We looked at 30 pairs of popular padded bike shorts and narrowed down the list to 5 best budget cycling shorts. Check them out below. We also have articles where we feature other cycling shorts in case you want to check them out as well:
Bike shorts are one of the most essential pieces of cycling clothing. They are usually padded to provide comfort in a saddle and eliminate or reduce saddle sores and pain. In general, bike shorts are divided into 2 main categories: waist bike shorts and bib shorts. Bib shorts do not have a waistband, but instead, come with shoulder straps and usually are a go-to option for several reasons:
The quality of cycling shorts is generally determined by fabric, padding, and straps. Shorts priced below $100 are mostly entry-level and anything above this price point falls into a mid-range or a pro category. In this article, we focused only on budget cycling shorts, which are ideal for those not wanting to overspend. We researched 30 pairs of popular options and chose the 5 best budget cycling shorts. Check them out below.
If you don’t have time to go through the whole article check out a quick comparison of our best 5 budget cycling shorts:
The Black Bibs
Best for budget-constrained
Dual-density Coolmax chamois
dhb Bib Shorts
Best price to quality ratio
CyTech Elastic Interface ‘Veloce’ chamois
82% Polyester, 18% Elastane (Spandex)
Pearl Izumi Men's Escape Quest Short
Best affordable premium brand
SELECT Escape 1:1™ chamois
88% Nylon, 12% LYCRA® Elastane
Endura Xtract Gel Bib Shorts II
Best quality and comfort
400-Series antibacterial multi-density gel pad
90% Polyester, 10% Elastane
Santic Cycling Shorts
4D Coolmax pad
82% Nylon, 18% Spandex
1. The Black Bibs
The Black Bibs are quite popular among many cyclists because of the affordable price and a lot of positive feedback all over forums and cycling groups.
This is a great budget option for those just starting with cycling and wanting to test the water before fully diving in. It is very hard to find a better quality option for this price, however, keep in mind that these bib shorts are entry-level quality. Some cyclists experience issues with padding and also the shorts wear out quite quickly.
The Black Bibs also have one slightly higher priced Plus option ($65), which offers leg grippers in order to create a better fit.
Overall, The Black Bibs are hard to beat on price, the feedback is generally positive and entry-level cyclists should seriously consider this option.
2. dhb Bib Shorts
dhb Bib Shorts attract many beginner cyclists for its affordable price and reputation of making good quality products. These bib shorts fall into dhb’s entry-level category and are best for shorter distance cycling (2-3 hours in a saddle).
They are very well made, fit nicely and feel like a second skin. The padding is quite thin but comfortable enough on shorter rides.
Overall, dhb Bib Shorts is a very good quality option at an affordable price point. Again, keep in mind that these shorts are the best for shorter rides.
3. Pearl Izumi Men's Escape Quest Short
Pearl Izumi offers very good quality cycling products ranging from entry to pro levels. Men’s Escape Quest shorts fall into their most affordable category and receive a lot of praise from cyclists all over the world.
In addition to being an affordable option, these shorts generally fit very well and are comfortable to wear. Keep in mind that it is still an entry-level choice. Pearl Izumi offers the same option, but with bib straps priced at $70. Generally, bib shorts are more comfortable to wear so you might want to consider them instead.
Overall, Pearl Izumi Men’s Escape Quest shorts is a great budget-friendly choice. Some cyclists experience chafing while wearing these, but the positive feedback greatly outweighs the negative.
4. Endura Xtract Gel Bib Shorts II
Endura is a well-known brand among cyclists for its high-quality cycling clothing. The Xtract Bib Shorts II fall into their entry-level category and are best for those ready to update their entry-level cycling shorts.
Fabric and overall construction on these shorts feel very comfortable, durable, and sit extremely well. For padding, Endura used a 400 series pad, which sits comfortably but is not designed for long rides (2-3 hours in a saddle).
Overall, Endura’s Xtract Bib Shorts II is a great entry-level choice that most will be happy with, but it is slightly higher priced than some other alternatives in our review.
5. Santic Cycling Shorts
Santic Cycling Shorts is the cheapest option we decided to include in our review. This option has a lot of positive reviews online, however, keep in mind that they are very entry-level and best for beginner cyclists.
In addition to being very cheap, these shorts generally fit well and are comfortable to wear. Santic also offers the same option, but with bib straps priced at $36. Generally, bib shorts are more comfortable to wear so you might want to consider them instead.
Overall, Santic Cycling Shorts is a great budget-friendly choice. Some cyclists experience chafing while wearing these so be mindful of this while shopping.
We know that choosing cycling products is hard and that’s why we help by narrowing down your choice with our reviews and comparisons. We looked at 30 popular budget cycling shorts from various brands and narrowed our list to these 5 best. They are entry-level, most affordable, and ideal for budget-constrained and beginner cyclists.
Thanks for visiting our website and we hope you found this article helpful. Stay healthy, happy, and active.
Why should you trust us?
In order to feature and review any products on our website we do extensive research, read user feedback, carefully review forum threads, look at search trends, brand popularity, try to actually use and test as many products as possible ourselves, and evaluate other factors depending on the product category. By doing extensive research and incorporating it with our own experience we are able to shortlist only a handful of products out of thousands of options.
We want to bring value to our readers and help them find answers to questions and buy the most appropriate cycling products. Brands and cycling professionals always try to innovate and improve to get the best possible outcome. Unfortunately, innovations and product improvements these days result only in marginal gains, but the price increase for these gains is not equally proportional. In economics, this behavior is defined as “diminishing returns”. Knowing this we focus on featuring the best value for the money products that are affordable, but at the same time have a lot to offer. We don’t want our visitors to overspend on something they will not benefit from.