Looking for a bike short? We have regular size women's cycling shorts on this page and Plus Women's Cycling ShortsWe use comfortable stretch fabric so you can have freedom of movement. If you ride more than a few miles, you might consider a padded underwear short that will cushion your ride. If you are a road rider or want extra comfort, we have several long distance pads in a variety of densities or gel within the chamois. Want to quickly see the differences? Cycling Shorts Overview for Women Women's Road Bike Shorts are Sold in a variety of styles and brands. Read more about how padded bike shorts work. Read More Below...
Women's Padded Bike Shorts
The single most important part of a women's bike short is the chamois pad.
Women's padded bike shorts are engineered for three main functions, to provide shock absorption, freedom of movement and abrasion control while riding. Women's chamois pads typically have a thicker center in the chamois while men's chamois pads have a cutout.
A good chamois pad is designed around the human pelvic region which contains the Ischium bones aka your "sitting bones". The Ischium bones support your body's weight while seated on a bicycle and depend on the density of the chamois pad for proper cushioning. We offer many choices of chamois pads to choose from, ranging from thin to thick.
There is also more information on the details of the women's chamois pad options so that you can see some of the types of chamois pads that are sewn into a pair of women's padded cycling shorts. Their utility for cycling is best understood when riding more than 10 - 15 miles at a time. During longer bicycle rides, the "sitting" bones in the pelvic area start to become uncomfortable. Other areas of discomfort come from the abrasion or rubbing from seams in underwear. Bike shorts are worn without underwear and the pad is next to the skin, the design of the chamois pad inside the short prevent this type of rubbing or abrasion commonly referred to as saddle sores.
Most Bike Shorts are made from stretchy spandex fabrics that offer compression for muscle support and freedom of movement for the cycling motion. Bike shorts are rarely made from cotton because the abrasion breaks down a cotton short quickly. High performance fabrics are used that are knitted with nylon or polyester yarns that are rugged and comfortable for the cycling motion.
The leg gripper or leg band is a feature you will see in most of our bike shorts. These grippers are important to prevent the shorts from riding up the legs. During the cycling motion, your muscles are constantly flexing and moving. There is nothing worse than tugging at your clothes to keep them in place during your ride. When a pair of bike shorts rides up on the leg, it creates an opportunity for bunching in the chamois pad. This bunching of the pad can lead to chafing, rubbing, and worst of all, saddle sores. The use of leg elastics prevents the movement of the garment, so the shorts stay stretched and the chamois stays in place.
We design our bicycle shorts to include a reflective element on the moving areas of the leg. This makes the ideal location for a reflective because it is visible for a motorist in low light conditions.
Road Bike Shorts are to be worn without underwear so the pad is held tight to the skin in the saddle area and you get the most advantage in its wicking ability. Bike shorts work best when they are worn tight so that the lycra spandex supports the working muscles. When you try on a pair of bike shorts, it should not be too tight or binding but fits snug so the chamois pad stays in place.
Panels - Bike shorts are often described as 6-panel or 8-panel shorts.
Inseam - The length of the leg's inseam is a matter of personal preference. We think the short should be a few inches above the knee. Biking shorts come in Tall (about 11 inches), Short (about 5 to 7) and Regular Inseams (about 8-9 inches).
Elastics - Waist elastic is important to keep the shorts in place. Wider elastic has less tendency to roll. Some bike shorts have a drawstring, especially shorts for multiple uses like triathlon and fitness. A drawstring is not essential for bike shorts, but may come in handy.
Bike shorts should fit snug with the pad close to the skin or potential benefits of wearing them will be negated. A correctly sized pair of bike shorts is essential to make sure that you get the most out of them. We suggest looking at the manufacturer's size chart before purchasing. If you want the garment to fit you loosely, you can go up a size.
Care of Shorts
Women's Padded Bike Shorts need to be laundered each use. The best way care for road shorts is to machine wash and air dry. We recommend machine washing to remove all of the bacteria from the chamois pad. The goal of clean shorts is to prevent the buildup of bacteria on the chamois pad, which can lead to saddle sores. Saddle sores are a cyclists worst enemy. Air drying the spandex shorts helps the rubber spandex fibers to last longer without drying out.
Women's Padded Bike Shorts are worn "without underwear".
We highly recommend the use and frequent application of an anti-chafe cream for long distance rides. Put the cream on your skin, between your legs and all over the chamois pad. Squeeze a generous portion of the cream on the pad and rub it all over the pad. The lubricant on the pad and your skin will prevent hot spots from abrasion. On long bicycle tours or long daily distances, this cream application may be essential to enhance riding comfort.