The Best Cycling Shorts Make Socially Distanced Exercise a Cinch

If there’s any consolation to be had in our current situation (spoiler: there really isn’t) it’s that recently, many of us have rediscovered the simple pleasures of *inhales deeply* the great outdoors. Christ. Some consolation that is. I think I’m going to cough up a fly. And lately, if you haven’t been walking everywhere you possibly can, chances are you’ve been getting around on a bike.

If you’ve got the stamina for it, bicycling is one of the best ways to get in a sweat short of, y’know, actually hitting a gym. I ripped a fat bike ride this past Saturday and I swear it was one of the most sensual experiences I’ve had in a minute. (Is it possible to develop feelings for a non-sentient chunk of cool-to-the-touch carbon fiber? I don’t know, and I don’t want to find out. Someone please send help.) The brief moment of transcendence when you hit the top of a hill and forget for a fraction of a second you’re only biking up the goddamn thing because there’s a global pandemic roiling the nation that shows no sign of stopping any time soon? Pure bliss, man. Wouldn’t trade it for a thing. (A vaccine. A vaccine would be nice. I’d trade it for a vaccine.)

If you plan on biking anywhere with any sort of regularity it’s crucial you invest in the right gear to do it in, and that means copping a proper pair of cycling shorts. Cycling shorts come with built-in padding so they’re way less likely to ride up while you’re in the saddle, and help keep you comfortable and, ah, secure throughout any longer excursions. And while that added layer of protection isn’t necessarily an essential feature for amateur cyclists trying to get from point A to point B, the cushioning goes a long way in preventing serious chafing down the line. (Of course, not every bike ride calls for professional-grade protection, so there’s more than a few all-purpose options included below for the slightly-less-diehard devotees of the pastime.)

And for god’s sake: Don’t be the dude huffing and puffing up that hill in denim so rigid it looks like it’ll stain your legs blue. Bike safely, folks.

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Pro Long Shorts



The Swoosh’s signature sweat-wicking technology, along with a double-layer mesh pouch, make these shorts a must cop for any aspiring cyclist (even if their origins are in all-purpose training). 

Padded Liner Shorts



REI’s in-house label tends to make near-perfect versions of the exact pieces you’ve been looking for, sans the sticker shock that typically goes along with tracking ’em down. 

Essential Cycling Liner



Zoic’s proprietary Zo-Wick (ha!) moisture management system, coupled with a breathable mesh shell, makes these liners ideal for rides lasting no more than a few hours. 

Gel Cycling Shorts

Louis Garneau


Louis Garneau’s cycling shorts come complete with silicone leg grippers to keep ’em in place as you ride, along with active gel cushioning to keep you comfortable throughout the day.

Vista Bike Shorts



If cycling shorts that could easily pass as everyday go-tos are more you thing, Zoic also makes a sleek, streamlined pair that couldn’t look more street-ready. 

Comfort Cycling Shorts

L.L. Bean


The brand famous for its signature style of hard-wearing slushy-weather boots might not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of activewear, but its cycling shorts are pretty hard to beat. (Including more than enough pockets to store all your shit certainly doesn’t hurt.) 

Quest Short

Pearl Izumi


Pearl Izumi bills these particular shorts as the optimal entry-level option for those new to cycling, i.e. you, me, and almost everyone else sick of staying cooped up inside. 

Evoluzione 2 Short



Castelli’s shorts feature plush cushioning and plenty of support for every type of cyclist, no matter the skill level involved.  

Quantum Fitness Bike Shorts



Bontrager’s bike shorts are nondescript enough to wear out and about with no bike in sight, but when the time comes to saddle up, you’ll be glad you invested in a pair with removable padded liners. 

Exert G2 Short



Canari’s Exert shorts are specially made for durability, regardless of where you rock ’em. 

Vital Drive Tight Short



Surprise, surprise: Lululemon also makes an excellent all-purpose training style ideal for shorter bike rides. 

Core Cargo Shorts



Rapha commands a good deal of clout in the cycling community, largely because the brand’s premium take on classic bike gear tends not to disappoint.  

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Avidan Grossman is the Style eCommerce Editor at Esquire, covering men’s fashion, shoes, grooming, and accessories.

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Source : Esquire