Best cycling shorts 2024: The best of every category, for every budget

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The best cycling shorts, along with the best road bike saddle (or the best gravel bike saddle if you're rad) are about as make or break as it gets in terms of cycling kit. Get it right and you'll be in for endless miles of blissed out riding in perfect comfort. Get it wrong and you may as well perch yourself atop a housebrick and ride down a cobbled street. 

Whether you're getting your first pair of cycling shorts or your tenth, we've got you covered. Each member of the tech team has tested out countless pairs and the following list is what we like to think of as the crème de la crème; it's what we'd tell you to buy over a drink if you asked us (mine's a negroni, if you're asking). There are options for general road use, cargo bib shorts for those that need extra storage, and thermal options for high-tempo winter riding. The list here focuses on the best cycling shorts for men, as we have a separate guide outlining the best women's cycling shorts

As ever, if you're not quite sure what you're after we've got all the key questions taken care off at the bottom of the page to make sure you make the most effective use of your cash.

Editors' picks: Three standout choices

The best cycling shorts available today

You can trust Cyclingnews Our experts spend countless hours testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

For general riding, whether it's a calm Sunday ride to a café, or a full gas crit, a standard set of cycling shorts is probably best. Comfortable, supportive, and a good chamois are prerequisites, but our picks are a cut above without any gimmicks or marketing fluff. We've got options if you're just starting out, through to pairs for riders who want maximum compression for the highest intensity racing. 

The best cycling bib shorts for general use

Cyclingnews tech writer wearing one of the best pairs of cycling shorts, the

(Image credit: Josh Croxton)

1. Castelli Velocissimo

The best budget-friendly cycling shorts

Specifications

Pockets: No
UV Protection: No
Sizes: S-XXXL
Colours: Black, Black/Orange, Black/Red

Reasons to buy

+
Chamois pad is excellent
+
Leg length is great, with grippy hem
+
Low front panel good for toilet breaks

Reasons to avoid

-
Low front panel not great for warmth

Of all the budget shorts I (Josh C) tested for this guide, the Castelli Velocissimo IV was by far mthe pair I reached for the most when I wasn't specifically testing things. Overall, their cut is excellent, nice and compressive without being restrictive, and the Kiss Air chamois is genuinely a league above its budget-level competitors. 

The way the straps join up at the front leaves the stomach fairly exposed, despite a slight raised section. This can mean your midriff catches a chill on colder rides, but this is easily solved with a well-fitting base layer. The positive to this is easy toilet stops - for men, that is. 

Cyclingnews tech writer wearing one of the best pairs of cycling shorts, the

(Image credit: Josh Croxton)

2. Pas Normal Mechanism

Best premium cycling shorts

Specifications

Pockets: No
UV Protection: No
Sizes: XXS-XXL
Colours: Nine

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable, compressive fit 
+
Stylish design 
+
Foam chamois is really comfortable

Reasons to avoid

-
White contrasting stitching on some versions may not be for everyone

The Mechanism bib shorts are Pas Normal's premium offering and I've been really impressed with them during several months of riding. 

As Pas Normal claims the shorts do indeed provide a compressive and supportive fit and haven't given me the slightest niggle or bit of discomfort whilst in use. I've worn them to climb Soller in Mallorca and whilst descending the Ghisallo pass with rain bouncing off the road. 

The bib straps are slightly restrictive whilst standing in the shorts but sat atop the bike they feel perfect, they are also around four centimetres wide and are thin and comfortable. The foam chamois pad was really comfy for me using a range of saddles and isn't trying to rewrite the rulebook in its design so should work for a wide range of riders. 

They have washed well, and there is no sign of the lettering disappearing after several months. There is a wide range of nine colours to choose from, (I tested the light burgundy option) including white if you want to get really snazzy. 

Cyclingnews tech writer wearing one of the best pairs of cycling shorts, the Sportful Giara

(Image credit: Josh Croxton)

3. Sportful Giara

Best budget bib shorts for long-lasting durability

Specifications

Pockets: No
UV Protection: No
Sizes: S-XXXL
Colours: Black, Green, Red

Reasons to buy

+
Long lasting durability
+
Comfortable, perforated chamois

Reasons to avoid

-
Pad might be too soft for some

The Giara bib shorts are our pick as the pair of budget-friendly bib shorts that will stand up to anything you throw at them, be that in the course of one ride, or over the cumulative years of ownership. I (Josh) have been using this pair of Giara bib shorts for approximately three years now, and they still look the way they did when they arrived. That's despite being put through various multi-hour rides on road, gravel and mountain bikes alike. 

They don't boast any real talking points in terms of features or specs. This dark green colourway and the reflective band are about as exciting as they get, but they're comfortable, with light compression, a medium-thickness low-density chamois, and there aren't any pressure points or chafing seams. 

Cyclingnews tech writer wearing one of the best pairs of cycling shorts, the

(Image credit: Josh Croxton)

4. dhb Aeron Lab

Aero considerations without breaking the bank

Specifications

Pockets: No
UV Protection: No
Sizes: XS-XXL
Colours: Black

Reasons to buy

+
Super comfortable leg grippers 
+
Mesh bibstraps are comfy 
+
Solid performance at a more affordable price point 

Reasons to avoid

-
Shiny and matte short panels may not suit everyone 

The dhb Aeron bib shorts are lightweight and performance-minded bib shorts that still come in at a more competitive price point. 

Certain outer panels are said to have been designed with aerodynamics in mind and whilst we haven't taken them to the wind tunnel they certainly feel slippery and on the bike feel fast. Side panels are a stretchy and comfortable mesh and the printed leg grippers are wide and stay in place without feeling restrictive. The elastic interface chamois is a little firmer than other shorts and I found this really quite supportive. 

If your looking to just upgrade your existing budget shorts or want something to hammer at your local crits every week the Aeron Lab are a solid choice. 

Cyclingnews tech writer wearing one of the best pairs of cycling shorts, the

(Image credit: Josh Croxton)

5. Endura Pro SL EGM

High quality, performance shorts with a longer leg option

Specifications

Pockets: No
UV Protection: No
Sizes: XS-XXL
Colours: Black, Deep Teal, Ink blue

Reasons to buy

+
Stylish design with subtle logos 
+
Two leg length options 
+
Design input from a physio 

Reasons to avoid

-
Ask if you unsure, the Endura range can be hard to navigate 

The Endura Pro SL EGM cycling bib shorts are a high-quality pair of performance bib shorts. We tested the long version which features a longer leg finishing up just above the knee. I fear my slightly longer-than-average femurs often make shorts measure up a little short length wise but not so here. Have a look if you find your shorts often come up too short for your liking.  

All Endura EGM products have been designed in collaboration with Phil Burt - a physiotherapist and bike fitter who spent twelve years as head physio at British Cycling. The shorts feature the 800 Series Conform EGM chamois pad which I found really comfortable on short and long riders, some of which were at temperatures of 25C/77F and above for several hours riding in Mallorca. The chamois also employs silicone to relieve pressure and it seemed to do a good job here on long rides. 

The long version of the shorts adds about 4cm to the regular fit, the regular shorts won't be especially short though if you're unsure about which to go for. Aesthetics wise the shorts have a gloss black silicone 'Endura Pro SL' logo on each thigh and a white Endura logo on the rear.

Cyclingnews tech writer wearing one of the best pairs of cycling shorts, the Velocio Concept

(Image credit: Josh Croxton)

6. Velocio Concept

No compromise bib shorts with a compressive fit

Specifications

Pockets: No
UV Protection: No
Sizes: XS-4XL
Colours: Oxide Red, Black, Navy

Reasons to buy

+
Compressive and supportive fit 
+
Lightly 'ribbed' short panels look great 
+
Chamois design minimizes extra seams and stitching 

Reasons to avoid

-
High retail price  

The Concept bib-shorts are the top-level offering from Velocio and the brand says zero compromises were made in its design. 

The plush chamois used in the Concept shorts is integrated into the panel stitching, minimizing the amount of stitching and seams used and making for a more comfortable experience overall. The shorts are certainly comfortable, and a 45-minute climbing effort in high temperatures this spring couldn't catch them out, with zero niggles for me anywhere. 

Elsewhere you get wide, soft and comfortable bib straps, a fairly long leg cut and reflective detailing across all three colour options. 

Cyclingnews tech writer wearing one of the best pairs of cycling shorts, the

(Image credit: Josh Croxton)

7. Assos Equipe RS S9 Targa

Very comfortable bib shorts for all round riding

Specifications

Pockets: No
UV Protection: No
Sizes: XS-XLG
Colours: Dam blue, Katana red, Stone Blue, Cyber Blue,Black

Reasons to buy

+
Premium Assos technology and design 
+
Stylish 
+
Comfortable 

Reasons to avoid

-
Coloured rear bibstraps are mostly hidden

The Assos RS S9 Targa bib shorts are the Swiss brand's flagship bib shorts for WorldTour level racing and training and are packed with technology and design features. 

A standout of the shorts is the incredibly comfortable Sundeck s9 chamois insert with perforations in the chamois foam itself to aid airflow and cooling. The front and rear of the chamois are stitched, but free-to-float mid-sections that move with you as you pedal really help I find. 

There is also minimal stitching and panelling on the legs compared to a lot of other shorts which also helps take comfort to the next level. The lycra leg grippers are really wide and hold perfectly without being overly tight. 

Cyclingnews tech writer wearing one of the best pairs of cycling shorts, the Rapha Pro Team Powerweave bibs

(Image credit: Josh Croxton)

8. Rapha Powerweave

Top tier shorts designed with World Tour input

Specifications

Pockets: No
UV Protection: No
Sizes: XS-XXL
Colours: Dark Grey-Dark Navy / Navy-Green / Dark Brown-Rust Brown

Reasons to buy

+
Compressive fit does add support 
+
Integrated leg grippers are seamless 

Reasons to avoid

-
The retail price is high 

The Pro Team Powerweave bib shorts are the Rapha range toppers and are the most expensive shorts in the guide. Developed with input from EF World Tour riders, using Rapha's power weave fabric, which is meant to aid moisture management and reduce weight compared to the Rapha Pro Team bib shorts. 

The shorts are certainly lightweight and the long leg length paired with the compression of the fabric certainly makes you feel ready for action. The race chamois pad worked well for me and something of a sweat test climbing the Puig Major in mid-twenty-degree temperatures tested their moisture management, they passed this test with flying colours. 

They almost feel like a 'beyond category' product and the very understated Rapha logos add to this feeling. If you want a high-performance, lightweight pair of premium shorts for training and racing these fit the bill. 

Cyclingnews tech writer wearing one of the best pairs of cycling shorts, the Altura Endurance

(Image credit: Josh Croxton)

9. Altura Endurance

Premium features at a pocket-friendly price

Specifications

Pockets: No
UV Protection: No
Sizes: S-XXL
Colours: Black

Reasons to buy

+
Ceramic, abrasion resistant patterning
+
Kevlar-infused Scholler fabric panels
+
Comfortable Elastic Interface pad

Reasons to avoid

-
Overly-compressive leg grippers

When I (Josh) first put on the Altura Endurance bib shorts, their comfort immediately impressed me. The high front might make toilet stops a little more challenging, but it creates a secure and cosy feeling that's unrivalled at this price point, only really matched in this regard by the twice-as-expensive Endura Pro SL EGM bibs. 

The big feature of Altura's Endurance bibs is the kevlar-infused fabric from Swiss textile specialists Scholler. This adds to the compressive, comfortable feeling, with the added theoretical benefit of increased abrasion resistance when crashing. (I opted not to test this theory.)

I found the fit to be true to size, too. The only concern I had, if you can call it that, was the leg gripper which is a solid band that wraps around 4/5ths around the leg. It's fairly tight, would pull on hair, and left a bit of an indentation at the end of rides. 

Cyclingnews tech writer wearing one of the best pairs of cycling shorts, the Velobici Jasper

(Image credit: Josh Croxton)

10. Velobici Jasper

Very comfortable British made bib shorts

Specifications

Pockets: No
UV Protection: No
Sizes: XXS-XXL
Colours: Bark