the saddle and bacteriostatic for reducing odors. Final Verdict Choose a pair of bike shorts that work well for your body and comfort. This includes comfy leg bands that won't ride up; waistbands that don’t pinch; and cushioned pads that are not too bulky but provide comfort for longer cycling trips. What to Look for in Bike Shorts Style Do you want a cycling shorts or bib shorts? Serious bikers often wear bib shorts, or shorts with shoulder straps. Bib shorts will be more secure and less restrictive of your breathing as opposed to cycling shorts, or shorts with waistbands alone. Cycling shorts, however, will keep you cooler and of course, are easier to slip on and off. Length Bike shorts tend fall into three length categories. Long shorts are approximately 11 inches, medium shorts measure from 8 to 9 inches and small shorts are about 4 to 7 inches in length. Ultimately, the length of your shorts' inseam should be chosen based on your comfort. However, more intense cyclists tend to opt for longer shorts. Material You should look for bike shorts composed of nylon, polyester, spandex, merino wool, or a combination. These synthetic fabrics are better than cotton, which doesn't have the same moisture-wicking properties or stretch. Frequently Asked Questions Do I need to wear underwear with bike shorts? You should not wear underwear with biking shorts. Biking shorts are designed to be in direct contact with your skin to reduce any friction and wick moisture. If you decide to wear standard cotton underwear with your shorts, you'll lose those benefits and the comfort that comes with. Do I need padded bike shorts? Padding makes bike shorts more comfortable, which is especially important for longer rides. They can provide cushioning that reduces pressure and friction between your butt and the bike's seat. This can allow you to perform better on your rides. That being said, padding isn't a necessity. How should I wash my bike shorts? You can toss your bike shorts into the washing machine on the delicate cycle with cool water. Make sure to use a mild detergent. And to prevent any damage, you should avoid the dryer and air-dry instead. If you need to use the dryer, make sure you set to low heat. Why Trust TripSavvy Adrienne Jordan is a frequent cycler and loves to try out the best bike shorts on the market for quick rides in her neighborhood, to 20+ mile trips through U.S. National Parks. She understands that having the right shorts can make a biking experience more enjoyable and comfortable. The 10 Best Places to Buy Bikes in 2022 Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! Submit Continue to 5 of 13 below. Continue to 9 of 13 below. Continue to 13 of 13 below.