We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back. Why trust us?

Our Testers Found the 15 Best Bike Shorts for Women to Wear

Both practical and stylish, these trendy shorts are not just for cycling.

Best Bike Shorts for Women of 2020
amazon, athleta, spanx

Athleisure has become more and more stylish in recent years — and just like all those pairs of black leggings before them, bike shorts have now gone from the bike trails to the runway. And when it comes to warm-weather activewear, it's easy to see why cycling shorts reign supreme: You can wear them to a studio fitness class, hiking, biking or dinner with friends.

The experts at Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab have tested everything from leggings to sports bras, so we know what makes a great pair of bike shorts. Whether you’re planning on wearing them as workout clothes or loungewear, the picks ahead are all from brands with rave reviews, online best-sellers, editor favorites or ones our in-house product analysts have road-tested at home. Read on for our reviews of the best bike shorts for women in 2022.

Our top picks:

    Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
    Best Overall Bike Shorts for Women
    Ultimate Stash Pocket 9" Short in SuperSonic
    Athleta
    Athleta

    • Top-tested leggings brand
    • Wicks sweat
    • Side pocket

    • Limited color selection

    Ranking supreme in our most recent leggings test, Athleta makes activewear designed for all types of workouts. These bike shorts are made from recycled nylon and Lycra for a fabric that wicks sweat away to keep you dry. With a side and back pocket, there’s room to store your phone and valuables while on the go. This pair is 9” long, but there are also shorter versions available.

    • Material: Recycled nylon/Lycra
    • Size range: XXS-3X
    • Number of color options: 4
    Best Value Bike Shorts for Women
    Mid Thigh Cotton High Waist Active Short
    TheMorgan
    TheMogan

    • 60+ colors available
    • Wide size range
    • Flattering on a variety of body types

    • Not meant for exercise

    These top-rated shorts by TheMogan are available in a whopping 60 colors including bright oranges, cool blues and neutral shades. But take note if you're looking for a performance short: These are made out of mostly cotton, so they're meant for fashion, not exercise. The brand recommends sizing up if you are in between sizes. Of the 5,900 Amazon reviews, many love the wide size range from small to XXXL, being flattering on a variety of body types.

    • Material: Cotton/Spandex
    • Size range: S-3X
    • Number of color options: 60
    Best Padded Cycling Shorts for Women
    Bike Shorts with 3D Gel Padding
    Beroy
    Beroy

    • Silicone beads prevent them from shifting
    • Waistband stays in place without a bib
    • Thick chamois

    • May need to size up

    With over 17,000 rave reviews, this pair of padded bike shorts from Beroy is a #1 Amazon Best Seller. Available in over 50 shades, these shorts are made from polyester, Spandex and nylon. The hem also features silicone beads to prevent them from riding up or shifting. Reviewers especially love that the waistband stays in place without a bib and how thick the chamois is for comfy support.

    • Material: Polyester/Spandex/nylon
    • Size range: XS-4X/5X
    • Number of color options: 20
    Best Yoga Bike Shorts for Women
    Align Super High Rise Short 10"
    Lululemon
    Lululemon

    • Soft feel
    • Available in multiple lengths
    • High-rise waist with compression

    • May need to size up

    Lululemon, one of our top-tested leggings brands in the Textiles Lab, designed the Align Super High Rise Short specifically for yoga. Made with nylon and Lycra fabric, these shorts are popular for their ultra-soft feel that keeps its shape while wicking away moisture. The 10" high rise is designed to stay in place during any yoga pose with additional compression, while there are also 4", 6" and 8" inseam options. Plus, there’s a hidden side pocket for keys or a credit card.

    • Material: Nylon/Lycra
    • Size range: 0-20
    • Number of color options: 6
    Most Popular Bike Shorts for Women
    High Waist Biker Shorts
    baleaf
    Baleaf
    Now 26% off

    • Large side pockets
    • High-rise
    • Chafe-free

    • May not have enough compression for some

    BALEAF bike shorts are a #1 Amazon best seller with over 74,000 rave reviews, which is not surprising because our analysts and editors who road-tested them found that the shorts lived up to their claims and are moisture-wicking, breathable and chafe-free.

    All of the solid color bike shorts are made from polyester with a bit of added Spandex fabric except the charcoal color shorts, which are a cotton, polyester and Spandex blend. They are a high-rise style with a gusseted crotch to prevent any bulging and to keep everything in place while moving. There are big side pockets perfect for a phone or keys.

    • Material: Polyester/Spandex
    • Size range: XS-3X
    • Number of color options: 40

    RELATED: These Bike Shorts Have a Cult Following on Amazon — But Are They Worth It?

    Most Stylish Bike Shorts for Women
    Faux Leather Bike Short
    Spanx
    Spanx

    • Tummy control
    • Slimming effect
    • Stylish textured finish

    • Not meant for working out

    The ultra popular Spanx faux leather leggings are now available in a shorts version. Made from nylon and elastane, these shorts are popular for Spanx's signature slimming effects – high coverage for tummy control without the muffin top. Reviewers loved the fabric on the full length legging version, saying it made their legs look long and lean.

    • Material: Nylon/elastane with polyurethane coating
    • Size range: XS-3X
    • Number of color options: 3
    Best Long Distance Cycling Shorts for Women
    Womens Padded Bib Shorts
    Sundried
    Sundried

    • Silicone grips
    • Breathable mesh suspenders
    • Padded gel chamois designed specifically for women

    • Does not come in size small

    For long distance cycling, average bike shorts won’t cut it. These bib style bike shorts are made of stretchy moisture wicking fabric with breathable mesh suspenders. There are silicone grips on the legs to prevent any bunching and keep them in place while you move. For added support, there is a padded gel chamois, designed specifically for women. Reviewers recommend following the size chart closely to find your best fit.

    • Material: Polyester/Spandex/Nylon/Lycra
    • Size range: M-XXL
    • Number of color options: 1
    Most Comfortable Bike Shorts for Women
    Good Karma Running Short
    Free People
    FP Movement

    • Soft fabric
    • Doesn’t ride up
    • Wide range of color options

    • Only available in 3 sizes

    Free People's Good Karma bike shorts are best sellers because of the super soft, ribbed nylon/spandex fabric that doesn't ride up, according to reviewers. One reviewer even said these shorts are the "most comfortable piece of clothing I own." They're available in an impressive 21 shades, including neons, pastels and neutrals. Note that they're only available in three sizes: XS/S, M/L and L/XL.

    • Material: Nylon/Spandex
    • Size range: XS/S-L/XL
    • Number of color options: 22
    Most Size-Inclusive Bike Shorts for Women
    Next–to–Naked Bike Shorts
    Universal Standard
    Universal Standard

    • Available in a wide size range
    • Great coverage
    • Feels soft

    • Only comes in 3 colors

    With sizes from 00-40, these Universal Standard bike shorts are the most size-inclusive pair in our round-up. The longer length inseam provides excellent coverage for a variety of activities. Reviewers rave that the nylon/Lycra fabric feels soft and smooth while the pockets are impressively roomy, fitting a phone, keys or wallet. If you love these bike shorts, also check out the brand's best selling bike short bodysuit too.

    • Material: Nylon/Lycra
    • Size range: 00-40
    • Number of color options: 3
    Best Short Bike Shorts for Women
    Move Free 3.5" Short
    Outdoor Voices
    Outdoor Voices

    • Versatile
    • Buttery soft fabric
    • Can make a matching set

    • Some reviewers say they ride up slightly

    A shorter 3.5" inseam makes these bike shorts from Outdoor Voices more versatile: wear them to the gym, lounging or under dresses and skirts. Reviewers rave that the TechSweat fabric feels buttery soft while mostly staying in place during a workout. Create a matching set by pairing these shorts with a corresponding sports bra.

    • Material: Nylon/Lycra/polyester
    • Size range: XS-XL
    • Number of color options: 4
    Best Bike Short Unitard for Women
    Black Bike Unitard
    Girlfriend Collective
    Girlfriend Collective

    • Hidden built-in bra
    • Flattering design
    • Compressive fabric

    • May want to size up

    For the ultimate easy styling piece, this best selling bike short unitard from Girlfriend Collective keeps you supported whether heading to the gym or out with friends. Made with compressive recycled PET fabric, it features a scoop neck and lower back with a hidden built-in bra for additional lift. With over 1,300 rave 0nline reviews, many reviewers rave that it "has just the right amount of stretch" and are impressed with its flattering design.

    • Material: Recycled Nylon/Lycra
    • Size range: XXS-6XL
    • Number of color options: 5
    Best Knit Bike Shorts for Women
    Cozy Cotton Silk Bike Short
    Lunya
    Lunya

    • Flattering
    • Cozy fabric
    • Can make a matching set

    • Pricey
    • Not meant for exercise

    Cozy up in the colder months with a pair of warm knit bike shorts. This pair from Lunya is made from a luxuriously soft fabric blend of organic cotton, nylon and silk. The ribbed material and contrast stitching make these shorts extra flattering. Reviewers love to pair these bottoms with the brand's matching top.

    • Material: Cotton/nylon/silk
    • Size range: XS-XL
    • Number of color options: 2
    Most Flattering Bike Shorts for Women
    OFFLINE Real Me Crossover 7" Bike Short
    Aerie
    Aerie

    • Flattering on many body types
    • Smooth fabric
    • Barely-there feeling

    • Material may be too thin for some

    Constantly selling out, Aerie has gone viral for their crossover leggings and bike shorts that cinch your waist with the brand's signature crossover waistband and are flattering on all body types. Contributor and product expert, Jamie Kim, owns these and says, “The crossover gives my waist more shape and I love the slick and stretchy fabric that doesn’t dig in!”

    The buttery smooth nylon/elastane fabric is designed for yoga, lounging or light sweat activities as they offer minimal compression. Reviewers rave that if you haven't found a pair of bike shorts that you love yet, you must try these breathable, barely-there-feeling bike shorts! They also come in a 3’’ length as well as a version with a tennis skirt over the shorts.

    • Material: Nylon/elastane
    • Size range: XXS-XXL
    • Number of color options: 4
    Best Color and Pattern Bike Shorts for Women
    Black Rainbow Star Foil UpLift Bike Shorts
    Terez
    Terez

    • Top-tested fabric
    • Available in fun patterns and colors
    • Wide waistband

    • Some colors and prints are pricey

    Terez is popular for fun colors and patterns that are sure to brighten up your day. These rainbow tie-dye bike shorts are made with the brand's top-tested moisture-wicking and compressive fabric. Reviewers love the wide 3" waistband that offers excellent compression to prevent any visible lumps or twisting. With tons of options, check out the brand's other bike short styles.

    • Material: Nylon/Spandex
    • Size range: XS-XL
    • Number of color options: 2
    Best Sustainable Bike Shorts for Women
    The Perform Bike Short
    Everlane
    Everlane

    • Use sustainable fabric
    • Interior pocket
    • Comfortable

    • Not meant for high intensity exercise

    Made with 80% recycled materials, these bike shorts from Everlane use sustainable textiles to reduce their environmental impact. Ideal for low to moderate activity, the smooth fabric features an interior front pocket to hold cards or keys. The 8" inseam provides excellent coverage without being too long. Reviewers rave that they never want to take them off with one saying they're "insanely comfortable and hold up really well" to continued wear.

    • Material: Recycled Nylon/Recycled Polyester/elastane
    • Size range: XXS-XXl
    • Number of color options: 2
    What to look for when shopping for bike shorts
    linebreak

    To find the best women's cycling shorts that will feel comfortable and look good when exercising and not, we recommend the following factors:

    ✔️ Look for synthetic, moisture-wicking fabric: Fabrics like nylon and polyester, which are moisture-wicking, opaque and have superior stretch compared to cotton. To avoid brands with false moisture wicking claims, place a small drop of water on the inside of the fabric. If it’s a moisture wicking material, the water will quickly absorb and spread out. Avoid any fabric where the water beads, as the shorts will feel sweaty when you’re exercising.

    ✔️ Consider a chamois: This padded crotch section is common on cycling shorts. Typically, the padding is made from foam designed to alleviate pressure when on a bike. If you are an avid cyclist, look for bike shorts that have a chamois for extra support.

    ✔️ Opt for a bib for serious biking: Some bike shorts, instead of ending at your waist, feature a bib that goes over your shoulders. The main reason to choose a bib style is for the added comfort at your waist, as there is no elastic band to dig in or shift around. Many experts recommend bib styles for long-distance cyclers, but if you’re a newbie or wear bike shorts for fashion, opt for a waist style.

    shanon bike shorts
    shanon maglente

    Testing the Baleaf High-Waist Bike Shorts.

    Why trust Good Housekeeping?
    linebreak

    Emma Seymour is a senior textiles product analyst at the Good Housekeeping Institute, where she has worked for over three years, overseeing in-Lab and consumer tests for luggage, tampons, pillows, sheets, period underwear and more. With a degree in Fiber Science and Apparel Design from Cornell University, she has extensive research experience, particularly focused on athletic wear. As a lifetime sewer with previous product development experience, she has a strong fashion background with expertise on proper fit and construction. She continues to expand her knowledge with additional coursework on sustainable manufacturing and new textile testing methodologies.

    Jamie Kim is a freelance writer and consumer product expert who specializes in product testing and reviews, lending her product knowledge across multiple categories such as apparel, textiles, home, kitchen, beauty and tech. She has over 17 years of experience, and was previously a full-time staffer in the Good Housekeeping Textiles Lab; she has also held leading roles in product development at Nike and other textile companies. She regularly contributes her product expertise to Good Housekeeping as well as other major publications. She is sought after for her product testing expertise and in-depth knowledge of apparel/textiles as well as her ability to translate technical information into consumer-friendly language. She holds a degree in both apparel and textile design as well as mechanical engineering.

    This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
    Advertisement - Continue Reading Below