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The 4 Best Mountain Bike Shorts of 2020

It’s easy to take your mountain bike shorts for granted. After all, they’re one of the simpler pieces of your mountain biking kit. But not all mountain bike shorts are created equal. Every model has a different combination of fit, features, and price that give it particular strengths and weaknesses. And those small differences add up to a huge impact over a long day on the bike, and can separate the best mountain bike shorts form the field.

Trying on different options will always be the best way to figure out what works for you, but that’s not always possible. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the four best mountain bike shorts of 2020. We’ve broken down their features and intended uses, and included a table of features to help you figure out which shorts will work best for your body and climate. So use this piece to find your new favorite bike shorts, and then go back to not having to think about them while you ride.


Troy Lee Designs Skyline Shorts

Best 2020 mountain bike shorts
 
 

Troy Lee Designs has a reputation for making some of the smartest designed and most durable bike gear in the world, and the Skyline Short is no exception. Troy Lee designed these shorts for the rider who does a little bit of everything, and needs a short that can keep up with it all.

From long XC rides in the morning to DH laps in the afternoon, the Skyline short has a versatile fit that works well with, or without kneepads. It comes with a “four hour” chamois, that should work for most rides. It’s also got integrated velcro waist adjusters so you can comfortably dial in your fit, and zippered pockets so you don’t have to worry about losing your phone during rough descents.

If you’re not the type of person who likes to limit the type of riding you do to one discipline and instead wants to ride a little bit of everything, the Troy Lee Designs Skyline short is one of the best mountain bike shorts for all-around riding.

 
 Liner Included?  Pockets  Original Price
 Yes  2  $109

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Sweet Protection Hunter Light - Women's

Best 2020 Mountain Bike shorts
 

Sweet Protection designed the Hunter Light shorts for women who need something light, breathable, and versatile. The Hunter Light uses a hybrid merino construction that makes for a very light feeling short that stays cool even over long days in the sun.

The Hunter Lite also has laser-cut ventilation holes to help keep air moving, as well as a clean, simple waist adjustment that keeps them comfortable even on your sweatiest rides. They also have a flexible fit that’s flattering with, or without a chamois underneath.

If you’re primarily riding in colder climates, the Hunter Light doesn’t make the most sense. Instead, it’s optimized for warm weather riding. If that sounds like you, the Hunter Lite is our top choice for anyone looking for less sweat and more comfort on long, hot rides.

 
 Liner Included?  Pockets  Original Price
 No  1  $100

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Patagonia Landfarer Bike Shorts

Best 2020 mountain bike shorts

Patagonia has been refining their bike clothes over the last few years, and the Landfarer is their latest option for the all-mountain rider. In typical Patagonia fashion, the Landfarer is sustainably produced, with all the features you need, and no extra nonsense.

Two zippered pockets? Check. Comfortable elastic waistband? Check. Nice fit and stretchy fabric? Check, and check. Sure there are shorts out there that hype more fancy features and have more pockets. But if you’re looking for something understated that will stay comfortable all day and look good everywhere from the racecourse to the bar after, the Landfarer won’t let you down. They’re classy, durable, and good for the planet. What more could you want?

 Liner Included?  Pockets  Original Price
 No  2  $79

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Fox Ranger Rawtec

Best 2020 mountain bike shorts

On the other end of the spectrum from the simple Landfarer lies the Fox Ranger Rawtec. The Ranger Rawtec is the most technologically advanced short from Fox, and it shows. They’ve dialed in every detail for performance.

From their slim fit, to their nearly seamless construction, Fox has spared no expense on the Ranger Rawtec. These are a far cry from the cut off jeans you started riding in. Instead, these are optimized for long, hard days on the bike. They feature a DWR coating, to keep moisture out, as well as perforations to help with ventilation. Fox went to great pains to eliminate as many seams as possible from the Ranger, so there’s less chance of chafing, and lighter overall weight. If you’re looking for all-out performance, look no further than the Ranger Rawtec. This combination of features makes them one of the best all-around mountain bike shorts.

 Liner Included?  Pockets  Original Price
 No  2  $149

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