The 9 Best Bike Shorts of 2020

Ride in comfort

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall for Women: Align High-Rise Shorts at Lululemon

"They're versatile enough to get you through a workout—and so buttery soft you’ll be tempted to wear them all day long."

Best Overall for Men: Sponeed Men’s Cycling Shorts at Amazon

"The quick-dry fabric blend promises to wick moisture, helping you stay dry and comfortable during your workout."

Best Budget: HeatGear Armour Bike Shorts at Amazon

"Crafted from a lightweight HeatGear fabric blend, these affordable shorts provide plenty of coverage without weighing you down."

Best Splurge: Nike Sportswear Tech Pack Bike Shorts at Nike

"These Nike shorts are a bike short and a fanny pack in one, making them an excellent pick for lengthy outdoor workouts."

Best Plus-Size: Elation Powervita Shorts at Athleta

"The three-layer waistband promises to lie flat across your stomach, never pinching or bunching."

Best Padded: Beroy Padded Bike Shorts at Amazon

"Thoughtfully placed gel padding helps you cut down on some of the soreness that accompanies any extended cycling workout."

Best Cooling: UA Softball Slider Shorts at Under Armour

"They come equipped with IsoChill fabric, a textile blend that promises to disperse heat and feel cool to the touch."

Best Stylish: Nike Icon Clash Seamless Training Shorts at Nike

"They boast the body-hugging, moisture-wicking fit you’d expect along with a little visual flare."

Best for Everyday Wear: The Perform Bike Short at Everlane

"Each pair is designed to be minimally seamless, helping you cut down on chafing and irritation."

Bike shorts—also known as biker shorts or cycling shorts—are figure-hugging shorts, designed for both fitness and everyday wear. Though the lengths of bike shorts can vary, they tend to be relatively long. (Super-short options tend to get classified as volleyball shorts.)

While many bike shorts are designed with stylish, everyday wear in mind, others are designed specifically for exercise—boasting moisture-wicking textiles, cooling features, and even thoughtfully-placed padding.

Here are the best bike shorts for all your needs.

Best Overall for Women: Align Super High-Rise Shorts

lululemon Align™ Super High Rise Short

 Courtesy of Lululemon

Lululemon’s Align Super High-Rise Shorts are versatile enough to get you through a workout—and so buttery soft you’ll be tempted to wear them all day long. The shorts are crafted from Lululemon’s hyper-cozy Nulu fabric blend—plus a little lycra fabric, which promises to help the shorts maintain their stretchy, form-hugging fit over time.

The shorts promise to wick moisture, helping you stay cool and dry while you work out. They’re also machine-washable and drier-friendly, so you can easily throw them in the laundry after each use.

Each pair of Lululemon’s Align Super High-Rise Shorts boasts a super high-rise fit and a 10-inch inseam. The waistband promises to lie flat during wear, helping you avoid pesky bunching and rolling. The shorts come in a variety of colors, and they’re available in sizes 2-14 (though size availability may vary based on the color you choose).

Best Overall for Men: Sponeed Men’s Cycling Shorts

Sponeed’s Men’s Cycling Shorts are stretchy, padded, and durable, making them an excellent match for any cycling workout. The shorts are crafted from a quick-dry fabric blend (80-percent polyester and 20-percent spandex lycra) that promises to wick moisture, helping you stay dry and comfortable as you work out.

The short's six-panel anatomic design promises to hug the body and cut down on chafing. And each pair of Sponeed’s Men’s Cycling Shorts comes equipped with silicone leg grippers, which promise to keep the shorts firmly in place as you move around.

The shorts come cushioned with gel padding along the groin to alleviate some of the soreness associated with lengthy cycling rides. They’re also machine-washabel for convenient cleaning. The shorts are available in six different colors, and you can find them in sizes small through extra-extra-large.

Best Budget: HeatGear Armour Bike Shorts

Under Armour’s HeatGear Armour Bike Shorts offer many of the features you’d expect from a fancy bike short, but at a decidedly budget-friendly price point. The shorts are crafted from a lightweight HeatGear fabric blend (87-percent polyester and 13-percent elastane), which is designed to provide plenty of coverage without weighing you down or leaving you feeling overheated.

The fabric blend also promises to wick moisture, dry quickly, and cut down on odour-causing bacteria, helping you stay dry and comfortable while you work out. Also nice? The shorts are machine-washable and dryer-friendly, making them easy to clean after each use.

Under Armour’s HeatGear Armour Bike Shorts boast a mid-rise fit and 8-inch inseam, and they promise the signature body-hugging fit you’d expect from a pair of bike shorts. The shorts are also designed with ergonomic flatlock seams, which promise to cut down on chafing. They're available in two colors, and they come in a range of sizes—from extra-small to extra-extra-large.

Best Splurge: Nike Sportswear Tech Pack Bike Shorts

Nike Sportswear Tech Pack Bike Shorts

 Courtesy of Nike

Nike’s Sportswear Tech Pack Bike Shorts are a pair of bike shorts and a fanny pack in one, making them an excellent pick for lengthy outdoor workouts. The shorts are crafted from a stretchy, body-contouring fabric blend (66-percent rayon, 30-percent nylon, and 4-percent spandex). Each pair of shorts comes with a built-in zipper pocket that boasts more storage space than the average, discreet bike short pocket.

Since the shorts can hold tons of essentials, they’re great for both lengthy workouts and everyday activities. Nike’s Sportswear Tech Pack Bike Shorts boast a mid-rise fit. The shorts are available in two colors, and in sizes extra-small through extra-large.

Best Plus-Size: Elation Powervita Shorts

Elation Powervita Shorts

 Courtesy of Athleta

Athleta’s Elation Powervita Shorts promise versatility, breathability, and comfort—a trifecta bound to meet all your needs. The shorts are crafted from Powervita fabric blend, which promises to be incredibly soft, breathable, and cozy.

The fabric blend is also sweat-wicking and quick-drying, so you can rest assured knowing you’ll stay dry and comfortable when you work out. And since the shorts are machine-washable and dryer-friendly, you can conveniently clean them after each use.

The shorts boast a high-rise fit and an 8-inch inseam. They come equipped with a discreet back pocket, offering you a convenient place to store (small) essentials while you work out. They're are also designed with comfort in mind—the three-layer waistband promises to lie flat across your stomach, never pinching or bunching, and the lack of side seams helps you cut down on chafing. The shorts are available in black and in sizes 1X through 3X.

Best Padded: Beroy Padded Bike Shorts

Beroy’s Padded Bike Shorts come equipped with thoughtfully placed gel padding, so you can cut down on some of the soreness that accompanies any extended cycling workout. The shorts are crafted from a stretchy fabric blend (80-percent polyester and 20-percent spandex) that promises to wick moisture and dry quickly, helping you stay comfortable during workouts.

With hems lined with silicone, they hold comfortably in place as you move around. And of course, body-contouring foam cushions the places you need it most—everywhere the shorts would come in to contact with a traditional bike seat.

Beroy’s Padded Bike Shorts boast a high-rise fit. They're available in sizes small through 3XL, and the inseam length will vary based on the size you select—options range from 7.2 to 8.6 inches. They're also machine-washable and dryer-friendly.

Best Cooling: UA Softball Slider Shorts

UA Softball Slider Shorts

 Courtesy of Under Armour

Under Armour’s UA Softball Slider Shorts aren’t just lightweight and breathable. They come equipped with IsoChill fabric, a textile blend that promises to disperse heat and feel cool to the touch. The bulk of the shorts are crafted from a breathable HeatGear fabric blend (87-percent polyester and 13-percent elastane), which promises to offer quality coverage without leaving you feeling overheated.

But the back panel of the shorts is crafted from Iso-Chill fabric (91-percent nylon and 9-percent elastane), which will further cool you down as you work out. Also nice? The fabric promises to wick moisture and dry quickly, keeping you feeling fresh and comfortable as you move around.

The shorts boast a mid-rise fit and a waistband that promises to lie comfortably across your hips. They're available in one color and in a range of sizes (extra-small through extra-large). The shorts are also machine-washable and dryer-friendly, so you can easily clean them after each use.

Best Stylish: Nike Icon Clash Seamless Training Shorts

Nike Icon Clash Seamless Training Shorts

 Courtesy of Nike

Nike’s Icon Clash Seamless Training Shorts boast the body-hugging, moisture-wicking fit you’d expect from a pair of performance bike shorts, but they also offer a little visual flair. The shorts are crafted from a soft, stretchy fabric blend (76-percent polyester, 18-percent nylon, and 6-percent spandex). And each pair comes equipped with Dri-FIT technology, which promises to wick sweat, helping you stay comfortable and dry as you work out.

The shorts also boast seamless sides, which help to cut down on chafing and other forms of irritation. Available in four color palettes—which range from neutral shades of gray to vibrant bright pinks and purples—there's a pair for every style. You can find the shorts in sizes extra-small through extra-large, though size availability may vary based on the color palette you select.

Best for Everyday Wear: The Perform Bike Short

Everlane Perform Bike Short

Courtesy of Everlane 

Everlane’s The Perform Bike Short was designed with comfort in mind. The shorts are crafted from a soft performance fabric blend (58-percent recycled nylon and 42-percent elastane), which promises to offer light compression during wear. The fabric blend is also sweat-wicking, so you can rest assured knowing you’ll stay dry and comfortable while you work out—or while you go about the day’s activities. 

Everlane’s The Perform Bike Short boasts a high-waisted design, an 8-inch inseam, and a figure-contouring fit. Each pair comes with a discreet inside pocket that’s perfect for stashing small necessities and is designed to be minimally seamless, helping you cut down on chafing and irritation.

Everlane’s The Perform Bike Short is available in two colors and a range of sizes, from extra-extra-small to extra-extra-large.

Final Verdict

Lululemon’s Align Super High-Rise Shorts are versatile enough to take you anywhere—the gym, the grocery store, even around the house. This flexibility makes them an excellent investment. And since they come in a variety of colors, you can rest assured knowing you’ll find a pair that fits into your wardrobe.

Those looking for something a little more heavy-duty will surely appreciate Beroy’s Padded Bike Shorts, which come cushioned with gel padding in all the places you’d need it most. And those who intend to spend a lot of time sweating in the outdoors may prefer Under Armour’s UA Softball Slider Shorts, which offer all kinds of cooling features.

What to Look for in Bike Shorts

Fabric Blend

Whether you’re planning to work out in your bike shorts or to simply wear them around the house, you’ll want them to be comfortable, durable, and flexible. Pay attention to the fabric blend of your shorts to get a sense of how they’ll feel. Polyester tends to be softer and cozier. Nylon tends to be more durable. Lycra, spandex, and elastane tend to be stretchy and more flexible. 

Moisture-Wicking

If you’re planning to work out in your bike shorts, you’ll want a pair that won’t get damp and uncomfortable the moment you start sweating. Descriptors like “moisture-wicking” and “quick-drying” can be indicators that a pair of shorts is fitness-friendly.

Machine-Washable

Everyone wants to keep their workout clothes clean and fresh—and ideally, they don’t want to spend a lot of time or effort doing it. Be sure to check out the “materials and care” section of any product listing to make sure the shorts you’re eyeing are machine-washable and dryer-friendly.

Padding

If you’re an avid cycler, you know that a bike seat can leave your groin feeling seriously sore. Thankfully, many pairs of bike shorts come equipped with padding in all the places your body is likely to come in contact with a bike seat.

Pockets

If you want a place to store small valuables—like keys, cards, and other necessities—look for a pair of bike shorts with a discreet pocket or two. Some pairs of bike shorts boast pockets, and others don’t. So, if storage is important to you, you’ll want to keep an eye on this feature.

Rise

Some bike shorts are high-waisted, while others offer a mid-rise fit. Rise tends to come down to a matter of personal preference, but you’ll want to pay attention to it to ensure you’re getting the fit you want.

Inseam

Bike shorts come in a variety of lengths, and the inseam measurement is a great way to get a sense of how long a pair of bike shorts actually is. The inseam runs from the crotch of the bike shorts down to the hem of one of the legs (it’s literally the seam that runs along your inner thigh). Again, inseam is more a matter of personal preference than anything. But you’ll want to pay attention to it to ensure a pair of bike shorts will fit you the way you want them to.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

As a seasoned health writer, Lindsey Lanquist understands how vital quality product recommendations can be. She’s careful to recommend products that are reliable, comfortable, and genuinely well-reviewed by those who’ve tried them. She also regularly works out (and hangs out) in bike shorts, so she appreciates the need to find a pair that is durable, cozy, flexible, and lightweight—all at the same time.

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