The best cycling shorts for 2022

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A cyclist on the road

A cyclist on the road

Have you ever experienced the feeling of driving in your favorite lane without end, and you just want to end your ride as quickly as possible? This is a sign that you should consider changing your cycling shorts.

The right bike shorts can make a huge difference to your overall cycling experience. As the only layer between you and your trusty saddle, your cycling shorts should offer cushioning, breathability and protection against pain and strain. The last thing you want during your cycling trips is to have to pull up your shorts or feel the sweat running down your legs. A pair of sweat-wicking, padded shorts with a sturdy waistband can become your favorite companion on longer rides.

Finding the perfect pair of shorts that can turn an unpleasant ride into an enjoyable one can be daunting for beginners. That said, we’ve looked at some of the top cycling shorts for 2022 to help you round out your riding gear.

Top picks

Best Overall: Baleaf Women’s Bike Shorts

Moisture wicking, breathable and stretchy fabric provides moderate compression

Moisture wicking, breathable and stretchy fabric provides moderate compression

If you’re looking for a cost-effective option that allows you to stay comfortable while cycling and also helps boost your overall performance, this is a power-packed choice. These shorts are made of stretchy, breathable and absorbent fabric that offers more support while ensuring you can easily stretch your legs while cycling. Featuring a gel-lined saddle, this product also helps prevent tail injuries and saddle sores. Silicone leg grips keep these shorts in place and don’t let them move while you pedal away. The high rise design sits above your belly button and offers excellent coverage. Thanks to their comfort and high-quality fabric, we chose this option as the best shorts on this list.

Basic features:

More versatile: Hanes Women’s Bike Shorts

Super soft stretch fabric for a flattering fit (Charcoal Heather is 54% cotton/36% polyester/10% spandex)

Super soft stretch fabric for a flattering fit (Charcoal Heather is 54% cotton/36% polyester/10% spandex)

Whether you want to take a casual bike ride or spend some time hanging out with your friends, the soft fabric with extra padding in this option will help you have a more comfortable ride. These shorts have many positive reviews and are made of cotton fabric. This product is also easy to move, allowing you to sit comfortably in your saddle during longer rides. Another advantage of these shorts is that you can put them in the washing machine after every trip. You can also pair these briefs with your favorite tunics and tops to avoid sunburn without feeling too hot. With its flattering fit, these bike shorts look good on almost every body type and shape. They also fit like a second skin, giving you a high level of mobility and support.

Basic features:

  • Materials: 90% cotton, 10% polyester

  • Ram: 7 inches

  • Elastic closure and waistband

More comfortable: Just My Size Women’s Bike Shorts

Stretchable cycling jersey

Stretchable cycling jersey

If you want to take your cycling game to the next level, these shorts are a must-have in your gear. The narrow, elastic waistband provides a comfortable fit so you don’t ride up your shorts during a walk. The soft fabric feels great against the skin and the elastic closures also help keep your feet warm. The legging fit of these shorts is sure to turn heads as they have no drawstrings or pockets to look bulky or wear-and-tear. Another great feature of this selection is that they are sewn with comfort in mind and also have flat inseams.

Basic features:

Elite Design: Pearl Izumi Men’s Cycling Shorts

Men's cycling shorts with Select Transfer Dry fabric set the benchmark for compression and moisture transfer

Men’s cycling shorts with Select Transfer Dry fabric set the benchmark for compression and moisture transfer

These shorts have been carefully designed with rider comfort in mind. Since they are machine washable and use quick-absorbing fabric, this option can save you time on cleaning. With an anatomical six-panel design, these bike shorts offer some extra compression for more efficient pedaling while putting minimal pressure on your thighs. The feature we love most is their ability to wick away moisture, helping you not sweat. These shorts stop just above the knee, helping to support your legs while cycling. Featuring reflective “bioviz” elements, this option will help keep you safe in the dark by improving your visibility.

Basic features:

  • Material: 100% fiber

  • Ram: 9.5 inches

  • Thin elastic waistband

Great Value: Ally Men’s Mountain Bike Shorts

The baggy cycling shorts come with a removable 3D CoolMax inner with gel lining

The baggy cycling shorts come with a removable 3D CoolMax inner with gel lining

If you don’t want to feel like a walking billboard because of the logos on your shorts, then this option is the right choice for you. This baggier option provides a comfortable fit and allows you to move freely while the anti-chafing material offers a ton of comfort. Featuring removable, 3D-coolmax gel pads, these shorts help support your tailbone and prevent saddle soreness. Since they are waterproof, this product is ideal for walking on muddy ground without getting wet. Highly breathable material wicks away moisture to keep you dry and cool while riding. The biggest part; These shorts feature two slanted pockets and four zipped pockets, allowing you to take your essentials with you on your walks. Plus, hook-and-loop fasteners on the sides let you adjust the fit to your comfort level.

Basic features:

  • Materials: 92% polyester, 6% spandex and 2% PVC

  • Ram: 9 inches

  • Comes with a zipper closure

How to find your next bike shorts: Buyer’s guide

Wearing the right cycling shorts can provide comfort and help support your back and legs, giving you a more enjoyable ride — every cyclist’s dream. Many companies sell shorts touting a better cycling experience, but not all of them check every box. We’ve designed this guide to help you find the right fit and make your next trip more comfortable.

Factors to consider when buying cycling shorts

1. Piercing

Chafing is a horrible experience that can definitely hinder your performance. If your legs rub against each other while cycling, make sure the shorts you buy are made of skin-friendly material to prevent this problem.

2. Budget

Make sure the shorts you buy provide a good return on investment. You can find high quality shorts even on a budget. But budget alone shouldn’t be the deciding factor, as a higher price tag means better chamois (padding) and an improved cycling experience. Most bike shorts may seem expensive, but you should keep in mind that more expensive options may be more durable and give you more value in the long run.

3. Tight or loose

Tight shorts are fine for trail or road cycling, but if you want something that breathes and don’t like the feeling of the fabric constricting your thighs, consider buying baggy shorts. Both options are equally comfortable and you can choose one depending on your mood or cycling needs.

4. Filling

It is common for triathlon shorts to have the least padding so athletes can swim, ride and run all in the same shorts. When it comes to comfort, quality and longevity, it’s never a waste of money to spend a little more on a higher quality goat. The padding plays a vital role in providing more comfort while riding and also helps protect your tail from potential injuries.

5. Panel construction

There are often fewer panels of fabric in cheaper shorts, but more expensive, technically advanced and form-fitting cycling shorts can include up to eight panels of fabric. Simply being aware of how the shorts are made can help you predict their level of comfort and performance.

6. Inseam

There is a wide range of inseam lengths available in cycling shorts. Most cyclists choose shorts with a seam that sits just above the knee because they work well for spin classes, triathlons and for a nice tan. Long inseams do a better job of holding the shorts in place, and can help prevent the saddle from rubbing against your inner thighs. You can also choose bike shorts with flat seams to avoid chafing.

People also asked

Q: Do I need to wear anything under my cycling shorts?

A: Do not wear anything else under your cycling shorts. The chamois sewn into the liner is designed to sit close to your skin without chafing and is made from materials that can wick moisture away from your body, helping you dry faster.

Q: Should I buy bike shorts that are tight on me?

A: When you first put on your cycling shorts, they should be somewhat snug, but not so tight that they restrict blood circulation. Make sure they fit you tight enough so they don’t move when you ride your bike. If they are too restrictive, you may feel a few lumps develop in your thighs.

Q: Will padded bike shorts help me ride better?

A: Absolutely! Wearing padded cycling shorts can make the whole riding experience more enjoyable and efficient. They also allow you to cycle longer and cover longer distances without saddle soreness or tailbone pain. Wearing cycling shorts is highly recommended to improve your cycling skills and take them to the next level.

Q: Why are my cycling shorts riding up?

A: Not just cycling shorts, but most shorts tend to lose their snug fit over time. The more you use them, the easier it will be for you to wear them. The majority of shorts ride up because they lose their elasticity over time, or you may have chosen baggy shorts.

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