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Back in the saddle with REI, Pearl Izumi, and more : Get ready to ride with the best cycling shorts for men

Because workout shorts rarely ever "work out" for serious biking. That's why you need legit cycling shorts

Cyclist balancing on a bike in a barren landscape.
Beau Runsten / Unsplash

A good pair of cycling shorts is one of the most essential articles to wear wherever you’re pedaling, whether you’re an avid cyclist or a beginner to road biking. Everyday workout shorts simply tend to, well, not “work out” for biking. They often ride up and gather uncomfortably in the groin area, resulting in constant pulling and tugging of shorts with almost every pedal. You can own the best and finest bike, but if you lack the proper riding gear, that bike will simply not live up to its potential. Road biking — especially if you plan on biking more than just a few miles on the regular — can be an incredibly thrilling and challenging workout.

Cyclist taking break, sitting near bike
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The best biking shorts for your ride

A pair of cycling shorts for men is supposed to protect you against chafing and make your ride in the saddle comfortable, so you can venture farther without restrictions. If you’re just going on a short trip, you’ll also want to check out the best bike commuting gear. For long rides that involve flying down back roads and hills that put your gear shifter to the test, check out our picks for the best cycling shorts for men.

Specialized Men's RBX Shorts in black on a model standing against a plain studio background.

Specialized Men’s RBX Shorts

The four-way fabric of these super-soft men’s cycling shorts ensures freedom of movement so you can pedal without restriction or friction, and the silicone-infused cuffs keep them in place no matter how hard you’re going in the saddle. We love these for long-distance rides as the padding provides plenty of support under your sit bones.

Pearl Izumi Men's Attack Bike Shorts.
Pearl Izumi

Pearl Izumi Men’s Attack Bike Shorts

The Pearl Izumi Men’s Attack Bike Shorts are one of the more affordable options from the sophisticated cycling brand. These shorts hit at the perfect length on the upper thigh and have the right amount of cushioning for long rides. They feel like a second skin with minimal seams and feature the brand’s Select Escape 1:1 Chamois to provide optimal moisture transfer and breathability.

Castelli Entrata Bib Short.
Castelli Cycling

Castelli Entrata Bib Shorts

If you’re gonna go for bib shorts, this is the pair to pick. The eight-panel construction ensures a near-perfect anatomical fit, while the Kiss Air2 chamois cushions and supports your backside. These cycling shorts stay in place with the help of Giro3 leg grippers that keep them glued to your legs without feeling too tight. A great pair of bibs for the money, these shorts hold up especially well in endurance rides.

REI Co-op Link Padded Liner Shorts.

REI Men’s Co-op Link Padded Liner Shorts

These bike shorts are a great value compared to many others on this list and feature comfortable, supportive padding that the casual biker will appreciate. The side pocket fits a phone or ID snugly, and the compression leg bands keep these liner shorts in place. Great for serious mountain biking or road biking, these shorts will protect you from the sore bum that comes from bumpy roads and rough trails.

Rhone Basic Cycling Shorts in black on a white background.

Rhone Basic Cycling Shorts

Premium men’s activewear brand Rhone came to conquer with its Basic Cycling Short. They take their material seriously, proudly stating that they spend “up to four times more on fabrics than the big box brands.” With its lightweight Italian recycled nylon knit fabric, you can really feel the difference in the thickness and comfort this pair of shorts provides. Featuring a soft Y-fold elastic at the waist, interior molded chamois, and flatlock stitching for anti-chafe comfort, these bike shorts elevate any cycling experience.

Endura Hummvee Mountain Bike Baggy Cycling Short II.
Endura Sports

Endura Hummvee Mountain Bike Baggy Cycling Shorts II

If tight bike shorts aren’t the look you’re going for, these urban cycling shorts look as cool on your daily commute as they do on the trail. The padded liner short provides a comfortable ride in the saddle without making it look like you’re trying to be the next Lance Armstrong. Made for durability, these tough nylon shorts with zippered pockets to protect your valuables come double-stitched in critical areas, making them nearly indestructible.

Man modeling Black Bibs The Black Shorts Plus.
The Black Bibs

The Black Bibs The Black Shorts Plus

The Black Bibs knows how to make high-quality cycling apparel at an accessible price point. These men’s shorts are cut from the same pattern that has been used by the UCI Cyclus Sports and Lupus Racing Team, so you know they’re world-champion-level in terms of comfort and fit. The length, stretch, and chamois in this pair of cycling shorts offer supreme support to protect against potential chafing, overheating, or bunching.

Louis Garneau Men's CB Carbon 2 Cycling Bib.
Louis Garneau

Louis Garneau Men’s CB Carbon 2 Cycling Bibs

If endurance is your goal, you need gear that won’t let you down when you’re 50 miles into a 100-mile ride. The form-fitting construction of these premium men’s cycling shorts moves with your body as you’re pushing up the mountain or flying down that hill. Made with highly stretchable and compressive CB Carbon + Lycra and Endurexx fabrics, the CB Carbon 2 bib is designed to help increase blood flow, reduce muscle vibration, and reduce fatigue.

Giordana Men's FR-C Pro Cycling Shorts on a plain white studio background.
Giordana Cycling

Giordana Men’s FR-C Pro Cycling Shorts

If only the best will do, and bib-style suspender shorts aren’t your jam, we love Giordana’s FR-C Pro Cycling Shorts. Surprisingly, without the shoulder straps, these are among the most supportive and stable on the market. They offer a great body fit (though some riders might find them a little too constrictive) that’s comfortable and designed to improve your form. Sure, they’re pricey at nearly $200, but we firmly believe that you get what you pay for, even in the world of men’s cycling shorts.

LEGENDFIT Men's Cycling Shorts in black on a plain white background.

Legendfit Men’s Cycling Shorts

These padded cycling shorts are made with six layers of high-impact foam padding to provide superior support, dampening the vibration from the bike while also eliminating pressure points. Nonslip leg openings keep these adhered to your thighs during the entirety of your ride. The mesh design also allows for quick moisture evacuation, which makes for a more comfortable ride in the saddle. Plus, we dig the elastic waistband loop for stowing a towel, rain shell, sun protection, etc.

man using bike trainer.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What is the best material for men’s cycling shorts?

The “best” material for men’s cycling shorts depends on several factors, including your riding style, the climate, and personal preferences. However, there are several materials used:

  • Nylon/Lycra blend: These materials offer breathability, comfort, and durability.
  • Polyester: This is a breathable and quick-drying material, but it may not be as comfortable as nylon/Lycra in hot weather.
  • Merino wool: Naturally breathable, insulating, and resistant to odors, merino wool is ideal for cold-weather riding.
  • Cordura: A highly durable fabric resistant to abrasion and tears, Cordua is perfect for mountain biking.
  • High-tech fabrics: Brands like Polartec and Gore-Tex offer specialized fabrics with advanced moisture wicking, breathability, and weather protection.

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