Anyone who’s spent longer than five minutes on a bike knows the importance of the correct gear for longer excursions. Sure, your bike needs to be on top form, but that doesn’t mean you should forget to gear yourself up properly to keep you comfortable and safe on your rides.
The longer you’re planning to cycle, the more important it is for you to invest in some high-quality, effective padded bike shorts. Take note of the word padded - simple gym shorts will not suffice here.
Padding needs to be dense, and structured so that the protection doesn’t wear thin throughout your ride. Choosing padded bike shorts rather than an old pair of jeans will prevent chafing, aches and pains, and irritation that your saddle may cause.
Below we’ll be looking at the five highest-rated padded bike shorts so that you have all the most important information in one place. Don’t forget to check out our buyers guide to learn the most important features of your new protective shorts.
In a hurry?
If you cannot wait to finally stop wincing throughout your bike ride and purchase a high-quality pair of padded bike shorts, we’ve got you covered. The best option that we have found on the market is the Sponeed Men's Cycling Shorts, and these are just a few of the reasons why:
- The six-panel design helps the fit of your shorts, making them more comfortable.
- The fabric protects you from the sun rays.
- Non-slip properties keep the legs from riding up and causing friction and sores.
Top 5 Best Men’s Padded Bike Shorts
OUR TOP PICK
Beginning our list is the sponeed Cycling Shorts with a six-panel design for great comfort. The 3D high-density foam is mixed together with silicone gel to give you a nice layer of padding where you need it the most.
The shorts end just above the knee and come in six color options for you to choose from. The material keeps you dry even during the hottest days, and will protect your skin from harmful sunrays.
You’ll find that the waist is elasticated with non-slip bands on the bottom of the legs, ensuring that the fabric stays in place and prevents your shorts from bunching up and causing friction between them and your skin.
Make sure that you read the relevant size guide before purchasing your pair of shorts, as every size guide is different in its own way.
- The six panels of fabric make your shorts more durable, comfortable, and a better overall fit.
- Non-slip bands prevent your shorts from shifting.
- The protective material keeps you dry and comfortable.
- One customer found that the stitching made them uncomfortable.
- The size guide is a little confusing.
The Santic Cycling Shorts come equipped with a 4D CoolMax cushion, that has accurately named the Terminator, which has 38 vents for amazing ventilation. The Terminator name comes from the hit movie franchise, as this chamois will stop any pain in its tracks.
The sides of these shorts are perhaps where they excel the most due to the sheer amount of features that they come equipped with. Breathable mesh panels, reflective materials, and flat seams for added comfort.
You’ll find that the leg openings have silicone rings to keep the material in place throughout your ride. Something that is a little strange to see on bike shorts, however, is the zipper closure. Pick between 10 colors and get your ride started!
- Chamois comes with 38 vents for good airflow.
- Breathable mesh panels to keep you cool throughout your journey.
- Zipper closure.
- One customer had an issue with the fit.
- Customer service is not the best.
Next up are these highly developed cycling shorts from Eco-Daily. They have a 14-panel fit that keeps your blood flowing consistently to all of your muscles for the duration of your ride. The seams are as flat as possible to prevent them from rubbing against your skin.
The 4D chamois is made up of six layers for high protection and comfort. Each is laser cut to ensure that none of the edges is sharp and irritating. Even better, the chamois is perforated to keep you cool, comfortable, and protected from saddle sores.
Both of the thighs come equipped with mesh panels for great breathability. The leg bands prevent the shorts from riding up your legs during your cycle, and there are reflective properties around the legs so that you can ride safely during any time of the day or night.
- 14-panel fit improves your circulation to prevent muscle fatigue.
- Thick chamois with multiple layers for ultimate comfort and support.
- High-visibility for all times of the day.
- Shorter legs than industry average bike shorts.
- A few customers found that the chamois was too thick.
Just because you’re cycling, doesn’t mean you don’t need a pocket! Too many bike shorts come without pocket, unfortunately, but don’t fear - BALEAF has you covered. There are two slimline pouches large enough for a smartphone so that you can keep it securely with you.
The 3D padding is thick and large enough to keep all of the at-risk pressure points around your groin protected and as comfortable as possible. The chamois will keep you comfortable enough for even long-distance rides.
The stretchy shorts are breathable and moisture-wicking, which is exactly what you want from a pair of high-quality padded bike shorts. The legs are held down by silicone leg bands, preventing them from riding up and becoming annoying.
- Two pockets.
- Thick chamois for added comfort and protection.
- Moisture-wicking material.
- One customer found that the shorts were slippery on his bike seat.
- The waistband may stretch out after many uses.
We’ve added a pair of padded bib shorts into the mix, just in case you’d prefer a full-body alternative to waist shorts. The back reached to the base of your neck and the shorts reach to just above your knee. There is plenty of room for you to wear a tight undershirt, as well.
The material is very moisture-wicking and keeps your journey comfortable. The shorts won’t stick to your skin, but at the same time, they won’t ride up and cause uncomfortable chafing. The high back design features a breathable mesh.
The crotch is suitably padded with high-density foam. This absorbs impact shock as well as preventing chafing. Moreover, there is a layer of breathable material to keep the area cool. In fact, these shorts will keep you cool for up to eight-hour bike rides.
- Full-body alternative to waist shorts.
- Made of breathable materials to keep you comfortable.
- High-density padding that is impact resistant.
- The stitching may begin to falter after extensive use.
- Some customers had an issue with the sizing.
Best Men’s Padded Bike Shorts Buying Guide
Congratulations, you made it to the buyers guide! Here we’ll be discussing the most important features to look at when you’re choosing your next pair of padded bike shorts. With a piece of gear as important as padded shorts, you don’t want to get your choice wrong.
If you were to choose the first pair of padded bike shorts that you saw on the market, you may find halfway into your ride that you made a terrible mistake. Of course, you wouldn’t be able to remove them, so you’d be stuck suffering as you made your way back home.
We’re here to help prevent this tragedy from occurring. Make sure that you follow the below pointers to ensure you’ve covered all bases before committing to a pair of padded bike shorts.
Type of padded bike shorts
There are two types of padded bike shorts to choose from, each of which has its pros and cons. Some cyclists prefer waist shorts and others will always opt for bib shorts instead. Let’s take a look at both so you can determine which sounds better for you, shall we?
Waist shorts are exactly what it sounds like - cycling shorts that stop at your waist. They’re easy to get on and take off, and you’ll often find that they’re the cheaper alternative. Beginners tend to prefer them as they don’t feel as odd as bib shorts.
Alternatively, bib shorts are another good option for padded bike shorts. Bib shorts come with straps attached to keep the shorts up and in position. This means that the fabric doesn’t need to be as tight around your waist to ensure that they stay where they’re meant to.
Both waist and bib shorts are viable options for cyclists. The design you choose all depends on your personal preference and whether you would feel comfortable with the excess material that a bib requires.
The chamois of bike shorts is the padding within the crotch area. When it was first created, the chamois would be made of uncomfortable leather. Luckily for all you cyclists out there, it’s now often made from cushioning synthetic materials.
Bike shorts with a chamois are not designed to be worn with anything underneath them, so the chamois sits flush to your skin. This prevents any friction from burning your skin and attempts to remove as much pressure from your crotch as possible.
We’d suggest looking for an antibacterial chamois, to stop bacteria growing in warm and moist areas. Now, it’s not essential that you opt for bike shorts with a chamois, but it definitely helps on longer rides to keep you comfortable.
Men’s chamois is differently designed to a women’s, because the pressure points are different for male and female bodies. The foam will be thicker in different places. For this reason, we’d advise that you always opt for bike shorts designed for your sex rather than unisex, as the padding may be less comfortable.
Unfortunately, bike shorts are not designed to be worn every day, no matter the weather. Some are made with a thicker material to keep you warmer in the wintery weather, and some are thinner and more breathable for the summer months.
Some shorts are waterproof for wet days, and others offer thermal lining. For this reason, you should have a selection of different padded bike shorts in your collection.
That means that the material you’ll be looking for with your new pair of padded bike shorts all depends on a number of different factors. What’s the weather like? Where will you be riding? Do you get particularly hot or cold on your bike journeys?
All of these answers will help to determine what material your bike shorts are made from. The majority of options on the market will be made of moisture-wicking and breathable material, and higher-end shorts may come with compressing qualities to help your blood circulate around your body better.
We’d suggest taking a moment to decide what you need from your padded bike shorts and how they’ll remain most comfortable for you. The last thing you want to do is choose a thick material if you get hot quickly during your cycle, as you’ll end up being much sweatier than desired for the majority of it.
Bike shorts are constructed from more than one panel of material to give a better and more structured fit. This will also add to the comfort level so that the material doesn’t need to stretch too much to fit across your leg. Finally, this may help with the durability as the seams aren’t being stretched as thin.
If you’re opting for a pair of bib shorts, the straps need to be comfortable. This means that they shouldn’t be short enough to be digging into your shoulders, but they shouldn’t be too long that they’re falling off your shoulders throughout the entire duration of your cycle.
The length of your padded bike shorts depends on your personal preference. You can choose a pair of shorts that reach down to your knee, or you can opt for ones that end halfway down your thigh. Whatever you feel most comfortable in!
Bike shorts should always be tight to your body so that they don’t ride up your leg and cause chafing. However, they shouldn’t be so tight that they feel uncomfortable. A tricky balance, we know, but just make sure that you get the right size to avoid disappointment.
We’d suggest looking in the customer reviews to see if the bike shorts that you’re looking at are true to size, or if they fit too big or too small. You can use this information to get a better understanding of what size you should opt for.
Padded bike shorts need to be durable enough so that you can wear them multiple times without them wearing prematurely. This means that the padding doesn’t lose its shape or thickness, the seams remain closed and tight, and the fabric doesn’t stretch out to cause chafing.
Your bike shorts need to be high-quality enough so that you won’t have to worry about repurchasing them again once you find a hole down one of the seams. To avoid this disappointment, we’d recommend that you don’t go for the least expensive option.
We know that it may be tempting to do just this, but the better quality padded bike shorts tend to be a little more expensive than lower-quality alternatives. Buying multiple pairs of cheap bike shorts will eventually add up to the cost of one higher-quality option, so save yourself the time and hassle of rebuying your bike shorts.
Best Men’s Padded Bike Shorts FAQ's
How often should you wash your bike shorts?
You should wash your bike shorts after every use. Bacteria like to grow in dark and moist areas, making the inside of your bike shorts a great place for it to nest and start multiplying. If you do not wash this after each use, the bacteria will continue to fester and expand, which can cause infections, sores, and horrible medical issues.
If your bike shorts include a chamois, this should be removed and rinsed with warm soapy water after every use too. Chamois are often designed to trap this nasty bacteria, but it still needs a way to be free of the germs.
Your chamois may be able to be put in the washing machine along with your bike shorts depending on the material, but make sure that you read the instructions beforehand. This will avoid you from ruining your bike shorts.
Can you wear bike shorts under regular shorts?
This shouldn’t be a problem as long as your padded bike shorts are tight enough around your legs and don’t leave any room for chafing. Bike shorts are designed to prevent chafing and keep your legs cool, but if you want to cover up a bit more during your cycle, wearing another pair of shorts over the top is fine.
Just bear in mind that this might make them less effective at allowing air to circulate around the area. Moreover, if you’re racing and are affected by the aerodynamics, baggy shorts may be counterproductive for your speed.