Mountain bikers have different requirements than road cyclists when it comes to cycling trousers and shorts. First and foremost, they have to be tough. On the trail, dust, mud and maybe even one or two involuntary falls can stress the fabric. Aerodynamics play a relatively minor role for most mountain bikers. Comfort, durability and flexibility, often in combination with optional knee protectors, quickly become the more important factors – as well as MTB style. Depending on requirements, choose between wide MTB shorts with or without padded inner pants, classic tight Lycra cycling shorts with padding, extra-robust downhill trousers or long MTB shorts.
Having the right pair of mountain bike shorts can make a huge difference to the comfort and enjoyability of your trail ride. Mountain bike shorts are responsible foremost for giving you padding against your saddle, but they also offer breathability, protection, and helpful features like pockets and liners. At bikester.co.uk, we carry a wide selection of mountain bike shorts so you can find the perfect pair for any ride.
Baggy Shorts vs. Lycra
The first major choice you’ll need to make when choosing a pair of mountain bike shorts is whether you need baggy shorts or Lycra bib shorts. Baggy shorts are what most mountain bikers use and what you probably have in mind when you think of mountain biking shorts. They’re loose fitting, but not excessively so, and feel more casual than tight-fitting Lycra shorts. Many baggy mountain bike shorts offer small pockets for storing snack bars, and the loose fit can actually help protect your legs from stray branches and undergrowth. Lycra shorts are similar to what road cyclists wear – skin-hugging athletic wear designed for performance. Lycra is used by mountain bikers because it’s breathable and doesn’t restrict your range of motion like baggy shorts can. In fact, many riders wear Lycra shorts or bibs underneath their baggy shorts. While you can find Lycra shorts, Lycra bibs are more common since they stay in place better when you’re riding bumpy trails.
When it comes to the padding in your mountain bike shorts, you tend to get what you pay for. More expensive mountain bike shorts come with one-piece chamois pads so you don’t have to worry about chafing from seams. High-end chamois also offer varying thicknesses and densities throughout the pads to minimise weight while maximising comfort. If you opt to wear baggy shorts without a Lycra bib underneath, pay special attention to the liner since this holds the chamois pad in place. A floating liner that isn’t sewn into the shorts shell typically works best since the chamois won’t move with the rest of the shorts. If you find yourself in between sizes for baggy shorts with a liner, size down to get a tighter and more cushioned fit.
Mountain Bike Pants and Trousers
For riding in the shoulder seasons, downhill mountain biking, or cruising through overgrown trails, mountain bike pants can afford better protection and temperature control that shorts. You’ll face the same choice between baggy pants and Lycra tights, and again wearing Lycra underneath baggy pants can be a comfortable option for many riders. Keep in mind that you can also mix and match pants and shorts to adapt to different weather conditions. One thing that some mountain bike pants offer that most shorts don’t is weather protection. If you plan to ride in rainy, wet conditions, look for mountain bike trousers that incorporate waterproof and breathable materials like Gore-Tex.
Mountain Bike Shorts and Pants at bikester.co.uk
The best way to find the perfect pair of mountain bike shorts or pants for your riding is to shop our wide selection at bikester.co.uk. We carry hundreds of baggy shorts, Lycra shorts, and mountain bike pants, so you can be sure you’ll find the clothes that best fit your needs.