Best Cycling Shorts: Ride Long Distances Comfortably

Gear up and race hard with these padded cycling shorts

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Biking is a great way to stay healthy. Whether you’re a professional racer or simply ride for fun, the right cycling gear keeps you more comfortable while you pedal all those miles. One of the biggest issues for cyclists is the bicycle seat, which can be small, uncomfortable, and occasionally painful. To combat these issues, upgrade your cycling shorts; they are equipped with an extra layer of padding, so your ride is much more comfortable.

  • Best Overall
    Ezrun 3D Padded Mountain Bike Cycling Shorts
    Summary
    Summary
    A combination of polyester and elastane material provides a tight and breathable fit. They feature built-in Chamois inserts for more protection and comfort.
    Pros
    Pros
    Includes a 3D high-density foam pad, an elastic waistband with an inner drawcord, two zippered pockets, and one velcro pocket. 
    Cons
    Cons
    They may be a bit too large, a little loose, and possibly too short. They do not include leg grippers.
  • Best Value
    Baleaf Padded Cycling Shorts
    Summary
    Summary
    Designed with a special enhanced weave for increased flexibility and durability. Includes deep pockets.
    Pros
    Pros
    Features a soft and breathable moisture-wicking material to keep your legs cool. The 3D molded pad bends naturally to minimize friction and make the shorts more ergonomic.
    Cons
    Cons
    The padding could be thicker and wider. The lettering may come off after a few washes and rides. 
  • Honorable Mention
    Santic Cycling Shorts
    Summary
    Summary
    Developed out of tough and stretchy nylon, spandex, and lycra material. Reduces sweat and cools you down.
    Pros
    Pros
    Fitted with a 4D Coolmax pad for better protection where you need it most. These shorts come in a variety of colors.
    Cons
    Cons
    It may take a few rides in order to break them in so they form to your body. The material can get caught on the bike seat

Tips

  • Many cycling shorts include a drawstring around the waist to tighten them. If you get a pair that might be too large, make sure they come with a drawstring.
  • For additional padding, get a pair of cycling underwear. This will help reduce sweat and increase airflow around your body.
  • Another way to increase comfort on a ride is by purchasing a wider and more comfortable bike seat.

FAQs

Q: Do all cycling shorts come with pockets?

A: This will vary by manufacturer. You can find pairs with either zipper or velcro pockets for added storage. However, while pockets may be convenient, they can also be a pain while riding. Keys or other sharp objects can poke through the material or jab your legs. If you need to store something while riding, it may be better to wear a bike jersey with pockets in the back. 

Q: How do I clean a pair of cycling shorts?

A: You can either toss the shorts in the washer with your jersey and other gear or wash them by hand with soap and water. Some brands may need to be washed at a certain temperature and without bleach, so consult the tag if in doubt. You should then leave them out to dry on a line.

Q: How can I tell what size shorts I need?

A: All brands will feature a sizing chart. Many cycling shorts tend to run small and snug, so it is wise to get a larger pair. Also, a large pair of cycling shorts will not be the same as a large pair of cargo shorts. You may need to go up one or two sizes to get a proper fit.

Final Thoughts

For one of the best pairs of cycling shorts, consider the Ezrun 3D Padded Mountain Bike Cycling Shorts for their high-density padding and extra pockets. Or, save some cash and get the Baleaf Padded Cycling Shorts for a flexible pair of shorts with pockets.