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The 8 Best Women's Mountain Bike Shorts of 2022

By: Jon Kennedy: Bike Buyer | May 25, 2022
 

Does the phrase “bike shorts” conjure up images of uncomfortable black spandex options that manage to be both too revealing and anything but flattering? If so, we get it, mountain bike shorts have gotten a bad rep for good reason over the years. But modern women’s mountain bike shorts turn that stereotype on its head. Brands have made a big push to make shorts fit better, look better, and perform more practically out on the trail. So if you like riding mountain bikes in the woods, you owe it to yourself to give mountain bike shorts another shot.

This year’s crop of the best women’s mountain bike shorts is stronger than ever before. Every pair of shorts or pants on this list is made with carefully chosen technical fabrics that will keep you dry and comfortable no matter how hot it gets. And the pocket layouts are especially designed to keep your possessions secure but out of the way while you ride. But the biggest improvement to this year’s crop of shorts is the fit. Every pair of shorts on this list was sized to fit real women, who ride bikes. That means no tight thighs, no kneepad gap, no bunched up waists. So what are you waiting for? Grab a new pair of shorts and hit the trail!

DHaRCO Gravity Pants

DHaRCO Gravity Pants

Some days, you're gearing up to ride and you realize you're just a little too shreddy for shorts. Tested and approved by World Cup Downhill racers, the DHaRCO Gravity Pants offer a bit more protection than their shorter cousins, while still proving full freedom of movement and breathability, thanks to their stretchy, moisture wicking construction. And don't worry, they're designed to fit over your knee pads no problem, so you can stay safe on the trails. The Gravity Pants are some of the most comfortable, best looking options on the market, so you’re sure to shred in comfort and style.

 
Original PricePocketsWaist Adjustment
$152.003 PocketsVelcro

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Flylow Eleanor

Flylow Eleanor

Whether you're pedaling all day long or taking chairlifts and trucks to the top, the Flylow Eleanor Shorts are the mix of tough and comfortable you're looking for. They are great with kneepads and bike parks, with their longer coverage and burly fabric, but for those knees-to-the-breeze XC rides they excel too: they have a very comfortable waistband and an offset inseam that eliminates irritation. Thank you Eleanor! These are some of the most versatile shorts on this list, perfect for riders who don’t discriminate in what they shred.

Original PricePocketsWaist Adjustment
$90.00Two Zippered PocketsVelcro

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Fox Ranger

Fox Ranger

From the bike park to the pub next to the bike park, the Fox Ranger Shorts can do it all. How can they be so good across the whole spectrum of venues? Must be their comfort, durability, and adjustability. The DWR sheds ranch dressing as well as trail mud. True do-it-alls! The Ranger’s casual styling belies its technical materials and performance fit, it’s a great short for hardcore riders who like to fly under the radar.

 
Original PricePocketsWaist Adjustment
$84.953 Zippered PocketsInternal Belt Adjustment

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Tyroean

Patagonia Tyroean

The trail can be uncompromising, so having comfortable, functional gear is crucial to staying in the zone when the going gets tough. The Patagonia Tyrolean Bike Shorts keep discomfort at bay with a low profile chafe-free design and stretchy, breathable fabric that moves with you as you hammer the pedals. The Tyrolean is an understated short that’s comfortable and good looking no matter how long or technical your ride turns out to be.

Original PricePocketsWaist Adjustment
$79.00Two Zippered PocketsNone, Elastic Waistband

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Patagonia Dirt Craft

Patagonia Dirt Craft

Go forth, in search of dirt! Mountain excursions are made that much easier with the fine-tuned Patagonia Dirt Craft Bike Shorts. Consisting of outer shorts and a liner that snap together, these versatile bottoms are breathable, water resistant and feature waist adjustment and stretch for unprecedented comfort and customization on the trail. The Dirt Craft is a true do-it-all short that’s ready for bike park days and long backcountry adventures alike.

Original PricePocketsWaist Adjustment
$159.003 PocketsInternal Belt 

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Troy Lee Designs Lilium

Troy Lee Designs Lilium

The Troy Lee Designs Lilium Pants are made for muddy days and big descents. The four way stretch fabric lets you move with freedom and the waist adjusts for a dialed fit. Strategic perforation keeps you from overheating and the phone-specific pocket makes it easy to change your music or snap pics of the gang. The Lilium will keep your legs clean and protected, no matter what mother nature throws at you.

Original PricePocketsWaist Adjustment
$129.00Three Zippered PocketsVelcro

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Wild Rye Freel

Wild Rye Freel

If you could bring three items with you to a deserted island, the Wild Rye Freel Shorts should undoubtedly be one of them. They have everything you need and nothing you don't with element-resistant materials, a mega comfortable 4-way stretch fit, UPF 50 fabric, deep pockets, and playful prints that perfectly contrast the environment you've immersed yourself in. Promise us you won't settle for anything less than the best, and snag yourself some Wild Rye Freel Shorts for every adventure to come. The Freel is a happy, vibrant short, with the same high-performing fit and fabric you’d expect from less attractive offerings.

Original PricePocketsWaist Adjustment
$124.00Hand PocketsBelt Loops

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Wild Rye Kaweah

Wild Rye Kaweah

Say goodbye to technical bike shorts that look like they were designed by some kind of aerospace robot in a sciencey bike laboratory. The Wild Rye Kaweah Shorts are fun, and they're not afraid to show it. They're patterned, bright, vibrant, unique, and yeah, they've still got all of the same technical features as those single toned robot shorts too. For an ergonomic cut that's loaded with style and designed by real life humans to help you party down the singletrack, the Kaweah Shorts are where it's at. If you want to look good while you ride, the Wild Rye Kaweah is a great place to start.

Original PricePocketsWaist Adjustment
$79.20Hand PocketsBelt Loops

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The Selection Process:

Our bike buyer has an endless amount of knowledge on all things bike stemming from years of experience in the bike industry in tandem with their countless hours out on the dirt, gravel, and tarmac. evo's buyers assess all products coming to market, lean into this knowledge, and put together this selection of the best products. They have a unique perspective as they truly see everything offered across the category.

Jon Kennedy

Jon is a Bike Buyer and joined evo in 2015 to help launch the category. He has a long tenure in the bike industry bringing over 20 years of experience.

Jon was formerly the Marketing Manager for Diamondback bikes and was the Executive Director for the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance prior to that. His broad experience in the bike industry from the brand, advocacy and retail side has contributed to a well-rounded understanding of trends, needs and opportunities.

Jon grew up in the Seattle area and currently resides there with his wife Ilana, kids Erez and Lilah, and his Boston Terrier Marley. He is a daily rider packing countless miles in every year, loves all disciplines, and simply considers himself a cyclist… a title he embraces with great passion.