Baggy shorts, lycra, shorts over leggings; no matter how personal your views are, if you are in sheer lycra out cycling, you will most probably be laughed at. Avoid these horrendous cycling fashion disasters. Read on. We take the lead here to lead you to the best padded cycling shorts on the market. They’re going to be comfortable, ergonomic and what’s more, they’ll steal the show!
Riding a bicycle is an exhilarating experience. A wrong seam or that niggling bite at the waistline can throw a spoke into the works that will swiftly degenerate into an ordeal. To ride a bike comfortably without fighting with your shorts is a no-no. They should ride easily and naturally, be of a material that does not warp after a wash, and importantly enhance your performance.
This guide that we have put together is both explanatory and hopefully will equip you with sufficient pre-knowledge before you go and make your choice.
Best Padded Cycling Shorts Reviews
Best Bike Shorts for Men
1 Sponeed Men’s Cycling Shorts
Sponeed-Cycling is no new kid on the block. Established in 2011, they specialize in cycling gear, clothing, and equipment inclusive. Our findings are that they are a completely high-tech firm dedicated to both research and manufacture. Strike one, Sponeed.
These shorts are made of 4-way tricot; it is a durable 4-way stretch fabric made of 80% nylon and 20% spandex. It is very thin and consists of single yarns yielding a smooth-textured knit.
These shorts are fantastic-looking athletic shorts and are truly inexpensive.
We really liked its true fit and the right amount of stretch. We need to mention here that these shorts are UPF+ protective. This protection system is relatively new and confined to the sunlight protection offered by fabrics as opposed to SPF, which is for skin protection. UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection.
The chamois (pronounced as ‘shammy’) padding is 3D and male-specific so that the right areas get the needed protection.
Your cycling experience is bound to be smooth since the leg grippers keep a check on the shorts.
The styling is superb, mostly on a back background with graphics and other brilliant designs. A good many options are in stock for the serious athlete and otherwise.
We went up in the air at the breathability features these shorts give. The Coolmax crotch pad of silicone is a serious mopper of the moisture that accumulates inside. Of course, it takes care of malodors and bacterial infiltrations too.
- Ample padding
- Great graphics
- Superb fit
- Value for money
- Longer length may be unsuitable for shorter cyclists
These are simply the best-padded cycling shorts. The core needs of what has to go into a good pair of cycling shorts have been addressed adequately. Okay, they are priced in the higher range but giving these shorts a skip is not probably a choice we would second.
2 Santic Cycling Men’s Shorts
The Santic 4D is another marvel among cycling shorts. These are specifically designed for those long-distance, jumbo rides and will keep you cool and comfortable while you are at it.
They are fabricated from a fusion of lycra, spandex, and nylon which are both eminently breathable and afford great comfort.
The materials used in fact are highly superior with 82% nylon and 18% being a combination of lycra and spandex. The inseam is typically 0.9 inch and the surface of this material is unbelievably smooth. The cyclist can remain assured of comfort even in the face of resistance. Movement is unimpaired and cycling with ease and comfort is splendid.
The tricot fabric is 4-way and with a seamless pad that is sewn in with a two-panel construct. This minimizes the risk of injury and especially saddle sores.
They prevent the accumulation of sweat, deliver adequate temperature control and the padding is impressive for the comfort it bestows. It is smooth being fabricated of the Coolmax microfiber. The padding is fused with the tricot and the foam thus advancing overall comfort and ease.
The unique feature of these shorts is that they are of breathable mesh which is also sweat repellant. They are pretty hygienic as well as anti-bacterial, remaining dry even on those extended trips.
The leg grippers are silicone and ensure your shorts remain in place.
We, however, find the styling and color options not that multifarious as the Sponeed offers. In their favor though is the sizing options available include Asian sizes and for ladies as well.
We can readily see that the Santic has thrown all it can offer, the full works into this product. It is a serious competition for the Sponeed. Strike one Santic. It is a lot cheaper too.
Santic has placed its products predominantly for the Asian market, so American buyers need to take guidance from the size chart as well as seeing for yourself as the fit.
- Coolmax microfiber padding
- Remains dry for a long period
- Silicone grippers provided
- Available for both men and women
- Padding is relatively light
Hallelujah! This is the Cassius Clay of cycling shorts. Santic has flung everything in its arsenal into this gem of a product. Nothing has been left to chance in the design and construction of these shorts and the scope for any debate on these shorts is simply not there. It’s a great model for sale and offers good value for money. It’s ideal for the youths and adults alike.
3 Sportneer Men’s Cycling Shorts 4D Coolmax
The Sportneer Men’s Cycling Shorts are really cool. They actually ‘sit next to the skin’. These beauties have excellent stretch.
It exudes an astonishing “sculpted to the skin” feel. That about sums up the fit part except that you can well imagine the aero efficiency and the comfort we are talking about here.
The manufacture is of a non-sweat nylon and spandex combo which automatically ensures the most desirable moisture transfer, keeping you dry as a baby and totally chafe-free.
Three layers of sponge cushioning, boasting high-performance have gone into these shorts. This is designed for all those long hours spent in the saddle. Breather holes are furnished so that the saddle remains dry during your strenuous sessions.
Going a step further in ensuring that perfect grip, silicone grippers come to your rescue. That ‘stay-put’ liberty is a much-wanted comfort when on the road.
On dark roads, you really need not worry about being knocked off by some reckless driver; a powerful Catseye is there to avert such unsavory occurrences.
The Sportneer shorts are a functional great pair of shorts and it is a pity that such a superb product is available only in black without much choice.
- Superlative breathability
- Silicone grippers
- Saddle support provided by 3-layer cushioning
- Hi-Vis reflectors
- One color
The size chart refers to Asian size
So there you have it; fair and square. This is yet another bowl over product. Your search for the most comfortable and feature-loaded pair of shorts ends here. It is not only lightweight but is body contoured, comfortable and the cushioning; Phew!
But as we have repeatedly pointed out, there appear to be some issues with the size measurements. As a discerning customer, please be aware you ensure that it is a good fit or your investment goes down the drain.
4 Santic Men’s Mountain Bike Loose-Fit Padded Shorts
The Santic 4D MTB shorts are the tuxedo of mountain biking priming you with confidence and relaxation on your outings. They possess exceptional breathing qualities that will ease the user into a relaxed mode.
The construction of these shorts is 12-panel, from a blend of nylon, spandex, and lycra that confer the user with a spectacular fit and at the same time wick away that moisture keeping you bone-dry even in heavy-duty action. The resultant stretch is formidable. Breathable mesh on the legs at the bottom spike up the ventilation.
What we could not confirm is that whether it was reinforced enough so as to be tear-resistant.
The 4D padding that comprises the seat cushion is formidable. This is a step above the typical 3D padding found in most shorts. This form of cushioning is the answer to sores and other assorted saddle induced niggles which can result from extreme riding.
Bacterial infections too are banished as the dryness quotient is mighty high.
The silicone leg grippers have not been forgotten and add to the hold of the shorts. Reflectors are a further embellishment that adds to your safety in low light conditions.
You will need to buy one size above your usual size.
- 4D padding
- Fabric is antibacterial
- Swift moisture dissipation
- Pocket zippers are not of high quality
The price these multifaceted shorts come for is a gift from Heaven. The features offered are picture-perfect. This product, succinctly put is that it passes with flying colors. It gives loads of features, crafted with great detail and the price is positioned just right.
5 Ally Mens MTB Mountain Bike Short
Now you have a problem. You are a mountain biker and your shorts are done pretty fast. You may need to consider the Ally Mens MTB shorts. They are tough, address the strenuous demands of mountain biking. The shorts and accompanying undershorts are armor sufficient for tackling most problems of mountain cycling.
These wonderful shorts are fashioned of a blend of polyamide and lycra for prime stretch and breathability.
The snap closure is provided so you can be saddled and on your way before you can say, Jack Robinson. These shorts won’t weigh you down; they are lightweight and you will find them mighty comfortable whatever terrain you choose to traverse.
We reiterate the importance of riding comfort for that one aspect keeps a cyclist going. Here, these shorts have all the boxes ticked. A 3D gel pad and the matched undershorts keep you fresh and comfortable on your seat. Needless to say, efficient wicking away of moisture is systematically accomplished.
With seven, zippered pockets amply spacious you can tuck away your entire belongings before you hit the road. The pockets are adjustable too. A Velcro strip is provided on each side which gives you the option to tighten them to your waist or, if you so please, keep them loose.
- Lightweight and water-resistant
- 7 waterproof pockets
- Adjustable weight
- Fits well with knee pads
- Not made in the US
The Ally MTB is a delight. A common gripe seems to about the shiny pocket rivets. We find it a non-issue. Given the pricing, users are getting a great deal. The zippered pockets add a very practical dimension.
Best Bike Shorts for Women
6 BEROY Women’s Bike Shorts with 3D Gel Padded
These, the Beroy Women’s Bike Shorts are as popular as Walt Disney, extremely so. They are the last word in the realm of women’s cycling shorts.
The terrific fit with the unimaginably soft microfiber top is a best-seller. Your comfort is guaranteed. The stitching particularly has the inseams lined up such that abrasions and chafing are totally eliminated.
There are so many features in these shorts that they right out in front. These pairs are first of all are exceedingly flexible and have been subjected to an Advanced Bacteriostatic treatment. In short, you are totally out of the clutches of infections and saddle sores.
What we discovered amazing was the cushioning quality of these shorts. These ushers in a new outlook to the finish and quality provided by these shorts.
The thickness of the padding warrants a second mention here. As it is not uniform, it varies on your movements giving the right support. It offers an unsurpassable interface.
We would like to point out one issue. The size selection is all-important. Sam, our team member of great intrepidity, had some issues with the provided size guide. If in doubt, go one size larger. Buying a smaller size is inviting trouble; big trouble at that.
- Hi-Vis reflective logos
- Padding that is of variable thickness
- Durable, flexible and anti-bacterial
- Improved comfort with the high waist and mesh cutouts
- Size selection is critical
Beroy is a name you can trust and these are the best padded cycling shorts that this popular brand has to offer. Sam’s summation which is a thumbs up on both palms speaks volumes about these pairs. That’s a double. The number of thoughtful features, including the gel padding, is immense in the impact it will provide for women cyclists of all ages. The Beroy Womens Bike Shorts with 3D Gel padding is a great product.
7 BALEAF Womens Bike Shorts
The BAYLEAF Womens Bike Shorts stands tall with some spectacular features.
A sun-protection of 50+ UPF with their spandex to begin with. This spandex- nylon shorts stand apart. How, you ask? A comfortable ride shakes hands with a high waist-band and the silicone grippers to arrest that mid-thigh movement when on the move.
Multi-layered for density, the 3D chamois piles on comfort and durability to the padding And that’s not all; the four-way stretch fabric along with a silica gel layer is present to absorb those jolts and vibrations. The seams are flatlock which reduces friction a good deal.
It keeps going uphill. These are available as shorts with side or back pockets.
These shorts work splendidly even for ocean kayaking. That is high praise.
- Ample padding
- Sun protection
- Chamois a bit stiff
Our trusty Sam to the rescue to validate the claims. Samantha had one thing to add though. The grippers don’t do their job quite. The shorts do slip down. But trust me, it’s much better than non-spandex models.
Overall, this top rated Bayleaf Women’s model successfully passed our test. These are a splendid pair of shorts. Ocean kayaking, need we say more.
8 NOOYME Womens Bike Shorts
These shorts by NOOYME are targetted for entry-level riders. Amateur riders do get seriously hurt by saddle sores. With that in mind, the chamois is ergonomically designed to take up shock absorption to the full. The design is such that the fabric adopts to moving muscles. The antibacterial feature has also been given high priority.
Going ahead, the chances of chafing too have been addressed well and comfort for the rider much enhanced. Special attention to the wicking quality ensures a bone-dry ride.
Each pair of shorts are fashioned of a stretchy spandex combination. The combination is 80% polyamide and 20% spandex. Into each leg opening is inserted an anti-silicon strip, so while riding bunching of the shorts does not occur. This spandex band is in two parts and does a far better job.
The NOOYME features flat seams that up the comfort quotient whilst chipping down on friction.
These shorts come in a wide range of colors.
We did get the impression that NOOYME has not addressed sun protection enough.
- Premium fabric
- Perfect fit
- Stylish designs
- Not for long rides
- Waistband not adjustable
Women’s riding shorts come with their particular requirements- the physiognomy, the muscular structure, endurance cycles, and other gender-specific considerations insist on a different method of reviewing them. Sam, once again did the honors and was not quite happy with the fit. She though added that these shorts are a beauty.
9 XGC Women’s Cycling Shorts
We were bombed with this pair. Read on.
These pairs use a 4D high-thickness wipe pad that is breathable and a high quotient of wipe capability. It is viable mitigation to hip soreness when riding. The wipe pad has excellent porosity and flexibility that essentially contributes to that seamless drive.
It is practically breathable, the texture is specially designed to void dampness and chafing.
Believe it, 78 air holes have been incorporated into these shorts so bacterial infiltration is virtually non-existent.
High reflective logos cover the safety angle in hours of darkness but as a responsible nightrider, your jersey should stand out reflectively for your safety.
- Superb chamois cushioning
- Top-rate flexible materials
- Plenty room around the midriff
The XGC is a serious piece of business. The makers did not leave anything to chance. Superbly crafted, these cycling shorts great for long hauls, have what it takes when the going gets rough. This is a hot-shot favorite of ours.
10 Lixada Cycling Shorts 3D Padded
Oh! We go classic here. These shorts implement that silk into the works.
These shorts satisfy total comfort. That includes an 8mm foam pad that is distinct and will smoothen your riding experience even on those extended runs. This is why these are ideal fro Century Rides.
These shorts feature a 3D gel pad that breathes. A gel pad complete with a quick-dry fabric of polyester is part of this product. This works wonders for comfort.
Lixada shorts are crafted for both and casual attire both on and off the bike.
Atypically, the purpose primarily of the padding in these shorts is that they cushion the rear, specifically the sit bones with the chamois. Of course, sweat absorption is an added advantage.
These cushioned undershorts along with the soft elastic bands for the legs are super-stretchy. As you pedal, the liner does not ride up. These soft-stiched undershorts fit right next to your skin.
- Anti-shrink and anti-wrinkle
- Comes in various colors
- Nothing we could fault
Functional and chic. The part we really liked was that these are just not biking gear, you can stroll around. Try that with bib shorts, we don’t think that is cool. The construction of these undershorts has left nothing to chance. A great, great buy and that too for a song.
Best Padded Cycling Shorts – Buying Guide
a)Road shorts/bib shorts
Bib shorts are a premium option and are more comfortable. Waist shorts need to have the band high and wide enough or they will result in digging in. We had tried quite a few types and to go into detail on each will put you to sleep.
Bibs are the choice for most bikers especially for medium or long runs. The differentiating factor is the shoulder straps that hold the chamois in place, cutting down on movement when you shift position or walk around, reduces hotspots and chafing, does away with saddle sores and does not allow the fabric to bunch up in the crotch area.
They are comfortable around the waist. Continual waist pressure causes gastric distress. As there is no waistband, breathing is also unrestricted. So, you may find different designs for boys and girls.
b) MTB shorts
These came about as a form of counter-culture to the lycra. Baggy became their calling. They may look like everyday wear but come with special features. Reflective details, a gusseted crotch, and zippered pockets to name a few.
The entire gamut from cross-country to enduro is covered. They are usually made of blends of nylon, elastane, spandex, and other stretchable, breathable fabric. Cross-country shorts come a bit differently. They are lighter, more form-fitting and less abrasion-resistant.
The point is that depending on the type of cycling activity, the range is very comprehensive. Also, the shorts are gender-specific, cut accordingly.
2. Panel Construction
In order that the garment fits your body contours, the use of panels is made. Obviously, the more the panels, the greater the adaptability of the garment to stretch and flex. In older times when the less stretchable fabric was not available, fabric such as wool wood requires a good number of panels. Today, it holds less distinction but all the same, high-end gear is generally of 8 panels with 6 being the norm.
What insulates you from the saddle is the chamois padding, or as most makers use faux chamois. This is the predominant feature of biking shorts and there is only one way to find out if your choice is true; take a ride in them and get a feel. This is a bit impractical as we doubt any seller allows test rides. If you have friends who have tried it out earlier, you are in luck.
Thickness is only one consideration of how chamois can fare. The density, shape and whether it has stitching that is exposed are factors to be taken into the reckoning. There are many different colors, styles, and methods to affix chamois pads in shorts we tested and it is very simple.
Nylon and spandex rule the roost as the fabric of choice for road cycling shorts and bibs.
We went through the specs of many makers, some using their own patented fabric and some have polyester fires too as a constituent.
By and large, their performance is of satisfactory quality. The most renowned brands use a varied combination of materials – the end result being superior breathability, comfort, and flexibility. They come expensive and their target audience is professional bikers.
By and large, mostly all are of good wicking quality whereby body moisture is expelled.
5. Size, Fit & Comfort
The best fit is that which hugs your waist and ends up just above the knees. In cooler climes or for better sun protection, you can opt for ¾ shorts which extend a bit below the knees. Bib knickers score high in the area of comfort.
The straps we found were not of any concern causing irritation or any such, even with the extra padded models. They need to be broad enough and individuals with longer than usual torsos may have chafing issues.
Lastly, we come to how the bottom cuffs are held in place. Silicone grippers placed inside the shorts is one way. Compression grips, which are usually found on high-end models do a better job and don’t abrade the skin. For plus size individuals, it’s wise to get a better fit or else it might get real uncomfortable. For that matter, most standard models come with in 3 to 4XL size options.
When it comes to comfort, it may feel like a Versace, but a different story will unfold once you are in the saddle. You are not buying your shorts at Macys, so surely your bike shop will be more than glad to accommodate your request for ‘try before you buy’.
6. Tight or Baggy
If you are one of those cyclists who zip around, you should consider tight-fitting race shorts. It has to do with aerodynamics, least wind resistance and all such.
If you are more of a commuter or you prefer cycle-touring, you would be hopping on and off the cycle, you are certainly concerned about the look of your shorts and available pockets more than the speed. What you would need is ‘baggy shorts’ with an inner liner.
The guarantee of maximum comfort is padding (it’s missing in overshorts). But there is a limit; you cannot have shorts that are heavily padded. The type of padding prescribed is what is called the variable infinity thickness type.
What this does is to make the thickness variable depending on the needs of a certain body type. With the correct padding, the durability, and performance of your shorts leap quantumly. We recommend to avoid non-padded models for safety reasons. It’s better to have removable padding option for better cleaning.
Inseam is the measurement that correlates to comfort and fit. Most cyclists prefer the inseam to be a bit above the knees. Chaffing is the chief irritant here. Remember, cycling shorts are not meant for wearing over inner-wear. In colder weather, the inner seam length could go up to the ankle level.
The bibs we tested with our well-trusted tape gave us measurements of 8.4” to 9.6”. We admit it was a bit unclear where the makers were taking their measurements from. It really does not matter because the cuff lengths were a close match.
Your imagination is the limit. Bike shorts come in mind-boggling colors, patterns, and designs. Traditional, trendy, staid, need a logo on them; done. This aspect is a reflection of your personality or sometimes a manifestation of the cycling academy you are a part of.
Breathability in a breath means allowing your garment to allow air circulation. The fabric should breathe. This way, all that moisture from your body secretions, sweat and the likes are wicked away so you are not left cycling in damp, moist clothing. Unpaded models are more efficient in this resepect.
Sweat has this tendency of pooling around the tailbone. If your shorts are not breathable, you are sitting in a puddle of sweat; wet skin blisters easily not to mention bacterial growth.
Why Wear Padded Cycling Shorts
As a biker, make no mistakes- your shorts or choice of them have a tremendous bearing on physical well-being along with less important considerations. You are positioned on the tail bone and all those knocks of the road; potholes, bumps, rubble and what have you, that you encounter.
On any surface, you can expect some impediments. The shock is transmitted straight up to the spinal column. The coccyx and lumbar regions will be affected the most. These shocks and vibrations have to be dampened.
Chamois leather is the unquestionable superior choice her for use as padding. Whether you love your road bike more than your mountain biker or if it’s the other way around, your shorts need to have this shield. Other alternatives are foam and synthetic materials that really can’t fix it. Chamois is natural; it is ergonomic, will mould to your nether contours, does not chafe or cause discomfort otherwise.
Differences Between Snow-Board & Cycling Padded Shorts
Please read this as your sit bones will thank you. Perish the thought if you are thinking in the lines of why padded shorts for snow-boards. If you fall, there is soft snow to cushion it. No, the snow cover is not deep enough in places and you will land on the hard ice below.
Fatalities have been reported before you are now immobile and help may not be readily at hand.
Padded snow-board shorts cover a larger area that includes hips, quads, buttocks and the tailbone. The pads are of varying dimensions. Thickness is one.
Cycling padded shorts are a different ballgame. Padded shorts with a crotch pad of chamois is for snow-boarding. The chamois padding in cycling shorts is bulkier and nests at the saddle end.
The question is that could you ride your bike in shorts designed for snowboarding? Sure for a short duration, it is okay. 20 miles, most probably not. The reverse too holds good. Your padded cycling shorts are not the best bet for snowboarding either.
Padded Shorts Maintenance Tips
Bike shorts are an integral part of your cycling experience. They can be expensive as you know. So it is an incentive to keep them clean. Some D0s and Dont’s for maintaining your shorts
- Wear shorts that fit snugly. There is a middle path. They should not jiggle about or be so tight as to smother circulation.
- They are high-performance gear. A hand wash is preferable then throwing them into the wash.
- Always wash in cold water ONLY. Heat is death for lycra and similar fabrics.
- The cleanser has to be gentle. Harsh detergents wreak havoc on the synthetic fibers and the elastic components that hold up your shorts.
- Whenever you decide they require a wash, do turn them inside out in your hamper or you may be in for one helluva stink fest.
- Immediately after a ride, take your shorts off and let them dry normally.
- Never wear underpants with your shorts. Also dont wear one beneath your pants. Trust us on this one.
- Fabric softeners are the death of biking shorts. They leave a film. This film inhabits the wicking and breathability capability of the fabric.
- Using a heater setting on your dryer is sounding the death knell. Air dry only.
- The chamois part is pretty important. Okay, it is not lambskin anymore, but the proper care of this part is crucial for your shorts to retain their ability as biking shorts. It is mostly of suede leather
Many wonder as to where to buy padded bike shorts. We’ve given you the links to each model that would direct you to Amazon, which you can totally count on.
A Word from GearbikesReview
When you set out in the quest for the best padded cycling shorts, we strongly emphasize that you be adequately conversant with the basics of sewing. We have to reiterate that your personal preferences come upmost. If you dig baggy more than tight-fitting, well, baggy it is then. Weigh the consequences of your choice clearly. Being comfortable, your health and hygiene are what should be the prime considerations.
In this guide, our entire endeavor has been directed in giving you pointers as to how best you can streamline your choice. In case you want cheaper deals, go for clearance sale discounts on occasions like Black Fridays.
Buying a pair of cycling shorts is a different kettle of fish. You don’t want to wash that investment down the drain; worse still, use unserviceable shorts for your rides.
Q. 1: What would be the right size of bike shorts?
Ans: The best padded shorts for cycling should fit snugly. The pad should be close to the skin, otherwise, the potential benefits of wearing these shorts will be void.
Q. 2: How are Bike Shorts worn?
Ans: Rule 1, No under or inner-wear, please. If you are donned in bib knickers, your jersey goes over the bib straps, never under.
Q. 3: Are cycling-specific shorts really necessary?
Ans: Smart question. There is no rule against wearing boxer shorts on a ride. The question is how serious a rider you are. Try boxer shorts for a 10 km ride and you will have your answer.
Q. 4: What is a chamois exactly?
Ans: Chamois is the leather derived from the skin of chamois, a species of goat that is common to Europe. In cycling terms, this padding is synthetically made to mimic the quality of chamois leather in its superior polishing and cleansing properties. Suede is often chosen as the closest cousin to chamois.
Q. 5: Is the wearing of underwear compatible with this type of shorts?
Ans: Innerwear; underwear is never to be worn with biking shorts. This will negate the moisture-wicking qualities and you will end up riding on damp wet shorts that will cause friction burns.
Q. 6: Is it any different by wearing padded cycling shorts?
Ans: Saddle sores and chafing are done away by wearing padded shorts by providing a layer of padding which is best shaped for the riding position.
Q. 7: What are the advantages and disadvantages of bib-style shorts?
Ans: Bib shorts keep, well, your shorts up; the chamois stays in place; look great off the bike; are more comfortable at the waist; no hitching is required and a lot more.
Q. 8: Why all these shorts so tight-fitting?
Ans: Aero-dynamics to start with. To increase pedaling efficiency. For efficient moisture expiration. And so much more that it will take a whole page.