What you wear has an impact when it comes to both casual and competitive sports.
Have you ever seen a football player wear jeans? Or an athlete run with slacks?
Of course not!
Different types of movements require specific attire to complement it.
With a variety of shorts out there I believe it is important to pick the right pair to fit you. Follow our guide for the best women’s bike shorts to find your perfect fit.
Our Top Picks
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5 Best Women’s Bike Shorts – Reviewed
You’ve heard of SPF rated sunblock, but have you heard of UPF rated cycling shorts?
The built-in sun protection of UPF 50+ sets these nylon-spandex bicycle shorts from BALEAF apart.
The waistband issue is solved by using a wide waistband and silicone grippers in the thigh area to give a perfect and comfortable fit.
The 3D chamois is multi-layered for thickness, adding extra comfort and durability to the cushioning, with a four-way stretch and a silica gel layer to make the bumpy rides easier. Flatlock creases lessen friction and chaffing.
What’s even better? They have an option which has side and back pockets!
• UPF 50+
• Limited Colors
Another comfortable pair of shorts with amazing cushioning, this time from Beroy. These shorts are made using an 80/20 polyester and spandex mix that feels good and fits well.
The upper is also equipped with extremely soft microfiber. The design ensures that there is no chafing or friction at all plus the insides are treated with a bacteriostatic treatment that prevents sores and infections.
The chamois in these are great and we’re truly dazzled with the 3D gel that causes it to feel light and yet protect against all kinds of shocks and vibrations. The chamois is thick in all the right places with dual padding making this pair as comfortable as it can get.
• Wide Range of Colors
• Variety of Padding thickness
• Larger Sizes
• Lacks Adequate thigh grippers
The Eco-daily shorts are so bright, anyone will see you coming from a mile away.
Made with a blend of 85% Polyester and 15% Spandex, they’re lightweight, breathable and cushioned with a 3D padded chamois. They keep the rider cool and dry throughout the ride by absorbing moisture and removing sweat easily.
The shorts hug your body perfectly and become one with you assisting with any kind of movement. With their perfect female-friendly design, they have multi-dimensional cutaway regions with a variation of padding in just the right places.
They shape fits agreeably to the hips without rolling, slipping, or being awkward, protecting the rider of chafing and other friction-related injuries. With a wide waistband, you won’t feel it dig into your abdomen area.
• Bright Colors for reflection
• No thigh grippers
If you’re a cycling enthusiast you must have heard of Pearl Izumi when it comes to your accessories.
The plain black shorts LOOK good but might disappoint some seasoned riders when it comes to performance.
The low waisted waistband tends to roll over and the chamois isn’t great.
However, what I loved about these shorts is the breathability and the perfect length just above the knees.
The silicone thigh grippers are also perfect. They don’t squeeze the leg too tightly but is just the right amount of tightness.
The Chamois misses the mark because the thickness is uniform from front to back. This isn’t an ideal design for a chamois.
The Escape quest is an ideal pair of shorts for a short ride or an indoor spin class.
• Great Breathability
• Smaller Sizes available
• Limited Colors
• 2D chamois
• Shorter Waist
The only bib short on our list ranks highly in terms of comfort and breathability.
This pair of cycling shorts are made of polyester, polyamide, and spandex for increased durability. It is made to fit perfectly to increase the aerodynamic effect and reduce drag. The dense 4 way knit guarantees a supportive and extensive stretch.
With regards to comfort, this pair of cycling bibs have softer padding which might not suit everyone. The straps are made of elastic material to provide a stable fit with comfort in mind. The back panel which is made up of a breathable fabric absorbs moisture and vapor keeping you cool and dry throughout the ride.
The bib comes in 3 designs for easy access. A front bib clips mode, a YKK front bib clip model, and laser punching bib model.
• 3 Designs
• Reflective patch
• Softer Padding
• 1 colour
Things to Pay Attention To
COMFORT & FIT
The fundamental thing you would want to pay attention to when trying on your first pair of cycling shorts is to see how comfortable they are and how well they fit your body.
Are the leg bands pressing your thighs in a decent, compressive way, or does it feel like you are suffocating?
How about the midsection? Is it excessively low, excessively tight, not tight enough? Move around and stretch a bit as you would on your bike and see if it remains put.
If you pick a bib rather than a pair of shorts, are the straps sufficiently long, so they don’t “pull” on your shoulders, or too slacked to even think about holding the bib up?
Pick an inseam depending on the length of your leg, how much coverage you want for your leg and whether you’ll be riding indoors or outdoors. Usually, long-distance riders prefer a longer seam to support the quads for a longer period.
Honestly, this depends on personal preference.
Bathroom breaks can get complicated in bike shorts or bibs, so pay close attention to whether the short you pick has taken this important function into account.
Oh, and don’t wear underwear. Yes, you read that right. Read on to find out why!
SHORTS OR BIB SHORTS
Generally, there are two kinds of shorts, shorts with bibs or shorts without bibs. They both have their advantages and drawbacks.
Just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, this choice depends on your cycling goals and preference.
According to many cyclists’ bibs are more comfortable, let’s take a look to see if this is true.
– WAIST SHORTS
Ever stopped for a pee break on a cycling adventure?
If you answered yes, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Waist shorts have the upper hand of having easy access. For a quick-change mid-ride or a relief break, waist shorts are easy to pull on and off.
Without excessive cloth on the upper body, waist shorts are also lighter and generally cheaper.
The only downside to waist shorts is the waistband sitting right where you have to bend down to get into a riding stance. A poorly fit waistband can dig into your abdomen area creating an unpleasant sensation.
Typically, waist shorts nowadays beat this issue by having low waistlines. This gets the job done but might create a muffin top illusion. The other option is to opt for a wider and higher waistband.
It is always recommended to try on waist shorts along with your jersey and assume a riding stance before investing in a pair to see how it feels and fits.
– BIB SHORTS
Bib shorts overcome the waistband issue by completely removing the waistband and instead has two straps that go over your shoulders to hold the shorts in place.
A good pair of bib shorts should have an ideal hip to waist ratio to ensure a good fit and prevent gaps where sweat can drip off from.
Most Bib shorts are designed with the up and over strap system. This works well with men, but some women may find it irritating if the straps are directly laying over the breast area.
Strap length is also very important in terms of comfort; short straps will lead to sore shoulders while long straps will not hold the shorts in place.
The major disadvantage of bib shorts is the fact that it is hard to put on and take off. Imagine taking a pee break in a tiny porta-potty by the side of the road.
Many brands nowadays use different design techniques to overcome this issue.
PADDING & PROTECTION
One feature that sets apart cycling shorts from other athletics shorts is the availability of a ‘chamois’.
Remember how I mentioned not wearing underwear before? This is to prevent chafing against the chamois making it uncomfortable.
The chamois is the pad sewn inside your bike shorts. This protective layer of padding between you and the seat supports your posterior, absorbs shocks, and prevents unwanted friction and chaffing.
Without this layer of padding, it would be extremely difficult to set your sit bones on the saddle for a long period.
Among other things such as waist and hip circumference, the difference in chamois shape is what sets apart men’s biking shorts and women’s biking shorts.
Men’s chamois has a cutout running through the center of the pad while a women’s chamois design has padding running through the center to protect areas with soft tissues.
An ideal chamois isn’t too thin or thick. A bulky chamois can create excess weight while a thin layer cannot provide adequate protection.
If you want a tight and perfect fit, you have to pick good material.
Try wearing a pair of cotton shorts and riding around your block. The color of your shorts will change by the end of it.
The high rate of sweat absorption will create excessive weight and an uncomfortable ride.
This is why cycling shorts use moisture-wicking synthetic fabrics such as nylon, spandex, and lycra. These materials will hug on to your skin and will support your movements rather than restrict it.
When it comes to cycling, the correct type of cycling shorts or cycling bibs is of paramount importance.
Comfort is the most important thing when it comes to cycling. Your body has only 3 contact points with a bike and a large proportion of this comes from your posterior.
Therefore, a comfortable posterior setting can make your ride a one to remember or an awful one that’ll make you reconsider cycling as a sport or hobby.
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