When I first started cycling, I used to wear pretty much anything that would guarantee me a decent bike ride. Now I’ve spent years training on the bike, I’ve seen the benefits of dressing right for cycling.
The thing about ordinary shorts for women is that they have seams in them. Normally, this isn’t an issue for sports. But when you get on your bike seat, you’ll notice that these seams are in a place that may cause numbness or chafing.
So what are the best women’s cycling shorts?
Top 10 Best Women’s Cycling Shorts
Another reason why I’m not a big fan of ordinary shorts or gym shorts is that they aren’t well designed for aeration; neither do they support the main cycling muscles. In this article, I review the 10 best women’s bike shorts for 2020.
- Beroy Women’s Bike Shorts (BEST CHOICE)
- Terry Women’s Bella Cycling 8.5 inch Shorts (PREMIUM PICK)
- Eco-daily Cycling Shorts (BEST VALUE)
- Baleaf Women’s Bike Shorts
- Pearl Izumi Women’s Escape Sugar Shorts
- Baleaf Women’s High Waist Workout Compression Shorts
- 4ucycling Women Premium 3d Pants
- Louis Garneau Women’s Fit Sensor 5.5 Bike Shorts
- Santic Women’s Cycling Shorts
- NOOYME Women’s Bike Shorts for Cycling
These bike shorts for women are popular for the comfort they provide. The microfiber at the top helps to maximize comfort. They are engineered to completely do away with chafing and abrasion.
Flexibility is a key decider when it comes to these Beroy women’s bike shorts. You move and they move right with you.
The manufacturer has included a bacte-riostatic treatment to do away with saddle sores and infections that are synonymous with riding. The extra padding that’s added with the seamless technology cushioning will be extremely helpful when you’re riding uphill or going for a long ride that may prove strenuous.
The thick gel padding is designed in such a way that it places the cushioning where you need it most.
One thing you have to be careful of is how the bike short fits your body. Many female bikers who’ve used these shorts for women have told me that you have to get the size right, otherwise, you’ll not appreciate them.
Ensure that you get a size that snugly fits you by checking out the manufacturer’s size chart. Read and re-read user reviews to find the right fit for you.
Make sure you launder the shorts after each use and apply an anti-chafe cream for long-distance rides.
Value for money.
- Aesthetically appealing.
- Thick padding.
Some users have expressed difficulty in interpreting the manufacturer’s size chart.
Sizing Info: From Xs To Xxl
- Material: 74% Meryl, 26% spandex
- Product Facts: Chamois: Flex Air
- Colors: Black/Gold, Black/Gray, Black/Pink
Have you ever been in an intense riding session and then you feel like your shorts have become uncomfortably wet? No need to be concerned, because it actually happens to a lot of people.
The Terry Women’s Bella cycling 8.5 inch bike shorts come with a hot-pink perforated chamois pad for increased comfort and breathability that gets rid of the wet-pant situation.
These women’s bike shorts have a high spandex content in the leg grippers that helps with muscle compression. The front waist yoke is wide and elastic-free, which is a thumbs up for frequent and aggressive riders.
The Flex Air women’s chamois has a four-way stretch pad that provides freedom of movement on the saddle, ensuring that your bike short will stay in place as you cycle or walk around. They also have a soft wing construction which reduces bunching and makes the cycling kit less bulky.
Do note that chamois creams or butters reduce the ability to wick moisture, therefore avoid them at all costs.
It’s also worth noting that consumers voted in the Bicycling magazine Editor’s Choice and this model came on top.
- Great fit.
- Wide waistband.
- Padding in the right places and doesn’t move.
Some users have raised concerns regarding slight compression experiences.
The Eco-daily cycling shorts are made of 15 percent spandex and 85 percent polyester. They are both lightweight and breathable; absorbing the moisture produced when cycling to keep you dry and cool.
They are specifically designed for women with padding to protect both the torso and frontal area, keeping the rider comfortable.
These biking underwear shorts have an ultra-durable premium stitched 3D foam that fits comfortably around the hips, thus doing away with slipping and deforming. This padding also protects the hip bone from long-distance cycling injuries.
They are light and breathable, keeping skin away from sweat irritation, and are specially designed in a way that you will not experience the sticky feeling you get after a rigorous workout session.
The padded bike shorts are made secure because of the 1.2-inch wide waistband cover. The flatlock seams are smooth against your skin and the seam ends are tacked, reducing the effects of wear and tear.
- Flatlock seams.
- 3D moisture management.
- No pressure at the sit bones.
Some customers experience the leg bands riding up.
- Too short for riders who want coverage when riding.
The Baleaf cycling short offers a supportive and comfortable fit thanks to its 3D chamois pad. The bike shorts provide a nice balance between breathability and compression.
They are 80 percent nylon and 20 percent spandex, which gives them a nice stretch factor to support with a great fit.
The silicone leg grippers on the hems are a special feature that holds the shorts in place, stopping your chances of moving or slipping while riding. They have flatlock stitching that greatly minimizes chafing and friction, allowing for smoother movement, thus reducing restriction as you ride.
The Baleaf logos on the shorts are reflective, adding to their visibility in low light.
They have a wide waistband design that helps to prevent riding down of the bike shorts. All in all, the high stretch UPF 50+ fabric makes these shorts durable, comfortable, and functional.
- Reflective logos and sun protection.
- Comfortable waistband design.
Not great for long-distance riding.
- Some users have expressed that the padding is not thick enough.
The Pearl Izumi Women’s Escape Sugar Shorts are a popular choice for spin classes. They’re not only comfortable, but also have a figure-flattering cut.
The chamois is smooth and closely hugs your skin, providing chafe-free comfort. The bike shorts have a wide, flattering waistband and a UPF rating of 50+.
Pearl Izumi has designed the silicone leg grippers to hold the hems firmly in place and prevent constriction.
There is ample padding to support long-distance riders by making sure that the legs don’t ride up, nor does the waist slide up.
Whenever there is low light visibility, the BioViz reflective elements add to the rider visibility.
- Reduced constriction.
- Good compression and moisture transfer.
- Reflective elements and sun protection.
The fit may be a little smaller than on the sizing guide.
Sizing Info: from xs to 5xl
- Material: 87% Polyester, 13% Spandex
- Product Facts: Big Side Pockets, Which Are Available For 4″,4.7″,5″,5.5″ Mobile Phone
- Colors: 43 different colors
The Baleaf Women’s High Waist Compression Shorts were designed with comfort and ease as a priority. These shorts are high on the waist and the snug waistband has a tummy flattening effect — so you can say bye-bye to the muffin top look.
They come with side pockets that serve as an added touch of convenience and style.
The bike shorts have a gusseted crotch that facilitates smooth movement, and their moisture-wicking material ensures that you remain dry as you work out.
The seams are chafe-free and ergonomic. The shorts are great for cycling, yoga, running, pilates, all exercise forms, and even just for lounging at home.
Tummy flattening, figure-flattering fit.
- Available in a huge range of colors.
- Contains pockets.
The padded crotch area may look unappealing to some ladies.
- Some users felt the material was too thick, therefore, not breathable in hot temperatures.
The 4ucycling Women Premium 3D Pants are made of 82 percent nylon and 18 percent spandex. They are highly stretchy and breathable.
The wide elastic waistband provides comfort, while the longer leg band design is both functional and fashionable. The elasticity of the pants mimics the skin’s natural elasticity, therefore enabling unrestricted movement.
The material also allows for breathability to keep you cool.
In situations where the visibility is low, the reflective strips come in very handy.
The padded cushion protects the hips, especially during long-distance rides. The cushion is made of a lightweight foam that molds the shape of your hips, leaving you with an optimum level of comfort.
The bike shorts are durable and don’t succumb to wear and tear easily.
Money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the product.
- Elastic tummy control.
- Breathable fabric.
- Durable and reflective.
They run a bit smaller than the sizing guide.
- Some users felt that the padding reminded them of wearing a diaper.
If short riding attire is your thing, then you should go for this option. Their polyester double-face design makes these women’s bike shorts resistant to abrasion.
These Louis Garneau bike shorts are designed to manage moisture and regulate body heat. The high-density foam AirZone chamois offers padding across a variety of cycling locations without pinching or chafing.
The compressive cuffs on the Louis Garneau bike shorts reduce pressure on the lower leg while ensuring that circulation isn’t affected. They are also equipped with a HugFit waistband that’s both flattering and foldable.
They have reflective accents along the back and front to ensure that you are visible to other motorists both day and night.
- Durable material.
- Reflective accents and SPF 50 fabric.
They may fit a little tight on the hips if you have a wide hip area.
- The lighter colors make sweat visible.
- No pockets (for all the pocket lovers).
Sizing Info: From Xs To Xl
- Material: Polyamide
- Product Facts: Using Santic R-Feel:This technology uses a special compound coupled with organic silicon. The softness of the fabric was enhanced with anti-pilling coating which minimizes friction under dry and wet condition
- Colors: Black-blue, Black-grey, Green, Pink, Red
The Santic cycle shorts for women are breathable, shockproof, and anti-sweat. On top of that, they’re also reflective, anti-shrink, and anti-wrinkle, while offering UV protection.
They have a 4D cushion that allows for a medium distance ride; around 3 to 5 hours. The silicone band has an anti-skid design that prevents the bike shorts from sliding down or riding up.
They come with Santic R-Feel technology that fuses a special compound with organic silicone. This enhances the softness of the fabric and the anti-pilling coating minimizes friction under both wet and dry conditions.
Comfortable and durable.
- Fabric is moisture-wicking to regulate body sweat.
- Ideal length for many women, not too short or long.
- Reflective and anti-shrink.
Cushioning is not as thick.
- Sizing runs big.
Sizing Info: From S To 3xl
- Material: 80% Polyamide, 20% Spandex
- Product Facts: Chamois Padded: 3D structure, multi-layer, super light high breathable and comfortable. Specially designed for women and long-distance riding.
- Colors: 22 colors
The NOOYME Women’s Bike Shorts are made of 80 percent Polyamide and 20 percent spandex. The materials used enhance body heat thermoregulation.
The shorts are smooth and seamless at the legs, reducing the chances of saddle sores and abrasion.
They’re constructed effectively to prevent muscle strain and reduce chafing wind. The shorts are kept in place when riding because of the non-slip silicone leg band grippers and elastic.
The flatlock seams prevent friction and skin irritation. There is low-light visibility because of the reflective strip.
The chamois padded multi-layer 3D structure is lightweight and comfortable. The construction of these bike shorts is specifically for women and long-distance riding.
- Aesthetically appealing with a nice pattern.
Lighter colors are see-through.
- They may run too small considering the size guide.
This list has some of the top cycling shorts for women who are cycling enthusiasts or are interested in getting started.
When it boils down to my personal favorite cycling shorts for women, it has to be the Beroy Women’s Bike Shorts.
The value for money that this manufacturer provides by producing quality cycling shorts is worth it. These bike shorts for women are affordable, flexible, and their padding fits right exactly where it should.
They are stylish, breathable, and they fit just right. They will not give the rider that annoying diaper look on the rear, and you can comfortably ride long distances without developing sores.
How to Choose the Right Shorts
The primary purpose of cycling shorts is to provide comfort when riding.
Cycling shorts ensure that padding is in the right place and seams are strategically placed to reduce chafing, especially on rides that are 10 miles or longer.
Below are some qualities you can look out for when choosing the best women’s bike shorts.
Breathability and Fabric
Cycling shorts for women are made with flexible and breathable materials such as spandex or lycra. These materials ensure the shorts are tight-fitting and reduce air resistance.
They also make it possible to have flexible motion when riding your bike and stay cool.
Naturally, all shorts have different prices, and it’s up to you to decide how much money you’re willing to spend. The more costly shorts use complicated technical sports materials that block sun rays and the chilling effect brought by the wind. They also reduce heat absorption and increase breathability.
Good cycling shorts will offer you good value for your money. The cost of a pair of shorts can range between $20 to $200.
It’s best to set your budget and work around it by checking out my women’s padded bike shorts reviews.
It’s true that the more expensive the bike short, the more technical the fabrics get and the more sturdy the chamois. Work with your budget and get the best value within that price range.
Size and Comfort
Getting the appropriate size for your bike shorts is important for comfort and fit. You don’t want them to be too tight or too baggy.
Use a measuring tape and wrap it around your waist while standing parallel to the floor. With the measurements you take, you will be able to choose shorts that fall within your range using the manufacturer’s guide.
Leg Bands and Waist Bands
Leg bands help keep your pant legs away from the chain.
Quality cycling pants have leg grippers on the leg bands to stop the shorts from riding up. They could be made from either silicone or rubber.
Tip from Kristel (Pro Cyclist): “They may feel odd if it’s your first time, but you should eventually get used to it, and with time, you’ll hardly feel it.”
Some shorts come with a stretchy waistband to make the shorts fit better around the midsection and make the rider feel more comfortable.
Padding and Protection
One of the most important features that stands out in well-designed cycling shorts is the extra padding that reduces friction, which can cause a lot of discomfort when riding. (1)
The lack of seams goes a long way in reducing that discomfort as well.
Chamois is the layer/lining on your shorts that goes against the skin. The chamois can be a single soft layer or have a thick pad. This layer is important because it helps to reduce friction and chafing when embarking on longer rides. (2)
You may have been riding with ordinary shorts like myself when I first got into cycling, but once you try on cycling shorts, the experience will never be the same.
As long as the chamois pad is placed properly inside your cycling shorts, you will be able to ride longer and reduce friction-related complications.
The chamois pad is a very important part of the riding shorts. Spending a little extra money on it isn’t a bad idea.
Ensure that you purchase women’s chamois and not unisex because the padding for a woman’s shorts is different from that of a man.
Look for strong material and quality construction when choosing your bike short.
Read customer testimonials to ensure the design you select is durable and will last through many adventures on your bike.
This may seem like a vain metric but it’s important to look and feel comfortable.
Most ladies’ cycling shorts focus on functionality as well as fashionability. When purchasing women’s cycling shorts, look for shorts that bring out your personality.
Bib Shorts vs Regular Bike Shorts
Most professional riders prefer to ride with bib shorts instead of bike shorts because they stay in place and they don’t have to keep adjusting the bib-positioning. (3)
In simple terms, women’s bib shorts are cycling shorts with suspenders.
There are people who absolutely can’t cycle without the bib shorts while others prefer simple cycling shorts.
Let’s find out the advantages and disadvantages of bib shorts to help you make a decision.
Advantages of Pro Bib Shorts
- Bib shorts keep your chamois right where it needs to be. The chamois needs to have a snug fit so that the lining doesn’t move and prevents you from getting chafed.
- Ordinary cycling shorts for women may, at one point or another, expose your lower back to the wind when they are pulled down. Bib shorts, however, hold the entire outfit in place.
- They are more comfortable at the waist.
- You don’t have to keep pulling up your shorts.
Disadvantages of Pro Bib Shorts
- Wearing a pro bib makes you hotter. Women’s cycling bibs cover the mid-section, therefore retaining a lot of body heat. This works in the winter season but once the season changes, warmer weather conditions may make wearing the bib more difficult.
- The straps sometimes affect some riders’ skin.
- The straps are one-size-fits-all and are not adjustable.
- If you’re really pressed and need to go for bathroom breaks, then bib straps may waste quite a bit of your time.
One question many people ask is how tight the bib short should be. Before you purchase the bibs online, it’s advisable to go through the shorts size guide. The whole point of the bib is to mold the chamois pad firmly and hold it in place during the ride.
You may buy yourself the best women’s cycling shorts, but if the fit is wrong, everything else is wrong. Compare your physique to the sizing chart to avoid returning the product.
Wearing bib shorts that are too big brings about loose-fitting of the chamois, which ends up shifting a lot during the ride. The excess material that’s leftover causes abrasion and saddle sore.
Bib shorts for women that are too tight, on the other hand, cause the padding to press into the groin area when cycling. This excess pressure leads to numbness, may cause irritation, or you may develop a skin rash.
Whether loose or too tight, the fit will determine a comfortable ride.
No, you don’t wear underpants with cycling shorts.
If you’re planning on going cycling for long rides, you might have to do away with the undies and only wear your cycling shorts.
The best women’s cycling shorts for long distance are specially designed to take care of the body underneath. Wearing regular underwear with your cycling shorts is likely to cause sores because of friction.
Yes, yes, and yes again. If you plan on taking up cycling as a serious activity, then it’s probably best that you invest in good quality cycling shorts.
Whether or not you’re going on long rides, cycling shorts will help protect the midsection while giving you a comfortable riding experience.
It’s a proven fact that the quality of your cycling shorts can make or break your riding experience. Wearing uncomfortable shorts can flap around, ride down, or cut in; all of which are rather undesirable to riders.
Such experiences can be avoided with a good pair of well-fitting padded cycling shorts, such as Beroy Women’s Bike Shorts.
Cycling shorts are more about the sport than they are about looks. Comfort while riding your bike is key. The most comfortable cycling shorts should be designed to make the rider feel more at ease as they protect you from chafing or irritation.
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- Chron – Max Roman Dilthey -The Advantages of Wearing Cycling Shorts, retrieved from https://livehealthy.chron.com/advantages-wearing-cycling-shorts-3443.html
- Google Patents – Cycling shorts with anatomical seat pad, retrieved from https://patents.google.com/patent/US5271101A/en
- Reddit – Bib Vs Shorts!, retrieved from https://www.reddit.com/r/cycling/comments/4kd3f5/bib_vs_shorts/