To ensure you have a perfect mountain biking experience, you should have the right gear. Having the right gear helps to enhance every element of your riding. This includes improved pedaling and comfortable sitting. Your mountain biking shorts are a good example of such gear. Investing in biking shorts designed for a specific gender goes along way. 

The best womens mtb shorts, for example, are designed to cater to slightly shorter and less broad women’s bodies. These shorts are fabricated to perfectly fit their curvier hips and anatomical features. In addition, biking shorts are also designed with padding that ideally fits the wider women’s bottoms.

Below, you will find the list of 5 best women’s mountain bike shorts in 2020. Whether you are looking for an option to complement your relaxed cross country riding experience or a more serious race biking adventure, you are guaranteed to find a match.

How To Choose Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts – Buying Guide



When you are choosing the best womens mtb shorts to invest in, you will come across two common types. These include road cycling and mountain biking shorts. Before you choose the type to go for, you must think of factors such as where you want to ride the bike, the terrain, and conditions such as rocks or dirt.  

Road cycling shorts are made with a lycra or spandex blend to enhance your riding flexibility.  Many well-fitting womens mountain bike shorts for road cycling are short. Road cycling shorts are made to counter wind resistance and drag. 

These types of bike shorts are also typically built with liners. Thus, the womens mountain bike liner shorts require no extra layering when you wear them. Some options even feature a bib design whereby the waist is extended up to the belly and are fitted shoulder straps to keep the waist and padded liner in place.

If you plan to wear road cycling shorts in a warmer climate, it is a good idea to go for those that don’t have shoulder straps or padded liner to cut down extra weight. These road cycling shorts are designed for road riding and cross country racing.

Mountain bike shorts on the other end are loose. Their fabrication design depends on the terrain you want to go for. Mountain biking can be unstable based on the terrain you ride on. Thus, mountain biking shorts should be designed to accommodate this. 

Mountain biking may also involve extreme ascents, descents or even biking in uncertain woods, thus, you want the shorts to be longer and to have more protection for your body. Many mountain biking shorts require extra layering to create more protection.


It is also important to examine the fit when choosing the best womens mountain bike shorts to go for. Bike shorts fitting can be a little complex. You have to look at elements such as the waist fit, the hip fit and even the leg opening. Begin by looking at the closure and adjustability designs. Some shorts feature Velcro tabs that help to adjust the fitting. Some boast external Velcro tabs whilst others boast internal Velcro tabs.

External Velcro tabs are easy to access and adjust at anytime.  Yet, with internal Velcro tabs, you need to adjust the shorts before you begin your biking. And mid riding, you will have to stop to adjust the fitting because of its minimal ease of accessibility. Additionally, you want to go for good quality Velcro tabs to prevent them from easily detaching from each other as low quality ones tend to do this. 

Other biking shorts use the same Velcro tab mechanism but instead, they replace the velcro with buttons. This provides a much more reliable fitting option as the buttons are guaranteed to hold longer and securely. Other designs include external webbing cinches, which also help to hold the waistband together thus, preventing any gaps. 

It is always a good idea to go for biking shorts that are fabricated with adjustable waistbands. This helps to provide you with a personalized fit. In addition to the waist fit, you must also look for a pair that is ideal for your body type when you are looking for the best womens mountain bike shorts. As mentioned earlier, some shorts may fit your waist but be too tight on your hips. 

Although it is not easy to evaluate this when you are shopping online, there are a few tricks to make the process effective. You should make it a point to go through real life customer reviews when you find a pair you want to invest in. Doing so gives you more insight on the fit of the shorts and whether or not they may be the right option for you. It is also a smart idea to purchase shorts that come with a flexible return policy. So when they don’t fit you, you can always return or exchange them.

Pedal Friendliness

The best womens mountain bike shorts should accommodate easy pedaling. When you are riding your bike, you pedaling should be effortless and the pedals should be quiet. Consequently, wearing biking shorts that can easily get snagged on the saddle or bunch up on your waist is not what you want. You should choose shorts that complement your riding.  

Bike shorts that are made from 4-way stretch fabrics are ideal. This is because these fabric designs help to enhance freedom of movement and maneuverability. This also makes it easier for you to get on and off the bike. If you are riding your bike on warmer weather and less rough terrains, opt for biking shorts with shorter inseams. 

Inseams that measure between 6 to 9 inches offer just the right amount of coverage for a warm climate without limiting your mobility. These biking shorts designs are normally made from lightweight and breathable fabrics as well, which help to improve performance and allow for longer pedaling without discomfort. Shorts with inseam gusset and gusseted crotch designs also help to enhance freedom of movement.


You should also ensure that your biking shorts offer the right protection and coverage according to your style of riding and the terrain you intend to cover. If you plan to mountain bike, your gear must also be appropriate for mountain biking. Mountain biking combines a range of terrains. You may ride on rocky terrains or terrains with tree roots in the woods. 

Thus, you want durable and sturdy biking shorts to withstand these conditions. If you accidentally fall, you don’t want your shorts to rip off. When you wear your shorts, you also want them to accommodate your knee pads. You also want your shorts to be designed to comfortably accommodate extra padding or lining without limiting your functionality or mobility. 

Ideal fabrics for mountain biking shorts include nylon and polyester. These fabric materials are known to be durable and rugged, consequently, they are more likely to survive the rough outdoors. For the ultimate ruggedness, these shorts also feature minimal to no stretch material at all. 

However, this doesn’t mean that the shorts will be restrictive. This is because they will incorporate elements such as gusseted crotch to help increase freedom of movement. Some people even opt for baggy mountain bike shorts womens options for added ruggedness. But keep in mind that these options can significantly increase weight and bulkiness. 

For mountain biking, you want biking shorts that are long to offer ample coverage and protection. The best womens mountain bike shorts feature an inseam measurement of anywhere between 10 to 14-inches. Go for the lower end of inseam length if you want to comfortably fit in knee pads.

In addition, wearing shorts that are above the knees can also put you at risk. When you are pedaling, for example, you may experience pulling and rubbing feel because your knees are bending on the hem of the shorts. With knee pads, this effect is even worse. thus, longer shorts help to counter this problem. 



Q: What Is The Difference Between Men's And Women's Cycling Shorts?


Men’s and women’s cycling shorts differ in several ways. The key difference is their body and anatomical shape which is designed to fit the specific gender. Women's bodies, for example, are relatively shorter whilst men’s bodies tend to be taller and broader. The crotch area padding and the cut from hip to waist also tend to be different on each gender’s cycling shorts.

Q: Do Padded Cycling Shorts Make A Difference?


Yes, padded cycling shorts make a difference by improving your riding experience and making it more comfortable. This is because the padding helps to reduce pressure points, prevent chafing and absorb shock and vibration from the riding. This also enhances your endurance for longer biking adventures.

Q: What Should You Wear Under Cycling Shorts?


If your cycling shorts don’t have built-in padding, then you should layer them with separate cycling padding. Also, to maintain hygiene, it is advised to wear underpants. Avoid wearing cotton ones because they will negate the functionality of the short which includes moisture wicking and breathability. Instead opt for more breathable, moisture wicking and flexible underpants fabrics.

Globo Surf Overview

Women’s mountain bike shorts make your riding experience much better. In fact, they help to enhance your functionality as you ride. Their design also assists to keep the rider safe. The womens mountain bike shorts reviews above introduce you to the best womens mtb shorts options. 

The buying guide on the other end aids in walking you through to choosing the right option that is ideal for your intended riding style. So what’s left is to go through the list of the 5 best womens mtb shorts above to pick the right choice for your next biking adventure.

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Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!