Possibly the most critical item of technical-gear you can purchase for cycling is a good pair of cycling shorts. A solid pair of cycling shorts with a good chamois will allow you to feel more comfortable, powerful and in control while on the bike. It will also allow you to ride for longer periods of time without discomfort.
These are 5 of the best women’s cycling shorts and they differ from men’s or unisex shorts in several ways:
- the size run goes smaller in women’s shorts than men’s or unisex sizing
- the cut of the short is wider in the hips
- the shape of the chamois is slightly different to accommodate women’s anatomy
- the inseam is shorter
There are several key features to consider when buying cycling shorts:
You want the shorts to fit tight with no bunching material that could potentially chafe later. The chamois should feel slightly like a diaper and isn’t very comfortable for walking around in, but sitting on a bike, it should feel like a cushion.
Every company and model uses different leg gripper technology. Some use a compression fabric that is tapered around the thigh while others use a silicone band to keep the short from moving.
This is based on personal preference and how long your legs are. Some women prefer short shorts with a 6″ inseams, while others like them to be just above the knee with a 7-9″ inseam.
Bibs or No Bibs?
Bib shorts are a cycling short that have shoulder straps like suspenders. The design eliminates the pressure of exercising with a tight waistband which can become irritating when you are hinged at the waist and pedaling. However the main problem bibs pose to women is taking them off for pee breaks. This can be especially exasperating when having to pee during a winter ride when you have to take off multiple layers.
5 Of The Best Women’s Cycling Shorts
The Evolution Shorty is the perfect pair of shorts for that woman wanting a shorter inseam. The Evolution Shorty comes with a 6” inseam, a higher compression material around the thigh for grip without constricting your thighs. The Evolution Shorty has a comfortable waistband and a high-grade chamois for comfort at an affordable price.
The Mondiale Bib Short is the ultimate blend of comfort, performance and functionality. The short is manufactured from a blend of lycra making it light-weight and wicking. The short comes complete with a SnapLock fastener making it easy to slip out of for those necessary pee breaks. The Mondiale Bib Short is top of the line for those long endurance training rides or fondos as its fabric and chamois thickness opts for comfort versus aerodynamics. The leg gripper is a wide compression material with a silicone band for comfort while keeping the short in place to avoid chafing. This short is an investment but one you will not soon regret.
The Course Race 2 bib short is the best cycling shorts for those women looking to do a road race or time trial. The aerodynamic cut and minimal stitches provide a high-end race-day garment. The Course Race 2 comes with a 5Motion women’s specific chamois for ultimate comfort without sacrificing performance. This pair of bib shorts also comes with detachable straps for ease of taking bathroom breaks.
The Gore Power Lady short comes with a 9” inseam, an elastic gripper on the leg, large reflective logos, and minimal seams to avoid chafing. This short comes in several colors and has a rainbow band along the leg gripper for an added splash of color. With a women’s-specific chamois this is the perfect short for any level of rider at an affordable price point.
The Pursuit Attack bib-short provides comfort, performance and functionality at a great price. This pair of shorts comes with an 8” inseam, a silicone leg-gripper, women’s-specific chamois and reflective logos. This short is affordable and will still give any woman the comfort of riding without a waist-band
It will take trying on several brands and models of shorts or bibs to decided which is the right fit for you and your purse. However, once you find the right pair of the best women’s cycling shorts for you it will make pedaling a bike even more fun!