The 16 Best Mountain Bike Shorts in 2021

Jan Poshenko
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The most comfortable road bike shorts of 2021 evidently show that cyclists aren’t just men, but can also be women!

Riding a bike is an extremely fun and healthy activity that keeps many athletic bodies healthy and in great shape. So, if you’re an avid cyclist, you need the right gear to get you out on the road.

But, in this review, you’re going to find some of the best-selling shorts on the market. I’ve listed the 16 best mountain bike shorts, both men’s and women’s.

Each of them provides a breathable lining and moisture-wicking fabric that offers total comfort while riding.

You can wear these shorts not only on your next mountain bike adventure, but also on other road activities. Choose one from the listings below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the best mountain bike shorts?

One of the most important pieces of clothing for mountain biking (or any cycle riding) is the shorts you choose. They have to protect your posterior, offer good support, and they should fit well enough to be comfortable while the ride lasts.

The common assumption is that the best on the market are made by companies who specialize in cycling clothes. However, there’s little reason to think that there is a fundamental difference to other clothing pieces that specialize in performance, even in cycling.

Adidas MTB Shorts, for example, are built entirely from the same high-quality materials used in their clothing professionals. This includes water-repelling DryCell, lightweight mesh, and a compression band that makes fitting the shorts a breeze.

Are MTB shorts worth it?

Any mountain biker knows the pain of chafing when biking in shorts. In fact, we all know from painful, wet saddle bags that even thigh chafing isn�t pleasant.

This is why mountain bike shorts are becoming more popular than ever. They are designed specifically to offer you the most comfort when you are biking, and come with a much better protection against chafing than regular shorts.

But not all MTB shorts are created equal. In fact, there is a wide range of styles, and the most effective may vary greatly depending on your needs. For some riders, comfort and performance may be what they desire when riding their bike. For others, it may be style.

Some MTB shorts don�t even look like they would pass for a pair of shorts; they fit more like bike pants. This may not be ideal for men who want to come off as looking good when riding.

Why are MTB shorts long?

There are a few reasons MTB shorts are typically longer than standard ones. For starters, some cyclists use the extra material to cover their upper legs and backside while still cycling. This keeps their thighs and seat covered, even if they crash.

Some cyclists wear pads with shorts when mountain biking, especially in cold or wet weather. At times of year that are less hostile to cyclists, they usually go without knee pads. The extra fabric helps extend their knee pads so they don’t bunch around their knees or fall off.

Another reason for this length is one of comfort. It’s a well-known fact that once you’ve traveled on a bike for a long time, your legs take a beating. Much like shorts can gently contain the thighs of a cyclist using them, the extra fabric allows them to stretch and flex while offering a buffer between the skin and the bike.

Why are mountain bike shorts so expensive?

The price for mountain bike shorts can be surprising, but if you look into the materials, it all makes sense.

The most important material is obviously the shell fabric. This is what protects your skin from the zipper. Usually, it’s some sort of nylon that is well-tested for abrasion resistance.

As far as padding goes, most mountain bike shorts use EVA foam for the hips, buttocks, and thighs. OrthoLite, a foam borrowed from the medical industry that is good for airflow and sweat absorption, is popular as well.

Most mountain bike shorts use a combination of both foam and fabric for their chamois. For example, the shorts from Pearl Izumi and Fox Racing both use a combination of molded EVA and stretchy fabric covering the crotch. There are even shorts like the Under Armour Lithic MTB Short that use a combination of molded EVA and a layer of synthetic stretchy membrane.

Conclusion

You might be feeling a little overwhelmed by all the options you have for selecting the best mountain bike shorts for you. But this list covers most of the features you’ll need to look at to narrow down your choices. And remember: you should always ride safely and confidently.

What’s more, we encourage you to test as many shorts as you can before you make a final decision. Ultimately, your choice should be the one that’s the most comfortable and safe.

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