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The top 10 best budget women’s cycling shorts

This article will feature some of the best budget women’s cycling shorts worth your money.

Not going the absolute premium route when it comes to cycling shorts doesn’t mean you have to skimp on quality. There are a great number of shorts that’ll be perfectly adequate in providing many miles of comfortable cycling.

The thing to look out for is the quality of the seat pad or chamois. In general big brand names simply offer better protection against a sore bumb, and often the most expensive shorts hold the most technologically advanced chamois. But unless you’re training for the next crit or want to ride really long distance, it’s something you don’t need.

With an average price of just shy of 200 dollars I consider any cycling short to be budget that does not cross the 130 dollar mark.

For that kind of money there are a lot of excellent options to suit your personal needs. So let’s take a look at some of those best budget women’s cycling shorts.

Pearl Izumi Women’s Expedition Short

Pearl Izumi Women's Expedition Short
Pearl Izumi Women's Expedition Short

The Pearl Izumi Women’s Expedition Short are affordable cycling shorts with plenty of storage and an understated design.

The short features a women specific dual-density Women’s ELITE Escape 1:1 chamois. It’s top layer can move independantly from it’s foam layer, which reducing friction and chafing. It means that these shorts are perfect for your average dry ride and will proof to be comfortable for a number of hours in the saddle.

The short is made from compression fabric and has 2 large thigh pockets alongside a smaller back pocket. This means you can store larger objects, like your phone, as well as smaller ones like multiple energy bars or small tools. The compression fabric ensures a snug, yet comfortable and flattering fit.

Furthermore, the short has a wide and comfortable waist band and silicone printed hems to keep them in place.

For anything but ultra-distance riding, these shorts are a fantastic option, that doesn’t hurt your wallet too much, offers good storage options, look the part, and are durable as well.

Pearl Izumi Women’s Sugar 5 inch Short

Pearl Izumi Women's Sugar 5 inch Short
Pearl Izumi Women's Sugar 5 inch Short

The Pearl Izumi Women’s Sugar 5 inch Short is exactly what it says, a perfect hot conditions cycling short. Either for use on the bike or indoors.

The short offers the Womens SELECT Escape 1:1 chamois, which is a single-layer seat pad designed for shorter rides. So it’s perfect for a nice summer ride or a quick spin class.

It has two small mesh pockets for you to stow away objects like your keys, cards, or a quick snack. The short is made from soft, lightweight, and high-stretch SELECT Transfer fabric, with a comfortable, wide, non-pinching waistband.

Pearl Izumi Women’s Symphony Capri

Pearl Izumi Women's Symphony Capri
Pearl Izumi Women's Symphony Capri

The Pearl Izumi Women’s Symphony Capri is one of the very few 3/4 cycling tights you will find online. It sits comfortably across the knees and feature the same silicone leg grippers used in more traditional cycling shorts.

The standout feature of this high quality capri is the chamois, which is the dual-density Women’s ELITE Escape 1:1 seat pad. It’s one of the most comfortable pads in the market and just one step removed from what pro riders use.

A comfortable waistband is designed to sit snugly but not constrictive during a cycling position. And the Elite transfer fabric keeps you cool, is UV resistant, fits snugly and looks great.

Giordana Women’s Fusion Bib Short

Giordana Women's Fusion Bib Short
Giordana Women's Fusion Bib Short

The Giordana Women’s Fusion Bib Short offers their thicker 3-layer 13 m. Cirro-W chamois.

The rest of the shorts offer a lot of the same characteristics. The same overall shape with clipless straps ending in a comfortable large back panel, with tall laser cut hems that grip comfortably. It’s a high-waist short to provide appropriate coverage and support for a flattering figure.

The chamois has an Aloe Vera infused layer that prevents bacteria build-up and offers cooling factors, is sewn atop a tick 8mm. layer of memory foam. This open waffle-textured layer offers excellent moisture-wicking and ventilation properties, preventing it from becoming a damp, attention-grabbing patch on longer rides.

A bit less performance oriented for the casual rider, these shorts will still amaze when staying many hours in the saddle.

Castelli Free Aero Race 4 W Short

Castelli Free Aero Race 4 W Short
Castelli Free Aero Race 4 W Short

The Castelli Free Aero Race 4 W Short is probably one of the best cycling shorts out there.

Featuring their high-end Progetto X2 Air Donna chamois, you’re ensured of a comfortable ride. The chamois featured additional inserts for female-specific pressure areas, underneath a soft skin layer, and a multi-density foam layer.

The short has a very lightweight construction with dimpled thigh panels for female cyclists ambitious enough to care about minimal aerodynamic gains. Flatlock stitching ensures a seamless feel and large GIRO4 leg grippers with vertical silicone strips keep the short in the correct place without pinching.

On of the best strapless cycling shorts your money can buy.

Castelli Prima Bibshort

Castelli Prima Bibshort
Castelli Prima Bibshort

The Castelli Prima Bibshort is a fantastic affordable option that still manages to look great from the Italian giant.

It’s almost an insult to call these cycling bibs entry-level, since they still feature the amazingly comfortable KISS Air2 Donna chamois. It’s an anatomically shaped dual-density layer, which provides the right kind of support in areas where more pressure is applied. This layer sits underneath an incredible soft skin layer. All layer are seamlessly integrated and Castelli always manages to never make their shorts feel or look bulky.

Furthermore the cycling shorts are made from Pro Dry Soft Lycra, which ensures maximum breathability and moisture-wicking characteristics on long and hot days in the saddle. Mesh straps and a back panel finished with reflective elements at the back of the legs finish the design.

A truly fantastic cycling bib for female cyclists who’re looking for a solid combination of quality and affordability.

Castelli Velocissima 3 Short

Castelli Velocissima 3 Short
Castelli Velocissima 3 Short

The Castelli Velocissima 3 short offers a slim feel while still offering enough protection to keep you in the saddle comfortably for many hours.

The KISS Air2 Donna chamois is a multi-layered pad with differently gender-specific densities offering moisture-wicking and ventilation aspects in its durable microfiber.

The popularity of Castelli lies in the fact that they offer excellent quality in affordable packages. The Castelli Velocissima 3 short is a great example of this, with a premium-looking short offering the right amount of comfort.

The elegantly striped legs end in firm leg grippers that keep them in place without making your legs look like something you can buy at your local butcher shop.

The cooling Endurance Evolution compression fabric is available in a number of gorgeous colors other than your standard black.

Sportful Neo W Bibshort

Sportful Neo W Bibshort
Sportful Neo W Bibshort

One of their more affordable options the Sportful Neo W Bibshort still packs a lot of features necessary for comfortable rides.

The classically designed cycling bib offers mesh straps and a large mesh back panel. These are connected to 4-way stretch Lycra, and finished with elastic long hems with an elastic band.

The no-fuss design minimizes the use of seams and features Bodyfit Pro W MD chamois, which is a dual-layered pad where a soft skin layers is seamlessly attached to a soft foam layer.

Sportful has been at the top of their game when it comes to offering high-quality cycling bibs, and the Sportful Neo W Bibshort is a great entry-level option.

Craft Adv Endurance Lumen Bib Shorts

Craft Adv Endurance Lumen Bib Shorts
Craft Adv Endurance Lumen Bib Shorts

The Craft Adv Endurance Lumen Bib Shorts are more than excellent shorts for a very reasonable price.

Beautifully designed, they offer a form-fitting mesh back panel that wraps around your body into a high waist, ensuring a great look with comfortable straps at the front.

The C2 pad has three layers of various densities made in a way that reduces waste. The thickest parts sits at the sit bones offering necessary damping qualities.

The shorts themselves are made from recycled polyamide, so you know Craft is big into sustainability. The brand is know for creating very durable products.

A great product for female road cyclist who can appreciate high-quality comfortable bib shorts for a decent enough price.

Craft Essense Bib Shorts

Craft Essense Bib Shorts
Craft Essense Bib Shorts

The Craft Essense Bib Shorts are a great allround choice for budget-minded female cyclists.

One of Craft’s most affordable cycling bibs feature their C3 chamois, which still provides ample levels of comfort with a hollow-fiber pad.

Craft displays a high degree of corporate responsibility, with this short being created with recycled polyamide. So if that’s something you value and look for in a product, Craft is definitely worth choosing.

The cycling bib has a wide center front strap, which ends in a large back panel. It’s up to you whether or not you like such a configuration.

Highly affordable and with sustainability in mind, the Craft Essense Bib Shorts is a great choice for the recreative female rider.

Specifications best budget women’s cycling shorts

NamePriceChamoisStrapsMaterialHemsPocketsDisciplineBuy at AmazonBuy at Ebay
Pearl Izumi Women’s Expedition Short100 USDdual-density Women’s ELITE Escape 1:1noneELITE Transfer In-R-Cool fabriclaser-cut w. silicone gripper2 thigh pockets, 1 back pocketroad, gravellink
Pearl Izumi Women’s Sugar 5 inch Short65 USDWomens SELECT Escape 1:1noneSELECT Transfer fabricsilicone gripper2 mesh stretch pockets on lower legsroad, indoorlink
Pearl Izumi Women’s Symphony Capri130 USDdual-density Women’s ELITE Escape 1:1noneELITE Transfer In-R-Cool fabricsilicone grippernoneroad, indoorlink
Giordana Women’s Fusion Bib Short130 USD3-layer 13 mm. Cirro-Wseamless straps w. mesh back panelLycratall laser-cutnoneroadlinklink
Castelli Free Aero Race 4 W Short126 USDProgetto X2 Air DonnanoneForza fabricGIRO4 leg grippernoneroad, indoorlink
Castelli Prima Bibshort110 USDKISS Air2 Donnaback bib panelPro Dry Soft LycraGIRO3 leg grippernoneroadlinklink
Castelli Velocissima 3 Short120 USDKISS Air2 DonnanoneEndurance Evolution compression fabricraw-cut w. siliconenoneroadlink
Sportful Neo W Bibshort110 USDBodyfit Pro W MDcliplessLycralaser-cut w. silicone grippernoneroadlink
Craft Adv Endurance Lumen Bib Shorts120 euros12 mm. 3-layer C2mesh straps w. mesh back panelrecycled polyamideelastic woven w. siliconenoneroadlinklink
Craft Essense Bib Shorts90 eurosC3center strap w. back panelLycra Sport Energyelastic woven w. siliconenoneroadlink