Best Women’s Padded Bike Shorts for the Casual Cyclist

by | Last updated Sep 3, 2023 | Bike Packing List

My husband and I have cycled some beautiful bike trails during our travels like the Burgundy Vineyard Trail in France, the Central Otago Central Rail Trail in New Zealand, and the Virginia Creeper Trail in Abingdon. I have learned very quickly the importance of having a good pair of padded bike shorts. The right pair makes the difference between a miserable ride and an enjoyable one. I scoured through Amazon’s top 4 rated women’s padded bike shorts and tried out each one. Read on to find out which is my top pick and the pros and cons for each pair. 

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What to Look for in Padded Bike Shorts

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#1- HIGH-QUALITY CHAMOIS

The padding in the bike short is known as the chamois.

A well-made chamois is super important in making your ride more comfortable since it relieves those pressure points. The chamois can be made from gel or foam.

Some people say it feels like wearing a diaper. I’m ok with that. Bring on the padding because I want to still enjoy my bike ride 30 miles later!

Gel padding is preferred if you are biking longer distances. It is more dampening and holds its “cushy feel” longer than foam.

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#2- COMFORTABLE WAISTBAND

You also want to look for a comfortable waistband that does not dig into your stomach.

Serious cyclists will actually wear bib shorts. I have not tried bib shorts, but supposedly the advantages are they allow you to breathe better and the shorts stay in place.

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#3- SILICONE LEG GRIPPERS

Also, look for silicone leg grippers that are not too tight but still keep the shorts in place.

Remember one size does not fit all. Sometimes you have to try a few shorts to see what works best for your body type.

FOR BIKING NEWBIES: You do not wear underwear when wearing bike shorts with a high-quality chamois. Otherwise, you will get rubbing and chafing. It feels weird at first, but then you get used to it and it’s super comfortable!

I am a casual cyclist. My mission was to find the best padded bike shorts for the money for long bike rides between 10-30 miles.

With all that in mind, I checked the 4 most highly-rated gel-padded bike shorts on Amazon and tried them out. Here is my review.

01- Beroy 4D Gel Women’s Padded Bike Shorts

Beroy 4D Gel Womens Chamois

Beroy 4D Gel Women’s Chamois

The Beroy 4D Gel Bike Shorts have the most comfortable waistband of the four I tried. The 2” waistband has an adjustable string to customize the fit further.

The 4D gel padding is moisture-wicking and is made of antibacterial material. The chamois is adequate, but it was not extremely padded especially towards the front.

I found the silicone grippers to be comfortable and not too tight. The length is great (6 1/4” inseam), which came a few inches above the knee but not right at the knee.

The Beroy padded shorts come in all black with various accent colors.

Beroy 4D Gel Women’s Padded Bike Shorts

Beroy 4D Gel Women’s Padded Bike Shorts

Beroy 4D Gel Women’s Padded Bike Shorts in Black

Posing in my Beroy 4D Gel Women’s Padded Bike Shorts

FINAL VERDICT: Nice value for the money. I would consider wearing the Beroy 4D Gel Women’s Padded Bike Shorts for rides less than 10 miles.

02- Louis Garneau Gel Padded Bike Shorts

Louis Garneau Women's Gel Chamois

Louis Garneau Women’s Gel Chamois

Although the Louis Garneau bike shorts had a wide 2 1/4” waistband, they did not have a super comfortable fit compared to the other shorts I tried.

The active gel chamois was quite uncomfortable even in a standing position. There was good padding in the back and minimal padding in the front. It kept poking into the crouch area. Not comfortable at all.

The silicone leg grippers were also quite tight and dug into my legs. Inseam is 6,” so the length is good. The bottom of the shorts rests just a few inches above the knee.

You have one color choice: black. No accent colors.

Louis Garneau Gel Women’s Padded Bike Shorts

Louis Garneau Gel Women’s Padded Bike Shorts

Louis Garneau Gel Women’s Padded Bike Shorts in Black

Posing in my Louis Garneau Gel Women’s Padded Bike Shorts

FINAL VERDICT: The Louis Garneau gel padded bike shorts were the most expensive ones I tried. Surprisingly, they were my least favorite. I have to give these shorts a hard pass.

03- Santic 4D Gel Women’s Padded Bike Shorts 

Santic 4D Gel Women’s Chamois

Santic 4D Gel Women’s Chamois

The Santic bike shorts had a very comfortable 2” waistband. Once you try several pairs of bike shorts, you will begin to notice what you like.

For me, one of the features I appreciate is a wide waistband that does not dig into your sides to give you the dreaded muffin top.

The 4D gel chamois had the least amount of padding of the shorts I tried, but there was some cushion in the front and back.

The silicone leg grippers are comfortable. No tight digging into the legs. Inseam is 3.5.” I prefer a longer bike short for my rides, and this one was the shortest of the ones I tried.

The Santic shorts come in black with several different accent colors to jazz up your bike outfit.

Santic 4D Gel Women’s Padded Bike Shorts

Santic 4D Gel Women’s Padded Bike Shorts

Santic 4D Gel Women’s Padded Bike Shorts in Black

Posing in my Santic 4D Gel Women’s Padded Bike Shorts

FINAL VERDICT: These lightly padded Santic 4D Gel bike shorts seem like they would work well for a spin class but definitely not a long bike ride.

04- Baleaf 4D Gel Women’s Padded Bike Shorts

Baleaf 4D Gel Women’s Chamois

Baleaf 4D Gel Women’s Chamois

The Santic and Beroy shorts had a more comfortable waistband than Baleaf. However, the 1.5″ waistband of the Baleaf 4D gel padded bike shorts still made my abdomen happy. No digging or muffin top.

The dense 4D gel padding was incredible! Plenty of padding in the front and back, 15 mm in thickness to be exact.

The front panel of the chamois is actually doubled over to prevent any pressure points.

The 2” silicone grippers keep the shorts in place and have just the right amount of compression without being too tight on the legs. The Baleaf shorts have the most comfortable grippers of the 4 shorts I tried. The inseam is 6 1/4,” so the shorts fell just above the knee.

Plus, it has a nice handy side pocket that fits your cell phone perfectly.

Baleaf 4D Gel Women’s Padded Bike Shorts

Baleaf 4D Gel Women’s Padded Bike Shorts

Baleaf 4D Gel Women’s Padded Bike Shorts in Black

Posing in my Baleaf 4D Gel Women’s Padded Bike Shorts

FINAL VERDICT: The Baleaf gel padded shorts were my favorite by far! Comfortable waistband, good leg grippers, and fantastic gel padding made for a woman’s body. A great choice for longer bike rides. Wonderful value for the money.  

Final Thoughts 

I am a casual cyclist, biking anywhere from 10-30 miles at a time. Having a gel-padded bike short was super important to me. The Baleaf bike short was the clear winner of the four shorts I tried.

Ready to love your bike ride?

Then it is time to invest in the right bike shorts. It will transform your ride!

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Any other gel-padded bike shorts you would recommend for longer bike rides? 

Let me know in the comments below!

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