Our tech team tests a lot of pairs of shorts, here's a look at some of the pairs that have impressed us the most plus links to our guides to the best cheap shorts and best women's shorts
A comfortable pair of shorts is an essential item for any cyclist. Indeed, a good day out on the bike can be absolutely ruined by the wrong pair of shorts, so it’s a good idea to invest time and money in this crucial area.
More cycling shorts advice:
- Best women’s bib shorts buying guide
- Best cheap bib shorts buying guide
- Cycling shorts and bib shorts buying guide
Cycling shorts are fitted with a chamois, sometimes called a pad, which provides a layer of comfort between the saddle and your derrière.
There are two key short options: waist shorts, and bib shorts. At Cycling Weekly we lean towards advising readers in the direction of bib shorts. These have straps that fit over the shoulders, preventing any chance of the shorts riding down at the back and also keeping the pad in the correct position.
The most important element of the cycling short is the chamois – densities and shapes vary so it’s important to shop around to find one that suits you. Many have features woven in which provide breathability, sweat wicking and anti bacterial properties to keep you comfortable.
Other important features include the fabrics used on the body of the bibs – more expensive shorts will support your muscles through compressive materials which aid blood flow.
The upper body fabrics need to be breathable, as sweat can accumulate here and the leg grippers need to keep the shorts in place without causing them to ride up.
There’s more information to help you choose the best bib shorts for you in our cycling shorts buying guide, here.
Our tech team is lucky enough to be able to regularly put newly release pairs of bib shorts through their paces. Here’s a look at some of the shorts that have impressed us the most…
Our pick of the best men’s cycling bib shorts
Lusso Active Aero men’s bib shorts – 10/10
Read more: Lusso Active Aero Bib Short review
Coming in at £99, just under the magic round number, these bib shorts proved to be comfortable across all forms of riding and came with some additional aero advantages, such as striped fabric designed to funnel air flow.
Endura Pro SL II men’s bib shorts – 10/10
Read more: Endura Pro SL II bibshort review
Endura offers these shorts with a choice of three different pad widths, meaning you can tailor them to your riding style and anatomy. The leg grippers have been improved, and Coldback treatment plus SPF50 treatment have you sorted in hot weather.
Rapha Classic men’s bib short II – 9/10
Read more: Rapha Classic bib short II review
The Rapha Classic bib short II shorts are the text book example of how a chamois should be made. It’s slim but for this reason unobtrusive and wicks really well.
The lycra is soft and supportive, while the detailing and looks are really on point.
Fizik Link R1 Snake men’s bib shorts – 9/10
Read more: Fizik Link R1 Snake shorts review
For a first attempt, Fizik has really hit the nail on the head with the Link R1 shorts.
These are seriously technical shorts, and they come in three options depending on how flexible you are.
Castelli Endurance X2 men’s bib shorts – 9/10
Read more: Castelli Endurance X2 bib short review
Specialized SL Pro men’s bib shorts – 9/10
Read more: Specialized SL Pro bib shorts review
The comfort and support of the SL Pro bib short material is excellent, as is the pad.
It managed to keep things comfortable despite riding a hard, racing saddle for long hours at a time.
Sportful Super Total Comfort men’s bib shorts – 9/10
With a name like that you’d be right to expect a lot from these bib shorts.
Thankfully, they come through and are super comfortable. There’s no chafing or rubbing and they’re supportive enough for multiple days in the saddle.
Le Col Cycling Aqua Zero Thermal men’s bib shorts – 9/10
Thermal bib shorts provide a little extra warmth in spring and autumn, and can be paired with leg warmers to make a perfectly good alternative to full on cycling tights. We wore them up to 15°C in comfort, and found them to be a great insulating layer at lower temperatures.