Mountain bike shorts may not be at the top of your to-buy list, but they provide the rider with a better overall riding experience. Whether you realize it or not, your shorts may be causing you to feel aches or pains when riding, or they may not be helping you absorb the impact of riding on rougher terrain.
The best mountain bike shorts will depend on your own needs. Let’s take a quick look at the types of shorts you can buy and a little bit about each type.
Mountain Bike Shorts Guide
There are three main shorts: casual, cycle and run. The type you choose will be important to your overall comfort. Before making a purchase, let’s discuss the three short types in a little more detail:
- Casual: The casual category provides you with pretty standard shorts. These are cargo or board shorts. Meant for style, these are the shorts you would wear for a ride around town or for casual riding, not cycling.
- Cycle: Meant for long rides and athletes. These shorts are the optimal choice because they include features that make cycling a breeze. This includes zippered or magnetic pockets, thigh vents to keep a rider’s legs cool, double or triple stitching, tear resistance and more. This is the most expensive type of biking shorts you can buy.
- Run: Better known as athletic shorts. These are shorts meant for breathability, but they do not provide the many pockets seen with the cycle style. While good at reducing heat and sweat, these shorts are not best suited for cycling. However, they will suffice for off-road riding and BMX style riding as well as trail riding.
You will also want to consider the design of the shorts. The following is seen:
- Lycra: Skin tight and made out of nylon.
- Baggy: Very lose, but heavier.
- Bib: Shorts and top that is attached and stepped into.
The lycra or baggy options are most common wherein bib shorts are made more for the professional cyclist.
There are hundreds of shorts that you can choose from. Thankfully, you will only be spending between $20 and $120+ for a pair of very high quality shorts that will be able to withstand frequent riding and provide you with the utmost in comfort. Our top picks include:
Unit Linguistic Board Shorts
The Unit Linguistic shorts come in sizes small through XXXL with two color choices. The complete length of these shorts is 22 inches, and they feature polyester microfiber.
DC Deploy Shorts SS14
A beautiful pair of shorts. These shorts are made in cargo-style featuring a baggy flare, army and black color choices, and sizes ranging from small to extra-large. These shorts are 100 percent cotton, 22-inches in length, and have side and back pockets.
Endura Singletrack Shorts
Dare we say that this is our top choice? These shorts feature a water repellent design, front pockets with a magnetic closure and zippers, rear pockets, thigh heat vents and a 100 percent nylon construction.
Assos T FI.Uno S5 Logo Bib Short
The S5 Logo bib is comfortable, features reflective strips and comes in small to XXXL. These shorts have a carbon fiber mesh, and foam inserts that will rest on pressure points. When riding for an extended time, these are the shorts you want to be wearing.