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The Best Mountain Bike Shorts of 2020

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If you are an avid biker, then you most likely have all your mountain bike gear ready, but before you go out into the great outdoors, make sure you’re not forgetting anything, such as, perhaps, wearing the right clothing. Check out these best mountain bike shorts we’ve found just for you:

Top 10 Mountain Bike Shorts

We’ve done hours of research to come up with a great range of mountain bike shorts at various price points. There are lots of amazing baggy shorts and fitted cycling shorts on this list, so you can make the best pick on which shorts would look and feel best on the road.

Cycorld Mens Mountain Bike Biking Shorts

Mountain Bike Shorts Top 1

Our first pick for the best mtb shorts are the Cyclord men’s mountain bike biking shorts, which are excellent baggy bike shorts that are breathable, functional, and ultra-comfortable to wear thanks to an assortment of must-have features.

For one thing, these shorts are made with lightweight, quick-dry, and breathable four-way stretch fabrics, so you can enjoy a comfortable range of motion as you pedal. The shorts also come with plenty of pockets and zippers so you can easily carry your valuables during your ride.

Plus, these mountain bike pants feature an elastic velcro waistband that guarantees a better fit, as well as belt loops to better allow you to adjust and secure the shorts on your waist. The crotch seams are also reinforced to make the shorts more durable, and there are plenty of reflective designs to keep you safe on the road at night.

  • Loose fit baggy mtb pants
  • Available in 3 colors and 6 sizes
  • Easily accessible zip pockets
  • Made with elastic lycra
  • Classic, timeless design

Sponeed Men’s Cycling Shorts

Mountain Bike Shorts Top 2

We also really like the Sponeed men’s mtb shorts, which are great cycling shorts that come with plenty of padding. These shorts come in a half short- half pant design made with four-way performance stretch fabric and a six-panel anatomic design, so you can enjoy superior comfort free of chafing.

Made with high-quality materials that are skin-friendly, these premium shorts offer great moisture-wicking properties so you can stay cool and dry on the road. They are perfectly suitable for bicycle riders of all levels, including, of course, road and mountain riders.

Moreover, you also get to enjoy elastic closure that means the shorts will always fit you just right no matter what. They are also machine washable and highly durable, so a good pair should last you for a long time. You can even buy another pair as a gift!

  • Available in 6 colors and 6 sizes
  • Made with polyester and spandex
  • Form-fitting design
  • Comfortable and breathable

Santic Cycling Shorts

Mountain Bike Shorts Top 3

Third best on our list is the Santic cycling shorts, a superior pair of men’s padded bike shorts- slash- pants that come with 4D Coolmax padding, so you always stay cool, dry, and comfortable even as you ride under the blazing sun.

These shorts are made with top quality materials such as spandex, nylon, and lycra, and feature an anatomic twelve-panel design that ensures superior comfort and durability. There are even silicone materials on the leg to act as grippers and keep the shorts in place.

Plus, these shorts also feature a breathable mesh design located on both sides of the waistband. This means that the shorts can effectively reduce sweating and chafing while you ride. All in all, a definite must-have.

  • Available in 10 colors and 7 sizes
  • Form-fitting design
  • Built-in padding
  • Great value for money

Beroy Womens Bike Shorts

Mountain Bike Shorts Top 4

If you are looking for the best women’s cycling shorts, you might want to check out the Beroy women’s bike shorts, which are smartly designed with an in-care layer and lots of other superior quality materials to make the shorts as comfortable to wear as possible.

The top of the shorts is seamlessly engineered with an ultra-soft and brushed microfiber material to maximize your comfort, ensure a better fit, and eliminate abrasion and chafing. The shorts are also treated with bacteriostatic treatment so you can be free of saddle sores.

Furthermore, these shorts also make use of padding in the form of a multi-density foam in an infinitely variable thickness, so that the padding is always located at just the right spot where you need it. And, with the shorts’ anatomical shape that conforms to your body, you can enjoy uninhibited pedal movement at all times. 

  • Available in 12+ colors and 7 sizes
  • Made with polyester and spandex
  • Silicone hem and gel padding
  • Suitable for long rides

FOX Ranger Cargo Shorts

Mountain Bike Shorts Top 5

Taking the fifth spot are the Fox Ranger cargo shorts, which are sure to meet and exceed all of your demands in off-road riding, whether it be a casual trail ride or an aggressive single track ride. Trust us- these shorts can take a beating.

That’s because the Fox mtb shorts are constructed with a highly resilient shell made with a two-way stretch fabric that seamlessly moves with you, so you get to enjoy a better-pedaling efficiency while remaining comfortable.

The shorts also come with a high-density EVO chamois that offers superior comfort over rough terrains, a detachable liner for added protection, an adjustable hem that makes for a more custom fit, and ample pockets so you can always have your essentials with you.

  • Loose fit with removable liner
  • Available in 4 colors and 6 sizes
  • Made with synthetic material and EVO chamois
  • Durable construction

PEARL IZUMI Select Liner Shorts

Mountain Bike Shorts Top 6

Ranking sixth are the Pearl Izumi select liner shorts, which are yet another excellent mtb shorts that are outfitted with a nice lining and a high-quality chamois, so you never have to choose between comfort and breathability.

In fact, this liner and Escape chamois will surely keep you cool and dry throughout your ride due to their excellent odor resistance and moisture transfer. The shorts even feature smooth faced mesh fabrics to allow for unrestricted pedaling.

So, even when you’re wearing shell shorts, you get to enjoy the best of everything. Gone are those days where your legs and thighs feel constricted and start to overheat. You will also never experience friction, even with a comfortable and secure fit, so you can say goodbye to chafing. Plus, the shorts are machine washable.

  • Available in 5 sizes
  • Made with polyester and lycra
  • Simple, minimalist design
  • High-quality inner lining

ZOIC Men’s Ether Cycling Short + Essential Liner

Mountain Bike Shorts Top 7

Looking for mtb shorts with a liner? We highly recommend the ZOIC men’s ether cycling short plus essential liner, which are made of superior quality materials and are designed for maximum performance. These shorts are perfect for riders of all types, so whether you do mountain or downhill biking, cross country riding, or even urban commuting, these shorts are perfect for you.

The shorts feature a baggy fit without compromising on performance. They are relaxed, comfortable, and rugged, with a removable stretch mesh liner made of polyester and spandex to wick away moisture and keep you dry.

There’s also a built-in chamois pad that prevents you from experiencing any chafing or abrasion, a fusion inseam gusset that guarantees a full range of motion and gets rid of seat hang-ups, a knit mesh panel that facilitates excellent airflow, and an elastic back waistband coupled with hook and loop closures to deliver a superior fit.

  • Available in 6 colors and 6 sizes
  • With detachable lining
  • Relaxed, loose fit design
  • Made with polyester and spandex

NOOYME Womens Bike Shorts

Mountain Bike Shorts Top 8
8

Another promising option when it comes to women’s mountain bike shorts is the NOOYME women’s bike shorts, which let you ride the big miles while staying comfy and cool all throughout the day.

These padded mountain bike shorts are made with spandex and polyamide to enhance comfort and heat regulation. They are also effectively designed in such a way that reduces chafing wind and prevents muscle strain. And, the flatlock seams help prevent friction, which can lead to skin irritation and other issues.

You’ll also get to enjoy multi-layer chamois padding in a 3D structure- it’s light, breathable, and super comfy. And, who can say no to non-slip silicone grippers on the short legs that guarantee to keep your shorts in place? There are even reflective strips on the back leg for your safety!

  • Available in 12+ colors and 7 sizes
  • Made with polyamide and spandex
  • Built-in padding and reflective strip
  • Comfortable and breathable

Troy Lee Designs Ruckus Men’s BMX Shorts

Mountain Bike Shorts Top 9

One of the most popular and bestselling all-mountain shorts we’ve found are the Ruckus men’s BMX shorts by Troy Lee Designs. These shorts are dramatically developed from top to bottom to let you enjoy all the best features in a pair of shorts that are made for enduro sports.

For one thing, the shorts come in a low profile enclosure with a double button and are engineered in such an angle that completely eliminates any overlap once you’re in a cycling position. There are also smooth guide zippers that make for easy fastening.

And, the shorts are sure to offer an improved fit thanks to the iconic two-way stretch panel on the rear, which is what also gives the shorts a new shape that allows for an improved rear side articulation without sacrificing aesthetics.

  • Available in 10+ colors and 9 sizes
  • Wrap and weft fabric construction
  • With moisture wicking properties
  • Classic loose fit short design

Eco-daily Cycling Shorts Women’s

Mountain Bike Shorts Top 10

Last but not the least, another padded mtb shorts for ladies are the Eco-daily women’s cycling shorts which are made with a mix of spandex and polyester, thereby giving you a pair of shorts that are ultra-lightweight and highly breathable.

These shorts are great in keeping you cool and dry by absorbing moisture and releasing sweat. They also stretch, fit, and move with your legs like a second skin to give you the best cycling motion. And with a cloud-like comfort offered by the gripper free legs, you can say goodbye to any discomfort or chafing no matter how you ride.

The best thing, however, is that the shorts come with a premium stitched 3D thickened foam protection padding that is highly durable and fits perfectly around your hips so you can stay safe and comfortable.

  • Available in 4 colors and 5 sizes
  • Made with polyester and spandex
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee

What Are Bike Shorts?

mountain biking in domenican republic

First of all, what are bike shorts, and how do they differ from normal shorts? Why should you invest in these shorts when you already have plenty in your drawer?

The thing with bike shorts is that they are designed specifically to accommodate the demands of cycling, including your riding position, pedaling motion, comfort, and protection. This means having seamless designs, zero flapping fabrics, high elastic waistbands, and added vents for airflow. And, generally, bike shorts come with a pad or chamois around the seating area.

There are even different types of bike shorts for every riding style. For example, baggy yet lightweight shorts are best for taking the punishment of trail riding, while figure-hugging lycra shorts are ideal for riding over several hours.

Baggy Shorts

Baggy shorts are more common for MTB and trail riders since they are stylish, practical, and comfortable. These shorts are lightweight yet tough, so you get to enjoy better protection against the elements. They even come with cooling air vents and an assortment of pockets.

Moreover, baggy shorts typically come with a chamois so you don’t have to worry about saddle discomfort. Many baggy shorts even come with a removable liner that you can wear solo. These liners have leg grips to keep the shorts in place.

When looking for baggy bike shorts, you need to make sure that it makes use of an elastic and adjustable waistband and comes with a secure closure mechanism. You might even luck out and find baggy shorts with adjustable straps and reflective panels.

There are also women’s baggy shorts, which are typically shorter, but with much of the same features. That said, longer 3’4 length shorts do offer more knee protection.

Lycra Shorts

A total opposite of the baggy bike shorts is tight-fitting lycra shorts, which are a more classic option for cycling. Like baggy shorts, however, these are also lightweight, but as the name suggests, they are snug to the skin.

The best thing about lycra shorts is that they are comfortable to wear and highly aerodynamic, which is important for pedal intensive rides. These shorts are also breathable and come with moisture-wicking properties, and eliminate issues of chafing.

The higher-end lycra shorts are constructed with individual panels to offer a better fit and contour. Again, like baggy shorts, Lycras also come with chamois to keep your hip area safe and comfortable.

You can get lycra shorts in various lengths and configurations, such as:

  • Waist shorts that come with elasticated waistbands
  • Bib shorts with straps that extend over your abdomen and over your shoulders (perfect for those who have issues with chafing or like to ride in the cold)
  • Tights that offer more leg coverage for riding under cold weather
  • Winter tights that have even more thermal protection
  • Women-specific lycra shorts in different lengths

Mountain Bike Shorts Buying Guide

mountain biking through the forest

Not sure what to look for when it comes to finding the best mountain bike shorts? Well, the most important thing, really, is that the shorts fit you well, are comfortable to wear, and keep you cool, dry, and free from any irritation.

The right pair of shorts are made with modern fabrics to make them lightweight and breathable. They should be equipped with moisture-wicking properties, and come with the right set of features depending on the intended use, whether it’s for mtb riding or pro racing.

Want to find out more? Take a look at our buying guide below:

Shorts Liner

One of the first things you need to take into account is whether the shorts have an inner lining, or if you need to wear a separate one. Now, most baggy shorts these days don’t have liners so you’ll have to wear your own, such as a bib short.

If the shorts have an inner liner, however, this should be inspected as to whether it’s comfortable, breathable, and has moisture-wicking capabilities. Normally, liner shorts are made with mesh fabric or lycra and are shorter in the legs.

Waistband and Fit

It’s also important to make sure that the shorts fit you- and fit you well. Meaning, the fit should be adjustable, so you’ll need some form of closure such as velcro or hooks and loops, and these closures should stay secure throughout your ride.

You also need to factor in the safety of this closure. For example, while velcro may be quick and easy to deal with, it can also scuff your skin, catch on jerseys, and get snagged on passing foliage. There are also buckle straps that are super secure but can cause injury in the event of a crash or accident.

Pockets

Unlike your everyday shorts, it’s actually not always ideal for bike shorts to have pockets, since this means your personal items such as keys and smartphones will be at the worst spot in the event of an accident- a recipe for disaster. Plus, your stuff will likely rub and smash against your thighs as you pedal.

There are, however, hip pockets, which are somewhat better and safer, so you may want to opt for those if you prefer carrying your valuables on your person.

Zipper

No one likes an open fly, but it’s oftentimes unavoidable. When it comes to bike shorts, you’ll be happy to know that most of them feature press stud fixings or added velcro strips, while some make use of belt loops and waist adjusters. You just need to decide which is the most comfortable for you.

Length

When it’s particularly hot outside, it can really be tempting to wear the shortest shorts you have. But, think of it this way. The longer the legs, the less chance of the shorts riding up your thighs, and the better the protection you get. Just find shorts that are breathable so you don’t have to worry about excessive sweating.

DWR Coating

One thing you’ll greatly benefit from if you often ride under inclement weather is some form of DWR coating on your shorts, which makes the shorts water repellent. You need to understand, however, that it loses its effectiveness over time and will need reapplying.

Overview

If you really want to find the best mountain bike shorts, just make sure to take the time to factor in all the most important considerations listed in our buying guide above, double-check the manufacturer’s sizing guide so you can find the best fit, and choose a pair of shorts that is durable and will give you the best value for your money.