The best mountain bike shorts

The best baggies for ripping the trails

a Mountain biker

by William Lobley |

Having the best cycling shorts for your particular discipline goes beyond looking good on the bike; padding, protection and performance are also crucial parts of bikewear. Mountain bike shorts (or baggies) came about because mountain bikers didn’t want to look like the lycra loving roadies anymore. Starting with those who hurl themselves downhill quickly and have now spread through into gravel riders’ wardrobes.

In mountain biking, the design of bike clothing has progressed rapidly over the years and now offers some fantastic products with great protection and performance on the bike. These shorts are generally slipped over the top of their bibs or cycling shorts; even though they don’t want to look like roadies, there are some beneficial qualities, not aero gains but padding.

Related: The best cycling water bottles | The best cycling backpacks

In the way of chamois, the padding is also something which has developed a lot in both the men’s and women’s sides of the sport. These vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and when you have a poorly constructed chamois, you certainly know about it!

What to look for in mountain bike shorts?

The main thing that we want from any clothing we wear is comfort; make sure that these are comfy on and off the bike; with mountain biking, there can be some pushing of bikes uphill, and you’ll need a short which allow you to walk in it as well as ride. Baggies help with this as they’re sometimes stretchy and more durable.

While we’re talking about durability, you want something which will last, certainly if you’re spending what you consider to be a lot of money on it.

Look for things you will use or find practical, zip pockets if you’re going to keep your phone in there and if there’s space underneath if you are planning on wearing a liner.

What are the best mountain bike shorts?

Well as we’re here to show you, let’s take a look at some of the best mountain bike shorts out there on the market right now.

Covering all your cycling needs from the ground up, Endura has done it again and improved one of their greatest garments: the Hummvee Shorts. Whether it's ripping along MTB trails or barrelling along your daily commuter route, the second generation Hummvee II Baggy Shorts are made from only the most durable fabrics for a long lifespan. Thanks to Ripstop tech, nothing MTB trails can throw at you will stop you when you’re riding hardcore DH routes or flowing singletrack in these tough shorts. On top of that, they feature an efficient DWR (Durable Water Resistant) finish to keep light rain and mud at bay too.

Inside the shorts, meanwhile, you’ll find a supportive detachable liner featuring a protective 200 Series pad and full Clickfast™ compatibility. If you choose to ride without it on less intense days, the panel in the outer shorts section is still entirely seamless so you don’t need to worry about chafing over longer distances. Finally, the rear elasticated waistband delivers heaps of versatility and freedom.

The Outland Shorts pack in a load of features without breaking the bank. Firstly, they're built tough - triple stitched hems provide extra strength in areas prone to wear and tear, while high-quality YKK popper buttons and YKK zips offer a bombproof feel. Locking the shorts firmly in place you'll find easy to use inner waist adjuster tabs giving you the perfect fit at all times.

Around the waist, you'll also enjoy the comfort of a mesh lining which also helps wick away sweat from this key area. Two front pockets one with a lanyard D-loop for attaching keys too and a zipped side leg pocket is ideal for stashing your phone and valuables. Nukeproof branded trims complete this exceptional mountain bike short.

Rapha, doing mountain bikers kit? Yep, it’s true and do not worry, it’s not bad news at all. These lightweight trail shorts offer a slim fit with an ergonomic construction with a shorter leg, great for hot and fast days on the trails. Constructed of lightweight 4-way stretch and abrasion-resistant nylon fabrics that provide exceptional breathability and enhanced durability.

As always with Rapha, you get some really nice touches such as a Rapha Repair Kit, which is colour matched iron-on patches for post-crash repair at home and two zippered thigh pockets for essentials.

These can be worn with a trail bib liner for all day comfort and with or without trail knee pads. The durable water-repellent finish will reduce moisture pickup and aid in quicker drying.

If it’s added comfort you want under your shorts, Rapha also offers up these bib liner shorts – taking on 15 years of experience and innovation across their bib short range these lightweight bib shorts have influences from the road which will help you on the trails. The mesh in the legs promotes airflow and provides optimised temperature regulation with two rear cargo pockets they offer additional storage for your essentials to keep your pockets free.

Made from recycled fabrics and with silicone leg grippers, combined with the breathable upper these could be the perfect liner shorts for all-day comfort in the saddle.

These MTB shorts are designed for riding in warm weather. Elasticated waistband and secure pocket. Ride through the undergrowth with no worries. These comfy shorts, with their built-in foam pad (designed for men), absorb vibrations and avoid rubbing and chafing.

These are ideal shorts for someone who is starting out in Mountain Biking as the chamois pad is good for protecting pressure points for up to two hours.

William Lobley is a Content Writer and reviewer for WhatsTheBest, specialising in technology, gaming and outdoors. He also writes for Empire Online.

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