Biking is one of the most fun, eco-friendly, and healthful ways to get around. The aerobic exercise provided by biking is excellent for losing weight and maintaining optimal health. When you feel the wind on your face and the angular momentum of rounding a corner, you feel the rush that freedom affords you. To make the most of your biking experience, you need some essential equipment like the best cycling shorts around.
Very few people bike naked, and this is for good reason. However, simply covering your nether regions with cloth is not ideal for biking, either. A premium pair of cycling shorts not only provides optimal comfort: they can enhance your mobility and even help to manage sweat.
However, it can be difficult to determine which are the best cycling shorts on offer on the internet. So many companies offer cycling shorts that it can be hard to determine whose claims are worth your money and whose are not. It is for that reason that we put together this list of the best cycling shorts by our estimation.
This is not an estimation we reached lightly. We will reveal our review process, our short list of top competitors, and the pair we consider the best cycling shorts around. But first, let us answer some of the most frequently asked questions about cycling shorts that we have received.
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1. What Are Cycling Shorts?
Cycling shorts can be defined as short, skin-tight legwear that is designed to be comfortable and efficient while the wearer is engaged in all the motions necessary to riding a bike.
2. What Are the Advantages of Cycling Shorts?
Different models of cycling shorts provide different benefits to their wearers. The best cycling shorts accomplish many things. You can expect some of the best cycling shorts to cut down on the wind resistance that you experience during a ride. They also protect your skin against friction, which of course can be a problem when pedaling. Many work like a jockstrap, helping to keep men more comfortable on a bike seat.
Many of the best cycling shorts models are sweat-wicking. This means that their fabric helps to draw sweat away from the body to the surface of the shorts where it can evaporate. This simultaneously helps to keep the cyclist cool and dry. Some of our favorite pairs included a “cycling pad,” which added extra padding in the place where the shorts were likely to rub against the bike seat.
3. Why Are So Many of the Best Cycling Shorts So Tight?
You may have noticed how form fitting most of the cycling shorts we picked tend to be. This is not merely to show off the legs of the cyclist. Tight shorts won't get caught in the bike chain or other moving part of the bike. This tightness also helps to compress the muscles of the legs, which is scientifically shown to cut down on the amount of muscle fatigue that the cyclist experiences.
How We Reviewed
After scouring the internet for a short list of cycling shorts that could be considered the best, we ultimately ended up with ten competitors. After separating the wheat from the chaff, we scored each of these ten competitors against each other. These competitors were scored across the criteria of their price point and what key features they offered. Their pros and cons were listed for easy comparison. From these evaluations we named our winner the best cycling shorts for the money.
Overall Price Range
Any specialty gear requires you to dig a little deeper into your pockets. This is as true for cycling shorts as it is for welding masks or climbing gear. However, many of our picks can be yours for around $25, which is not too exorbitant.
What We Reviewed
NOOYME Men's Cycling Shorts 3D Gel
NOOYME offers a great cover for your cycling lower half with their Men's Cycling Shorts complete with 3D Gel. These 80% Polyamide and 20% spandex cycling shorts are molded in a 3D structure that lets your legs breathe. The seams are flatlocked, meaning that you cut down on both friction and rashes.
If visibility is your concern, luckily these shorts come with reflective marks no matter what color option you choose. In terms of color options, you have more than a dozen to choose from.
Louis Garneau Men's Fit Sensor 2
Louis Garneau charges about twice what NOOYME charges if you want their Men's Fit Sensor 2 cycling shorts. This hike in price does come with a hike in features, however. The Men's Fit Sensor 2 is a breathable, seamless, and includes visibility stripes just like the NOOYME Men's Cycling Shorts. Where it goes above and beyond is that its Airzone chamois is composed of a sweat-wicking, antibacterial memory foam. That means it will not bunch up in pinch points nor will it cause chafing.
Sponeed Men's Cycling
Shorts Padded Bicycle Riding Pants
Looking good can be just as much a goal for cycling as riding without chafing. That is why we loved the six color options that the Sponeed Men's Cycling Shorts Padded Bicycle Riding Pants came in. You can choose between blue, grey, green, red, white, and multi-black.
All of these models are made of 80% polyester and 20% spandex lycra. These shorts are constructed with a 4D gel pad that is elastic and breathable.
Baleaf Men's Cycling Shorts
3D Padded Bicycle Bike Quick-Dry Pants
The Men's Cycling Shorts 3D Padded Bicycle Bike Quick-Dry Pants manufactured by Baleaf are one of the cheapest items to make our best cycling shorts top ten list. Do not let this budget price point fool you, however. They are still solid shorts.
A special weaving process allows the fabric of these shorts to be extraordinarily flexible and long lasting. They will not deform when you wash them. They do indeed dry quickly as their name proclaims.
Pearl iZUMi Women's Escape Sugar Shorts
We would be remiss to only evaluate men's cycling shorts in this article. The Pearl iZUMi Women's Escape Sugar Shorts are excellent for the cycling lady and reasonably priced. They are comfortable and durable. They provide sweat-wicking and compression to help cut down on muscle fatigue.
Castelli 2017/18 Men's Cento Cycling Short
Castelli provides one of the most straightforward pairs of shorts for biking with their 2017/18 Men's Cento Cycling Short. These shorts are made from spandex. They are designed to be worn in the spring, summer, and fall. We loved the relaxed fit that these provided. In terms of the best cycling shorts, having a relaxed fit option is fairly unique.
SUGOi - Men's Evolution Zap Short
If you are looking for the cutting edge of material science to be used in your cycling shorts look no further than SUGOi's Men's Evolution Zap Shorts. These cycling shorts are made of a high tech type of nylon called “Ultra Evo.” These are form fitting and provide a cycling pad that is fifteen millimeters thick for a comfortable ride.
Pearl iZUMi Men's Elite Escape Shorts
Sometimes you need to escape on your bike. With Pearl iZUMi Men's Elite Escape Shorts you'll be ready to hit the road. These shorts are composed of a complex blend consisting of 46% polyamide, 38% polyester, and 16% elastane. Its inserts are 88% polyamide and 12% elastane. These materials together make a short that is sweat-wicking, comfortable, compressive, and long lasting.
Louis Garneau Men's CB Carbon 2 Padded
This is a bit of a curveball in terms of the best cycling shorts you can find. Unlike the shorts we've listed so far, the Louis Garneau Men's CB Carbon 2 Padded comes with over the shoulder straps, making it look like a combination between bike shorts and a weightlifter onesie. These straps help to keep your shorts in place and many professional riders seem to love this style. Their material is both compressive and breathable, giving you the best of both worlds. Plus, they are fully padded for comfort.
Przewalski Men's Cycling Bib Shorts,
4D Padded Compression Bike Tights
If you think that you will like the over-the-shoulder model of cycling shorts, we have another contender for you. The Przewalski Men's Cycling Bib Shorts, 4D Padded Compression Bike Tights look very similar to the Louis Garneau Men's CB Carbon 2 Padded model, except that they are airier and lighter.
Made from 90% polyester and 10% spandex these ergonomic shorts are great for those who love long rides in comfort. These materials provide the right amount of compression without sacrificing breathability.
Ultimately, the decision about which are the best cycling shorts for you will be determined by two factors. One factor is your gender. Women's shorts are optimized for women's bodies and men's shorts are optimized for men's.
The second factor is whether you like the over-the-shoulder design or not. If you know that you can rock that look, then there is no question which is the best set of cycling short for your money.
That's right, we saved the best for last. Przewalski Men's Cycling Bib Shorts, 4D Padded Compression Bike Tights cannot be beat when it comes to providing all the essential features without breaking the bank.
Featured Image source: Pexels