We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about cycling shorts.
When you take your bike out for a morning ride, you want to feel the wind in your face, your heart beating and your legs warming up… but not your shorts chafing. Biker shorts may have become a trend when it comes to street style, but when you strip back this fad, it boils down to the chafe-resistant, compressing attire that bikers wear to get the most out of their ride – cycling shorts.
If you’re unfamiliar with cycling gear lingo, a chamois is a standard aspect of most cycling shorts (the professional kind, not the biker shorts you wear to the store). It provides additional padding for hours spent on the bike seat to keep the motion from becoming painful. Bullock specifically calls out the seat pads that are built into the shorts as a standout feature, along with the easy pull on and take off functions of the bib shorts. “There is the poron foam layer under the sit bones for comfort on long rides. Plus, these have added comfort features like a simple pull down bib when nature calls.”
This material allows you to have the right degree of compression and elasticity to have a product that is comfortable, adherent and breathable at the same time,” he says. Not to be forgotten is the TC Pro seat, a seat pad constructed into the bib shorts to provide extra cushion and comfort for regular cyclists who are looking to up the ante during a race.
Seat pads are a huge help when it comes to rigorous training and long hours in the saddle, so the stretchy yet soft and thin material that makes up these shorts’ chamois are a godsend. The Lycra-blend fabric promotes the utmost breathability with its sweat-wicking fabric and is perfected with a comfortable leg band, which holds the hem in place without squeezing the thighs. “I personally look for comfort on skin with fabric, seat comfort for longer rides, performance, and accessibility for pit stops,” Bullock states, finding all of these qualities within this pair from Castelli. If you’re someone who prefers the traditional biker short style without the bib straps, then this is the ultra-comfortable pair for you.
We’d be remiss to not touch on the breathable fabric and seat pad, each of which are specifically designed to take on these rougher roads. The fit of these shorts are designed to sculpt and fit the legs and midsection, compressing the body in the right areas while still offering breathability and a full range of motion. This particular seat pad is unique to off-roading, as it is engineered with a DMS gravel-specific seat pad that is meant to protect and pad the sit bones while you bike on rocky terrain. So whether you want to hit the trails during the day or bike the backroads at night, you have a pair that does it all with the Bib Short.