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The 14 Best Bike Shorts to Add to Your Closet ASAP

Shape logo Shape 5/14/2021 Braelyn Wood and Susan Brickell
a woman wearing a dress: Courtesy of Merchants © Provided by Shape Courtesy of Merchants

Blame the Kardashians or the world's never-ending obsession with stationary bikes, but bike shorts have become an activewear staple akin to leggings and sports bras. A bridge between fashion and fitness, they're one of the few activewear items that work for an Instagram photo one day and a boxing class the next. They're also so popular that finding the very best can be a difficult pursuit — luckily, this list can help.

Here are the 14 best bike shorts for women in 2021, according to customer reviews. 

a woman posing for a picture: Prepare to pack away your leggings for these bike shorts from brands like GymShark, Free People, and Alo. © Courtesy of Merchants Prepare to pack away your leggings for these bike shorts from brands like GymShark, Free People, and Alo.

Every bike short on Shape's roundup meets basic criteria: Each pair is form-fitting, opaque (aka squat-proof), and stretchy, plus has a waistband that won't roll down during a workout, according to reviewers. And each selection has a unique feature that makes it a standout to suit individual shoppers' particular needs. (Warning: These bike shorts are stylish and functional, but not padded. Cyclists should check out this roundup of the best padded bike shorts instead.)

For example, some people may be seeking a high-waisted option that hits above the belly button, while others may prioritize a longer inseam that hits just above the knee. This list covers it all, with styles in several lengths, fits, fabrics, and prices. Plus, shoppers seeking options from popular activewear brands won't be disappointed; best-selling styles from Alo, Girlfriend Collective, and GymShark all made the list.

Below, shop all the best bike shorts, from the best high-waisted pair to the most affordable design.

Most Reviewed: Baleaf High-Waisted Biker Shorts

a woman wearing a suit and tie: Amazon © Provided by Shape Amazon

These moisture-wicking shorts have snagged the coveted title of Amazon's favorite bike shorts with more than 28,000 five-star ratings. Customers love that the style is "not see-through at all" and has an extra-high waistband that's actually comfortable. It's loved by style-minded folk and athletes, with one ultramarathoner giving it their stamp of approval. Plus, convenient side pockets allow you to stash your phone, keys, and credit card when you're on a run or headed to brunch. Available in dozens of colors, two inseam lengths, and a few multipack options, the style is proof that you don't have to spend a fortune for a trusty pair of bike shorts.

Buy It: Baleaf Bike Short, from $17, amazon.com

Best High-Waist: Joyspels Athletic Biker Short

a woman wearing a dress: Amazon © Provided by Shape Amazon

Another Amazon favorite, these bike shorts are made with a stretchy, moisture-wicking fabric that dries quickly after a sweaty HIIT workout. But the design element that stands out most among the 3,000 glowing reviews? The waistband. It's wide and structured, yet comfy and soft — some reviews deem it "perfect." Even die-hard Lululemon lovers can't get enough. (Related: Even Lululemon Fanatics Are Obsessed with These $20 Bike Shorts)

Buy It: Joyspels Athletic Biker Short, from $16, amazon.com

Best Mid-Rise: GymShark Flex Shorts

a man wearing a blue shirt: GymShark © Provided by Shape GymShark

If you've ever scrolled through TikTok, chances are you've noticed more than a few users rocking this brand. With a slightly shorter length, seamless fit (no chafing here!), and contour shading that flatters curves just right, these sweat-wicking shorts are a total no-brainer. They come in nine colors, so you can stock up if you fall in love with them. (Related: Amazon's Best-Selling Anti-Chafe Cream Is the MVP of My Marathon Training)

Buy It: GymShark Flex Short, $35, gymshark.com

Best Cotton: Hanes Stretch Jersey Bike Short

a woman wearing a dress: Amazon © Provided by Shape Amazon

Bike shorts are just as important for lounging as they are for lunging, which is why some people eschew compression. This pair from Hanes is made from stretchy cotton jersey and has a perfect rating from more than 8,300 shoppers, who rave it's extra-soft and lightweight. Less spandex means you might want to size down for a tighter fit, according to a few reviewers, but it all depends on your intended use — and for some, that's a night in watching Netflix.

Buy It: Hanes Stretch Jersey Bike Short, from $7, amazon.com

Best Short Bike Shorts: Colorfulkoala 6" Bike Shorts

a woman posing for a picture: Amazon © Provided by Shape Amazon

Gallery: A guide to the best workout clothing brands on Amazon, according to TikTok (INSIDER)

Most people imagine a knee-length style when someone says bike shorts, but inseam length can vary. A 6-inch style, like this popular pick from Colorfulkoala, is a great choice for anyone that's new to the bike short world or under 5′5". It doesn't cut off the leg visually and still gives the added coverage of bike shorts. Shoppers say these high-waisted shorts are basically a cropped version of the brand's best-selling leggings.

Buy It: Colorfulkoala 6" Bike Shorts, from $20, amazon.com

Best Long Inseam Bike Shorts: Year of Ours Ribbed Bike Short

a person in a blue shirt: Zappos © Provided by Shape Zappos

A great choice for those who don't love the short-short look, these bottoms feature a 9-inch inseam and a wide waistband for extra coverage and support, ensuring they don't fall down or ride up. Reviewers on the brand's site rave that they are extremely comfortable. (If you plan to sport them solely with a sports bra, opt for the Year of Ours V-Waist Bike Short, which has a trendy, visually interesting waistband but still keeps a low profile.)

Buy It: Year of Ours Ribbed Bike Short, $77, zappos.com

Best Cheap: Tnnzeet 3-Pack Biker Shorts

a woman posing for a picture: Amazon © Provided by Shape Amazon

This multipack (with three pairs of high-waisted shorts for just $23!) lets you stock up for sunny weather without spending a fortune. Designed to feel like a second skin, they're made with a buttery-soft fabric that has plenty of stretch; one reviewer says it "feels like Lululemon." But they don't just feel good: Shoppers say the squat-proof shorts stay in place even during high-impact workouts like running.

Buy It: Tnnzeet 3-Pack Biker Shorts, $23 for 3, amazon.com

Most Size-Inclusive: Girlfriend Collective

a woman wearing a swim suit: Girlfriend © Provided by Shape Girlfriend

Everyone deserves a good pair of bike shorts, and Girlfriend Collective delivers with sizes XXS to 6XL. But it's not just the sizing options that are stacked; the compressive shorts, which are made from recycled water bottles, come in six essential colors (like black and moss green) as well as limited-edition hues, so there's always something new to add to your collection. Another reason to be obsessed? They're designed with high-impact workouts in mind, so you'll spend less time adjusting your clothing and more time working hard. (P.S. The brand's sporty skirt is another athleisure alternative that's perfect for summer.)

Buy It: Girlfriend Collective Bike Short, $48, girlfriend.com

Best Squat-Proof: All Access Center Stage Bike Short

a person wearing a suit and tie: Bandier © Provided by Shape Bandier

Ashley Graham is a fan of these bike shorts — even going as far as to call them "baller" — if that tells you anything. They effortlessly mix style and performance, making them ideal for workouts, running, and just hanging around the house. They come in five colors, two textures (shiny and matte), and two inseam lengths. The supermodel swears that they're squat-proof and pass the no-visible-underwear test.

Buy It: All Access Center Stage Bike Short, $68, bandier.com

Most Comfortable: Free People Seamless Rib Bike Short

a woman wearing a costume posing for the camera: Free People © Provided by Shape Free People

If you're looking for a colorful option, these Free People bike shorts will do the trick. Available in 15 shades, including bright neons and neutral hues, the soft, seamless shorts are comfy enough to sweat or lounge in. Not to mention, the cooling fabric is perfect for hot summer days. Reviewers are calling them a "wardrobe staple."

Buy It: Free People Seamless Bike Short, $20, freepeople.com

Best Printed: Onzie High Rise Bike Short

a person posing for the camera: Onzie © Provided by Shape Onzie

These animal-print bottoms are super versatile since they can be worn with almost any other color. The high waistband, mid-length, and compression fabric will make them your go-to for everyday wear. Leopard print not your style? Choose from eight other eye-catching patterns, including camouflage and snakeskin.

Buy It: Onzie High Rise Bike Short, $20, onzie.com

Best White Shorts: Alo High-Waist Bike Short

a woman wearing a dress: Alo Yoga © Provided by Shape Alo Yoga

Summer is the perfect time to experiment with white workout bottoms if you've never tried them before. These are made with high-quality fabric that's moisture-wicking and anti-odor — so you never have to worry about embarrassing sweat stains or smells. Plus, the shorts have a front-smoothing panel, meaning you can go commando with no fear. Many shoppers tout these for being "the best bike shorts" they've ever worn. Don't trust yourself with white? Grab one of the brand's other four colors.

Buy It: Alo High-Waist Bike Short, $56, aloyoga.com

Best with Sun Protection: Prana Electa Short

a person standing posing for the camera: Prana © Provided by Shape Prana

With a wide waistband for support, built-in UPF 50+ to protect you from the sun, and a triangle gusset for extra comfort while you move, this bike short checks all the boxes. The style also boasts nifty side pockets and a secure key pocket to stow your essentials. Customers swear by them, with one sharing that they're the most flattering item of clothing they own. Also great: They're sustainably made of recycled material. (Related: These UPF Clothes Will Protect Your Skin During Any Outdoor Activity)

Buy It: Prana Electa Short, $59, prana.com

Best to Live In: Beyond Yoga Spacedye Biker Short

a woman wearing a blue dress: Beyond Yoga © Provided by Shape Beyond Yoga

If you want to flow through a hour-long yoga class, grab brunch with your friends, and then binge some Bridgerton without making a pitstop to change into fresh bottoms, slip into these bike shorts before you head out. The buttery-soft shorts have UV protection to keep you sunburn-free and are mid-thigh length with a wide 5-inch waistband, so they stay in place no matter how you move. The fabric also offers four-way stretch, which, according to one reviewer, makes the bike shorts fit perfectly throughout pregnancy and in the postpartum period.

Buy It: Beyond Yoga Spacedye Biker Short, $68, beyondyoga.com

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