Best Padded Bicycle Shorts Reviewed
A competent cyclist requires appropriate gear. Padded Bike shorts affect performance levels just as much as any other piece of equipment. For this reason, passionate cyclists go through great pains in finding shorts that match their needs. Padded bike shorts serve a specific purpose while offering protection, comfort, as well as adaptability to various roads and trails.
Bike shorts need to match an almost customized cut and cut. Aside from the right, there are technical other specifications to a pair that matches one’s needs. Professional cyclist and experienced riders don’t sweat on how cool they look in a particular design. They go for padded bicycle shorts that are rich in features and enhanced performance dynamics.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 9 hrs of research
CoolMax 4D padding
Available for Women
- Santic MTB Shorts
- Louis Garneau
- Sponeed Cycle Wear Tights
- NOOYME 3D Padded
- Beroy 3D Gel
- Baleaf MTB Cycling
- Pearl iZUMi
- Endura SingleTrack III
- Ohuhu MTB Cycling
- 4uCycling 3D Padded
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Biking Shorts with Padding
1. Santic MTB Shorts
CoolMax 4D padding
Available for Women
Limited style options
Santic Men's padded bike Shorts provide support and comfort, even on the longest of rides. These shorts are a quality mix of 82% nylon and 13% (Lycra and spandex). Their multi-panel tricot stretch material is held together with 0.9-inch inseams that give the shorts a smooth finishing. These padded bike shorts provide a rider with a less restricted field of movement for a comfortable ride and more agility.Read more
The seat of these padded bicycle shorts features CoolMax padding that provides protection and prevents the soreness occasioned by sitting on a bike seat for long. An infusion of CoolMax microfibers gives these shorts breathability, moisture wicking, and antibacterial qualities. The legs also feature silicone leg grippers that hold the shorts in the right position.
The elastic-free baggy exterior and exterior design and construction of these shorts make them ideal for mountain bikers and tour riders. The Santic padded bike shorts also have women’s varieties and sizing options. One thing to note is these shorts are made mainly for the Asian market. Therefore, it would be wise to order a size higher if you were purchasing from Europe or America to avoid disappointment.
2. Louis Garneau
Silicon leg cuffs
One design option
The Louis Garneau padded bike shorts are built for riders that require motion dynamics but prefer shorts to bib shorts. If you desire high-performance clothing made from premium fabric and a comfortable fit, then look on further. These padded bike shorts have a HI top waistband, which provides a broader area of contact. The band gives these shorts more support without compromising on your comfort. Unlike most waistbands, the ones featured on this model have laser-cut perforations for breathability.Read more
This brand uses CB Carbon + fabric that keeps you cool as you ride. The Carbon fibers used in this model have Coldblack treatment that reflects sunrays, has antimicrobial, and antistatic properties. The Garneau’s mix of Lycra, spandex, nylon, and polyester makes these padded bicycle shorts form-fittingly tight. The microfibers are also brushed back for enhanced thermoregulation and heightened moisture wicking.
The Airzone chamois is made from memory foam for an agronomical fit, moisture wicking, with zero pinch points and chafe-free ridding experience. The seamless leg inner, stretch trimmed straps, elastic drawstrings, and Flat-lock seams also enhance the general comfort of these padded bike shorts. Reflective trims and accents provide a wearer with additional safety while riding in low-lit paths and roads.
3. Sponeed Cycle Wear Tights
Unsuitable for short users
For the past seven years, Sponeed Cycling has put research and design into advancing the technology they put into their padded bike shorts and other clothing. The results show in these professionally upgraded four-way stretch tricot shorts. They also offer customized fits and branding for clubs and cycling federations. If a pain-free long ride is what you require, then look no further.Read more
Sponeed padded bike shorts are made from a compressive yet comfortable mix of 80% polyester and 20% spandex. They are easy to wash by hand or washing machine in a heat setting of 100 degrees F. US customer should also note the Asian tag sizes and order a size larger for a good fit. The 6-panel four-way stretch design has quality seaming for chafe-free comfort and anatomically correct fitting. They also dry quickly for added convenience when you launder them.
These half pant design padded bike shorts are ideal for riders at all levels including mountain and road bikers. Silicone leg grippers help keep the short from riding up and keep them in the set place. Sponeed padded bike shorts also have a gel-filled chamois and padding in other vital spots for protection, especially on longer rides. Another handy feature is the UPF 50+ sun protection offered by the fabric used in making these biking shorts with padding. Every detail in these shorts works together in reducing friction and sweat accumulation for longer and more comfortable riding experiences.
4. NOOYME 3D Padded
Various styling options
The Nooyme padded bike shorts give the wearer a relaxed feeling in every ride. These spandex shorts have an ergonomic chamois and come in vivid, relaxing colors. They are comfortable and match every top you’d want to wear while cycling. These shorts are mainly designed for amateurs suffering from saddle sores but looking for longer, safer, and more comfortable rides. Each pair features a stretchy mix of 80% polyamide and 20% spandex fabric for enhanced thermoregulation.Read more
Widely available in a variety of excellently combined colors. These padded bicycle shorts have a smooth flat-lock 6.8” in seaming to reduce skin irritation while enhancing flexibility and freedom of movement. Leg grippers featured in this model are dotted with silicone to prevent the short legs from falling or riding up when you walk or bend. Reflective trimming also enhances visibility for nighttime riding. Sizing for this model runs from small to XX-large with a 1-3 cm error margin for American and European users.
The gel-filled Chamois on the Nooyme has a 3D structure to provide support as well as relief when peddling though especially rough terrain. The multi-density arrangement of the foam is uniquely designed with the female shape and curvature in mind. Aside from sizes running smaller, there are no other drawbacks to these padded bike shorts. The manufacturers offer 100% customer satisfaction and timely quality support should you contact them further for assistance.
5. Beroy 3D Gel
Excellent shape conformity
3D gel padding
Wide color selection
Stretches out with time
The Beroy 3D gel-padded bike shorts are made for the discerning lady rider that requires protection while standing out from the pack. A mixture of premium quality polyester, Lycra, and spandex give these padded bike shorts heightened stretchability and smoother motion in every movement you make. This fabric also provides adequate compression to reduce lactic acid accumulation and oxygen debt. These biking shorts with padding also conform anatomically to the shape of a womanRead more
You can hand wash or machine wash and air-dry the shorts for shorter periods than most articles of clothing. The 3D gel padding featured on these padded bicycle shorts come in an 80kg/m3 density with other thickness options as well. Meaning it can support a variety of weight classes and be used in long distance rides. The Beroy come with a slip-resistant thigh belt to keep the short legs exactly where you want them.
The hemming also features silicone to make the shorts as tight fitting as possible. Beroy padded bike shorts have an antibacterial coating that prevents saddle sores assuring you of a longer healthier ride. A bonus with the fabric is its moisture wicking and fast drying quality.
6. Baleaf MTB Cycling
Various color effects
Ample sizing options
Lacks kid’s sizes
The Baleaf 3D padded bike shorts have all the technical specifications needed for mountain biking. They have an excellent blend of unique colors and are light enough to be worn with leggings or long shorts without compromising on their finer qualities. What’s more, is their padding that offers exceptional protection. Padding is available in heavy and lightweight options.Read more
The Baleaf 3D padded bicycle shorts feature a 90% polyester and 10% fabric construction that wicks moisture, is easier to clean and dries quickly. For enhanced comfort, these padded bike shorts have flat seams that reduce irritation and friction as you ride. They are machine and hand washable. You don’t even have to iron them, as they are wrinkle-free.
A feature that sets them apart from other biking shorts with padding is their wide waistbands. These waistbands width keeps sweat away from the body; this leaves you fresher at the end of your ride. It also makes for unrestricted torso movement, which enhances your performance. The sizes for this model run from small, all the way to 3XL. Such sizing options make this model universally available for all weight classes and body types.
7. Pearl iZUMi
Seamless inner legging
Glitches in the zipper
Pearl iZUMi padded short are made with a focus on endurance. While other padded bike shorts focus on physical aspects, the iZUMi exceptional engineering reduces drag and other counterforces while proving unrivaled luxury, support, and comfort all day long. These lightweight spinning shorts feature 88% nylon and 12% LYCRA® elastane P.R.O transfer fabric. You can also opt for moisture transfer material. The stitching features 9.5” inseam for enhanced comfort.Read more
M ELITE Escape 1:1 chamois is iZUMi’s spin on padding for the crotch area. Unlike most chamois, it is free-floating while smoothly interfaces with the skin to reduce friction. This chamois also comes pre-shaped to the curvature of your body, is highly durable, breathable, and keeps your skin dry. As far as safety is concerned, the iZUMi escape has screaming yellow florescent trims that convert invisible UV light to enhance a rider’s visibility and safety in low light.
The short’s leg openings also feature a soft, stretchy silicone grip that conforms to where it is set. A light mesh bib on the hip area provides additional support while preventing the shorts from sagging or ridding too high while on the move. Users will also enjoy stowing essentials in the three back pockets. For thermoregulation, the iZUMi’s fabric features In-R-Cool® yarn and a semi-auto lock full-length zipper. You can tag this zipper with one hand to cool down when it gets stuffy in your padded bike shorts.
8. Endura SingleTrack III
Light but rugged
Waist has limited adjustability
The Endura singletrack III padded bike shorts can take a beating; they are well designed, durable, yet comfortable. These shorts offer the best shock absorption among all the padded bicycle shorts reviewed on this list. Their construction features Cordura nylon and a water repellant Teflon HT finish. The singletrack III dry quickly, absorb sweat, and keep you dry in light showers.Read more
When it comes to the fitting, singletrack III is quite baggy, still, offers a super tight fit and excellent compression. The shorts are also shorter than most short reviewed here. However, they are sturdy since they have triple stitched seams. The waistband in the removable inner shell is adjustable, and so are the leg grippers. The outer shell features additional belt loops that you can use to fasten a belt should the need arise.
The only reflective element on these padded bike shorts is the Endura logo. There are four pockets on this model: two on the front and two zippered side pockets. These side pockets offer enough space to stow your keys, smartphone, and other essentials. There are also two contact zippered vents and a moisture-wicking mesh for moisture control and ventilation. The singletrack III have a Clickfast liner and a flexible 200 level chamois for padding and optimized comfort.
9. Ohuhu MTB Cycling
Aerodynamically sound construction
Ohuhu biking shorts with padding are great underwear shorts for mountain biking. They have a breathable mesh that assures comfort even when layered with additional clothing during cold and hot days. A 3D silica gel chamois padding conforms to your anatomy as well as your bicycle saddle. This padding assures comfort and cushioning even on long and bumpy rides.Read more
The Ohuhu 3D padded bike shorts are made from a lightweight 90% polyester and 10% spandex fabric that are breathable and flexible. This elastic material keeps your body dry by wicking away at the moisture and preventing the accumulation of bacteria that cause saddle sores and other irritating allergic reactions. It is also handy to note that the chamois padding featured on the Ohuhu is 2.9cm thick, which is 0.4 cm thicker than most padding in the market.
The manufacturer’s tag and the seams are also on the outside. This design reduces friction and chafing. The general design counters wind resistance effectively enhancing aerodynamics and reducing the amount of peddling you need to do to reach top speeds. You also have the option of layering leggings over thesebiking shorts with padding for warmth and to counter the repetitive friction experienced when your legs come into contact with the saddle or the bike frame.
10. Cycling 3D Padded
Hip support padding
Built for comfort
Rides up when cycling
4uCycling padded bike shorts are unisex underwear shorts. They are made from a high-quality polyester material that is breathable, comfortable and has excellent moisture absorption qualities. The quality that sets them apart for rival brands is the immaculate engineering that makes them comfortably fit both women and men. 4uCycling padded bicycle shorts feature a thick 3D gel padding that sits well on your bike seat to alleviate the pressure from your posterior.Read more
The chamois also features functional CoolMax yarn that absorbs moisture and pulls sweat away from the groin area. These short also conform excellently to the contours of the body. The mesh fabric construction on this model allows air to pass through. This aeration relieves discomfort and the sticky or greasy feeling that arises when riding.
The 4uCycling have a generally thin, super soft, and circular design. A circular designed mesh surrounds the thick chamois. This combination results in a reduction in friction, especially on the inner thigh area. This construction prevents chafing and sores. The agronomics of these short can also serve in alleviating hip pains for long distance rides.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Bike shorts are designed to meet a specific purpose
Through years of trial and error and technological advancements in textile production, bike shorts have grown into specialized items of clothing. Modern padded bike shorts offer comfort and support for various activities. Here’s a brief run through of some of the models available in the market.
Road shorts: They are mainly made of spandex and feature thick padding on the saddle area. They cushion the tailbone and provide freer movement and a chafe-free ride. Models that feature gel padding are ideal for long distance riders and elite athletes.
Mountain biking: These shorts are baggy and loose=fitting. Many refer to them as ATB or MTB shorts. The interior consists of a padded liner for cushioning while the outer shell is a free fitting shell. They usually come in sets of two.
Bib shorts: These shorts are made with compression fitting and lack waistbands. A strap or a suspender holds the padded bike shorts up in place. They feature premium padding that keeps the wearer comfortable on long rides. Experienced riders and pro cyclists widely use them.
Liners: Padded cyclist liners and underwear are a way to go cycling in a pair of casual shorts. They are worn under any item of clothing to provide padding and to counter saddle sores. They can be useful in other sporting activities like horseback riding or rowing. Their construction features a mesh fabric with sewn-in chamois padding. You have a choice of thin or thick saddle padding.
Casual shorts: These short are the most preferred because they are for ideal riders that don’t like spandex. They have stretchy fabric and are great for casual rides and short distances. They also have many pockets for stowing things like keys and coins.
Multisport shorts: These shorts are ideal for triathlons. They have plenty of ventilation spots, thinner padding, and offer a little cushioning. An athlete has the freedom to swim, cycle, and run while wearing these shorts.
The most crucial aspect of fabric used in the production of bike shorts is its stretchiness
Most padded bike shorts feature an in-knit of spandex. The combination of spandex and other materials results in more agility and compression for stronger muscle support. The fabric knitting is usually in tricot, six-way, polyester, or nylon. A square yard of lightweight material is often 6.5 ounces while medium to heavyweight fabric of the same dimensions come in at about 8 ounces.
Polyester-Lycra blend fabric is usually cool and adsorbs moister. Nylon-Lycra blends offer abrasion resistance and more durability. A higher spandex count results in enhanced compression, stretchiness, and support. Compression shorts message the muscles. This compression helps stave off oxygen debt, which results from the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscle tissue. Compression also reduces fatigue by helping you maintain proper blood circulation while the muscles work.
The seat of your padded bike shorts offer the first layer of bicycle safety
Bikes shorts have many technical specifications that account for the ischia bone to bike saddle alignment. Men’s padded bike shorts have a cutout or indentation in the center that descends to cushion the perineal area from pressure. Here are a few examples of the varieties of padding featured in the models available in the market.
Multiple layered Chamois padding incorporate thinly stitched hems to compensate for the shape of the crotch area and a snug fit. Due to the curvature of the torso and thighs, it isn’t possible to get a tight fit without the use of seam. The finish also has an absorbent, antibacterial polyester surface that preserves the fabric and prevents the accumulation of odor-causing microorganisms.
Thick gel lined padded shorts have a chamois pad for enhanced comfort and to absorb the shocks that result in sore bottoms. Riders looking to increase their mileage can take advantage of the soft cushioning that gel or foam layered chamois provide. The density of the foam situated in on the torso varies. The bones that line with the bike saddle need more foam cushioning that those to the side of your frame. Gel and foam padding is engineered for specific riders, bike specifications, and peak distances traveled.
Bike shorts are meant to fit as tightly as possible
Padded bike shorts have agronomics suited an included sitting position. They also feature a more extended back area, when a wearer stands straight, the rear should be a bit baggy or ride lower. However, once inclined in the cycling position, the extra material on the back evens out to fit comfortably. Padded bike Shorts are designed for wearing without any underwear beneath so that they can fully envelop the skin and underlying muscles.
The best bike padded bike shorts have a snug fit and are not constricting or bidding. When shopping for your size, there is freedom to deviate from your exact size. A slightly larger or smaller size will give you adequate compression and comfort. Therefore, when consulting a sizing chart, think of whether you desire a baggy fit or the snuggest fit. Then go up or down a size accordingly.
More features extend the ways you can use your padded bike shorts.
Here are a few more things to look out for when looking for a pair of padded bike shorts;
Reflectors: padded bike shorts usually have a reflective element on the thighs or any moving area or the legs. This architecture enhances a cyclist’s visibility to motorists and other road users in low light. Leg movement enables oncoming and offside traffic a clear perception of a cyclists distance.
Grippers: leg bands or grippers prevent the padded bike shorts from riding up the legs or for a user to adjust them. Additionally, the grippers also prevent the material from tagging and bunching up the chamois pad. If bunching went un-countered, it would cause chafing, saddle sores and other irritations.
Pockets: These days, people need to have all their gadgets on hand. Pockets make it easy to stow your phone as well as other personal items like change, keys, or energy bars.
Panels: The more panels, the better your padded shorts conform to the body. The best quality construction involves flat seaming as it reduces abrasion.
Waistbands: They are usually elastic though some models have drawstrings instead. They keep the shorts in place and offer some muscle compression.
Bibs: some shorts feature shoulder straps that prevent them from sagging. They keep the padding and the chamois in place and ensure minimal movement in the perineum area. Shorts with high riding bibs present a problem to men when they need to relieve themselves. Women avoid them altogether because they would be forced to disrobe when they need to go to the bathroom. However, bib shorts offer more aero-dynamism and cost more than other types of bike shorts.
Length of the legs is a purely subjective matter as it varies with each user- some riders like longer legs to counter cold others like shorter one to prevent tan lines. The only drawback comes when leg lengths are so short that they rub against bicycle seat. Long leg lengths can also cause the fabric to bunch up, causing discomfort, and unnecessary interruptions to your cycling.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
If you suffer from lesions, you can treat them at home. Soaking the affected area in “comfortably” hot water thrice a day will make the boil to surface and drain them. You should also use an antibiotic cream such as Neosporin to prevent bacterial infections and to help you heal faster. A cotton gauze or moleskin can be applied around the affected area to relieve some of the pressure from the sore.
Boils, lesions, and pustules can wreak havoc on your skin if they turn septic. Therefore, practice good hygiene and avoid agitating the affected area until it heals and dries up completely. If symptoms persist, please don’t hesitate to consult a doctor lest you suffer permanent tissue damage.
Try a variety of differently styled shorts before settling on the one you like. Keep in mind that the optimal fit of padded bike shorts is to the cycling position. Therefore, they should feel a tad strange when you stand or walk around in them. For decency and sanitary reasons, try the shorts while wearing briefs. Padded shorts don’t come in numbered sizes like other pants; they come in small, medium, large, extra-large, and XX-large.
Take a good guess and try them on, if they don’t fit, go a size higher or lower until you get the right fit. It’s also wise to subtle differences between Asian, American, and European sizing standards. Asian sizing is a bit lower than American and European sizing. Therefore, go for a product one size higher when shopping for a product that originates from Asian.
Other Factors to Consider
Bike shorts have evolved from just a basic item of clothing. Innovation and time-tested design have made shorts into performance-enhancing gear. When looking at a pair of shorts, it is healthy to start with the overall comfort they offer. Durability, fit, design appeal, construction, and breathability should also play a part in your decision.
Looking great in a pair of shorts might give you some influence in the neighborhood. However, if you have an undying passion, never compromise your comfort and performance dynamics. The longer you can sit on the saddle, the faster you can go and that what padded short deliver. Please keep in mind; you get what you pay for, therefore invest in the best pair of padded shorts you can find.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What care do your bike shorts require?
Sporting gear usually comes with specific care instructions. Look at the tag on your shorts to see these instructions. The general rule is to avoid very hot settings while ironing and drying your clothes in the drier. The heat from these appliances damages the microfibers degrading the finer qualities of the fabric. They also shorten the lifespan of your shorts.
Ensure that all sporting gear is Washed and air-dried after each use. Machine washing comes highly recommended since it eliminates all the sweat and germs from the chamois and the rest of the padding. Washing prevents the buildup of bacteria that causes bad odor and saddle sores. The microfibers in the fabric also last longer when you air-dry your shorts. While air-drying your clothing, it is also wise to dry them in the shade since exposure to direct sunlight degrades the fabric with time.
q: Does the chamois require any special care?
The Chamois pad located on the saddle area of bike shorts was previously made from leather. Back then, leather was the only textile that had the softness and abrasion protection required for such clothing. This leather material required lubrication to make it slip smoothly against the skin, as well as preserve the integrity of the fabric. The use of these anti-chafe creams, other lubricants such as petroleum jelly and the fit of the shorts enhances comfort.
These days’ chamois are mostly made of polyester or polyurethane based fibers such as CoolMax. These high-performance fibers give Chamois pads hydrophobic qualities. Chamois pads are also lined with silver ion or other antibacterial compounds. Modern chamois are machine washable. You can also hand wash them and wrung them out to dry away from direct sunlight. The choice to use a lubricant of anti-chafing cream is purely dependent on a wearer’s preference.
q: Why do you wear biking shorts with padding without underwear?
Always wear padded bike shorts without underwear. Underwear, especially cotton, negates the benefits padded bike shorts, which are moisture management and friction control. Underwear also has inseams that may rub against your skin, causing chafing that can lead to saddle sores. Long rides are even more uncomfortable with underwear since layers of clothing create a lot of heat insulation inside your shorts.
Padded shorts are designed to conform to your torso by tightly hugging your body. The chamois should be kept in the right position on extended rides for it to serve its purpose. Underwear interferes with this by limiting the surface area of contact. While wearing undergarments, the padding doesn’t absorb sweat, as it should. Sweat increases the users’ risk of contracting sores or UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections) in worse case scenarios.
q: Can you wear a man’s padded bike short if you are a woman and vice versa?
The short answer is yes if you have no other option since it is better than commando riding. However, there are some significant differences to bear in mind. All chamois have an anatomically correct shape that resembles an elephant head. Female short have a shorter rounder nose and ample ears to accommodate how much wider female hips while the male chamois has a slimmer profile with a priority on protecting the family jewels.
The curvature of the human torso on the saddle area is too complicated for simple flat padding to offer enough protection. Chamois place thicker padded protection on the ischia (sit bone) and thinner padding on sensitive areas of your anatomy. While there are significant differences between male and female anatomy, the concept behind the implementation of padding remains the same. You can switch a different gender’s padded shorts if situations force you to but always insist on getting the right gear.
q: How important is color when it comes to choosing padded bicycle shorts?
Brighter color tends to give the wearer more elegance since they reflect sun rays and attract the eye. However, these bright colors are harder to maintain when compared to darker colors. Black is the most preferred color for cyclist. You don’t have to wash black shorts after brief rides or spin training. Black also has a universal quality that makes it complimentary to every skin tone.
Black shorts also mask unflattering sweat stains. Darker short also match with a cycling jersey, jacket or top that you will want to use for any season. However, for summer, shades of grey will be more comfortable compared to shiny black. Grey offers more reflective sun protection and is easier to maintain than a color like white or yellow.
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