Best cycling shorts 2023 for a faster, more comfortable ride

Best cycling shorts for any weather and occasion, from MTB and commuting to urban bike shorts and more

Best cycling shorts: Two people riding their bikes through a tunnel
(Image credit: Rapha)

You know how essential the best cycling shorts are if you ever rode a bike for longer than five minutes. As the last layer between you and the saddle, padded cycling shorts perform a crucial function: letting you cycle for hours without chafing or saddle sores.

There are two types of cycling shorts: waist shorts and bib shorts (we covered the latter in our best bib shorts guide). Waist shorts have an elastic waist, are often cheaper, and are a popular choice for newer and casual cyclists. On the other hand, bib shorts are the choice of cyclists who cover longer distances since these shorts stay up thanks to the comfortable supporting braces but can make toilet stops more complicated. 

Should you need even more cycling gear, you'd better check out T3's guides on the best cycling jerseys and best cycling sunglasses. Do you also need a new bike, too? Gosh. Have a look at the best road bike guide for more info on what bike to buy right now.

Best cycling shorts to buy right now

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How to choose the best cycling shorts

All cycling shorts have some degree of padding, which is where they differ from your average pair, although how much is up to you. The same goes for the price. If possible, it's always worth grabbing your bike helmet and going for a test run in new cycle shorts before setting off on a long ride just to make sure everything sits as it should.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt looks after T3's Active vertical, which incorporates all things fitness, outdoors, wearables and transportation – anything that gets you moving and keeps you fit and healthy will go through his hands. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.