The Best Mountain Bike Shorts for Riders


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October 31, 2022

Mountain bike shorts are made to be comfortable and durable, with many features that make them stand out from regular running shorts. 

They tend to have more padding around the hips and backside to protect against bumps and bruises (especially if you’re going downhill), along with reinforced stitching and abrasion-resistant materials that are tough enough to withstand hours of riding.

They also tend to include mesh panels in areas where you’ll need ventilation most — like under your arms or on your lower back — so they don’t get too sweaty during longer rides. Some models even have additional pockets for storing things like keys or phones while you ride (though this is less common than it used to be).

Best Mountain Bike Shorts

Endura SingleTrack Short II

endura singletrack short ii

As the name suggests, the Endura SingleTrack Short II was designed with mountain biking in mind. With its lightweight fabric and stretch construction, it’s a great option for riders looking to push the pace on technical singletrack. 

The SingleTrack is made from Endura’s proprietary NanoFly fabric, which uses a Kevlar-like weave to provide strength and durability without adding weight. The fabric is treated with a DWR coating that helps repel water and stains. It also has excellent breathability and moisture management properties, so you won’t get clammy or sticky when riding hard in warm weather.

The shorts feature a classic 5-panel cut with mesh side panels that provide additional ventilation when you’re working hard on the trail. There are also two rear pockets with external zippers for easy access to small items like keys or energy bars.

Machines For Freedom Key Shorts

machines for freedom key shorts

Machines for Freedom is a brand that focuses on creating comfortable and durable clothing that is made in the USA. We love their mission to create products that are designed to last and to reduce waste, as well as their eco-friendly practices.

The Key shorts are great for summer days or for wearing under a pair of pants. They’re made from 100% cotton fabric and feature a button fly with drawstrings at the waist. The shorts are also double-needle stitched at all seams for added durability, which we really appreciated since our other pair of MFF shorts have lasted us years and still look great!

They’re available in four colors: black, navy blue, khaki green, and red (our favorite). They fit true to size – we typically wear a small in most brands but got these in small as well and they fit perfectly!

Patagonia Dirt Roamer Bike Shorts

patagonia dirt roamer bike shorts

The Patagonia Dirt Roamer Bike Shorts are a great pair of shorts for mountain biking, road cycling, and other activities where you need comfort and protection from the elements. The Dirt Roamer shorts use a polyester/spandex blend that’s quick-drying, stretchy, and lightweight. The fabric also has anti-odor properties to keep you dry and comfortable during all your adventures.

The Dirt Roamer shorts have an internal gusseted crotch panel that provides added comfort while riding your bike. The quick-drying material also helps keep you dry in case you have any spills while riding your bike.

The Patagonia Dirt Roamer Bike Shorts come with a waistband that has a hidden elastic drawstring so you can adjust the fit depending on how active you’ll be on your ride. This waistband also features a small pocket on each side that allows you to keep small items like keys in place without having to worry about them falling out of your pocket when you’re riding or hiking through rough terrain.

Mission Workshop Traverse

mission workshop traverse

The Mission Workshop Traverse bike shorts are the perfect combination of style and comfort. With a custom-milled fabric and innovative design, they’re the only shorts you’ll need on the trails.

The Mission Workshop Traverse bike shorts have been designed with a custom-milled fabric that provides high breathability and stretch. The material is both water-resistant and quick-drying, so you can stay comfortable even when the weather changes during your ride. The shorts also feature a durable YKK zip fly with an internal waistband pocket for easy access to your phone or keys.

The Mission Workshop Traverse bike shorts have been designed with an ergonomic fit that provides freedom of movement without sacrificing comfort. They also feature two large rear pockets — one zippered and one snap closure — to keep all of your essentials secure while you’re riding your bike. 

Kistbow Haskell Lighterweight Short

kistbow haskell lighterweight short

The Haskell Lighterweight Shorts are the perfect weight for any activity. These lightweight shorts can be worn all day long and won’t weigh you down. They feature a high-rise fit and are made of an ultra-soft fabric with stretch.

The Haskell Lighterweight Shorts have a low-rise fit that sits just below the waist, so they’re great for wearing with leggings or under dresses. The lightweight fabric has just enough stretch to move with you and keep you comfortable all day long. The soft fabric is breathable, so it won’t stick to your skin when you’re exercising or playing sports in these shorts.

These Kistbow shorts have side pockets that provide a great place to store your keys or phone while exercising or playing sports. The wide waistband provides extra support at the waistline, so these lightweight shorts won’t slip down while you’re moving around during exercise or physical activity.

POC Essential MTB Women’s Shorts

poc essential mtb women's shorts

The POC Essential MTB Women’s Shorts are a great option for mountain bikers. They have an ergonomic fit that provides support and comfort, and the material is as breathable as it gets so you won’t get too hot. The shorts are made with abrasion-resistant material to protect against small rocks and branches that can get caught up in your wheels.

The POC Essential MTB Women’s Shorts feature a high waistband that stays put while you’re riding and doesn’t slide down while you’re pedaling. The chamois pad is made from soft fabric that conforms to your body shape while still providing support during long rides. The back pocket has an internal key pocket so you don’t have to worry about losing your keys while out on the trail.

Rapha Explore Overshorts

rapha explore overshorts

The Rapha Explore Overshorts Bike Shorts are a pair of comfortable and durable shorts with a relaxed fit and a reflective logo. They have been designed to be worn with or without the included bibs to create a full set of gear.

The shorts are made from a high-quality, lightweight nylon fabric that provides excellent breathability and comfort. The fabric is also treated with UPF 50+ protection, which protects your skin from harmful UV rays.

The shorts feature an elastic waistband that is adjustable by pulling on the straps at either side of the waistband. This allows you to adjust the tightness around your waist as needed, making them more comfortable when worn over another pair of pants or just to accommodate different body shapes. There are also two pockets at either hip; these are ideal places for storing items such as keys or cash while you ride.

The Rapha Explore Overshorts Bike Shorts come with an included pair of bibs that feature adjustable straps at both sides so they can be worn with any type of jersey, jacket, or top layer comfortably. The bibs also feature mesh panels on either side for increased breathability and comfort when riding in warm weather conditions on hot days.

What Makes a Good Mountain Bike Shorts?

There are many factors to consider when choosing a pair of mountain bike shorts. Comfort is obviously a top priority — if your pants don’t feel good on your body, they won’t be very enjoyable to wear even if they do everything else right. Comfort also means that the shorts shouldn’t chafe or rub anywhere, as this can lead to saddle sores and other uncomfortable problems.

Comfort is important for another reason as well: you’ll be wearing your mountain bike shorts for long periods of time during rides and races, so you want them to be extremely comfortable and breathable (not just on the surface but also through the fabric). This keeps you cool while riding in hot weather, which helps prevent overheating and fatigue.

The next thing to look at when choosing a pair of mountain bike shorts is fit. Some riders like baggier pants with plenty of room — others prefer them tight-fitting with minimal excess material around their waistlines or thighs

Final thoughts 

Mountain bike shorts are the perfect choice for most riders. They’re made with lightweight, breathable fabrics to keep you cool and dry while riding, and they have easy-access pockets for carrying your essentials. There are several different types of mountain bike shorts on the market today, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

So there you have it. These are our top picks for the best mountain bike shorts out there today—and we hope that this article was helpful in your search for new shorts. In the end, of course, your choice will come down to your own personal preferences. However, hopefully, this guide has inspired you to explore some options that you hadn’t considered before and help you find just the right pair of shorts for you.

Every product is hand selected by our editors. We may receive commissions on purchases from a link.

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