Cycling is definitely a good activity, but only as long as you are comfortable while doing it. If you feel uncomfortable in the saddle and get sore, you can forget about enjoying your ride. This is why it is extremely important to wear a good pair of bike shorts when you are out and about, cycling during summer days and nights.
Ladies who bike around a lot are always in need of the best women’s bike shorts. You may think that any pair of shorts will do when you are biking, but you would be wrong.
Special biking shorts are definitely something you should consider if you bike a lot. This is because they are made of particular materials with specific design and features which allow breathability while keeping comfort levels to a maximum. They may seem like an extravagance but they really are not; rather, they are a must have.
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List of the Best Biking Shorts for Women
Now, if you plan on going out and getting yourself a pair of good, comfortable biking shorts, you know exactly what to look for. To aid you further, here is a list of the best biking shorts for women. These are shorts you should definitely consider.
Pearl Izumi Women’s W Sugar Shorts
Best Used for: Biking
Special Features: Material – Body 86% nylon, 14% elastane; Leg splice and inner waistband: 93% polyester 7% elastane; Form fitting; 5 inch inseam; Women Tour 3D chamois; Variable chamois thickness; 6 panel design; Silicone leg gripper; Wide waistband; Reflective element; UPF 50+
Pearl Izumi Women’s W Sugar Shorts are the perfect shorts which can be worn while biking at any time of the day or night. They have sun protection for day rides and a reflective element for riding in low light, like in evenings and nights.
The chamois is very generous and comfortable, and present in all the right places. Silicone leg grippers ensure that the shorts do not ride up on the legs and stay in place. The wide waistband not only keeps the shorts in place, it also adds style to these bike shorts.
Related: Pearl Izumi Women Select Pursuit Tri Shorts are made of nylon and lycra/elastane. They also have UPF 50+ as well as silicone leg grippers. Pearl Izumi Fly Endurance Shorts are another option. Made of polyester and elastane, these are form fitting and are very comfortable.
Danskin Women’s Essentials Bike Short
Best Used for: Biking for short distances
Special Features: Present in several sizes – X small, small, medium, large, X large, 1 X, 2 X, 3 X; Material is 57% cotton, 37% polyester and 6% spandex; 7 inch inseam; Wicking gusset; Side seam detail; Machine washable
Danskin Women’s Essentials Bike Short are perfect for hot summer days when you want to go biking without feeling too hot and uncomfortable. The wicking fabric will keep you dry and wick sweat away. The legs of these shorts do not ride up.
The waistband is very wide and hence comfortable. Presence of 6 percent spandex provides flexibility and stretch to the shorts. There are several sizes in these shorts so you are bound to find one that is perfect for you.
The shorts are form fitting, so if you personally prefer loose fitting shorts, perhaps these are not the best option, as they might feel a little tight around the thighs. They also do not have any padding or chamois. Therefore, these shorts are ideal if you want to go on short rides.
Related: Other bike shorts include Danskin Women Moisture Wicking Cycling 5 Inch Bike Shorts which are made of 100 percent cotton and Danskin Women’s Triathlon Placed Print 5″ Bike Short. The latter is made of a nylon/lycra mix and has a 5 inch inseam. Both these shorts are comfortable and do not cause any irritation. They also have great stretch.
Hanes Women’s Stretch Jersey Bike Short
Best Used for: Biking
Special Features: Material is 90% cotton and 10% spandex; Elastic waistband; Flattering fit; 7 inch inseam; Heavy fabric which is not see-through
Hanes Women’s Stretch Jersey Bike Short has just the right length. They will not ride up your legs and are not too short. At the same time they are not so long that they will show under your dress. The elastic waistband does not make you feel uncomfortable.
They have a flattering fit without being too constricting. The cotton material is very easy to wear and does not chafe or irritate the skin. Presence of spandex in the material makes these shorts a little flexible, thus allowing you better range of movement. The cotton fabric is very breathable and does not make you feel sweaty.
Related: These are the only bike shorts made for women by Hanes.
Just My Size Women’s Plus-Size Bike Short
Best Used for: Biking, for plus sized women
Special Features: Material is 90% cotton, 10% spandex; Tag free elastic waistband; Flat seams which will not cause any chafing; Legging like fit; 9 inch inseam
For plus sized women, Just My Size Women’s Plus-Size Bike Short are an ideal option as they are stylish as well as comfortable. Available in various sizes, these shorts have a classic legging-type fitting with no pockets and a smooth look.
The waistband is tight enough to stay in its place without being too constricting. They provide a slimming effect while being very easy and comfortable to wear. The cotton fabric is non-irritating and hence the shorts can be worn for a long duration of time with no problems. They can be worn under a dress, which means that you can wear these shorts wherever you go.
The shorts are also very breathable and hence can be worn on hot and humid days.
Related: Just My Size offers many other products, several of them in plus sizes. However, these shorts are the only one of their kind by this manufacturer.
Baleaf Women’s Cycling Padded Shorts
Best Used for: Biking
Special Features: Material: 80% nylon, 20% spandex; High breathability; UPF 50 +; Flat seams; Triangular gusset; Leg gussets with silicone dots; Antibacterial pad; Wide waistband.
Baleaf Women’s Cycling Padded Shorts are a great option for women who ride for long durations of time. The padding on these shorts is not only comfortable, it also has an anti-bacterial property. The flat seams help in reduction of irritation and do not chafe the skin.
Triangular gussets ensure that the shorts do not ride up while riding, and also provide great breathability. As a result, you can ride for as long as you want without becoming sweaty and uncomfortable. The shorts also provide sun protection as they have UPF 50+ property.
Overall, these shorts are very comfortable while being breathable at the same time. They will make your riding experience better and more relaxing.
Related: Baleaf also produces 3D Padded Bicycle Cycling Underwear Shorts, which are made of polyester and spandex and available in six sizes. Their shorts are comfortable and stylish, with well-fitted chamois that provide comfort at all times.
Pearl Izumi Women’s Quest Shorts
Best Used for: Biking for long durations
Special Features: Material: 88% nylon, 12% elastane; UPF 50+; Women elite 3D Chamois; Inseam 8.5”; Wide waistband; Silicone grippers; Reflective elements; Form fitting shorts; Panels present
Pearl Izumi Women’s Quest Shorts are very comfortable to wear and feel great. You can bike around for a long time without feeling uncomfortable in these shorts. The silicone leg grippers ensure that the legs of the shorts do not ride up. UPF 50+ protects you from the sun’s UV rays. Special panels will provide high breathability and comfort.
The shorts are form fitting without being too tight, and hence make you look smarter. The 3D chamois provides perfect padding without being too bulgy. Different sizes are available so you will be sure to find a size which suits you. A reflective element means that you can wear these shorts at night and you will still be visible to passersby’s. This is great from a safety point of view.
If you do not prefer tight-fitting shorts, you should not go for these, as they might feel uncomfortable.
Related: Pearl Izumi Women W Sugar Shorts are an example of shorter length shorts with a 3D chamois. Pearl Izumi Women Attack Shorts are made of nylon and elastane, and are very good for long bike rides.
Lameda Padded Bike Shorts
Best Used for: Biking
Special Features: Form fitting; Spandex leg grippers; Made of 82% nylon and 18% spandex; Leg opening has reflective bar and waist has reflective logo; 3D padding; Very breathable
Lameda Padded Bike Shorts are form fitting while also being elastic, which means that you will not feel suffocated in them. They offer a high level of breathability, ensuring that you will be comfortable on long rides. The anti-shock 3D padding will let you ride over bumps and rough terrain without chafing your skin. A reflective element to the shorts means that you will be visible even at night.
The padding on these shorts is very generous and comfortable, so you can easily ride for long periods of time. The waistband is made of elastic, and is pretty wide.
Related: Lameda makes other biking shorts for men. However, for women the aforementioned is their best product.
Terry Bicycles Touring 8in Shorts
Best Used for: Biking
Special Features: Made of three materials: 63% nylon, 33% polyester and 14% spandex; Inseam 8 inches; Flex Air Tour chamois; Mid-rise fit; Meant for summer months; Quick drying T-Dry material.
If you are looking for well-fitting bike shorts which are comfortable and also look good, you should consider Terry Bicycles Touring 8in Shorts. The shorts have a moisture wicking property which will keep you dry and prevent you from becoming hot and sweaty. The waistband is elastic free, which means that your skin will not get irritated or chafed.
The chamois has multi-density foam which improves endurance during long rides and provides better breathability. It is fitted seamlessly to further avoid chafing or discomfort. The shorts are elastic enough to provide good freedom of movement. Several sizes are available, from XS to XX Large. The only downside is that the pocket is not very big. You can fit a small mobile phone in it, but not a large one.
Related: Terry Bicycles shorts are offered in other lengths as well such as Terry Bicycle Tour 5 inch shorts, Terry Bicycle Tour 6 inch Shorts and Terry Bicycle Tour 8.5 inch Shorts. All of these are very comfortable, with good air-flow and an adequate chamois.
What should you Look for When Buying Women’s Biking Shorts?
You might think that buying a pair of biking shorts for women is a simple enough task – just buy whatever seems soft and looks good. However, the truth is that for serious bikers, there are a lot of options in the market.
You need to know which properties to look for before you decide to buy your own biking shorts.
Chamois or Padding
This is one of the most important things to look for when buying biking shorts for women. Chamois is the padding that protects you from the saddle by providing a cushioning effect. There are many different types of chamois, so you should keep a few things in mind.
Thickness: The thickness of the chamois should always be taken into consideration. However, if the chamois is too thick, that may end up being too bulgy and uncomfortable. If you do not regularly go on long rides, you do not need very thick chamois.
Material: Gel insertions are good for shock absorption while foam ones are lighter. If you will be cycling on a bumpy terrain, choose shorts which have gel insets.
Placement: Women bike shorts chamois should be wider at the sit bones and shorter in length.
Stitching: Generally, chamois is constructed in a way that the stitching does not cause any irritation tot the skin. However, this is definitely something you should pay attention to. If the stitching chafes your skin, there is no point in going for those bike shorts. Also, make sure that the padding has no wrinkles and does not bunch in one place.
Breathability: Always prefer to go for shorts in which the chamois has good breathability. You do not want to be sweaty and uncomfortable while riding. This is why shorts which have a padded lining inside a loose fitting outer short are the best. They allow airflow and keep you nice and sweat free.
Most bike shorts are made of either nylon or lycra. These materials offer comfort along with breathability. Spandex tight-fitting shorts are also available. These shorts are more flexible and have better stretch. If you are allergic to nylon, go for cotton shorts. They are very comfortable, but have the disadvantage that they are not as breathable as nylon shorts.
Women shorts usually have a higher back, because a rider is supposed to bend at the waist while cycling. Their length is also designed in such a way that they do not ride up on the legs. Shorts may also have gussets and vents to allow better breathability.
When checking the fitting of the shorts, always consider the inseam length. Longer length is more comfortable as it provides better support. However, if you are traveling for a short distance, you can do with shorter length inseams. It depends on what you personally prefer.
Also consider the waistband when checking the fitting. Drawstring shorts are available, but are not the best option. If you are buying shorts with an elastic band, make sure that the band is neither too tight nor too loose. Nowadays, elastic free waistbands are also available. These shorts may have wide panels to keep the shorts in place.
Biking shorts are definitely important if you spent a lot of time in the saddle. After all, if you are uncomfortable and have skin chafing and irritation, it will ruin your whole biking experience. For serious, frequent bikers, a nice, perfectly fitted pair of biking shorts is just as important as the bicycle itself. This is why you should do your research before you go out and purchase a pair.
A good pair of biking shorts will go a long way in making you feel relaxed and happy during your ride. So go on and buy a pair; just make sure you pay attention to the points we mentioned. You may need to try different lengths, chamois types and materials before you settle on something you absolutely love.
With the list we mentioned as well as the pointers about buying bike shorts, you should be all set to purchase yourself a nice pair of women’s biking shorts.
What did you think about our list? Do you have a great pair of biking shorts for women in mind that you want us to know about? Let us know in the comments section below!
Daniel is a gear freak when it comes to hiking, climbing and camping. He went to REI Outdoor School to meet new people and learn best practices. Don’t even try to argue with him about the latest backpack or ice axe, he tried most of them. Daniel’s dream is to climb Mount Everest.