Wearing the correct bike shorts for cycling is critical as they are designed to provide compression and comfort on every ride.
A key factor of a decent pair of bike shorts is the padding or chamois.
This ingenious device provides comfort in the saddle for both short and long journeys and once you have tried a reputable pair of bike shorts you will never look back.
The women’s bike shorts picked for this review are the most popular brands out there at the moment. They should give you a view of what is on offer for female cyclists and also a breakdown of some of the features you would expect in a quality pair of women’s cycling shorts.
Best shorts | Our number one choice
The Pearl Izumi attack women’s bike shorts are by far our favourite shorts. They are superbly designed and ultra comfortable in every way.
They will become your go-to shorts for any distance ride. Just the right amount of compression in the material and the padding in the chamois is excellent.
Easy to wash and the quality material will last a long time.
Here is a quick video from Pearl Izumi on the main features of the shorts. Go try them out – you will thanks us later.
These are great quality hard wearing shorts that will stand up to long distance rides. The fit is snug but not too tight and the high waistband is super comfortable.
- Flattering wide waistband for superior comfort
- 8-panel anatomic design
- Silicone leg gripper
- Women’s Race 3D Chamois®
- Reflective elements for low-light visibility
What We Like:
These are very comfortable shorts for all distance but especially on long distance rides. The Chamois is superb quality. The high waistband keeps everything in place and avoids any rollover.
Women’s bike shorts comparison
When you get into the sport of cycling and maybe even triathlon then you should consider investing in a more expensive pair of shorts. You will have to pay a bit more but the quality and comfort of a really good pair of women’s bike shorts are well worth the additional cost.
Remember you want them to last, plus you might transition into long distance cycling or perhaps even an IronMan race so don’t skimp if you don’t have to.
When you start to look at the higher end of bike shorts for women you can pay anything up to three hundred dollars for a pair. We love these Pearl Izumi women’s shorts as they offer good value for the quality you get from this quality brand.
Beroy Cycling Shorts
Another favourite of ours is Beroy women’s bike shorts. If you are looking for something comfortable yet budget friendly then these are perfect for you.
Made from 100% polyester they mould nicely to any shape. They are quick drying and come in cool looking designs.
The chamois is comfortable without being too over padded like some other budget bike shorts.
Just be careful with sizing as they tend to stretch a bit over time. Like all shorts, they need to be washed after every use but you can just stick them into a warm wash and they are good to go again.
There are silicon grippers on the inside leg that hold them in place all day.
What features do you need?
There are a few different styles of bike shorts available and the choice you make is really up to you.
- You can get longer shorts that cover more of your let and provide extra control over muscle compression.
- Shorter shorts that give you maximum free movement.
- Women’s bib shorts that have shoulder straps to keep everything securely in place on longer rides.
Your colour choice is unlimited but we recommend that you go for a pair with reflective panels or seams if you are cycling around at dusk or early morning to make sure other people and traffic can see you on the roads or trails.
As mentioned above the chamois or padding of the shorts are the most important feature to look for. With women’s cycling shorts the chamois is thicker in the middle compared to men’s ones to provide additional support for your sitting bones (ischium bones). This padding really makes the difference on even shorter rides and you would be mad to go for a pair without padding.
This padding really makes the difference on even shorter rides and you would be mad to go for a pair without padding.
Most women’s shorts have a chamois that is sewn into the material and this helps keep everything from slipping about. You wear these shorts without underwear and because of the design you are maximising comfort without having to worry about abrasion of any kind from a loose fitting material.
Free movement but controlled
You also want to invest in a quality pair of shorts that allow plenty of free movement. Some of the cheaper pairs out there are quite restrictive and will become uncomfortable very quickly.
Another issue we find with cheaper brands is the gel anti-slip band around the leg cuff of the shorts tends to be of poor quality and the shorts ride up your leg or nearly pull the skin off your leg!
The band prevents all sorts of issues when you are cycling. If your shorts ride up your let you are going to end up with bundled material that will cause chafing. The chamois will also move around and this can cause all sorts of problems – especially on a longer ride.
If you are prone to chafing then you should invest in some anti-chafe cream to keep you comfortable. This inexpensive cream can be a lifesaver…
What are they made of?
All good bike shorts are made of a spandex material. They should be worn as a snug fit but no too tight. You need them to fit comfortably but to stay in place. With spandex, they should hug your skin.
You might see some designs made up of several different types of material. This design allows for breathable side panels in the shorts to keep you cool on long rides and warmer days.
You are looking for a compression feel to your shorts that help with muscle movement but do not restrict blood flow in any way.
Keeping them clean
Hygiene is hugely important with women’s bike shorts. Because you wear them without underwear you need to make sure and give them a good machine wash after every use.
If you don’t look after your shorts you can get a build up of nasty bacteria in the material and chamois and this can lead to saddle sores or infections over time. Also, make sure to let them air dry to preserve the elastic in the seams.
If you have a favourite pair of shorts you wear out on the bike that you can’t live without then let us know and we may add them to the list. We can’t obviously cover off every brand or style here so just picked the ones we feel are top quality for the money.
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Thanks for stopping by and happy cycling.