A good pair of cycling shorts is an essential piece of bike gear. You can't perform at your best unless you are comfortable, so be sure to choose a pair with padding in all the right places. The last thing you need is to be tackling ill-fitting shorts that ride up, fall down or chafe while you're out on your bike, especially if you're training hard for a race or event. Invest in your biking comfort and you won't regret it. You'll find a selection of different styles to choose from and some fantastic features to ensure you and your shorts enjoy the ultimate in performance.
You'll probably have noticed that different forms of cycling have different style codes. Road cyclists tend to love keeping things streamlined with Lycra cycling shorts, while mountain bikers prefer a more loose-fitting look. Even the most casual downhill MTB racer can still enjoy the comfort of padded Lycra underneath their baggy shorts though. Bib shorts are a popular choice for anyone who finds tight waistbands uncomfortable while riding, although do bear in mind they can prove more challenging if nature calls!
As well as choosing shorts in a style and colour that appeals to you, keep an eye out for additional features that can enhance their comfort and wearability. Modern fabric technology has come a long way, bringing lightweight options with wicking to speed moisture away from your skin to prevent chafing. Shorts with flatlock stitching and panelled padding also help with this.
Water repellency for bad weather is also a must if you plan on doing long rides. Also look out for moulded seat padding to give you the best fit, ideally with anti-bacterial properties to reduce odour. Silicone leg grippers will help stop your shorts riding up your thighs. Handy pockets and zipped ventilation panels should also be on your wish-list of features.