Men

Best Urban Cycling Shorts: Top 16 for Bike Commuters

A man wearing shorts while cycling on a bicycle

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It’s that time of year again when many of us whip off our waterproof cycling trousers to uncover our pasty legs ready for summer.

In this guide to the best urban cycling shorts for men and women, we’ll review a bunch of really good shorts that are perfect for urban and commuter cyclists.

Stylish Cycling Shorts

At Discerning Cyclist, our mantra is, “We don’t want cycling clothes – we want stylish clothes we can cycle in.” That means we love clothes that:

  • Look great for urban life
  • Feel great in general
  • Boast discreet functionality for cycling

Best Casual Cycling Shorts For Men

👉 Jump to the best women’s shorts by clicking here



  1. Lightweight, Stretchy + Beautiful

    Ornot Lightweight Mission Short

    Everything you should look for in a casual bike short. Look and feel superb.

  2. Ministry of Supply Kinetic Short Men_white

    oozing in urban style

    Ministry of Supply Kinetic Short

    If you like short shorts, this pair cut off several inches above the knee with an 8″ inseam.

  3. Sigr Strandvägen Cycling Short for Men_white

    Elegant Shorts with Scandi Style

    Sigr Strandvägen Cycling Short

    The Swedes know a thing or two about style and cycling, so with Sigr combining the two, you should take notice.

  4. DUER Live Lite Journey Short Men-blue

    Breathable cotton cycling shorts

    DUER Live Lite Journey Short

    Cut just above the knee and are extremely stretchy. They look great too.

  5. Bluffworks Ascender Shorts Men_white

    Best for travelling and commuting

    Bluffworks Ascender Shorts

    Extremely versatile and work in both casual and formal settings – as well as all your bicycle adventures.

  6. Show more

Best Casual Cycling Shorts For Women

  1. Rapha-Women’s-Randonnee-Cycling-Shorts-white

    Stylish Lightweight City Shorts

    Rapha Women’s Randonnee Cycling Shorts

    Some of the very best commuter shorts around – for both men and women.

  2. Endura-Hummvee-Lite-Women’s-Short-with-Liner-white

    Chic Commuter Cycling Shorts

    Ministry of Supply Momentum Ladies Chino Short

    The most stylish ladies’ cycling shorts on this list.

  3. Sigr Women Cycling Shorts

    Simple Seaside Cycling Shorts

    Sigr Stranvägen Cycling Chino Short

    With these chinos you’ll be beach-ready no matter how far away you are from the ocean.

  4. Velocio Women’s Trail Short_White

    Velocio Women’s Gravel Short

    Velocio Women’s Gravel Short

    They’re not the most beautiful shorts in the world. On the bike, though, these shorts are perfect.

  5. Club Ride Apparel Women’s 11″ Savvy Short_White

    Lightweight MTB Shorts for Ladies

    Club Ride Apparel Women’s 11″ Savvy Short

    A really great pair of technical cycling shorts that won’t stand out in any pub or cafe.

  6. Show more

Cycling in shorts

What Are the Best Commuter Bike Shorts?

So, what makes a pair of good cycling shorts for urban rides?

Well, for starters, flexible material is a must to ensure cycling stays comfortable and your bike shorts don’t rip. A gusseted crotch is also a bonus to ensuring your cycling shorts stand the test of time. Loose-fitting cycling shorts are great for longer rides.

Bonus points are also awarded for moisture-wicking properties, strong, stretchy material, a raised back, waterproofness, and good looks. Oh, and pockets. Secure pockets.

So, with that in mind, let’s start by looking for the best men’s bicycle shorts for urban cyclists (ladies, you can skip to the best women’s cycling shorts section by clicking here).


Best Men’s Commuter Cycling Shorts [Top 8]

1. Ornot Lightweight Mission Short

  • UK Flag ÂŁ100
  • US Flag $118
  • EU Flag €110

Prices are approximate

Pockets: There are four pockets in total: two deep front pockets, one open rear pocket, and one zipped rear pocket.

Materials:

  • 85% Nylon
  • 15% Elastane

Inseam: 8.5″

Breathable, stretchy and fast-drying

4 pockets (including a zipped rear pocket)

Elegant design that looks fantastic on/off the bike

Simply stunning casual bike shorts. Lightweight, breathable, fast-drying and flexible. These shorts tick every box.

There’s even a gusseted crotch to maximise protection on the shorts most sensitive area.

These Ornot shorts also have nice deep pockets and are a pleasure to ride in, especially on warmer days.

Pros

  • Perfect for leisurely summer rides or even grueling climbs.
  • These shorts look as good off the bike as they feel good on the bike.

Cons

  • A hefty price tag is the only criticism of these stunning shorts.

2. Ministry of Supply Kinetic Short

Ministry of Supply Kinetic Short Men_Blue
  • UK Flag ÂŁ76
  • US Flag $108
  • EU Flag €87

Prices are approximate

Pockets: Five pockets in total. Two open front pockets. Two open rear pockets. One side zipped pockets.

Materials:

  • 100% Primeflex Warp-knit Japanese Polyester

Inseam: 8″

Stretchy, lightweight and breathable/icon_content] 5 pockets (including side zip pocket for phone)

Moisture-wicking and crease-resistant

The short version of Ministry of Supply’s stunningly versatile Kinetic pants, these are probably the best-looking urban cycling shorts on this list.

In terms of style, they are incredibly versatile – they can be pair with a smart dress shirt for evening entertainment, a t-shirt for your ride, or even with a vest for the beach.

The Ministry of Supply Kinetic Shorts are extremely breathable and offer plenty of stretch. They’re also easy on the waistband, and have urethane dots (like rubber) in order to provide a bit of friction if you want to keep a shirt tucked in.

Pros

  • Extremely stylish.
  • Very lightweight and breathable.
  • Offers plenty of stretch to stay comfortable while riding.

Cons

  • Ministry of Supply doesn’t manufacture the Kinetic in a range of colors.
  • Availability of sizes is limited.

3. Sigr Strandvägen Cycling Short for Men

Sigr Strandvägen Cycling Short for Men_blue
  • UK Flag ÂŁ75
  • US Flag $100
  • EU Flag €87.95

Prices are approximate

Pockets: Two pockets in total. Two open front pockets. Two buttoned rear pockets.

Materials:

  • 48% Spandex
  • 48% Cotton
  • 4% Spandex

Inseam: 12″

Breathable, stretchy and fast-drying

4 pockets (inc. 2 button down rear pockets)

Reflective detailing on rear pockets

These smart-looking urban cycling shorts are perfect both on and off the bike.

Off the bike, they look great and can be dressed up with a smart dress shirt for evening activities or dressed down with a tee or polo for a trip to the beach (“Strandvägen” is actually Swedish for “beach road”).

These bicycle shorts are made from a blend cotton, polyester and spandex, and the result is a stretchy, breathable short that performs superbly while pedalling. There’s even reflective detailing on the rear pockets.

Pros

  • Scandinavian style.
  • packed with useful cycling functionality.
  • Include stretch.
  • Breathable properties.
  • Reflective features.

Cons

  • No zipped pockets.

4. DUER Live Lite Journey Short

DUER Live Lite Journey Short Men-blue
  • UK Flag ÂŁ70
  • US Flag $84
  • EU Flag €80

Prices are approximate

Pockets: Five pockets in total. Two open front pockets. Two buttoned rear pockets. One zipped side pocket

Materials:

  • 62% Cotton
  • 30% TENCEL™ Lyocell
  • 6% LYCRA® T400® Polyester
  • 2% LYCRA® Spandex

Inseam: 7″ or 9″

Moisture-wicking and anti-bacterial

5 pockets (including a zipped side pocket)

Up to 10x more stretchy than traditional woven fabrics

I’ve covered DUER a few times on Discerning Cyclist, from reviewing their excellent No Sweat Pants to visiting their head office/shop in Vancouver.

Indeed, I’ve also become acquainted with DUER’s Live Lite commuter shorts during the past couple of years and they’re absolutely top notch.

These are slim-fit performance shorts, made from a blend of cotton and breathable materials to keep you feeling fresh on warmer days. They’re also soft against the skin and have moisture-wicking and anti-bacterial properties due to the TENCEL Lyocell material which is derived from eucalyptus.

The fit and stretch means you can easily squat in them without busting seams, so cycling is no problem.

Pros

  • Great-looking urban cycling shorts.
  • Very breathable.
  • Offer plenty of stretch.
  • Come in a variety of colors.

Cons

  • No gusseted crotch in these shorts.
  • Might start wearing out at some point.

5. Bluffworks Ascender Shorts

Bluffworks Ascender Shorts Men_blue
Bluffworks Ascender Shorts 1
  • UK Flag ÂŁ57
  • US Flag $78
  • EU Flag €65

Prices are approximate

Pockets: There are nine pockets in total: five front pockets, two hand pockets, one internal zipped pocket in the left pocket, a phone pouch pocket in the right pocket, a small multi-tool utility pocket in the right pocket, one zipped side pocket, and three rear pockets: a regular pocket on the right, a zipped pocket on the left, and a built-in phone pocket below the waistband on the right.

Materials:

  • 100% Polyester

Inseam: 9″ or 10″

Odour and wrinkle-resistant

9 pockets, including 3 anti-theft zippered pockets

Breathable and quick-drying

If you’re looking for comfortable, breathable and crease-resistant gear for travelling and commuting, Bluffworks are well worth checking out. They even make office-friendly suits you can cycle in.

Bluffworks Ascender Shorts are the optime of what their products are all about: they’re lightweight, breathable and practical as hell. I mean, they have nine (9!) pockets. How is that even possible?

These shorts with a 9” in-seam have a simple but elegant style and come in a relative loose regular fit. They’re also extremely lightweight, moisture-wicking, quick-drying and anti-microbial.

Pros

  • Lightweight shorts that are crease-resistant.
  • Extremely breathable.
  • Nine built-in pockets, including three zipped pockets.

Cons

  • There’s no DWR coating to ward off a shower when riding.

6. Club Ride Apparel Men’s 12” Fuze Short

Club Ride Apparel Men’s 12” Fuze Short Men_blue
  • UK Flag ÂŁ85
  • US Flag $100
  • EU Flag €96

Prices are approximate

Pockets: Four pockets in total. Two open front pockets. Two zipped side pockets.

Materials:

  • 95% Polyester
  • 5% Spandex

Inseam: 12″

Gusseted crotch to prevent cycling wear and tear

Four pockets (inc. two zipped side pockets)

Removable two-hour padded chamois short

While padded bike shorts are in no-short supply for Lycra-clad cyclists, it’s a significantly bigger challenge to find stylish commuter “baggy” cycling shorts with padding.

But Club Ride have stepped up in a big way to fill this void thanks to their Fuze Short.

And it’s not just any old gel padding inside these 12” shorts, you’re getting a premium two-hour chamois lining which you can switch out whenever you want.

And the cycling functionality doesn’t end there…

These shorts also boast a gusseted crotch, two-way stretch, are water resistant, have Velcro adjustments and even boast reflective detailing for good measure.

Pros

  • Breathable, loose-fitting cycling shorts.
  • Padded chamois liner.
  • Perfect for all types of riding, from mountain biking to commuting.

Cons

  • Baggy fit won’t suit some social situations.
  • Lack of traditional back pockets might put some people off.

7. Rapha Men’s Technical Shorts

Rapha Men
Rapha Men
  • UK Flag ÂŁ110
  • US Flag $140
  • EU Flag €129

Prices are approximate

Pockets: Two hand pockets and two back pockets. Concealed essentials pocket on side leg. Breathable pocket bags.

Materials: 

  • 88% Nylon
  • 12% Elastane

Designed with durability, comfort, and visibility in mind

Breathable and quick-drying fabric

Flatlock and bonded seams for added comfort without chafing

The Rapha Men’s Technical Shorts are designed for both on and off the bike activities. They are made from a durable, breathable, and quick-drying fabric to support everyday wear, featuring a cut that allows freedom of movement.

The shorts include a low-profile flatlock and bonded seams for comfort, high visibility and reflective trims for low light conditions, two hand pockets, two back pockets, and a concealed essentials pocket on the side leg. They are secured with a center front snap button and made of 88% Nylon and 12% Elastane. For care, washing at 30°C and avoiding tumble drying are recommended.

Pros

  • Known for their durability.
  • Enhanced comfort through flatlock and bonded seams.
  • Improved visibility due to reflective trims.

Cons

  • The price might be too high for some.

8. Ministry Of Supply Newton Active Shorts

Ministry Of Supply Newton Active Shorts
Ministry Of Supply Newton Active Shorts
  • UK Flag ÂŁ38
  • US Flag $49
  • EU Flag €45

Prices are approximate

Pockets: There are two full hand pockets, and an extra pocket is built into the liner (on the thigh) for a phone or wallet.

Materials: 

  • 88% recycled Polyester
  • 12% Elastane
  • 75% Nylon
  • 4% S.Cafe Silver
  • 21% Elastane

Inseam: 6.25″-7.25″

Lightweight and breathable fabric

Inclusion of S.Café technology for odor control

Practical design with discreet pockets

The Men’s Newton Active Shorts by Ministry of Supply are engineered for high performance and comfort. Key features include lightweight, breathable fabric that’s moisture-wicking, discreet pockets, and S.CafĂ© odor control technology.

Made with an athletic fit and varying inseam lengths, these shorts offer an ideal blend of function and style for active wear. They are crafted from recycled polyester and elastane, with a liner that includes S.Café Silver for odor management.

Pros

  • Moisture-wicking and breathable fabric for optimal comfort.
  • S.CafĂ© technology for effective odor control.
  • Smart, discreet pocket design.

Cons

  • The price point might be higher than average.
  • Fit and sizing may not accommodate all body types perfectly.
  • Specific care instructions are required.

Best Women’s Commuter Cycling Shorts [Top 8]

1. Rapha Women’s Randonnee Cycling Shorts

Rapha-Women’s-Randonnee-Cycling-Shorts-blue
  • UK Flag ÂŁ100
  • US Flag $130
  • EU Flag €115

Prices are approximate

Pockets: 4 pockets in total. 2 open front pockets. 1 buttoned rear pockets. 1 zipped rear pockets.

Materials:

  • 94% Nylon
  • 6% Spandex

Inseam: 11.4″

Breathable, stretchy and fast-drying

4 pockets (including a zipped rear pocket

Crease-resistant and reflective detailing

Unsurprisingly, the women’s Randonnee Shorts feature all of the same great features as the men’s version, that means you’ll find a pair of lightweight shorts with a technical fabric that is breathable, quick-drying and stretchy.

The Randonnee shorts are also longer than Chrome’s Seneca shorts, with an in-seam of around 11.4” (although this varies by size).

These shorts look great and use technical fabric that is stretchy, quick-drying and very breathable – making them great all-round urban cycling shorts for ladies.

The Randonnee shorts feature four pockets, including a zipped rear pocket, as well as a button-down back pocket.

Pros

  • Plenty of stretch and plenty of pockets.
  • The Randonnee shorts have everything you need for comfortable city cycling.
  • Typical of Rapha: it’s beautiful and practical.

Cons

  • Only available in black.

2. Ministry of Supply Momentum Ladies Chino Short

Ministry of Supply Momentum Ladies Chino Short_Blue copy
  • UK Flag ÂŁ69
  • US Flag $95
  • EU Flag €79

Prices are approximate

Pockets: 5 pockets in total. Two front hand pockets. Two rear pockets. Hidden earbuds pocket at waistband.

Materials:

  • 58% Hollow-Core Polyester
  • 31% Nylon
  • 11% Elastane

Inseam: 3-4.5″

Extremely soft and stretchy material

5 pockets (including a hidden earbuds pocket)

Water resistant and durable

The most stylish ladies’ cycling shorts on this list.

Ministry of Supply create performance activewear that looks extremely smart and looks great in more formal settings – while also being capable of paired with other items so they can look good as casual wear too.

The Momentum shorts provide a flattering fit with an extremely soft fabric that feels great against the skin.

What’s more, these shorts are also water-resistant and don’t create easily. They’re also extremely stretchy to make for comfortable rides.

Pros

  • The chicest of the chic.
  • Ministry of Supply known how to create elegant and minimalist gear that is still packed with practical functionality.
  • Simply beautiful commuter shorts for women.

Cons

  • Short shorts! And at the time of writing sizing availability isn’t good!

3. Sigr Stranvägen Cycling Chino Short

Sigr Stranvägen Cycling Chino Short
Sigr Stranvägen Cycling Chino Short
  • UK Flag ÂŁ75
  • US Flag $100
  • EU Flag €87.95

Prices are approximate

Pockets: Four pockets. Two open-front and two back pockets with reflective strips.

Materials: 

  • 48% Cotton
  • 48% Polyester
  • 4% Spandex

Stylish and comfortable fit

Reflective details for increased visibility

Durable, stretchable fabric blend

The Sigr Cycling Chino Shorts for Women, named ‘Strandvägen’, are designed for comfort and style and are suitable for both the beach and biking. These khaki shorts feature a great cut with enough stretch for biking, reflective details for visibility when the back pockets are folded, and a pilling-resistant fabric.

They’re made from a cotton, polyester, and spandex blend, ensuring durability and flexibility. A vegan-friendly back logo label emphasizes the brand’s commitment to ethical materials.

Pros

  • Stylish and functional design.
  • Suitable for both cycling and casual outings.
  • Reflective details for enhanced visibility and safety.
  • Durable, stretchable fabric that offers comfort.

Cons

  • Might not suit all body types.
  • Limited color options.
  • Care requirements to maintain the fabric’s quality.

4. Velocio Women’s Gravel Short

Velocio Women’s Trail Short_blue
  • UK Flag ÂŁ169
  • US Flag $169
  • EU Flag €190

Prices are approximate

Pockets: 2 pockets in total. Two zippered side pockets with mesh lining

Materials:

  • 79% Polyamide
  • 21% Elastane

Inseam: 11″

4-way stretch for maximum flexibility and movement

2 zippered side pockets

Extremely lightweight with a DWR coating

These are described as “close-fitting baggy shorts” which seems somewhat contradictory…

However, what Velocio mean by this is that the Gravel Shorts are more like regular fitting shorts (rather than skintight Lycra) but still boast a figure hugging design.

In terms of functionality, these women’s bike shorts are packed with it.

The Velocio Gravel Shorts feature four-way stretch which is perfect for freedom of movement, while there are also two zippered side pockets with mesh lining that comfortably (and securely) fit a phone.

The fit of these shorts is also interesting and ideal for cycling. The shorts have a low-profile waist with a subtle adjustment strap (basically a built-in belt).

These ladies’ shorts are also extremely lightweight having been made from a high-tech 115gsm polyamide/elastine blend. There’s even a DWR coating to repel light rain.

Pros

  • Super stretchy cycling trail shorts that work on and off the bike.
  • Perfect for exploring, bike touring or even just a commute into town.
  • Very light and very comfortable.

Cons

  • Loose, baggy fit doesn’t translate well to some social situations.

5. Club Ride Apparel Women’s 11″ Savvy Short

Club Ride Apparel Women’s 11″ Savvy Short_Blue
  • UK Flag ÂŁ68
  • US Flag $80
  • EU Flag €77

Prices are approximate

Pockets: 4 pockets in total. Two open front pockets. One open rear pocket. One zippered rear pocket.

Materials:

  • 96% Polyester
  • 4% Spandex

Inseam: 11″

AGusseted crotch to prevent cycling wear and tear

4 pockets (inc. one zipped side pocket)

4-way stretch, with raised rear and reflective detailing

These shorts really are packed to the brims with functionality: they offer four-way stretch, an aptly named “NoCrackBack” (i.e. a raised rear to prevent exposure), a gusseted crotch, interior drawcords and even reflective detailing.

They are on the longer side with an 11″ inseam, but these are some seriously stylish women’s urban commuter shorts – although they’re technically MTB shorts!

At under $80, too, these Club Ride shorts provide excellent functionality for a very reasonable price.

Pros

  • Extremely versatile MTB shorts that also look good in casual settings.
  • Packed with features like 4-way stretch, good pockets and reflective detailing.
  • Good value shorts for every situation.

Cons

  • Two different inseam lengths mean your perfect pair may be out of stock at times.

6. Chrome Industries Anza Short

Sigr Stranvägen Cycling Chino Short
Sigr Stranvägen Cycling Chino Short
  • UK Flag ÂŁ43
  • US Flag $55
  • EU Flag €50

Prices are approximate

Pockets: There are five pockets in total: two in front, two in the back, and a discreet zipper pocket for a phone in the back. It also includes a 5-bar webbing U-lock holster.

Materials: 

  • Quick dry, 4-way stretch fabric.

Inseam: 6′

Water-resistant and stretchable fabric

Unique 5-bar webbing for u-lock storage

Double-layer crotch for enhanced durability

The Women’s Anza Short from Chrome Industries is designed for urban cycling and features durable, water-resistant, 4-way stretch fabric for performance and comfort.

Key features include a 5-bar webbing u-lock holster, full-length seamless double-layer crotch, quick dry capabilities, and reinforced seams. It offers a slimmer fit with a 6″ inseam, making it a practical choice for city commuters.

Pros

  • Durable and water-resistant fabric.
  • Convenient 5-bar webbing for secure u-lock storage.
  • Reinforced double-layer crotch for added durability.

Cons

  • A slimmer fit may not meet everyone’s preference for coverage.
  • The price point might be considered high by some.

7. DUER Live Free Utility Short

Duer
DUER Live Free Utility Short
  • UK Flag ÂŁ62
  • US Flag $79
  • EU Flag €72

Prices are approximate

Pockets: There are five pockets: two deep front pockets, a coin pocket, and two pockets at the back.

Materials: 

  • 62% Cotton
  • 30% TENCEL™ Lyocell
  • 6% LYCRA® T400® Polyester
  • 2% LYCRA® Spandex

A high-rise fit

Stretch fibers for enhanced movement

Moisture-wicking properties for added comfort

The Women’s Stretch Utility Short from DUER is designed for versatility and comfort, featuring a high-rise fit and crafted from a lightweight, breathable fabric. It includes a zip closure, stretch fibers for ease of movement, and plant-based lyocell for antibacterial and moisture-wicking properties.

The fabric composition includes cotton, TENCEL™ Lyocell, LYCRA® T400® Polyester, and LYCRA® Spandex, making it both durable and comfortable. Additionally, the shorts are designed to flatter the behind with a special rise shape and are machine washable for easy care.

Pros

  • High-rise fit designed for comfort and style.
  • Stretch fibers ensuring freedom of movement.
  • Moisture-wicking properties that keep you dry and comfortable.

Cons

  • The price point may be higher than some expect.
  • Limited color options or styles.

8. Endura Hummvee Lite Short

Endura Hummvee Lite Short
Endura Hummvee Lite Short
  • UK Flag ÂŁ75
  • US Flag $96
  • EU Flag €88

Prices are approximate

Pockets: Two front hip pockets, a zipped thigh cargo pocket, and one small pocket on the rear.

Materials: 

  • Spandex 5%
  • Nylon 95%

A lightweight, four-way stretch fabric.

A detachable liner with a comfort pad.

Practical storage with multiple pockets

The Women’s Hummvee Lite Short with Liner is a lightweight, comfortable option for cycling, especially in warm weather.

It features a durable four-way stretch fabric with a DWR finish, a Clickfast™ detachable liner with a women-specific 200 series pad for comfort, multiple pockets for practical storage, and an elasticated waistband for a secure fit.

Designed for both urban cycling and mountain biking, it offers functionality and style for riders.

Pros

  • Lightweight and durable fabric.
  • Includes comfortable, women-specific pad within the detachable liner.
  • Practical design features such as multiple pockets and an adjustable waistband.

Cons

  • Potential for sizing issues or fit discrepancies.
  • Cost may be considered high by some buyers.

Where to Find Stylish Cycling Clothes

Not all cycling clothing needs to be tight-fitting. You can enjoy your commute with loose cycling shorts, which are still stylish. Check out our recommendations below:

Best Cycling Clothing Brands: Top 20 Ranked

Best Urban Cycling Clothing Brands in the World 


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