The Best Men’s Padded Bike Shorts

Padded bike shorts may seem like something only intense riders need, but comfortable padding can improve anyone's riding experience. We've looked at what the market has to offer.

Man wearing padded shorts

Padded cycling shorts are designed to provide optimal comfort during your ride. A more comfortable undercarriage leads to better riding posture and an all round more enjoyable experience. Many cheap padded cycling shorts fall short of the mark and leave you less comfortable than before.

From personal experience, the best men’s padded cycling shorts available are sponeed Men’s Cycling Shorts. The gel padding they provide seems vastly superior at keeping air flowing in the areas that matter.

Of course, one pair of padded bike shorts isn’t going to cut the mustard for everyone. We all come in difference shapes and sizes, have different preferences and riding habits. A comfortable pair of padding bicycle shorts are only worth the investment if they cater to all your needs.

Though padding materials differ, most provide adequate padding in the areas that matter. Padded bike shorts for men are designed to keep delicate parts well protected during rides.

Some may find that sponge padding is a little too rugged, while others feel gel padding leaves them a bit sweaty. Regardless of your concerns, we’ve hopefully got you covered. Below is a list of the best men’s padded bike shorts that work to protect delicate areas and relieve rubbing.

sponeed Men’s Cycling Shorts

These are awesome biking shorts. I have used them on several long rides and I couldn’t be happier with the quality. They are tight enough to provide support, but at the same time I don’t feel constricted when I wear them.

The padding is placed perfectly to help cushion the ride without diminishing breathability. They made sure there was a good amount in the saddle area, which is obviously the place that needs it the most.

The legs have silicone grippers to make sure they don’t ride on you while you are biking.

Be sure to pay close attention when ordering because the sizing is Asian, not American. They recommend going up one size from what you usually wear, and that worked perfectly for me.

The material means the shorts have just the right amount of stretch in them.

I really like how these shorts look. They appear very sleek and look like something you would see on professionals.

The gel padding works amazingly to reduce impacts when riding over bumps and holes in the road. They’re the only pair of shorts on this list where I noticed a clear and distinguishable shock absorbing quality.

Overall, I think these shorts were a great buy. Before getting them, I questioned whether or not bike pants with padding were worth getting.

Now I know how much more enjoyable they make riding!

SANTIC Cycling Men’s Shorts

When ordering these shorts, they tell you to measure your thighs as well as your waist. I, unfortunately, did not do that and ended up with shorts that didn’t work for me. After exchanging them for a bigger size, however, I am very pleased with them.

My favorite thing about these shorts is that they stay in place. There is nothing worse than when your shorts start creeping up in the middle of a long ride.

The nylon/spandex material seems to be perfect for preventing ride-up as well as allowing your legs to breathe. They have mesh on the sides of the waist that allows cool air to flow in while you are riding.

One thing I didn’t know until receiving my shorts is that they are designed for “medium distance.” Generally, that means 15 to 30 miles. Since that is as far as I ever ride at a time that works fine for me.

People looking for comfort over a really long ride may want to look elsewhere.

At the end of the day, these shorts are both comfortable and stylish. The padding is well placed and the materials used are perfect. Price wise, I feel like I got what I paid for.

Sportneer Men’s Bike Shorts

I bought these shorts for short bike rides as well as to wear at my spin classes. So far, they have provided an adequate amount of comfort.

They were the cheapest men’s padded bicycle shorts that I could find. Since they were my first pair, I did not want to spend too much money because I wasn’t sure they would make much of a difference.

I have to say, I do feel like they are a good investment and like I can ride further when I’m wearing them.

The sizing chart online was very accurate. I ordered a medium instead of the small I usually get. They are snug but not too constricting.

I had read reviews saying they were too tight in the thighs, but that hasn’t been the case for me.

I like to ride in the late evening when the weather is a bit cooler. These shorts have reflective logos that are quite bright, making me feel safer on the road when it is getting dark. The overall look of these shorts is very nice. They have been holding up well for me, but when it is time to get replace them I believe I will order the same ones.

Baleaf Men’s 3D Padded Bike Shorts

When I started cycling regularly, I noticed that I got rather uncomfortable after a few miles. My first step was to replace my seat, which helped for awhile, but eventually I was just as miserable.

A friend recommended that I buy a good pair of men’s cycling shorts. When I originally looked at them, I couldn’t help but laugh. They essentially look like padded underwear. I would never wear these out in public without something over them. However, since buying the Baleaf 3D padded shorts I have had zero issues with pain in my rear while riding.

Due to the look and fit of these shorts, I recommend wearing something else on top. A regular pair of shorts fits over these just fine and offers even more padding.

The sizes are Asian, so be sure to go up one or two when ordering. I normally wear a large and decided to go with an XL.

The fit is pretty snug, but I don’t really notice them when I am riding so I can’t complain.

For this price, these shorts are definitely worth checking out. If you don’t think you need biking shorts, I strongly suggest at least giving these a try. I don’t know of any other men’s padded bicycling shorts that provide this much comfort without breaking the bank.

4ucycling 3D Padded Bike Shorts

I had horrible hip pain when I used to ride my bike on rough terrain, which is why I was in the market for padded shorts.

These shorts are pretty cheap in price but definitely don’t feel cheap in quality. I am very satisfied with my purchase.

The pads are in the perfect area to protect all of the pressure points that are affected while riding.

You can easily wear these under regular shorts without anyone even noticing that you have padding on. Despite this, they provide a lot of comfort when you are riding.

I ignored the sizing advice and ordered my normal size. This worked out well for me and in my opinion they run true if not very close to size.

These shorts are very light and allow air to flow in. They are very good at absorbing sweat, which is awesome. In the winter, I plan on wearing them under a few layers to help with padding and warmth.

The only complaint I have about these is the legs tend to curl up. It doesn’t happen often enough to make me want to replace them, but it is frequent enough that it is worth mentioning.

I would still recommend these shorts and plan on buying a few more pairs to keep as back-ups.

Choosing the Right Pair of Padded Shorts

One of the best things you can do for yourself to increase your comfort during a long bike ride is to get a good pair of padded cycling shorts.

For many serious cyclists, proper shorts are as important as a good helmet and pair of gloves. There are many reasons that they are helpful. There are also different things to consider when shopping for your own pair.

Types of Padded Cycling Shorts

In order to be successful shopping for your new bike shorts, you need to decide which style best fits your needs. The following are the most common types you will see:

Road Shorts

Considered the “classic” option, these shorts either have an elastic waist or a bib and are usually made of nylon or spandex to help keep them in place.

They should be breathable as well as help draw moisture away from your skin.

They are both comfortable and aerodynamic because they move with your body. A good pair of road shorts will prevent any sort of chaffing.

Bib Shorts

These are basically shorts with built in suspenders. They have a piece that goes up around your shoulders so that they don’t require an elastic waist. Many people consider these to be more comfortable.

In general, they are more expensive than the ones that do not have bibs. Keep in mind, they can make a short bathroom break take a lot longer.

Tights

These are essentially just longer shorts, covering about ¾ of your legs. If you do a lot of winter riding, these may be a good option. They sometimes come in thicker materials to add additional warmth.

Shy Shorts

This is the slang term Australians use for cycling shorts that are slightly baggier. The outer lining is looser but there is usually a skin-tight layer underneath. The main reason for them is to protect modesty.

What to Look for in Padded Cycling Shorts

Bike shorts for men

No matter what style of men’s padded cycling shorts you go with, there are some qualities you will want to look for in order to make sure they are good ones. Here are a few to keep in mind:

  • Material: You will find biking shorts in a variety of materials. The most common are nylon, polyester, and spandex. These are all stretchy materials designed to give you a snug fit. Nylon is very durable, while polyester is good for promoting moisture transfer and breatheability. Most shorts are a combination of a few materials.
  • Padding: The amount of padding that a person needs is really up to them. Some shorts have thin padding, some have thick, and most fall somewhere in between. The padding is also referred to as the chamois. Although you can find unisex padded cycling shorts, it is better to buy a pair designed for your gender.
  • Panels: Generally speaking, the more panels in a pair of shorts the more comfortable it will be. You will find shorts with 4, 6, or 8 panels most commonly. More pieces of fabric, or panels, allows for a more customized fit.
  • Length: Shorter shorts are great for exercise classes or for cyclists concerned with their tan lines. Shorts that go down to the knee protect your thighs better as well as do a better job staying in place.
  • Leg Grips: Many shorts are equipped with silicone in the legs to keep the shorts from moving around. It may take you some time to get used to this, but eventually, you will most likely appreciate having this feature.
  • Seams: It is important that the seams on your shorts do not contribute to chaffing. A good quality thread and well-thought-out panel design are the best way to achieve this.
  • Budget: You can buy padded cycling shorts for $10 all the way up to $200. While the more expensive ones will obviously have more advanced padding and materials, you can likely find a cheaper pair that will suit your needs.

Additional Tips

Although it may seem odd, remember that you typically do not wear underwear under your cycling shorts.

The ones you buy should be breathable and made with anti-bacterial materials. In theory, they are even more sanitary than your normal underwear!

Pay careful attention to the sizing guides before ordering padded cycling shorts.

You will likely need to measure both your waist and your thighs in order to get the proper fit. Reading reviews will help you determine if the product runs small, big, or spot-on.

Consider at least trying a pair of bib shorts.

They are great for reducing any feelings of pressure around your mid-section due to the tight material cycling shorts are made out of. They also can never shift or slide down your legs.

Conclusion

A good pair of padded cycling shorts can vastly improve your comfort when riding, which may cause you to push yourself even further. Since they are tight-fitting, they do not restrict your motion or cause any drag when riding. Once you try riding with them, you are likely to never go back. They are a relatively inexpensive way to get the most out of your bike riding experience!