How to Buy Men's Bike Shorts

Review of the Features of Men's Bicycle Shorts from Novice to Elite

There are many choices of bicycle clothing available, and each tailors to a different type of cyclist. Some of us are serious, fit riders who want to look trim and fast. Among us are casual riders who love cycling and want to ride longer. The best way to know about bike shorts is to understand the options available in today's marketplace. You probably love to ride and want the best quality cycling apparel available if you are reading this. Here is some expert advice to help you pick the short that meets your individual needs. There are many opinions on the best cycling apparel for each riding style. Road riders, trail riders, MTB, cyclocross, and commuter appear similar on the surface, but the clothing has nuanced differences that matter. Here is how to make the most sense out of the broad array of choices. We love to ride and hope to see you on the road.

Key Benefit of Men's Bike Shorts: Comfort

  • Comfort while cycling, bike shorts provide excellent freedom of movement for cycling motion(stretchability of fabrics)
  • Anti-chafe design between the legs and on saddle area (engineered pads and removal of seams)
  • Padding for the ischial bones (sit bones need a cushion)
  • Elastic to keep shorts in place
  • Fabric that will not abrade with repetitious movements
  • High tech materials that wick sweat well in the heat of exercise
  • A snug fit so it stays in place and won't flap in the wind

Bike shorts have a foam chamois pad sewn into the saddle area.

Sewn-In Chamois Pad for Cycling Comfort

The padding in a pair of bike shorts will range from thick to thin. The thickest pads act as a shock absorbent with multiple foams or gel layers. When wearing a pair of padded bike shorts while riding, the chamois padding inside will also reduce abrasion and cushion the sit bone area. If you are just starting to ride, or the longer your ride, a chamois pad with a higher foam density will be more comfortable. The Elite Chamois are dense and designed for long-distance riders. Chamois pads are distinguishable between gender in higher-end cycling shorts. Men's chamois pads have a depression through the center of the chamois, which is engineered for the male anatomy. The women's chamois have more of a "pillow" look. Some bicycle riders may want a thin chamois pad in their bike shorts. The reason for a thin chamois is to prevent abrasion and yet feel invisible. Using a thin chamois pad is also popular in triathlon shorts, where athletes wear them for swimming, biking, and running. They will dry faster and be less disruptive for the run section—more information on chamois pads for cycling. Bike shorts are worn without underwear (especially cotton briefs).

The History of Bike Shorts

The padding in a bike short saddle area is often called the chamois pad because of the heritage. Chamois pads are rarely ever chamois leather anymore; however, in the 1970s and 1980s, bicycle shorts had a leather chamois pad sewn into the saddle area for the sole purpose of preventing abrasion. Back then, the chamois was lubricated with an oil to create a "slip," so the cycling motion was smooth against the skin. The use of anti-chafe creams and lubricants continues to be an essential part of cycling as these creams combined with snug bike shorts do wonders to enhance a cyclist's comfort.

Most chamois pads use high-performance synthetic fibers like Coolmax brand polyester or polyurethane fibers. The surface of a chamois pad is usually hydrophobic, which means they stay dry. The chamois pad is often treated with an antibacterial or silver ion finish to diminish bacteria growth, leading to saddle sore prevention. A clean chamois pad is an ideal way to prevent saddle sores. Today's synthetic chamois pads are machine washable. Machine washing of a chamois pad is vital to remove all bacteria.

High Quality Cycling Shorts for Men

Composition of Men's Bike Shorts

Six elements make up a bike short.  They are as follows:

1. Fabrics
2. Panels
3. Chamois Pad
4. Leg Grippers
5. Waist Elastics

Men's Cycling Shorts Features1. Fabrics  

Synthetic fibers make the fabrics in a pair of bike shorts. The fabric composition is mostly 80% nylon to 20% spandex, but that can change a few percentages either way. Another popular fabric mix is 77% nylon to 23% spandex. When looking at bike shorts, make sure The polyester gives the bike short its stretch, and the nylon provides compression and rugged structure. The fabric knitted in bike shorts is a nylon and polyester fabric mixed with Lycra rubber, also known as spandex. Look for a short that is at least 15% spandex. The higher the spandex content, the higher the stretch. Tricot knit fabrics are warp knitted so that they stretch in all directions. These fabrics are technical and lightweight. 

Over the years, an extensive range of materials has evolved. Newly developed nylon fibers that stretch offer compression and hold up to the abrasion and rigors of the cycling motion that rubs against the bicycle saddle. Nylon bike shorts are rugged and fit great; polyester bike shorts are softer and more colorful.  

2. Panels  

Modern fabrics with high stretch have made the fit so much better over the "old-time" wool and cotton knit bike shorts. These fabrics are cut into panels to make a "custom-fit" short. Bike shorts are created by sewing panels together. The most popular number of panels is six, but four and eight are also common. Higher panel counts allow us to create shorts that fit the cycling position better. If you hold up a pair of six or eight-panel shorts, you will see a curve built into the short. This curve also helps keep the chamois pad in the correct location. 

With the rise of custom cycling gear, these panels have become a valuable location to place sponsorship logos, team names, or cause awareness. Try your hand and design your bike shorts with our design tool. It is easy to start creating custom apparel for your club or team.

3. Chamois Pad

As mentioned above, there are tons of different chamois pad options on the market. The correct chamois pad can be a personal decision. Some people prefer thick to thin or foam to gel. The other aspect of the chamois pad that can change between manufacturers is the location sewn in. A cycling apparel brand focusing on racing or competitions may move the chamois back in the bike short. This pad placement will put the sit bone padding in the correct spot when in an aggressive riding position. Other companies that are more casual about riding may move it forward a little bit which helps when riding on the hoods. These highly engineered chamois pads come in different variations for gender, type of cycling, and duration on the saddle.  

4. Leg Grippers

Leg grippers are the bands in the bottom of the legs with a silicone gel that help keep the legs in place and stops them from riding up. Leg gripper elastics come in many different styles and widths, but all pretty much serve the same purpose. One thing to consider about silicone leg grippers is that some people have an allergic reaction to silicone. These people will want to stay away from any shorts with grippers. That is why we have created a few shorts that eliminate the leg gripper but remain in place. 

5. Waist Elastics 

Waist elastics in bike shorts are usually a one-inch width and help keep the shorts in place. Waist elastics have to be snug to do their job correctly but can not be so tight that they dig into your skin. The waist elastic larger than one inch tends to roll. We design some women's shorts to stay in place without an elastic band. Some bike shorts have a drawstring, especially for multiple uses like triathlon and fitness. A drawstring is not essential for road bike shorts but may come in handy for swimming, yoga, or running.

Buying bike shorts can be challenging. There are many different options on the market, and each option fits a different need. To complicate this, every cyclist has an opinion on what is best. If you enter into discussions, you could get a different suggestion from everyone. Bib shorts or baggy, road shorts or MTB? From thick padded cycling shorts for longer rides to thin pads for multiple sports uses like triathlon. Cycling shorts have come a long way over the years!

The men's bike shorts below show different types available that are typical when shopping for a pair of cycle shorts. Each individual who rides has a different saddle, riding style, and distance. What makes up a good pad and bike short? All of the various options and styles are why there are so many different bike shorts. 

Each category of men's bike shorts has a few elements that make them comparable.  

Other Factors to Consider When Buying Men's Bike Shorts

1. Inseam 

The length of the leg's inseam is a matter of personal preference. We think the shorts should be a few inches above the knee for most people. Some want shorter shorts to avoid tan lines. Bike shorts come in tall (about 11 inches), short (about 5 to 7), and regular inseams (about 8-9 inches). Professionals typically have thick thighs and look for a slightly longer inseam around 10 inches.

2. Pockets 

You will see more pockets recently as we need our devices on hand to stay on our course, find rest stop information, and respond to messages. Pockets are essential for holding snacks, tissues, and essential personal items. Storage space is hard to come by when riding a bike, so adding them to your bike shorts is a cheap and easy solution.


An Overview of Styles and Types of Cycling Shorts

Aero Tech Designs Men's Padded Bike Shorts 

Road Bike Shorts

These shorts provide freedom for movement while cycling, prevent chafe between the legs, and cushion the ischial bones on the bicycle saddle. The padding is sewn into the saddle area and is typically thick and dense in spandex road bike shortsRoad bike shorts are ideal for long-distance (avid) riders or beginners who need a thick pad for cushioning (foam or gel). These shorts have thicker pads for high mileage riding. They are great for a century ride (100 miles).

Try designing your club's next bike short with our custom design tool.

Safety Yellow Men's Gel Touring Shorts Men's Elite Royal Blue Cycling Shorts Men's Teal All Day Bike Shorts
Safety Yellow Men's Gel Touring Shorts Men's Elite Royal Blue Cycling Shorts Men's Teal All Day Bike Shorts

Padded Bib Shorts

Men's Cycling Bib Shorts 

Bib shorts are compression bike shorts without waist elastic that stay in place by using straps or suspenders. Elite and most experienced cyclists most often prefer bib shorts. The straps help keep the chamois pads in place for the entire ride- keeping you comfortable for long rides.

Men's Elite Cycling Bib-Shorts Men's Top Shelf Padded Bib-Shorts Men's Gel Touring Bib-Shorts
Men's Elite Royal Blue Cycling Bib-Shorts Men's Top Shelf Black Cycling Shorts Men's Gel Touring Biking Bib-Shorts

Padded Liner Shorts - Padded Underwear

Cycling Liners (Worn under your favorite shorts)

Underwear and Liner Shorts Padded cycling underwear is a great way to transform your favorite pair of casual shorts into cycling apparel. Padded cycling underwear has other uses besides cycling. Any activity with high impact can benefit from padded liner shorts. Other sports include rowing, motorcycling riding, and horseback riding, to name a few. These garments are baselayers that wear easily under your normal-looking shorts or pants. They are usually a mesh material (for ventilation) with a chamois pad sewn in. The liners are available in both thick and thin saddle pads.

MTB and Causal, Loose Fitting Shorts

Commuter Shorts - (Casual and loose cycling)

Casual Shorts are ideal for the bicycle lifestyle. They are usually woven-stretch fabrics for shorter distances like around-town riding. Casual shorts are the most popular shorts available for casual cyclists who do not want to wear spandex.

Mountain Bike Shorts (Loose and Baggy)

Baggy / MTB - Rugged and loose-fitting with a padded liner. These shorts have a few different names. Mountain bike shorts are also known as "Baggy" shorts. They come as two shorts in one, a padded liner inside, a loose-fit outer short. Baggy shorts are available with the liner short attached or removable. Both are fine; it is a personal preference. 

USA MTB Baggy Bike Short Men's Multi-Sport Shorts Summit MTB Baggy Shorts
Men's USA MTB Baggy Bike Short Men's Multi-Sport Shorts Summit MTB Baggy Shorts

Triathlon and Specialty Shorts

Triathlon - Swim- Bike Run (Great for Multiple Sports use)

Thin-padded Triathlon Bike Shorts. Triathlon bike shorts are great for athletic types who participate in various sports and athletics. This short category has thinner pads for chafe prevention, slight cushioning, and features like reflective piping and mesh ventilation spots. The thin chamois provides abrasion prevention and dries quickly after swimming. Ideal for triathletes who want one garment for swim, bike, run.

Ride Long and Feel Strong in Quality Cycling Apparel

Men's Bike Shorts: Chamois Pad Design

Chamois pads are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Beginners typically want a thicker chamois, while triathletes use a thinner chamois pad. Long-distance riders have several choices but generally prefer a dense breathable chamois. If you study the chamois padding, you will note that they fit the placement of the sit-bones on the saddle. The different densities and thicknesses provide shock absorption where it is needed. Men's bike shorts typically have a groove or cut out down the center of the pad for the male anatomy to sink into and take pressure off of the Ischia and perineal area. Padded cycling shorts will make your bike rides much more comfortable.  

Elite Chamois Pad Inside

Multi-Layer Chamois Padding 

Different multi-layers of foam or gel create the 3D effect you see when looking at a chamois pad. Each layer of foam can have a different density. Using multiple densities in chamois provides benefits. The bottom layer is usually the dense layer. This layer allows the chamois to keep its shape when you sit on it and prevents it from completely collapsing. The next layer is either a mid-density foam or gel layer. This layer helps the pad mold to the body. The top layer is a light-density foam that adds comfort and cushion.  

Stitched on Chafe Zone Wings or One Piece Design?

New one-piece chamois pads have come a long way in design and fit. Until recently, a one-piece chamois would be hard to get in place correctly to be sewn into the short. A chamois pad with the chafe wings sewn on would (and still do) fit tight into all of the curves of your crotch area. The sit bone area is deep and round, combined with the thighs' curvature; a seamless pad couldn't fit "up and in" snug to the crotch without seams. The baseball-type stitching provides an excellent fit when chafe is an issue. The most recent one-piece chamois pads have addressed this issue and are better sewn into the short. 


Most chamois pads surface fabrics use polyester material with an antibacterial, hygienic finish. It is a permanent finish that prevents premature fabric decay and the growth of bacteria and odors, giving a healthy microclimate between the body and fabric ideal for bike shorts. Think of it as a type of polish that smooths the fibers so the ridges cannot trap moisture or bacteria.

Thick Padded Shorts - Layers of Foam or Gel with "density added" Gel filled chamois pads are the thickest and ideal for absorbing shock and adding comfort to a sore butt. The gel provides a gentle layer that softens the bike ride's shock that is absorbed into the ischial butt bones. Gel adds a layer of comfort for new cyclists and those who are moving up in their mileage. A Gel Pad is good for all rides long or short. If you are comfortable on your saddle, you might not need the thickness and weight of a gel padded bike short. The density of the foam varies by location within the pad itself. The bones on saddle area have the highest density of foams, the sides of the saddle have the thinnest or lowest density of foam. The pads are highly engineered by type of rider, position on the bicycle and how long the rider is traveling.

Benefits of Gel Chamois

Gel-filled chamois pads are thick and ideal for absorbing shock and adding comfort to a sore butt. The gel provides a soft layer that absorbs the bike ride's shock into the ischial butt bones. The gel adds a layer of comfort for new cyclists and those moving up in their mileage. A gel pad is suitable for all rides, long or short. If you are comfortable on your saddle, you might not need the thickness and weight of a padded gel bike short. The density of the foam varies by location within the pad itself. The sit-bones area has the highest density of foams, the sides of the saddle have the thinnest or lowest density of the foam. The chamois pads design differs by rider type, position on the bicycle, and how long the rider is traveling.

Men's Padded Bike Shorts -The essential part of a bike short is the chamois pad.

Men's Bike Short Injury Prevention

Neuropathy caused by sitting on a bicycle seat for an extended period is a common injury for avid cyclists. It is related to vascular and neurologic damage to the pudendal nerve. The pudendal nerve runs below the pelvic bone and can create numbness and discomfort if there is too much pressure. The problems associated with the pressure on the pudendal nerve can cause a lack of blood flow to the entire pelvic region and the genitals. The lack of blood flow into this region can numb limbs and cause fatigue. To relieve pressure from this nerve, men's bicycle saddles and bike short's chamois pads have a cutout in the center to reduce the pressure and thickness in this nerve area.

The design of the chamois pad is around the human pelvic, which contains the Ischium bones, aka your "sitting bones." The Ischium supports the weight while seated on a bicycle. The pelvic girdle consists of two hip bones containing three fused bones: the ilium, Ischium, and the pubis. There are many chamois pads to pick from that range from thin to thick.

Here is a link to overview many types of chamois pads to aid in your understanding of padding inside a bicycle short. Once you look at the chamois pads, you will see they range from thick to thin. There are a variety of sizes as well. They all have in common the ability to cushion the saddle area.  

Long-distance cycling may require extra comfort from a gel-filled chamois pad sewn into a pair of bicycle Shorts. Gel-filled chamois pads are ideal for sore butts. Gel padded shorts are suitable for beginners and cyclists who are moving up in their mileage and need relief from the pressure of the bicycle saddle. Dense Pads are used in most Road Bike Shorts in the elite category and are best for high mileage and century rides over 50 miles. 

Bib Shorts

Another typical type of road bike shorts is bib shorts. Bib shorts do not have waist elastic. Instead, they use straps or suspenders to prevent them from slipping down. Experienced cyclists most often use this. We also suggest bib shorts to a lot of our big man customers. Many of these customers find comfort since there is no waistband to dig into them or roll down.  

Why A Thin Chamois Pads?

One of the most common questions we hear is, "what short has the thickest chamois?" It makes sense why so many people look to their chamois pad to add comfort to their bike ride. However, on the other hand, many people are comfortable on their saddle. They want a lightweight chamois pad that prevents chafe and feels natural. Thinly padded bike shorts are great for experienced cyclists who are comfortable on their saddle or triathletes who want one garment for swim, bike, or running. The thin pads are also ideal for anti-chafe needs.

Men's Bike Shorts, Bib-Shorts, and MTB Shorts


Examples of Men's Bike Shorts and Chamois Pads

1. High Mileage Pads - Thick and Dense Chamois Pads

High-end chamois pads are technically engineered for peak performance on bicycle rides. The chamois construction supports how the body sits on the saddle and the pressure points. The chamois pads are quick-drying, antibacterial, and loaded with features for each unique type of rider. The engineering in these chamois pads consists of layers of foam shaped to conform with the contact points between the Ischial bones and the saddle. An extra layer of dense padding absorbs the shock and abrasion. The bicycle saddle you use needs to support your bones and pelvic region without nerve pressure. Men's Elite Bike ShortsTouring ShortsCentury ShortsGel Padded Shorts


Men's Elite Bike Shorts

A long-distance garment with thick and dense pad.

Product Options: Shorts | Bib-Shorts | Tall Bib-Shorts

Men's Elite Chamois Pad Features Men's Elite Chamois Pad Measurements Men's Elite Chamois Pad Multi-Density Gel and Foam Detail
Men's Elite Cycling Shorts Front Features Men's Elite Cycling Short Collection Men's Elite Cycling Shorts Back Features


Gel Touring Bike Shorts

Big, roomy side pockets and layered gel chamois pad for extra comfort.

Product Options: Shorts | Bib-Shorts

Men's Gel Touring Chamois Pad Features Men's Gel Touring Short Features Gel Touring Shorts and Bib-Shorts


All Day Bike Short

Touring shorts with pockets and dual density foam.

All Day Chamois Pad Features All Day Cycling Short Features All Day Shorts Pocket Detail


Century Thick Padded Cycling Short

Men's Century Thick Padded Short stays dry and is very stretchable, special polyester/lycra fabric stays dry and cool.

Men's Century Chamois Pad Features Men's Century Cycling Shorts Front Features Men's Century Cycling Shorts Back Features


2. Mid Distance - Anti-Chafe Pads

Men's bike shorts with a thin to medium chamois pad are more multi-sport oriented and ideal for experienced riders who are comfortable on their saddle. The size and density of a thin chamois pad make it perfect for eliminating chafe and abrasion between the legs. The chamois pad is large enough to surround the entire saddle area without seams contacting the saddle. If you have a saddle sore that needs to heal, try the Pro Bike Short. The Pro Chamois pad is ideal for riders who know they want a thin chamois, or a rider who spends a lot of time off the bike. The triathlon shorts are also multi layers, but very thin. They are molded and explicitly engineered for swim, bike, run events. The construction of the pad, the type of perforated foam, and the fabric face enable a comfortable, lightweight cycle short that is ideal for all kinds of moving around. Triathlon Shorts, Classic Padded Bike Shorts, Wild Print Bike Shorts, Pro Bike Shorts All American Bike Shorts.

Top Shelf Bike Shorts

Long-distance chamois pad to reduce chafe and hot sports. Full size range.

Product Options: Shorts & | Big Shorts | Bib-Shorts | Tall Bib-Shorts | Big Bib-Shorts

Top Shelf Chamois Pad Features Men's Top Shelf Bike Short Front Features Men's Top Shelf Bike Short Back Features

Black P Cycling Short

Mid Distance, Anti-Chafe Shorts design for comfort or newer riders.

Product Options: Shorts | ; Tall Shorts ; | Short Inseam Shorts

Black P Chamois Pad Features Men's Black P Petite Padded Bike Shorts Back Features Black P. Cycling Shorts for Men

Classic Padded Bike Shorts

Thick, Mid-Distance Chamois Pad, Multiple Colorways available.

Product Options: Shorts | Big Shorts | Tall Shorts

Men's USA Classic Bike Shorts in Navy Front View Men's Classic Bike Shorts Men's USA Classic Chamois Pad Features

Men's Pro Bike Shorts

Product Options: Shorts Big Shorts | Tall Shorts | Wild Prints

Pro Bike Short Color Options Men's Pro Rasta Cycling Shorts Men's Pro Chamois Pad

All American Bike Short

All American - Made with American materials and labor.

All American Cycling Shorts for Men All American Cycling Shorts for Men All American Chamois Pad

Baggy and Loose-Fitting MTB Shorts

This category of bike shorts is two shorts in one: a baggy exterior and an internal liner or bike underwear. The baggy and loose-fitting bike shorts are ideal for casual riders who do not want to wear spandex. Getting ready to choose a loose-fitting (aka "baggy") bike short is easy when you have choices. Most mountain bike shorts are two shorts in one—a loose outer shell made of nylon and an internal stretchy padded bike short. We have found that many people who want the baggy bike short look are not just mountain bikers. More often, the buyers of loose-fitting shorts are looking for more casual and normal-looking shorts. Another name for these types of shorts is mountain bike shorts or MTB shorts. Some refer to them as ATB or all-terrain bike shorts. There are many brands of shorts, and the differences are subtle and significant, so you need a little time to find the right pair for you. ATD Padded Cargo MTB Shorts, Mountain Bike Shorts, ATD Mens Bicycle Commuter Multi-Sport Shorts, MTB Touring Shorts, ATD Men's Commuter Urban Pedal Pusher 3/4 Knicker Shorts

USA MTB - Black P Chamois Pad

Product Options: 11" Inseam | 11" Inseam Big | 8" Inseam

Loose fit bike shorts with a built in liner and rugged outer fabric shell - Full Size Range.

Padded Cargo Black P. Chamois Pad

USA MTB Black P. Chamois Pad Features USA MTB Black P. Chamois Pad Measurements USA MTB Black P. Chamois Pad Inside Material View
USA MTB Baggy Cycling Short Front Features USA MTB Baggy Cycling Shorts Back Features USA MTB Baggy Cycling Shorts Three Views

Men's Urban Commuter Multi-Sport Shorts

Stretch woven commuter - Not padded, 4 zippered pockets

Great with a Padded Liner!

Men's Multi-Sport Short Features Men's Multi-Sport Short Bike Modeled View Men's Multi-Sport Short Reviews

Men's Commuter Pedal Pushers - 3/4 Knicker

Stretch woven commuter, not padded

Men's Pedal Pushers Commuting Knicker Features Men's Pedal Pushers Commuting Knicker in Action Men's Pedal Pushers Commuting Knicker in Charcoal


3. Cycling Underwear and Padded Liner Shorts

Padded Cycling Underwear is a great way to transform casual shorts into cycling apparel. Padded cycling underwear can have many other uses besides cycling. Other sports include rowing, motorcycling riding, and horseback riding, just to name a few. Aero Tech Designs padded underwear are available in many different pad thicknesses and purposes. Most liner shorts are mesh fabric for coolness and ventilation.
Men's Gel Padded Underliner, Mesh Bicycling Underwear


Men's Elite Air Gel Padded Liner

Thick and dense, Elite Air-Gel Underliner

Men's Elite Padded Cycling Liner Shorts Front Features Men's Elite Padded Cycling Liner Micro Mesh Fabric Men's Elite Padded Cycling Liner Short Back Features

Mesh Bicycling Touring Underwear

Thin - Breathable Perforated Elastic Interface Pad Very Cool

Men's Padded Liner Shorts Front View Men's Cycling Underwear Liner Short Waistband Detail Men's Cycling Underwear Liner Short Chamois Pad

Men's Specific Support Short

Multi Layer Chamois with special men's specific front area to prevent discomfort.

Men's Support Cycling Chamois Pad Men's Support Cycling Short Support Short Chamois Pad Information

4. Specialty Shorts

Men's Triathlon Shorts

Triathlon Chamois Pad - Thin, Quick Drying Pad design for shorter distances. Users can easy swim and run - Not Bulky

Product Options:Standard | Big

Triathlon Chamois Pad Features Men's Triathlon Padded Shorts Front and Back View Highly Reviewed Men's Triathlon Shorts

Big Man Clydesdale

Wide Chamois Pad with High Density Foams and Perforated Material to increase comfort and airflow.

Big Men's Clydesdale Bike Short Features Big Mans Specific Chamois Pad Big Man's Clydesdale Cycling Pad

Unpadded Fitness Shorts and Exercise Shorts


This category of bike shorts is ideal for multiple activities. The spandex shorts offer compression - which reduces fatigue and helps you recover faster. The unpadded shorts provide an excellent range of movement without restriction—ideal for multiple sports like running, soccer, yoga, and general fitness. Compression shorts are best when made with nylon or polyester combined with spandex. Cotton shorts should be avoided for fitness because it gets wet and does not dry quickly. A cotton fitness short will hot hold up and provide the muscle support needed.

A good quality fitness short generally has about 15 to 20% spandex. Spandex is the rubber within the knitted yarns of a technical stretch fabric. A brand of spandex is known as Lycra. Lycra is a brand of spandex that is high quality consistent in its high-performance stretch for athletics. The fabric knitted for high-quality garments has a tricot construction that enables a four-way stretch that wraps around the muscles, providing compressive support and enhanced blood flow.

Pro Compression ShortsUnpadded PRO Compression - Recumbent Shorts

Not Padded - Good for recumbent riders, football, baseball players, or weightlifters-offers great support. 

This type of short is ideal for multiple sports. It prevents chafe between the legs and has leg grippers to stay in place during exercise.


Men's Classic Compression ShortsMen's Compression Workout Shorts

This short is a basic spandex short for multi-sport uses. It is a spandex short that prevents chafe and supports leg muscles.

Compression shorts offer all-way stretch, compression for moving, and many colors. These shorts use waist elastic and no leg grippers. Available X-Small to 6X-Large


Men's Unpadded Soft Compression Boxer Liner ShortMen's Underwear High Performance - Soft Compression Boxer Liner




Men's High Performance Compression Shorts in Orange Front ViewHigh Performance Fitness Shorts

Not Padded for Multi-sport fitness. Excellent Reviews, great fit. Drawstring waist, No leg elastic.

Use for: Walking, Rowing, weight lifting, running, basketball, baseball, football, hockey, Yoga, Soccer


Fina Swimming JammersMen's Swimming Jammers

FINA Swimwear - Men's Black Jammer for swimming and training in chlorinated pools. Fabric lasts.

This garment is specifically approved for rugged durability for indoor swimming, Available up to size 5X.


Have Fun and Feel Fantastic in Any of These Awesome Bicycle Shorts! See you on the Road....

Enhance Comfort and Performance with Quality Gear

Bike Short Components


Men's Gel Touring Bib-Shorts Back Features

Most bike shorts' composition is a stretchy fabric. There are several reasons for using spandex in knitted fabrics: the ability to move and the ability to provide muscle support through compression. The materials used for road bike shorts are usually a six-way tricot, knit nylon, and polyester. The lightweight fabrics are about 5.5 to 6 ounces per square yard. Medium weight is about 6.5 ounces per square yard, and a heavyweight fabric would be about 8 ounces per square yard. Nylon/Lycra blends are abrasion resistant, which is long-lasting and rugged. Polyester/Lycra blends are "cool" feeling and wicking for multi-seasonal riding. This fabric is used primarily because of the freedom of movement and comfort during cycling. The higher the spandex content - the more compression on the muscles. High spandex content is a sign of compression support for high-end bike shorts. The higher the spandex, the more stretchy and supportive the fabric is. This compression massages the muscles to help work out lactic acid. The compression also helps to enhance blood flow to the muscles, which helps reduce fatigue by keeping fresh blood circulating to the working muscles.

Leg Grippers:

The leg gripper or leg band is a feature you will see in most bike shorts. These grippers or compression bands are essential to prevent the shorts from riding up in the legs. During the cycling motion of riding the bicycle, the muscles are constantly flexing and moving. There is nothing worse than tugging at your clothes to keep them in place during your play. When a pair of bike shorts creep up on the leg, it creates an opportunity for bunching in the chamois pad; this bunching of the chamois pad can lead to chafing, rubbing, and the worst of all, the dreaded saddle sore. The use of leg elastics prevents the movement of the garment, so the shorts stay stretched, and the chamois remain in place.

Reflective Elements:

Bicycle shorts usually have something reflective on the moving areas of the leg. The moving legs make the ideal location for a reflective element to be visible for a motorist in low light conditions. Legs move up and down, making the reflective materials highly reflective and visible to oncoming traffic.


Bike shorts fit the cycling position, not while standing up and looking into a mirror. Padded bike shorts are worn without underwear, so the chamois pad is held tight to the skin in the saddle area. A snug fit is the best fit to keep the chamois in place. Bike shorts work best when worn tight so that the Lycra spandex supports the working muscles. When you try on a pair of bike shorts, it should not be tight or binding, but it needs to fit snug, so it stays in place. A well-designed bike short is longer in the back, so when you are standing up straight, you will see a bit of baggy area in your butt area. Once you lean forward into the cycling position, the extra material will smooth out and fit well.


Bike shorts should fit snug with the pad close to the skin, or they will negate the potential benefits of wearing them. A correctly sized pair of road bike shorts is essential to ensure that you get the most out of them. When looking at the manufacturer size chart, you will fit into the size bigger or smaller with varying degrees of compression. We suggest the use of the manufacturer's size chart. If you want the garment to fit you loosely, you can go up a size, but bike shorts should fit snug.

How to choose a size (Bike Shorts are snug for a reason).

Fitting into spandex shorts is very easy for most everyone because the shorts are very stretchy. Bike shorts usually have a chamois pad sewn into the saddle area of the garment. This pad needs to be stretched smooth across the crotch area to maximize its performance to protect the rider. With a pair of bike shorts on your body, you should be able to run your hand across your crotch area and feel smoothness without any bunching. Bike shorts work best when they fit snug with the chamois pad held close to the skin.

When bike shorts are too large, the chamois pad moves around and may create an opportunity for rubbing or abrasion. Bike shorts should be snug. Judge the fit on a bicycle, not standing up at a mirror.

The features built into bike shorts often are built around the function of the cyclist who is riding. There are many types of cyclists on the road, so there is a similar variety of padded bike shorts. Leg grippers or leg compression is essential for cycling shorts to stay in place. The shorts tend to ride up if they don't have compression or grippers on the legs. Below are some examples of men's cycling shorts with their prices and chamois pads.

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Care of Bike Shorts

Men's Padded Bike Shorts need to be laundered after each use. The best way to care for road shorts is to machine wash and air dry. We recommend machine washing to remove all sweat and bacteria from the chamois pad. The goal of clean shorts is to prevent bacteria buildup on the chamois pad, which can lead to saddle sores. Saddle sores are a cyclist's worst enemy. Air drying the spandex shorts helps the rubber spandex fibers last longer without drying out.

Men's Padded Bike Shorts are worn "without underwear"

We highly recommend frequently using 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 chamois pad and rub it all over. The lubricant on the chamois pad and your skin will prevent hot spots from abrasion. This cream application may be essential to enhance riding comfort on long bicycle tours or long daily distances.

By: Cathy Schnaubelt Rogers

bicycle riding in Pittsburgh

aero tech designs cycling apparel