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The 10 Best Cycling Shorts for a comfortable ride

Cycling shorts feature an array of different chamois pads and come in all sorts of colours, designs and materials. Investing in a good pair of bib-shorts is one of the most effective ways to improve comfort and performance on the bike. It’s a common misconception that having an expensive pad automatically reduces chaffing and discomfort. While the pad is extremely important, it’s also crucial that the shorts fit properly and remain in one place throughout your training ride or race.

In order to get the most out of your chamois pad, you need a pair of cycling shorts with good grippers on the legs, breathable materials throughout and elasticated bib straps.

The Chamois Pad

The chamois pad is designed to reduce friction, cushion your sit bones and wick away sweat. The type of saddle you ride and your position on the bike should be considered when choosing a pair of bib-shorts. If you use a saddle with a cut-out groove to relieve pressure you’ll want a chamois pad with slightly wider cushioning. If you ride in an aggressive position you’ll need more padding towards the front of the chamois. All high-quality cycling shorts feature pads with multiple foam densities to offer varying levels of support to different areas.

Leg Grippers

It’s important that your shorts don’t ride up as this can lead to a build-up of material high up the leg which can cause chaffing. Leg grippers come in a range of widths and designs. Some are narrow and made using a silicone grip while others are wide and mesh-like. Make sure when choosing a pair of shorts you choose a pair with good leg grippers.

Materials

Gone are the days of simply using any old lycra for the leg panels on cycling shorts. The best cycling shorts are produced with all sorts of different fabrics designed for specific purposes. Some are water repellent to keep you dry when it’s wet, others are fleece lined to keep you warm when it’s chilly. Premium cycling shorts are designed in such a way that they provide a small amount of compression while still being breathable enough to allow your skin to perspire.

Bib-Straps

Bib-straps prevent your shorts from slipping down during a ride. They also ensure the chamois pad is positioned correctly and doesn’t move around which causes friction. Bib-straps are designed to evenly distribute pressure over your shoulders, the best don’t cause any irritation and lay flat against your skin.

Cycling Bib-Short Suggestions

  1. Sportful Total Comfort Bib Shorts - Black
    £77.99 Buy now with Probikekit

    Sportful Total Comfort Bib Shorts - Black

    The Total Comfort bib-shorts from Sportful provide unparalled comfort in the saddle. The chamois pad is both well-cushioned and supportive, making them the perfect shorts for long rides. Having tested them extensively ourselves we can confirm that even after 6 hours in the saddle there were no signs of discomfort.

    Silicone grips on both the cuff of the shorts and the inside of the bibs keep the stretch woven fabric used throughout firmly in place during your ride.

    sportful total comfort cycling shorts

    Buy now with free delivery
  2. Northwave Force 2 Bib Shorts - Black
    £30.89 Buy now with Probikekit

    Northwave Force 2 Bib Shorts - Black

    The Force 2 bib-shorts from Northwave are our best-selling cycling shorts. A Coolmax sport pad with medium-capacity foam and mesh braces to help breathability are fantastic features for the price. The simple, all-black design allows you to wear any jersey you like without committing any crimes against fashion.

    It’s hard to see how Northwave manage to deliver such a reliable pair of bib-shorts for the price, but we’re not complaining!

    Buy now with free delivery
  3. PBK Men's Altitude Bib Shorts
    £39.19 Buy now with Probikekit

    PBK Men's Altitude Bib Shorts

    The Origin bib-shorts offer exceptional comfort at an affordable price. Form-fitting panel construction and a carbon infused chamois pad provides a comfortable fit eliminating chafing. The soft mesh bib-straps are gentle on the skin and allow maximum breathability.

    The black bib-straps are a nice feature that adds to what is already a very sleek pair of cycling shorts.

    A women’s model of the PBK Origin bib-shorts is also available with a different cut and female specific chamois pad.

    Buy now with free delivery
  4. Castelli Evoluzione 2 Bib Shorts
    £51.99 Buy now with Probikekit

    Castelli Evoluzione 2 Bib Shorts

    Who doesn’t love a bit of Castelli? The Evoluzione 2 bib shorts are a fantastic option if you’re on a budget but want Castelli-quality. This lightweight, breathable pair of shorts is built around a KISS Air chamois pad. Extra stretchy, soft, two-layer fabric helps with both moisture management and fit.

    The price may be a little lower than some of the top-end Castelli cycling shorts but the finish is still excellent.

    Buy now with free delivery
  5. PBK Santini 19 Tono Race Bib Shorts - Black
    £83.99 Buy now with Probikekit

    PBK Santini 19 Tono Race Bib Shorts - Black

    The Santini 19 Tono Race Bib-shorts are extremely sleek and feature a form-fitting cut and ‘Thunderbike Power’ fabric. This fabric provides a small amount of compression to the muscles to reduce fatigue.

    An advanced Gitevo chamois pad with twist gel core ensures you’re never uncomfortable while seated in the saddle. Dotted silicon grip on the cuffs provides a firm fit without being too tight on the legs.

    The 19 Tono Race Bib-shorts provide are stylish, comfortable and look great when paired with Santini 19 Race Jersey!

    Buy now with free delivery
  6. Sportful Fiandre NoRain Bib Shorts - Black
    £47.99 Buy now with Probikekit

    Sportful Fiandre NoRain Bib Shorts - Black

    These bib shorts from Sportful are ideal for long rides in variable weather conditions. They feature Sportful’s NoRain water-repellent finish and are arguably the best cycling shorts out there for keeping you dry in wet conditions.

    A TC-Pro seat pad, as used by pro cyclists such as Peter Sagan, is designed to offer optimal cushioning and comfort even on longer rides. As is typical with Italian cycling clothing, it is worth considering ordering a size up.

    Buy now with free delivery
  7. adidas Men's Adistar Woven Bib Shorts - Black
    £112.49 Buy now with Probikekit

    adidas Men's Adistar Woven Bib Shorts - Black

    Adidas’ new Adistar woven bib-shorts are somewhat revolutionary. They’re constructed using five high-tech materials for a seamless, second-skin fit. Graded compression zones fight muscle fatigue while four-way stretch movement ensures you don’t feel restricted in any way while you pedal.

    A four-density endurance seat pad provides exceptional comfort even if you’re riding for more than 6 hours. A small media pocket is a unique feature that isn’t found on many other cycling bib-shorts.

    Buy now with free delivery
  8. Nalini Scatto Bibshorts - Black
    £53.49 Buy now with Probikekit

    Nalini Scatto Bibshorts - Black

    The Italian clothing manufacturer Nalini are specialists when it comes to performance cycling clothing. Many of the world’s best pros ask specifically to have Nalini pads stitched into their team shorts. The Nalini Scatto bib-shorts are designed with an anatomical fit and are constructed with lightweight, breathable fabrics.

     

    Buy now with free delivery
  9. Castelli Free Aero Bib Shorts
    £83.99 Buy now with Probikekit

    Castelli Free Aero Bib Shorts

    The Castelli Free Aero Race bib-shorts are some of the best cycling shorts on the market. If you want the very best in performance and comfort, then look no further. Vortex dimpled fabric aids aerodynamics while GIRO air mesh-like leg gripper and Progetto X² Air pad have the comfort side of things covered.

    Read our review of the Free Aero Race bib-shorts for more details on this exceptional piece of clothing.

    castelli free aero race bib shorts

    Buy now with free delivery
  10. PBK Men's Crux Bib Shorts
    £46.99 Buy now with Probikekit

    PBK Men's Crux Bib Shorts

    Premium cycling shorts with an Airmesh Elastic Interface Pad. The industry-leading dual density chamois pad used in the PBK Cruc bib-shorts is designed for riding, training and racing with all-day comfort. The Crux also features anatomically shaped panels keep the pad moulded to your body shape while soft mesh bib-straps provide excellent breathability.

    A special embossed Lycra fabric is used in high friction areas to aid heat dissipation, preventing irritation through chaffing during your ride.

    Buy now with free delivery

Browse a fantastic range of cycling bib-shorts at ProBikeKit!



Tom Bracegirdle

Tom Bracegirdle

Editor

Tom has been a keen cyclist since the age of thirteen and began racing competitively on the road as a junior. Since then, he spent three seasons racing full time in Belgium and France. A member of the marketing team here at ProBikeKit, Tom enjoys writing about new products in the cycling industry and road racing.


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