In and out of the gym, bike shorts are making a comeback! You’ve come to the right place if you’re an avid cyclist or just looking for a new trendy piece for your casual summer wardrobe. While your standard workout leggings and sports bra combo is a classic, the best bike shorts for women are a great way to expand your workout wardrobe while avoiding short shorts that ride up when you’re on the go.
Best Bike Shorts for Women
Athleisure has become increasingly fashionable in recent years, and bike shorts, like all those pairs of black leggings before them, have made the transition from the bike trails to the runway. And it’s easy to see why cycling shorts reign supreme in warm-weather activewear: you can wear them to a studio fitness class, hiking, biking, or dinner with friends.
If you’ve ever cycled, you know that padded bike shorts are essential for a comfortable ride. The best bike shorts for women are made to fit all female shapes and curves. Chafing, saddle sores, and a miserable ride result from a chamois that does not fit the female form well (regardless of how plush). Unisex bike shorts, even if they include a chamois, will not suffice. The best women’s bike shorts feel like an extension of your body, and you should be as at ease wearing them as you are in your own skin. However, shopping for bike shorts isn’t the only time to consider how they feel.
Your bike shorts should fit so well in the saddle that you don’t even notice them. Don’t settle for second best when it comes to the comfort of your shorts. If you’re looking for some ideas, we’ve selected the best bike shorts for women that you’re sure to love.
Pearl Izumi Pro Limited Edition Bib Short
- All-Day Comfort Chamois
- Easy Bathroom Breaks
- Soft Fabric with Minimal Seams
- Comfortable and Stylish
The plush, comfortable, and stylish Pearl Izumi Pro Limited Edition Bib takes the cake for long days in the saddle. Its cushy chamois feel almost luxurious (not something we often say about bike shorts), and the seamless construction of the bibs give the impression that nothing is there. The bibs have a center clip to adjust the fit; we preferred to ride with the bibs clipped to keep them out of the way of our shoulders. We also liked the drop-tail bib design for quick bathroom breaks.
The disadvantages of these bibs are few, but they are not cheap. If you’re looking for an entry-level piece of equipment, perhaps you’d prefer something less expensive. However, we believe the plush comfort and fun colors make up for it. The Pearl Izumi Pro bibs had a universally flattering fit on our testers. Overall, we thought these were some of the best bibs we’d ever tested. If you prefer to ride for hours without realizing you’re wearing bike shorts, these are the bibs for you.
Zella Live in High Waist Pocket Bike Shorts
- Side Pockets
- Smooth Flatlock Seams
- Offers Great Value
These bike shorts are hands down the best bike shorts on the market. They are not only inexpensive, but they also have an elastic waist, smooth flatlock seaming that does not rub or irritate, and moisture-wicking fabric that dries quickly to keep you cool and comfortable. “These fit like a dream!” says one satisfied reviewer of these shorts. In every way, this is flattering. They will highlight what you want and conceal what you don’t.
Furthermore, the side pockets are extremely useful. A must-have for any woman bike. These shorts are worth every penny.
Sugoi Evolution Bib Short
- Soft Chamois
- Easy Bathroom Breaks
- Very Comfortable Bib Fabric
- High Quality Material
The Sugoi Evolution Bib Short surprised no one by combining the best of technical and comfortable bibs without breaking the bank. It combines design, high-quality materials, and execution to create a short that is not only comfortable but also performs well in the saddle. The bib material was soft and stretchy, which our testers appreciated. Furthermore, these bibs were among the easiest to use for bathroom breaks, which are a must for any ride. While it isn’t the cheapest short in our lineup, it is the Goldilocks of bibs, sitting at the ideal crossroads of high-scoring and reasonably priced.
Only a few points were deducted from this model because the leg openings were a little too small for our testers. We don’t want to discourage you from trying this gem of a bib because it is truly fit dependent. While its chamois wasn’t the *most* padded in our lineup, it was still one of our favorites and was ideal for longer rides. Despite their low price, these bibs were among our top performers. If you’re looking for a short that won’t break the bank but provides plenty of performance for long rides; you might have found it.
TheMogan Women’s Cotton Mid Thigh High Waist Active Short
- Wide Size Range
- Pull on Closure
- Lightweight Solid Stretch
These flattering shorts are an absolute steal at only $10.99. Choose from over 60 color combinations for these super soft cotton shorts that are ideal for lounging. To be clear, this option isn’t intended for exercise, so it shouldn’t be your first choice for your next workout. “These are freaking great!” says one satisfied Amazon reviewer. I’ll most likely purchase more for the summer! “Exactly what I’ve been looking for: comfortable shorts that won’t ride up while walking.”
Sugoi RS Pro Bib Short
- Easy Bathroom Breaks
- High Quality
- Supportive Chamois for Longer Rides
- Breathable Fabric
The SUGOi RS Pro Bib short exceeded our expectations with its streamlined, aerodynamic design and high quality. We were thrilled not only with the fit and comfort of this technical bib but also with the fact that it never chafed us. The breathable fabric, as well as the stretch in the shoulder straps, allowed for more convenient pit stops than traditional bibs. This bib may be a better option for taller riders because it is a little longer, but the RS Pro Bib wowed all of our testers.
With the RS Pro Bib, we found little to complain about. We did notice that some of the seams had minor wear and tear, and we wish these bibs were available in more colors. Overall, we believe cyclists looking for breathability and ultimate comfort on long rides will enjoy this bib. If you are an endurance rider or racer, take note: this is one of the best bibs we’ve tested.
Beyond Yoga High Waist Biker Shorts
- Suitable for Various Activities
- Extra-High Waist
- Extremely Comfortable
- Super Soft Fabric
This bike short is a strong contender if you’re looking for a high-waisted, less compressive, and extremely comfortable option for a low-impact workout. These bike shorts from Beyond Yoga are designed to fit well, look good, and stay in place throughout your practice—or your entire day! “These are the best bike shorts I’ve ever worn in my life,” one satisfied customer says. Comfy waistband, super soft fabric, and thick enough to be flattering when doing yoga.”
Terry Hi-Rise Holster Short
- Longer Length
- Looser Fit
- Wide and High Waist
- High Quality Fabric
Some riders want to look fast while racing, while others want to take a scenic tour of the countryside while maintaining the comfort and function required for a slower-paced day. For shorter road trips, we found both the comfort and coverage we needed. As a result, the less racy Holster Terry Hi-Rise. Aside from the built-in chamois, these shorts don’t scream, “I cycled here.” They are more discreet due to their longer length, spacious side pocket, and looser fit. Don’t be fooled, they still provide full coverage and have a comfortable chamois.
We wouldn’t wear these for longer rides or races than a few hours because the excess fabric can bunch and cause chafing. Fortunately, because these shorts are high-waisted, they dig in less than the other styles we tested. They’re also held in place by a waistband (rather than suspenders, as with bibs), which we found dug into some of our testers’ stomachs if they were too tight. Still, our testers highly recommend this style for shorter rides, commutes, or rides that include a coffee stop.
Girlfriend Collective High Waist Bike Shorts
- No Riding Up
- Inclusive Size Range
All-in-one AND environmentally friendly? Yes please! These bike shorts bring mind and body comfort to your workout routine by being made from recycled water bottles for an eco-sexy reputation and look. This bike short is available in sizes XXS to 3X, making it one of the larger size ranges available. “I love these bike shorts!” says one happy Nordstrom customer. I was looking for shorts to lounge in, walk in, do yoga in, and hike in, and these are it!”
BALEAF High Waist Biker Shorts
- Large Side Pockets
BALEAF bike shorts are a #1 Amazon bestseller with over 74,000 rave reviews, which is not surprising given that our analysts and editors who road-tested them discovered that the shorts lived up to their claims of being moisture-wicking, breathable, and chafe-free.
Except for the charcoal color shorts, which are cotton, polyester, and Spandex blend, all of the solid color bike shorts are made of polyester with a bit of added Spandex. They have a high rise and a gusseted crotch to prevent bulging and keep everything in place while moving. There are large side pockets ideal for storing a phone or keys.
AERIE OFFLINE Real Me Crossover Bike Short
- Smooth Fabric
- Flattering on Many Body Types
- Barely-There Feeling
- Minimal Compression
Aerie has gone viral for their crossover leggings and bike shorts that cinch your waist with the brand’s signature crossover waistband, are flattering on all body types, and are constantly sold out. The crossover shapes your waist, and you’ll love the slick, stretchy fabric that won’t dig in!
If you haven’t found a pair of bike shorts you love yet, reviewers say you must try these breathable, barely-there-feeling bike shorts! Because of the minimal compression, the buttery smooth nylon/elastane fabric is ideal for yoga, lounging, or light sweat activities. They also come in a 3″ length and with a tennis skirt over the shorts.
Whether you’re a competitive racer, a casual cyclist, a bike commuter, or an all-day endurance junkie, there’s a short/bib out there for you. We have reviewed the bike shorts for women that are ideal for any budget. We’ll be the first to tell you that not all shorts are created equal, but each one serves a specific purpose. Consider which shorts are best suited to your riding style and personal preferences. Read these reviews about the best bike shorts for women and make a wise choice that will serve your purpose.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should Women Wear Padded Bike Shorts?
If you’ve ever cycled, you know that padded bike shorts are essential for a comfortable ride. The best bike shorts for women are made to fit all female shapes and curves. Chafing, saddle sores, and a miserable ride result from a chamois that does not fit the female form well (regardless of how plush).
What Length of Biker Shorts are Best?
Cycling shorts should feel snug and comfortable, with no bagging or wrinkles. Leg lengths range from 3 1/2 to 10 1/2 inches. Traditionally, wool racing shorts were cut long enough to cover the quadriceps muscle, preventing the short from riding up into the crotch and chafing.
Do You Wash Your Bike Shorts After Every Ride?
You don’t want to skip washing this piece of cycling gear. Because your chamois come into contact with your skin and can absorb a lot of moisture, you should thoroughly clean it after each ride to prevent bacteria from growing. Skipping this step may result in severe skin irritation or saddle sores.
Are Padded Bike Shorts Worth it?
They make a bold fashion statement — and not always in a good way. However, padded cycling shorts make cycling much more comfortable and efficient, allowing you to ride faster and for longer periods of time. You’ll want to wear them if you’re going to get serious about road riding.