7 Best Cycling Pants 2021 Review

Cycling can be a very intense activity. It involves nonstop movement of your entire lower extremity until you reach your destination. That’s why it’s crucial to wear a special pair of pants that can allow full mobility while keeping you comfortable no matter what. To help you decide on which product to buy quickly, we’re going to give you a list of the best cycling pants.

Since cycling pants can provide you with other benefits aside from mobility and comfort, we assure you that most options on our list also have features meant for safety and convenience such as reflective fabric and pockets with zippers.

Best Cycling Pants Review

PEARL IZUMI Pursuit Hybrid Cycling Bib Tights

PEARL IZUMI Pursuit Hybrid Cycling Bib Tights

With its built-in chamois, four-way elastic top sheet, and highly dense foam, the PEARL IZUMI Pursuit Hybrid Cycling Bib Tights can keep you comfortable the entire time you’re riding your bike. About the fabric, it’s made of fleece for thermal effect with a special technology designed for eliminating moisture from crucial areas like your hips and the back of your legs.

Meanwhile, for sections fully exposed to different environmental factors, the softshell is lightweight yet extremely resistant to drizzle and heavy winds. It can still provide some ventilation for comfort but only at minimal levels.

Despite the intimidating look of the bib or the upper part of the tights, it’s still extremely breathable because of its mesh fabric and extremely wide openings for the chest and arms. Speaking of appearance, the lower part of the tights looks perfect for most body types, thanks to the elastic flatlock seams. It will have a snug fit around your waist, hips, thighs, knees, legs, and ankles.

More about the fit around your ankles, the fabric there is super-smooth for your skin since it doesn’t have zippers. It also has some reflective graphics to make you visible even in low light.

Even though these tights are designed to be comfortable from top to bottom, some people are just uncomfortable when they wear bodysuits. What they really need is a pair of pants.

Pros:

  • Long-term comfort
  • Eliminates moisture from sweaty areas like your hips and legs
  • Can protect you from drizzle and wind despite its light fabric
  • Breathable in spite of the bib
  • Flattering look for most body types

Cons:

  • Feels like a bodysuit and not all people are okay with that

4ucycling Men’s Fleeced Windstopper Cycling Pants for Casual Outdoor and Multi Sports

4ucycling Men’s Fleeced Windstopper Cycling Pants for Casual Outdoor and Multi Sports

Having two layers of polyester, which covers 75% of the entire fabric in the front side, the 4ucycling Men’s Fleeced Windstopper Cycling Pants for Casual Outdoor and Multi Sports are less tight for mobility but still water-resistant. On the other hand, the back part remains breathable because it’s made of 85% polyester and 15% Spandex to make room for some padding while removing excess sweat through increased airflow.

Meanwhile, the entire lining of these pants is fleece and the knee sections are quite loose to maintain body heat when you’re exposed to freezing temperatures.

To keep the knee sections flexible, the openings for your legs can be easily adjusted. This increases mobility as you pedal.

You can also decide whether to zip the pockets or not. By zipping the pockets close, you don’t need to bring a bag anymore for your wallet, phone, keys, and other small essentials.

You have to be more careful when buying this product, though, because it runs small. Even the extra-large option is still too tight for some people.

We should also let you know that the back part is too low, which might expose a big portion of your skin as you bend forward. And, despite the claims of having a breathable fabric, this pair of pants isn’t comfortable enough for some users because it reminds them of plastic.

Pros:

  • A little loose for mobility and water resistance
  • Can wick moisture despite cushioning
  • Can maintain comfort even in cold weather
  • Higher flexibility around the knees
  • Secure pockets

Cons:

  • Runs small
  • Can’t completely cover your lower back when you bend forward
  • Texture similar to plastic

BALEAF Men’s Biking Pants Thermal Fleece Winter Cycling Running Windproof Workout Mountain Bike Cold Weather

BALEAF Men’s Biking Pants Thermal Fleece Winter Cycling Running Windproof Workout Mountain Bike Cold Weather

Another option composed of fleece, the BALEAF Men’s Biking Pants guarantees comfort by ensuring consistent warmth through wind protection.

When it comes to fit, the waistband is stretchy but easily adjustable because of its inner drawstring. Other adjustable features include the ankle cuffs with zippers that can increase the openings to fit bigger sizes and accommodate the upper of tall footwear like boots. Meanwhile, the knee sections are stitched in a way that they have more flexibility without being too elastic.

Just like most cycling pants, this one also has zippers over its pockets to secure small items like phones and keys. It has reflective sections as well for visibility in low light when you ride your bike or do other outdoor activities like hiking, running, and skiing.

Unfortunately, these pants can be very inconsistent. They can overheat, which makes you sweat more, but then they get too cold once the fabric allows air to dry out your skin.

And, worse, these cycling pants aren’t breathable enough most of the time. There are instances that some sections can’t wick moisture. One of the consequences is skin irritation based on claims that the fabric can cause a horrible rash.

Pros:

  • Maximum wind protection
  • Better fit around your waist
  • Lets you wear any kind of shoes you want
  • Higher flexibility in the areas that matter
  • Encourages you not to bring a bag because of its secure pockets

Cons:

  • Inconsistent temperature regulation
  • Not breathable enough
  • Can cause a rash

INBIKE Winter Fleece Windproof Thermal Pants for Cycling Running Hiking Outdoor Multi Sports

INBIKE Winter Fleece Windproof Thermal Pants for Cycling Running Hiking Outdoor Multi Sports

Even though the INBIKE Winter Fleece Windproof Thermal Cycling Pants are composed of pure polyester, they’re packed with various benefits you can get from other types of fabrics. They’re soft, moisture-resistant, quick-drying, breathable, and elastic–all at the same time! We’re mostly talking about their outer layer, though.

As for the lining, it’s made of denser fleece with a combed surface for longer-lasting body heat and a softer texture. To protect the insulation from rain, the surfaces are covered with a waterproof coating that can make each drop of water fall off instantly.

While other pants have lower waistbands, this one promotes a higher placement of the most elastic section to prevent a tighter or looser fit.

If you’re six-foot-tall, however, you’re more likely to complain about the length since it’s shorter and the fabric is less elastic than the standard fit.

Additionally, some users prefer wearing these pants under a shell because the fabric isn’t resistant enough against strong winds. Meanwhile, other users aren’t impressed with the quality of the drawstring.

Pros:

  • High-quality versatile fabric
  • Can make body heat last longer around your skin
  • Highly waterproof
  • Soft to touch
  • Higher waistband

Cons:

  • Too short for some people
  • Not exactly windproof
  • Low-quality drawstring

Sponeed Men’s Bicycle Pants 4D Padded Road Cycling Tights MTB Leggings Outdoor Cyclist Riding Bike Wear

Sponeed Men’s Bicycle Pants 4D Padded Road Cycling Tights MTB Leggings Outdoor Cyclist Riding Bike Wear

The Sponeed Men’s Bicycle Pants are ideal for temperatures within 45 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit because of their fabric containing 80% polyester and 20% Spandex with an inner lining made of fleece. They also have a full-length design for a more stylish look for different activities other than cycling.

What exactly does “4D” mean? It refers to the thick gel pad composed of silicone with holes that can keep the interior cool for quick-drying. More importantly, it has a unique shape to prevent pain, especially around your hips.

The 4D padding is great and all, but it’s placed more forward than necessary, which can reduce comfort for your bottom. Also, the extra-thick material can be distracting. It can pinch your skin, which is a big no-no for cycling.

Pros:

  • Designed for colder temperatures
  • Features different materials for a more versatile fabric
  • Fashionable for various activities
  • Quick-drying
  • Can prevent hip pain

Cons:

  • Inconvenient placement of the padding
  • Overly thick cushioning
  • Constant pinching

BALEAF Men’s Thermal Running Tights Athletic Cycling Pants Fleece Cold Weather Outdoor Bike

BALEAF Men’s Thermal Running Tights Athletic Cycling Pants Fleece Cold Weather Outdoor Bike

Much tighter than the first option from the same brand, the BALEAF Men’s Thermal Athletic Cycling Pants have a slightly different set of benefits because of their snug fit. First off, they’re highlighting their brushed fabric for its softness, warmth, and consistent dryness. They’re also a bit shorter to keep the length above your ankles for total mobility.

Meanwhile, to prevent chafing for a higher level of comfort, these pants have flatlock seams as well. As a plus, these tights have zippers for your legs to make things easier for you every time you’re using this product.

Despite the convenient dimensions of these pants, their cut is still too low for some cyclists. In addition, their stitching isn’t durable enough for years of frequent use. And, if you’re looking for something with gel inserts, we suggest you skip this option.

Pros:

  • One of the tighter versions of BALEAF cycling pants
  • Brushed fabric for better texture, insulation, and moisture control
  • Slightly shorter for better mobility
  • Prevents chafing
  • Easy to wear and remove despite being a pair of tights

Cons:

  • Lower than the standard cut of cycling pants
  • Loose stitching
  • Lacks gel inserts

TSLA Men’s Thermal Windproof Cycling Pants, Fleece Lined Outdoor Bike Pants, Winter Cold Weather Running Pants

TSLA Men's Thermal Windproof Cycling Pants, Fleece Lined Outdoor Bike Pants, Winter Cold Weather Running Pants

Designed for a wide variety of activities, the TSLA Men’s Thermal Windproof Pants are perfect for hiking, running, jogging, climbing, and–of course–cycling. They’re ideal for different sports like soccer as well. They can even be your go-to pants if you’re always riding a motorcycle.

These polyester pants are covered with thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to stay waterproof and windproof. They’re also lined with fleece for insulation while staying lightweight.

However, these pants run small. They’re not very flexible as well because of their looseness. And, if you sweat a lot, the fabric doesn’t dry quickly, leaving the pants drenched and definitely uncomfortable.

Pros:

  • Multipurpose because of the versatile fabric
  • Can resist water
  • Windproof
  • Reliable insulation
  • Feels light

Cons:

  • Runs small
  • Not enough elasticity for higher mobility
  • Absorbs excess sweat instead of drying it out

How to Choose Good Cycling Pants

Material

Polyester

One of the most durable fabrics out there, polyester is an in-demand material for sportswear. It doesn’t wear out easily despite frequent use and regular machine washing. It won’t wrinkle, shrink, and lose color.

Another reason why polyester is commonly used for sportswear products is its quick-drying properties. It absorbs moisture but only for a while since its main focus is to let airflow dry it out completely. It can also help you save energy if you’re using a dryer since it dries quickly. You can’t expect that from cotton pants.

If you’re always looking for adventure, you should wear polyester pants. They don’t stain even if they’re covered with mud. This is perfect if you’re riding your bike on muddy trails.

Since cycling is all about dynamic movements, you need lightweight pants. They’re more likely made of polyester because the fabric is extremely light in the first place.

If you’re trying to stick to a certain budget, try to focus on synthetic pants like polyester. Synthetic fabrics tend to be a lot cheaper than the ones made of natural fibers.

The downside? Polyester isn’t breathable on its own. That’s why polyester pants have several mesh sections and usually come in unique designs to compensate for the poor airflow. They’re also combined with other materials that can contribute to ventilation.

The fabric isn’t soft as well. It can be quite rough, which is harmful to sensitive skin. There’s a smoother and softer version of polyester, though. And it’s always found in the pants’ interior to serve as the lining. We’re talking about fleece.

Fleece

Specifically called polar fleece, this fabric is actually made from polyester. However, it’s definitely much softer than the original material, making it more breathable.

It goes without saying that fleece is commonly used for the interior of cycling pants to provide insulation in cold weather. It’s more than that, though, with its skin-friendly effect compared to wool which can trigger allergies and polyester which can be rough to touch.

Since fleece is from polyester, it can also repel moisture despite its texture being similar to wool. It has a quick-drying effect as well. It’s quite durable, too.

You should know, however, that fleece needs more thorough washing. It can retain odor because it absorbs more moisture. It can also catch particles that can irritate your skin.

Nylon

Even if it’s not combined with Spandex or elastane, nylon can be elastic on its own. It’s also highly durable mainly because of its resistance to mildew, mold, stains, and scratches. You can clean it easily.

But, if you’re always drying your clothes under the sun, the colors on a nylon fabric eventually fade. Its finish can also be shinier than expected, which isn’t attractive to some people.

Since nylon and polyester are both synthetic fabrics that are typically used for sportswear, people always compare them. To easily identify which one is better according to different aspects, take a look at the following:

  • Moisture resistance = polyester
  • Odor resistance = nylon
  • Durability = nylon
  • Color quality = polyester
  • Softness = nylon
  • Smoothness = nylon
  • Outdoor use = polyester

Cycling pants require better resistance to moisture and environmental factors, hence the popularity of polyester as their main material. However, nylon is longer-lasting and more comfortable. Polyester can guarantee comfort as well, but it should have a fleece lining and mesh areas.

Spandex

This material is usually the one giving some stretch on other fabrics. It’s super-lightweight so it won’t make another fabric heavier once added.

No matter how much you stretch cycling pants with Spandex, they won’t lose their original form. They’re also durable because of their resistance to scratches.

Aside from comfort, the softness and smoothness of Spandex will make it easier for you to wash it. Another reason why it’s so easy to clean is its resistance to lotions, body oils, and other substances you regularly apply all over your skin.

However, Spandex should only cover a small portion of the entire fabric used for the cycling pants. That’s mostly because of its sensitivity to heat and non-absorbent nature.

Comfort

Insulation

If you like riding your bike even during colder months, you need to wear cycling pants that can trap your own body heat to keep your lower extremity warm. Simply buy a pair of pants, tights or leggings with an inner lining made of fleece.

Water Resistance

What if you’re outdoors and it starts to drizzle? Come to think of it, your cycling pants don’t need to be waterproof. Just buy something with a surface or top layer that can resist small drops of water to prevent the fabric from soaking. Drenched pants can affect your movements.

Wind Resistance

Insulation isn’t the only feature that can keep you warm when necessary. Strong winds can easily make you shiver. The outer fabric of your cycling pants should be able to block the chill from the wind since fleece lining can only trap your body heat.

Fit

Length

Your movements as you step on the pedals rely on your knees. Aside from the quality of the material, your knees can bend perfectly if you’re wearing the right pant length for your legs.

Just be careful if you’re going to wear shorter cycling pants because the exposed skin above your ankles might get scratched by the chain or the pedals. On the other hand, if the pants are longer than necessary, the fabric might get stuck in the components.

Waistband

For a more secure fit, the waistband should have a drawstring even though it’s elastic. It’s also better if it’s placed higher to prevent exposing your lower back when you bend forward.

Conclusion

Despite falling short of the expected wind resistance in some cases, the INBIKE Winter Fleece Thermal Cycling Pants are versatile, soft, and waterproof. They’re also very effective at trapping your body heat to keep you warm. However, their length can be too short for taller cyclists. The drawstring also has poor quality.

Meanwhile, the three major factors you should consider when choosing the right pair of cycling pants are material, comfort, and fit. The best materials for cycling pants are polyester, fleece, nylon, and Spandex. When it comes to comfort, think about insulation as well as resistance to wind and water. As for fit, simply consider the length and waistband among other things.