Last updated: August 11, 2021

Women's cycling shorts are no longer just for professional cyclists. Every recreational cyclist appreciates a good pair of cycling shorts, as they not only protect against friction and pressure points and regulate body temperatures in a breathable way. Above all, they make cycling comfortable.

Whether long, short, tight, wide, with or without straps, it's hard to imagine a sportswear shop without cycling shorts. Now the only questions are: What should I look for before buying? Which women's cycling shorts suit my needs? And what is the best thing to wear underneath the cycling shorts? We answer all these questions for you here.




The Best Womens Cycling Shorts: Our Picks

Buying criteria: What you should look for when buying women's cycling shorts

In order to inform you in the best possible way about women's cycling shorts and to show you what matters when it comes to quality, we have listed the most important evaluation criteria for you here.

You can use the following buying criteria as a guide:

  • Seat pad
  • Breathability
  • Elasticity
  • Wind and water resistance
  • Length

You can find out exactly what these criteria are and what you should look out for in the following section.

Seat padding

Compared to ordinary sports shorts, cycling shorts are characterised by their sewn-in foam padding. This padding is inserted in the crotch so that no friction or pressure points can occur while cycling. This pays off especially on longer cycling tours.

In addition, high-quality women's cycling shorts have antibacterial and antimicrobial padding in particularly sweat-intensive areas of the body. In addition to their cushioning function, these protect against skin irritations and hygiene-related infections.

Seat pads therefore have several advantages that hobby cyclists and cyclists appreciate. The type of seat pad you choose depends on the type of bicycle and the shape of the saddle. Therefore, we recommend that you know these characteristics before buying.

Breathability

As with other sportswear, a breathable material is essential for women's cycling shorts. To ensure that you can ride longer distances without sweat or heat build-up, we recommend that you pay attention to the fabric quality when buying.

In addition to breathability, effective sweat transport is also important for a pleasant tour. There are various women's cycling shorts on the market that offer this function.

Before buying, take some time to check the quality of the material with regard to these two criteria. You will appreciate the right choice of cycling shorts later on your bike.

Elasticity

In addition to breathability, the fabric elasticity of the women's cycling shorts is also crucial for comfort and freedom of movement when cycling.

Lycra cycling shorts in particular are especially elastic and hug the body closely. As a result, they sit comfortably and aerodynamically so that they optimally support movement.

Whether you are a newcomer or a seasoned cyclist, elastic women's cycling shorts are essential. Therefore, we recommend that you look for an elastic material before buying.

Wind and water resistance

Women's cycling shorts that are wind and water resistant can be especially useful in colder seasons. The cycling shorts protect you from wetness, dirt and low temperatures caused by the draught wind.

So if you like to go cycling even in autumn or winter, we recommend that you consider water-resistant women's cycling shorts. These will always keep you safe and dry when you get home.

Length

The length of the women's cycling shorts is also a crucial factor before you buy. It depends on your personal taste and the outside temperatures.

Short women's cycling shorts are ideal for summer. They are available in the form of shorts, tights or dungarees and usually end above the knee. The shortness allows you a high degree of freedom of movement.

If you prefer a longer pair of cycling shorts or if it is not so warm, the ¾ length cycling shorts are a good choice. This capri cut is warmer than the short version, but keeps the calves free.

Long cycling shorts for women keep you warm and are available as dungarees, tight-fitting and wide-fitting shorts. In addition, long cycling shorts can also have knee protection pads, which are particularly interesting for freeriders. Therefore, it always depends on your use and needs which length of trousers is most appealing to you.

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Cycling shorts for women: The most important questions answered

There is a large selection of women's cycling shorts on offer. In order to provide you with the best possible information on the subject of cycling shorts, we have answered the most important questions in detail for you here.

What types of women's cycling shorts are there?

You can roughly divide the different types of cycling shorts on offer for women into the following categories.

  • Classic short women's cycling shorts: These cycling shorts end above the knee and offer absolute freedom of movement. They are also aerodynamic and come with moisture wicking or compression features. The fabric is light, dries quickly and is therefore ideal for the warm season.
  • Women's shorts: Shorts have a similar length to cycling shorts, but they have a looser fit. The benefits of cycling shorts include trouser pockets, a casual look and flexible removable inner shorts with seat pad.
  • Inner or pants for women: If you want it even more flexible, then these cycling pants are for you. Instead of being sewn into the shorts themselves, the seat pads are sewn into the inner shorts or pants, so that you can put them on under any sports shorts.
  • Long women's cycling shorts: Long cycling shorts for women are offered in a tight and loose fit. They are warm and particularly suitable for wet, cool tours. They often have removable inner trousers and a durable material.
  • Women's thermal cycling shorts: These are also long women's cycling shorts, but made of a thicker, warmer fabric. If you like to ride in winter, these cycling shorts will keep you especially warm.
  • Women's over alls/ bib tights: Cycling bib tights, overalls or simply called bibs are becoming increasingly popular. The straps allow them to fit perfectly, do not cut uncomfortably into the abdomen and protect the kidney and pelvic region from the cold.

Depending on which functions are important to you, what kind of bike you ride and in what temperatures, one or the other pair of cycling shorts will better suit your needs. In any case, there is one for you that is perfectly suited to your use.

How do I clean and care for my women's cycling shorts?

Sweat and sun cream can stress the elasticity of the cycling shorts fabric. Therefore, we recommend rinsing the shorts with lukewarm water after every use.

If you wash the cycling shorts in the washing machine, make sure to turn them inside out with the seat pad facing out. A gentle wash cycle at 30 - 40 °C and mild or special outdoor clothing detergent is sufficient to get the trousers clean.

For coated cycling trousers such as shorts or longer models, we recommend re-impregnating them after 30 washes. This will also extend the durability of the shorts.

How tight should my women's cycling shorts fit?

Since the classic women's cycling shorts usually fit close to the body, it can be difficult for some to determine the right size.

The cycling shorts should always fit close to the body so that they do not slip when you move. However, the waistband or the straps in the case of a bib should not be so tight that they pinch uncomfortably. Therefore, trying them on and moving around in the cycling shorts is enormously important.

Which women's cycling shorts can I wear in summer/winter?

If you are a passionate cyclist, you need different cycling shorts for different temperatures. Classic women's cycling shorts are ideal for summer because they are thin and light.

For very high temperatures, extra short cycling shorts are also available. With these, you should be able to cycle even in the summer heat. In winter, thermal cycling shorts are the best choice. Thanks to the multi-layered material and the long cut, the shorts remain breathable but keep you warm at the same time.

What is best to wear under my women's cycling shorts?

If you wear cycling shorts with an integrated seat pad, you do not need cycling pants with a seat pad.

Since cycling clothing such as cycling shorts do without as many seams as possible in order to minimise friction against the skin, we recommend not wearing underwear under your cycling shorts. Thanks to the antibacterial seat pad, the hygiene aspect is not a problem.

Conclusion

Women's cycling shorts are a must-have for every hobby cyclist or cyclist. Thanks to their appropriately tailored seat pad in the crotch, they minimise the friction and pressure points that can quickly occur when cycling. It also makes cycling much more comfortable and convenient.

Cycling shorts for women are available in different models. These depend on your own riding style, comfort and outside temperatures. Before buying, it is important to weigh up the use and choose the trousers according to your own needs. This way, nothing will stand in the way of your tour.

Article image: unsplash.com / Munbaik Cycling Clothing

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