Outdoor Gear

The 7 Best Cycling Shorts For Women Reviewed – 2019

Cycling is one of the best workouts you can do. Not only that, but having the wind blowing through your hair gives you a sense of freedom like few other things in this world.

However, having the right clothes is crucial if you want to be the most comfortable and give the best performance you can. One of the key pieces of clothing that’s so often uncomfortable, are shorts.

If you want to really appreciate each bike ride, then you need to have a pair of the best women’s cycling shorts. We’ve done the research to bring you the top cycling shorts so you don’t have to. Let’s get started!

Best Women’s Cycling Shorts

 Beroy Women's Bike ShortsSantic Women's Cycling ShortsZoic Navaeh Short
editorschoice
Best For:Road, Mountain BikingSpinning, Road, Mountain BikingMountain Biking
Padding:Yes, GelYes, GelNo
Pockets:Stash pocketNo2 hand, 2 thigh
Materials:Polyester/SpandexPolyamidePolyester, Spandex

For more of my top gear recommendations, have a look through these popular Women’s Workout guide links: Spin Bikes, Recumbent Bikes, Folding Exercise Bikes.

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Bike Shorts For Women – 2019

  1. Beroy Women’s Bike Shorts with 3D Gel Padding
  2. Santic Women’s Cycling Shorts 4D Gel Elastic
  3. Zoic Navaeh Short
  4. Santic Women’s Cycling Shorts Padded Bicycle Capris
  5. Louis Garneau Women’s Fit Sensor 7.5 Bike Shorts
  6. Pearl iZumi W Journey Shorts
  7. Eco-Daily Women’s Cycling Shorts 4D Padded

Our reviews to the top rated cycling shorts for women with our comparison table and buyers guide will help you choose the right cycling shorts for women for you.


Bike Shorts Reviews

If you’re on the hunt for one of the best cycling shorts for women but are on a budget, then take a look at the Beroy Women’s Padded Cycling Shorts.

Coming in over a whopping 40 colorways, you get to choose the exact pattern and shade that looks best on you. However, they offer much more than just looks so let’s dive right in.

Made with a blend of nylon and spandex, the shorts are very lightweight while remaining stretchy enough to move with your body.

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These fit very close to the skin, so you are free to move naturally and at a great range of motion. Being restricted while cycling isn’t only inefficient, it can increase fatigue.

These actually work to reduce lactic acid while absorbing moisture so you’re always nice and comfortable.

Keeping consistent with the theme of comfort, you’ll find 3D gel padding inside. The padding is nice and thick, making it perfect for long distance and bumpier rides with more impact.

The way it’s sewn also ensures it’s nice and smooth, without the chance of chafing or cutting into the skin. This is necessary, as cycling causes quite a bit of friction.

Every hem is sealed off with silicone, too, for this same reason.

 

Beroy Women’s Bike Shorts with 3D Gel Paddingat a Glance:

  • Best For: Road Biking, Mountain Biking
  • Padding: Yes, Gel
  • Pockets: n/a
  • Materials: Polyester/Spandex
  • Inseam: n/a

Next up, we have the Santic Cycling Elastic Shorts. These are ideal for indoor cycling, road biking, and mountain biking so no matter where you are, you can count on this model.

They’re durable, comfortable, and relatively inexpensive so you can stock up on multiple pairs!

While these don’t come in many color options, they look sleek and sporty. Made of polyamide, these best spinning shorts are made to last.

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They’re also antimicrobial, anti-sweat, and Quick Dry so these are perfect for hot and humid environments. In addition, the fabric features excellent air circulation with breathing holes!

With UV protection, you can ride in confidence even in the middle of a blaringly sunny day without worry you’ll get burnt. You can also wear these at night.

Thanks to the reflective materials used, safely ride in the city or on streets knowing that other cars and riders can see you.

The anti-shrink, anti-wrinkle shorts are made to always look good and fit snugly. The silicone bands on the openings of the legs ensure that the bottoms stay perfectly in place, preventing them from riding up even on long rides.

As if that wasn’t good enough, the 4D cushion is there to top things off, allowing for protection and comfort for a 3-to-5-hour ride.

 

Santic Women’s Cycling Shorts 4D Gel Elastic at a Glance:

  • Best For: Indoor Cycling/Spinning, Road Biking, Mountain Biking
  • Padding: Yes, Gel
  • Pockets: No
  • Materials: Polyamide
  • Inseam: n/a

Are you more of an adventurer and prefer taking your bike to the trails? Then you’re going to need a pair of shorts that can handle regular abrasion, hold your valuables, and keep you comfy.

The Zoic Navaeh Women’s Shorts are perfect for all of the above, so keep on reading!

The colors aren’t for everyone, but they are original! You can choose from 4 different shades: Berry, Black, Grey, and Berry.

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The style is also a bit unique, drawing a bit from something like what The Boy Scouts would wear, or perhaps an adventurer just like you. The shorts feature a slightly longer leg, hitting right above the knee.

The 11” inseam is perfect for wearing while you’re cycling as they don’t restrict natural leg movement nor are they too tight.

Made of 86% polyester and 14% spandex, they’re ultra-durable. These are made to take a beating like being brushed up against twigs, and other objects found on trails.

They also have just a bit of stretch to them to make them ideal for athletic activities.

If you’re not going to take a bag along but need to keep your valuables safe, then check out the 4 pockets on these.

You’ll get 2 zippered hand pockets to keep things like your cards and IDs handy, along with 2 zippered thigh pockets where you can conveniently store bulkier items like a small snack or your keys.

The only real downside, if there is one, is that the price is notably higher than most others on our guide.

While this may be so, they’re still worth it when you take into consideration the high level of performance and sheer durability they offer. You’ll likely have these for many years to come without any signs of wear or tear!

 

Zoic Navaeh Short at a Glance:

  • Best For: Mountain Biking
  • Padding: No
  • Pockets: Yes, 2 zippered hand, 2 zippered thigh
  • Materials: Polyester, Spandex
  • Inseam: 11″

Are you on the hunt for a pair of the best bike shorts for women but want something with a bit more coverage?

Perhaps you’re not comfortable showing so much of your legs or you want added protection. Whatever your reasons may be, we have the perfect pair for you: the Santic Women’s Cycling Shorts/Capris.

Before we get started, it’s important to mention that these are not the US standard in sizes, so please take a good look at the sizing chart provided by the manufacturer.

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At first glance, it’s easy to see that these were made particularly for women.

We would liked to have seen more than just 2 color options (black/pink or black/purple) but these look sleek and “feminine” with streaks of color starting from the hip and angling down the thighs.

However, the colored sections are more than just for looks. They’re actually made to allow for added breathability, along with quick drying.

They’re comprised of a lightweight and moisture-wicking mesh that you’ll love the first time you put them on. In addition, you’ll find two mesh fabric areas right on the backs of the knees. You won’t feel hot and sticky in these, even on the hottest of days.

These are purposefully made for use during road and mountain biking, so if you’re outdoors, count these as your go-to’s.

Comprised of elastic, these admittedly aren’t the most durable out there but they’re by no means flimsy. They are excellent in terms of stretchiness and allow for your body to move natural any which way.

Don’t think they forgot the padding, either. These are ideal for bike rides around 4 to 6 hours long, so make sure to plan accordingly.

 

Santic Women’s Cycling Padded Shorts Capris at a Glance:

  • Best For: Mountain Biking, Road Biking
  • Padding: Yes
  • Pockets: None
  • Materials: Elastic, Mesh
  • Inseam: n/a

The Louis Garneau Women’s Fit Sensor 7.5 Bike Shorts are a precision-made pair of some of the best padded cycling shorts available today.

Right off the bat you can tell that these were made with care and the most high-quality materials. If you’re searching for something to take care of you on roads and trails, then don’t stray too far.

The entry-level bike shorts are ideal if you’re just starting out with the sport. The 7.5” inseam is just the right length to allow for flexibility but without restriction or discomfort.

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Made with an abrasion-resistant, double-face construction polyester, you’ll easily have these for years and years of regular use. Despite being so strong, they’re incredibly soft and efficient.

We were worried they would be too thick and hold heat in, but in fact, they did the opposite. They offered supreme breathability and moisture-wicking to make the entire bike ride a nice one.

Flatlock seams will keep things moving smoothly, offering anti-chafing protection, too.

Powerband compressive cuffs are found on the lower leg to reduce pressure while never constricting blood flow. The HugFit foldable waistband will help keep the stomach flat while also serving as extra protection, too.

Speaking of protection, you get a whopping SPF 50 with this pair along with reflective accents along the front and back for day and night safety.

Finally, you’ll find a high-density foam AirZone chamois that’s ergonomically designed to keep your body properly aligned while keeping it comfortable.

 

Louis Garneau Women’s Fit Sensor 7.5 Bike Shorts at a Glance:

  • Best For: Mountain Biking, Road Biking
  • Padding: Yes, Foam
  • Pockets: Yes, 2 zippered hand, 2 zippered thigh
  • Materials: Polyester
  • Inseam: 7.5″

Pearl iZumi is easily one of the most reputable names in the sports world, namely in triathons.

So, it comes as no surprise that their W Journey Shorts are consistently ranked and rated as the best cycling shorts on the market today.

Not only are they some of the most visually attractive, but they’re some of the most efficient, to boot.

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While there are only 3 color options to choose from, we loved each one. Choose between Sea Moss/Mist Green, Black, or Port/Cayenne. Each one is a deep shade that evokes sophistication and sportiness simultaneously.

You may have noticed that these are a kind of 2-in-1 design with an attached liner. This liner is the women’s SELECT Escape 1:1 Chamois that comes in a contrasting color with all color options except Black.

The contrasting color is made to support and add even more comfort to an already amazing short. These also promote blood flow which helps to transport nutrients to the cells and also keep lactic acid from building up which means quicker recovery time and less fatigue.

The 8” inseam for the liner is just the right length too, not too long nor too short.

Each layer is incredibly breathable and lightweight with an airy feeling. You will never feel weighed down nor restricted, so you can have the most efficient ride possible.

Take these on the roads, the trails, or to your favorite indoor cycling class. No matter where you are, you’re sure to be the fastest one out there with these beauties on.

To keep your valuables close by and safe, you’ll also find a stash pocket in the elastic waistband.

 

Pearl iZumi W Journey Shorts at a Glance:

  • Best For: Mountain Biking, Road Biking, Indoor Cycling
  • Padding: No
  • Pockets: Yes, 1 stash pocket
  • Materials: Polyester, Lycra, Spandex, Chamois
  • Inseam: 8″

Last but certainly not least, we have the Eco-Daily Women’s Bicycle Cycling Shorts.

These are another excellent budget option, but as they’re considered one of the best women’s cycling shorts, you can expect durability and smoothness from this simple pair. Let’s take a look.

These come in an array of different colors and even patterns. The base is always black, but you’ll find an icy blue on two pairs, and All Black, Green, Purple, and Rose (pink) on the other options.

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Made of 80% nylon and 20% spandex, these are extra stretchy and great for long bike rides. While you’re riding, you can actually feel the air coming in and out, ensuring you’re always dry and feeling cool.

The material works to absorb moisture and release sweat, too, so you never feel damp and swampy.

We really loved the 1” waistband which was soft and never too restrictive – not to mention flattering! They will keep your shorts held in place the entire time, while the elastic leg bands ensure they never ride up.

Another must-have for long and bumpy trail or road cycling is padding.

These include a 4D high impact foam pad which is better than gel in many ways as it’s more efficient in molding to the shape of your body while distributing weight more effectively. The breathable top layer ensures chafe-free support, too.

 

Eco-Daily Women’s Cycling Shorts 4D Padded Biking at a Glance:

  • Best For: Road Biking
  • Padding: Yes, Sponge
  • Pockets: No
  • Materials: Nylon, Spandex
  • Inseam: 9.8″

Cycling Shorts Comparison Table

Cycling Shorts Best ForPaddingPocketsMaterialsRating
Beroy Women's Bike ShortsRoad, Mountain BikingYes, GelStash pocketPolyester/Spandex4.5 / 5.0
Santic Women's Cycling ShortsSpinning, Road, Mountain BikingYes, GelNoPolyamide4.4 / 5.0
Zoic Navaeh ShortMountain BikingNo2 hand, 2 thighPolyester, Spandex4.8 / 5.0
Santic Women's Cycling CaprisMountain, Road BikingYesNoneElastic, Mesh4.2 / 5.0
Louis Garneau Women's FitMountain, Road BikingYes, Foam2 hand, 2 thighPolyester4.5 / 5.0
Pearl iZumi W JourneySpinning, Road, Mountain BikingNoStash pocketPolyester, Lycra, Spandex4.7 / 5.0
Eco-Daily Women's Cycling ShortsRoad BikingYes, SpongeNoNylon, Spandex4.3 / 5.0

How to Choose the Best Cycling Shorts – Buying Guide

best bike shorts for women

Now that you’ve had the opportunity to read all about the best cycling shorts, have you decided which is the pair for you? We know that it can be a difficult decision to make, especially if you’re brand-new to cycling.

That’s why we’ve gone ahead and come up with the user-friendly buying guide, below. This guide will take you through every step of the buying process so that by the time you’re finished, there will be no doubt which is the one for you! Let’s take a look.

Material

As with any kind of athletic gear, material is crucial. Material can make or break your experience, and leave you a sweaty, chafed mess or smooth and cool. Let’s take a look at the most commonly-used ones to decide which is best for you.

Polyester: Polyester is one of the best fabrics for cycling shorts due to how durable it is. It can sometimes be a bit scratchy if used on its own, but it’s durable, can handle abrasion, regular use, and won’t stretch easily – keeping its shape for countless rides.

Elastic: Elastic is rather cheap in all honesty, but it is very stretchy and allows for your body to move without restriction.

Nylon: Nylon pairs perfectly with polyester. As it’s not as durable as the former, polyester balances it out while nylon adds stretchiness and extra airflow.

best women's cycling shorts
Santic Women’s Cycling Shorts

Padding

Padding isn’t an absolute necessity in most cases, but this entirely depends on you, your preferences, your body, and the roads you’ll be riding on.

If you can’t typically sit in a hard chair for a long time due to discomfort, padding is probably a wise idea. If you can’t sit in the saddle of your bike for more than an hour or so, padding is probably a wise idea.

Many people who’ve never used padded shorts often wonder if they feel like diapers, and we can reassure you that none on this list do. Also keep in mind that there are various types of padding.

Foam and gel are the most commonly-used. Foam works to more evenly distribute weight, but some also prefer gel.

best padded cycling shorts

Inseam

With the shorts listed above, you’ll find almost each one varies in terms of length. Shorter shorts are ideal for spin class, but most outdoor cyclists prefer a seam that comes just above the knee.

The reason for this, is because longer inseams stay in place better (typically) which help to prevent chafing along the inner thigh.

Waistband and Leg Openings

You want both of these sections to ideally come with some kind of surface to prevent them from riding up and falling down. The legs of the shorts should be planted firmly where they are when you initially put them on.

Having them ride up is not only irritating, but can easily cause chafing and discomfort. The waistband should also stay firmly in place, never sliding around or falling down.

Ideally, they’re going to be a bit stretchy so that they don’t restrict you or cut into the skin. As you’ll be bent over a bit, this is a common problem.

Pockets

When you’re riding, you may not feel like taking a backpack or other kind of bag along. That’s completely understandable, as this adds extra bulk and makes you anything but aerodynamic.

If you’re in spin class, people may just give you funny looks, too. That’s why having pockets is often a good idea. This will depend on the model, though.

Some feature various pockets for your hands and for extras further down on the leg. Others will come with just one discreet pocket on the waistband so that they’re safe.

Breathability

You not only want to look for shorts that fit you well, but ones that allow for extra breathability. You’ll find on each of the aforementioned products some kind of mesh material or dedicated breathing holes.

If not, then the fabric itself allows for airflow. We give models bonus points if they wick moisture away from the body, so you will always be cool and dry.

Wet fabrics can make chafing more of a possibility and cause them to ride up, so if they’re quick-drying, that’s even better.

Length of Shorts

You may have noticed that the products we’ve reviewed also vary widely in length. Most come a bit above the knee, though there are a couple that are longer.

One, in fact, is a pair of capris. These offer the most protection from the sun’s rays, and from any debris like sand or rocks that may get kicked up by your bike’s tires running over them.

However, many people feel restricted by the longer lengths, and prefer a more “traditional” pair. A good middle ground seems to be the Pearl iZumis, if you’re unsure of which to decide on.

FAQs About Cycling Shorts

Q: Do padded shorts even make a difference?

A: Yes, they do for many. They not only work to provide a kind of barrier between you and the seat, but they reduce pressure points, prevent chafing and help to disperse road vibration. This can keep you feeling more energized while greatly reducing the feeling or soreness.

Q: Why are cycling shorts so tight?

A: First off, padded shorts are made so you wear them without underwear. If they were loose, that may feel a little weird! You also need the pad held tight to the skin. In addition, tighter shorts help add support to the muscles, while also promoting blood flow.

This means that nutrients are more quickly transported to your cells, meaning more energy and more efficient riding. They also help to prevent lactic acid buildup so you will recover more quickly.

Q: Why are most cycling shorts black?

A: Black always looks nice and goes with anything. However, there are other reasons, too. One, is that the color from the bike saddle can sometimes rub off which will easily stain lighter-colored shorts. Not only that, but black heats the fastest in the sunlight which can help muscles in the thighs stay warm or dry quicker if they get wet

Tips For Choosing Cycling Shorts

#1: If you’re brand-new to cycling, it’s highly suggested that you opt for padded shorts.

While it may sound a bit odd, the longer you’ve been cycling, the more accustomed your muscles, bones, and nerves will be to riding in the saddle. This can admittedly be painful at first, so to help curb this, you have padding.

#2: After you’re done riding for the day, make sure to wash your shorts ASAP.

Even if your shorts may be quick-drying or moisture-wicking, these can easily be breeding grounds for all kinds of bacteria. That’s one of the last things you want, so when you get home, take them off and toss them in the wash as soon as you can.

#3: Always avoid using fabric softener when washing your shorts.

This stuff can actually end up “clogging” the fabric of your shorts and making their moisture-wicking abilities obsolete.

Summary

Now that you’re practically an expert in the world of cycling shorts, which ones are the perfect pair for you? If you’re still having trouble deciding, know that whichever you choose, you’ll be getting one of the best women’s cycling shorts available today.

What’s most important, though, is that you get the pair that works best for your needs and your body. We hope that our guide has helped you do exactly that. Thanks for joining us, and we’ll see you again shortly.

Comfort
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The beroy Womens Bike Shorts are our Editor's Choice for the best cycling shorts for women with their comfort, support and quality.

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