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The Best Padded Shorts for Every Type of Rider

The Best Cycling Shorts for Every Type of Rider

If you're an avid cyclist, you know the importance of having the right gear. One of the most crucial pieces of gear for any rider is a good pair of cycling shorts. Not only do they provide comfort during long rides, but they can also prevent chafing and pain points. But with so many options on the market, how do you choose the best one for you?

In this guide, we'll go over key features to look for in the best padded bike shorts, how to choose the right size and fit, proper maintenance and care, additional cycling gear to consider and tips for shopping for outdoor gear.

Key Features to Look for in the Best Padded Bike Shorts

When looking for the best-padded bike shorts, it's essential to focus on key features that enhance your riding experience. Tackling issues like shorts that don't stay in place and avoiding uncomfortable saddle sores are important when spending long hours on your bike. Let's dive into each essential feature.

Comfortable Padding

Your bike short's padding, also known as the density chamois, is crucial for comfort during those long rides. A high-quality chamois provides compressive support and helps avoid irritation from friction between your body and the saddle. Road bike enthusiasts should seek shorts with thicker padding, while mountain bikers can opt for a lighter, thinner chamois.

Breathable Material

Choosing breathable material is another critical aspect to consider when selecting bike shorts. Breathable fabrics wick moisture away from your body, ensuring a quick-drying effect and making your rides more enjoyable. In addition to the material, consider shorts that feature additional ventilation, like mesh paneling, to keep you cool when you're adventuring.

Perfect Fit & Secure Waistbands

Ensuring a perfect fit and secure waistband is crucial when investing in padded bike shorts. Silicone grippers on the leg band help prevent the shorts from riding up and keep them in place during your ride. A comfortable waistband is essential too – if it's too tight or loose, it will cause discomfort. Look for options like adjustable waistbands, found in certain budget bike shorts, to give you a dialed in, custom fit.

How to Choose the Right Size and Fit

Selecting the right size and fit for bike shorts may seem simple, but ensuring the proper fit helps prevent shorts that are too tight or too loose, and restrictiveness on your ride. Here are a few tips on choosing the correct size and fit for your cycling attire.

Consult Size Charts

Always consult the brand's size chart before making a purchase. Many outdoor gear and travel product companies offer comprehensive sizing guides based on waist and hip measurements. These charts allow you to find the best fit and avoid any unnecessary discomfort. Remember that sizes may vary from brand to brand, so double-check each manufacturer's sizing chart for accurate measurements.

Try Before You Buy or Find Adjustable Waistbands

If possible, try on the bike shorts before purchasing them to ensure the perfect fit. Testing the shorts during the testing process helps gauge their comfort and performance on the bike.

If you're unable to test the shorts beforehand or you're looking for added flexibility, look for shorts with adjustable waistbands. Many mountain bike shorts feature adjustable waistbands that allow for a customizable fit, accommodating different body shapes. This option is excellent for those who need to fine-tune their bike shorts' fit throughout the ride.

Look for Specific Gender Fit

Last but not least, consider buying bike shorts specifically designed for your gender. Men's and women's shorts are usually created with different padding configurations, providing the required support for each gender. For example, women generally have wider-set sit bones, so a wider chamois pad is necessary for added comfort. Choosing shorts with a tailored approach helps ensure proper support and an ideal fit for every rider.

Overall, choosing the correct padded bike shorts involves paying close attention to the features that enhance comfort, breathability and fit. Your cycling experiences will improve significantly by investing in the right size and type of shorts, ensuring hours of enjoyable rides.

Proper Maintenance and Care

Cycling shorts are essential for a comfortable ride, but they can get dirty and wear out in time. Proper maintenance and care can help optimize their performance and extend their life span. Keep your shorts in top shape by following these simple steps: regular washing, avoiding harsh chemicals and air drying.

Regular Washing

Frequent washing is vital for keeping your padded cycling shorts clean and last for ride after ride, mile after mile. Ideally, you should wash them after every use to keep the chamois is performance-ready shape and to remove any dirt or grim you pick up on your ride. Use a gentle detergent and turn the shorts inside out so the chamois receives a thorough cleaning. Washing them in cold water is also recommended. With mountain bikers, regular washing is especially important, considering the amount of outdoor gear that may accumulate dirt and grime.

Avoiding Harsh Chemicals

To preserve the compressive support and fabric integrity of your cycling shorts, avoid using harsh chemicals, such as bleach or fabric softeners. These chemicals can break down the shorts' fibers, making them less effective during road cycling. Always opt for gentle detergents or specially formulated products designed for sportswear. And for your mountain bike shorts' care, using gentle cleaners helps maintain lasting comfort for all your future rides.

Air Drying

It's essential to lay your cycling bib shorts or cycling shorts to air dry after washing them. The heat from a dryer can cause the leg bands or silicone grippers to lose their shape and elasticity, drastically reducing their effectiveness. Make sure to hang them in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight, to prevent any further damage from UV exposure or excessive heat. The proper drying process helps maintain the elasticity in your cycling shorts and keeps the elastic leg band in perfect condition.

Additional Cycling Gear

While cycling shorts are a core component of any cyclist's wardrobe, other items can enhance the overall experience. Including essential gear such as a helmet, jersey, cycling shoes and socks, you can enjoy a safer and more comfortable ride. These travel products help optimal performance with every cycling adventure.


A good-quality, well-fitting helmet is vital for protecting your head during an accident or fall. With many options available on the market, make sure to choose one with an adjustable fit system to provide the best comfort and protection. And since cycling is a high-intensity activity, make sure the helmet has plenty of ventilation.


A cycling jersey is another crucial item for optimal comfort and performance. Choose one made from moisture-wicking fabric that will keep you dry and cool even during long, strenuous rides. The jersey should also have a snug fit to avoid flapping in the wind and back pockets for storing essential items such as energy gels or your phone.

Cycling Shoes

Investing in a quality pair of cycling shoes can significantly improve your riding experience. The shoes should offer a stiff sole for efficient power transfer and excellent foot support. They should also have breathable material and a secure closure system for added comfort, such as a Boa dial or Velcro straps. Consider specific types of shoes for road cycling or mountain biking, as they may come with specific features for each discipline.

Cycling Socks

Designed to keep your feet dry and cool, cycling socks are an essential addition to your cycling wardrobe. Look for thin, moisture-wicking materials like Merino wool cycling socks to help prevent blisters and chafing during long rides.

Biking and Outdoor Shorts from Stio

If you're looking for quality biking shorts or shorts to tackle an outdoor adventure, Stio has you covered. Our mission is to provide beautiful, functional outdoor gear that keeps you comfortable so you can get more in touch with nature. Let's take a look at some of our quality shorts options.

Women's Glide Tech 9" Short

Stio's Women's Glide Tech 9 Short is the perfect blend of comfort, performance and style. Designed to elevate your outdoor adventures, these shorts are meticulously crafted with the active woman in mind.

Crafted from a premium blend of durable materials, the Glide Tech 9 Short offers exceptional breathability and flexibility. Whether you're biking, trail running or enjoying a day in nature, these shorts provide the freedom of movement you need to excel in any activity. The lightweight fabric keeps you cool and dry, even during intense workouts, allowing you to push your limits without distraction.

The innovative Glide Tech 9 Short features a thoughtfully designed construction that maximizes comfort and functionality. The adjustable waistband ensures a personalized fit, while the gusseted crotch enhances mobility and reduces chafing. With multiple pockets strategically placed, you can conveniently store your essentials such as keys, trail maps or energy gels, keeping them within easy reach.

Stio understands that style is just as important as performance. The Glide Tech 9 Short boasts a sleek and modern design that effortlessly transitions from the trail to everyday life. The flattering silhouette and versatile color options make these shorts a wardrobe staple for active women seeking functionality and fashion.

So, whether you're embarking on a challenging hike, hitting the gym or enjoying a day of relaxation, the Women's Glide Tech 9 Short by Stio is the ultimate companion. Experience the perfect blend of comfort, performance and style – gear up and let the adventure begin.

Women's Stio Team Bike Short

The Women's Stio Team Bike short is a high-performance cycling essential that combines comfort, style and functionality. Designed for female cyclists who demand the best, these shorts are engineered to enhance your riding experience and help you reach new heights on the road or trail.

Constructed with cutting-edge technology and premium materials, the Women's Stio Team Bike Short offers unrivaled comfort and support. The advanced moisture-wicking fabric keeps you dry and cool even during intense rides, while the strategic mesh panels provide enhanced breathability and ventilation where you need it most. Say goodbye to discomfort and hello to a smooth, friction-free ride.

The ergonomic design of the Stio Team Bike Short ensures a precise fit that moves with your body. The multi-panel construction and flatlock seams minimize chafing and irritation, allowing you to focus on your performance rather than distractions. The wide, elastic waistband offers a secure and comfortable fit, while the silicone grippers prevent the shorts from riding up during vigorous pedaling.

Stio understands the importance of functionality in cycling gear, and the Team Bike Short delivers on all fronts. The high-density foam chamois provides exceptional padding and support, reducing fatigue and optimizing comfort on long rides. With its moisture-wicking properties, the chamois keeps you dry and prevents saddle sores, allowing you to ride comfortably for extended periods.

Men's OPR Short

Stio's men's OPR Short is a versatile and high-performance short designed to keep up with your active lifestyle. Whether you're hitting the trail for a bike ride, going on a run or enjoying a casual day in the outdoors, these shorts deliver exceptional comfort, durability and functionality.

Crafted from a premium blend of materials, the Men's OPR Short offers lightweight breathability and excellent moisture-wicking properties. The quick-drying fabric keeps you cool and dry, even during intense workouts, while ensuring maximum flexibility and freedom of movement. With its four-way stretch construction, these shorts allow you to tackle any activity with ease and confidence.

The Men's OPR Short features a thoughtfully designed construction that prioritizes comfort and functionality. The elastic waistband with an adjustable drawstring ensures a secure and personalized fit, while the gusseted crotch enhances mobility and minimizes chafing. With multiple pockets strategically placed, including a zippered thigh pocket, you can conveniently store your essentials such as keys, wallet or energy gels, keeping them safe and easily accessible.

Stio understands that style is important too, and the Men's OPR Short doesn't disappoint. With its modern and sleek design, these shorts effortlessly transition from outdoor adventures to casual outings. The versatile color options and clean lines make them a stylish choice for the active man who values both performance and aesthetics.

Built to withstand the demands of your active lifestyle, the Men's OPR Short is built to last.

Men's Whiparound Short

Introducing the Men's Whiparound Short, a pinnacle of style, comfort and performance. Designed by Stio for the modern adventurer, these shorts are tailored to meet the demands of your active lifestyle while making a bold fashion statement.

Crafted from a premium blend of durable materials, the Men's Whiparound Short offers exceptional breathability and flexibility. The lightweight fabric allows for unrestricted movement, making it perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing or exploring new trails. Stay cool and dry, even during intense workouts, thanks to the quick-drying and moisture-wicking properties of these shorts.

The Men's Whiparound Short features a carefully engineered design that prioritizes comfort and functionality. The adjustable waistband ensures a personalized fit, allowing you to dial in the perfect level of comfort. The gusseted crotch enhances mobility, while the reinforced stitching ensures durability, withstanding the rigors of your adventurous pursuits.

Stio knows that style matters just as much as performance, and the Men's Whiparound Short delivers on both fronts. Colors like Fired Brick add a vibrant and energetic touch to your outdoor wardrobe, standing out from the crowd with its bold and confident look. The clean lines and sleek silhouette create a contemporary aesthetic that seamlessly transitions from the trail to the city streets.

Equipped with multiple pockets, including a zippered thigh pocket, these shorts offer ample storage space for your essentials. Keep your keys, phone or wallet secure and easily accessible during your outdoor escapades, ensuring convenience and peace of mind.

Elevate your outdoor experience with the Men's Whiparound Short.

Shop Stio

Stio is a leading outdoor apparel and gear brand, and their bike shorts are some of the best on the market. Stio bike shorts are designed to be comfortable, durable, and stylish, making them the perfect choice for cyclists of all levels.

  • Comfort - Stio bike shorts are made from high-quality materials that are designed to wick away moisture and keep you cool and comfortable on long rides. The shorts also feature a built-in chamois, which provides padding and support for your sit bones. This helps to prevent chafing and discomfort, so you can focus on enjoying your ride.
  • Durability - Stio bike shorts are made to withstand the rigors of cycling. The shorts are made from durable materials that can handle the wear and tear of the road. They are also designed to be wrinkle-resistant, so you can look your best even after a long day of riding.
  • Style - Stio bike shorts are stylish and fashionable, so you can look good while you're getting active. The shorts come in a variety of colors and styles to match your personal taste.
  • Value - Stio bike shorts offer excellent value for the price. The shorts are made from high-quality materials and are designed to last. They are also backed by a satisfaction guarantee, so you can be sure you're getting a quality product.

Here are some of the specific features of Stio bike shorts that make them a great choice for cyclists:

  • Chamois: The chamois is the padded insert in bike shorts that provides support for your sit bones. Stio bike shorts feature a high-quality chamois that is designed to be comfortable and supportive on long rides.
  • Materials: Stio bike shorts are made from high-quality materials that are designed to wick away moisture and keep you cool and comfortable. The shorts also feature a water-resistant finish that helps to protect you from the elements.
  • Fit: Stio bike shorts are designed to fit snugly but not too tight. This helps to prevent chafing and discomfort. The shorts also feature a variety of adjustable features, so you can get a perfect fit.

If you're looking for the perfect pair of bike shorts, Stio bike shorts are designed to help you enjoy your rides, so you can focus on the fun and leave the discomfort behind.

Shop our women's biking gear or men's biking collection today to see what we can offer you.

FAQs: Padded Bike Shorts

What should I look for in padded bike shorts?

When shopping for padded bike shorts, consider factors such as density chamois, leg band and adjustment system. High-quality shorts should offer excellent compressive support to reduce muscle fatigue, prevent saddle sores and keep the shorts in place without causing discomfort.

Are more expensive bike shorts worth the investment?

Whether or not more expensive bike shorts are worth the investment depends on a few factors, including your budget, riding style and intensity.

  • Budget: If you are on a tight budget, plenty of affordable bike shorts on the market will provide you with good comfort and support. However, if you are willing to spend more money, you can get bike shorts made from higher-quality materials with more features, such as a thicker chamois or a more supportive fit.
  • Riding style: If you are a casual rider who only rides on the weekends, you may not need to spend a lot of money on bike shorts. However, if you are a more serious rider who trains regularly or rides long distances, you may want to invest in a more expensive pair of bike shorts that will provide you with the comfort and support you need.
  • Intensity: If you ride hard and often, you will need a pair of bike shorts that can withstand the wear and tear. More expensive bike shorts are often made from higher-quality materials that are designed to last longer.

Ultimately, deciding whether to invest in more expensive bike shorts is up to you. If you are serious about cycling and want the best possible comfort and support, then more expensive bike shorts may be worth the investment. However, if you are on a tight budget or are a casual rider, plenty of affordable bike shorts on the market will meet your needs.

Do I need different bike shorts for different activities?

You may benefit from having multiple pairs of bike shorts depending on the activity. For example, mountain bikers may require more durable shorts with a higher density chamois than those participating in spin class. Consider your specific needs and preferences when selecting the right bike shorts for each activity.

How do I clean and maintain my padded bike shorts?

To keep your padded bike shorts in optimal condition, follow the manufacturer's washing and care instructions. Typically, this involves machine-washing the shorts on a gentle cycle and hanging them to air dry. Avoid using fabric softeners or bleach, as these can damage the material and chamois padding over time.

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