In this article I’m going to give you an overview of the best women’s summer cycling tights.
Obviously, any piece of clothing can be used for cycling. But If you look at what’s available for female cyclist when it comes to riding in hot temperatures, specific cycling apparel comes in two variations: cycling bibs and cycling shorts.
Bibs basically being shorts with straps. Both versions come with seat pads or chamois to prevent saddle soreness and pressure points.
High quality cycling bibs and shorts offer chamois made up of multiple layers with varying degrees of firmness and thickness. This ensures that pressure mainly applied to your sit bones is distributed across a wider area, you remain well ventilated, and perspiration is wicked away.
Don’t underestimate the necessity and comfort that a cycling specific piece of clothing attributes to your experience of comfort. And yes, they should be worn without panties.
The average price of a big brand cycling bib lies around the 200 dollar mark. I’ve chosen to pick a number of shorts and bibs below that price point, but still provide best-in-class quality, comfort, and durability.
With that piece of information out of the way let’s take a look at the best women’s summer cycling tights.
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 INTERVAL Bib Short
The Pearl Izumi Women’s INTERVAL Bib Short are high-quality cycling bibs offering a wealth of comfort for long rides.
The shorts has the dual-layer ELITE Escape 1:1 chamois, which sits one level below their pro offerings. It means there are dual layers with different densities to spread load away from the sit bones.
Attached front and back they can move independant from each other, offering flexiblity while riding while at the same time reducing friction.
The Elite chamois does not have an added soft top layer for the longest of rides. But the pad does offer tapered edges sealed seamlessly where it connects to the bib.
The INTERVAL bib short is made from ELITE Transfer In-R-Cool fabric, which is a cool name to describe a material that transfers heat and adds added sun reflectiveness.
It also features the drop tail technology, a horizontal cut at the lower back to enable a quick bathroom stop without the need to take of your cycling jersey and undo the straps. The cut is wide enough to uncover that part of the body you wish to uncover when nature calls.
The hems are laser cut and seamless, so the short doesn’t pinch your thighs, but do stay in place thanks to the silicone gripper.
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
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 SilverLine Bib Short
The Giordana Women’s SilverLine Bib Short is an extremely durable bib short with a great fit for a reasonable price.
It has their 3-layer 13 mm. Cirro-W chamois. It’s a top-of-the-line chamois for female cyclists. While I’m unsure whether it actually heals skin, courtesy of the Aloe Vera layer, the comfort of various waffle-textured open cell layers is unmistakable. And as with other high-end chamois, it has tapered edges seamlessly connected to your bib.
The clipless straps are wide and comfortable and end in a large back panel to ensure a smooth and comfortable fit without any rideup.
The hems are made from an elastic woven fabric to keep them in place without digging in, and they do so perfectly.
For a respectable price the Silverline bib short is a great choice to obtain characteristics of quality, durability and comfort in a fashionable package.
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 Endurance W Bibshort
Targeting towards ultimate comfort, the Castelli Endurance W Bibshort offers the most protection on longer rides.
It has the Progetto X2 Air Donna chamois, where a soft skin-layer sits atop a perforated foam layer. This multi-stretch comfort layer is totally seamless, offers different densities to provide the most damping where needed, and has padded inserts. What all this technology does is provide a carefree fit with loads of comfort for arduous multi-hour rides.
The Italian brand always offers flattering designs, and it’s no different with this short. They forgo the droptail design with the horizontal slit other brands incorporate for bathroom stops, and instead opt for extra elastic straps that can be easily pulled down.
The Endurance Evolution compression fabric sits snugly without hampering movement and even with the all-black color, does a good job of keeping you cool and evaporating sweat.
I’ve been a favorite of this brand for years and this affordable short does nothing to change that point of view. Providing great value-for-money in a short that offers the best in the area of comfort for epic rides.
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 Short
The Castelli Prima Short is an ultra-breathable cycling short made for hot weather conditions.
The short is made from Pro Dry Soft Lycra which makes it a perfect choice for hot summer riding and indoor cycling.
Furthermore with the KISS Air2 Donna you get more than enough comfort for your average cycling trip. And the short has a snug fit without feeling overly tight.
Castelli Unlimited W Bibshort
The Castelli Unlimited W Bibshort is an elegantly designed cycling bib with 4 pockets. You’ve got one on each leg and two in the rear.
In line with cargo bibs being more gravel oriented, the side panels are made from two instead of a single layer. The pockets are conveniently oriented and can hold just about everything you’d want to stuff into them.
The moderately priced bib doesn’t look or feel bulky, and is classically shaped, with dual straps ending in a rear back panel.
The chamois is Castelli’s KISS Air2 Donna, which means a soft skin layer is seamlessly welded to a female oriented dual-density layer, with an anatomical shape.
The Castelli Unlimited W Bibshort provides a great allround package in terms of price, comfort, and style.
Castelli Velocissima 3 Bibshort
The Castelli Velocissima 3 Bibshort 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 Bibshort is a great example of this, with a premium-looking short offering the right amount of comfort.
The drop tail straps are extremely elastic, making it easy to pull down the shorts for bathroom stops. And the elegantly striped legs end in firm leg grippers that keep them in place without making you look like something you can buy at your local butcher shop.
The straps can be worn in a standard straight fashion or crossed both front and back to suit your personal preference. And the cooling Endurance Evolution compression fabric is available in a number of gorgeous colors other than your standard black.
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.
Sportful Supergiara W Bibshort
The Sportful Supergiara W Bibshort is a more traditional bib short from the Italian brand, which also caters to the gravel community by offering bibs with pockets.
It’s meant for race-day with a tight compression fabric but still holds their impressively comfortable 18 mm. Total Comfort W chamois. Such a pad does make a difference when traversing less than ideal road conditions for longer periods.
The entire back panel and front straps are created from mesh fabric, with a large side section connecting front and back. Together with the fabric you get a pair of shorts that stay in place, look flattering and feel comfortable.
There are 3 pockets. One located at the left leg and two in the back, measuring 10 x 13 cm each, with the one on the leg being 16 x 11 cm. With today’s huge phones, especially when sleeved, you might still opt to place them somewhere else. But they perform adequately for energy bars.
The shorts are beautifully crafted and fit your average built perfectly, but as far as cargo shorts go, there’s room for improvement.
POC Womens Ultimate Vpds Bib Shorts
The POC Womens Ultimate Vpds Bib Shorts are comfortable shorts for women with bigger tighs.
The Swedish brand offers cycling shorts with silicone inserted chamois meant for long distance riding. The inserts are cleverly located to relieve pressure for a femal specific anatomy, and sits seamlessly atop a perforated base layer.
The cycling bibs has a reversed back panel, meaning there’s only one wide mesh strap in the front and two in the back. The straps offer enough elasticity to be pulled down, ensuring easy bathroom stops without the need to remove your cycling jersey.
Seams are kept to an absolute minimum including ones for the laser cut hems, which have integrated silicone grippers. Women with bigger tighs won’t have to worry about sausage legs with these bibs.
Craft Adv Unbound Bib Shorts
The Craft Adv Unbound Bib Shorts is another gravel-oriented cargo short that takes its name from the popular Kansas gravel event.
It holds the C1 chamois reserved for their premium lineup. It’s an impressive 16 mm thick pad made from recycled polyamide that has 4-way stretch to it, with a varying density. Craft is big into sustainability and they have a proprietary way of creating their chamois in such a way it reduces waste material.
The straps cross at the back and have a front panel that sits very high on the waist. There are both stretch and zippered pockets. The stretch pockets sit at the legs, with the zippered pockets at the back. Obviously zippered pockets take greater care of what you put into them, but can be a nuisance when trying to open and close while riding.
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
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 women’s summer cycling tights
|Name||Price||Chamois||Straps||Material||Hems||Pockets||Discipline||Buy at Amazon||Buy at Ebay|
|Pearl Izumi Women’s Expedition Short||100 USD||dual-density Women’s ELITE Escape 1:1||none||ELITE Transfer In-R-Cool fabric||laser-cut w. silicone gripper||2 thigh pockets, 1 back pocket||road, gravel||link|
|Pearl Izumi Women’s INTERVAL Bib Short||150 USD||dual-density Women’s ELITE Escape 1:1||clipped straps w. drop tail||ELITE Transfer In-R-Cool fabric||laser-cut w. silicone gripper||none||road||link||link|
|Pearl Izumi Women’s Sugar 5 inch Short||65 USD||Womens SELECT Escape 1:1||none||SELECT Transfer fabric||silicone gripper||2 mesh stretch pockets on lower legs||road, indoor||link|
|Pearl Izumi Women’s Symphony Capri||130 USD||dual-density Women’s ELITE Escape 1:1||none||ELITE Transfer In-R-Cool fabric||silicone gripper||none||road||link|
|Giordana Women’s SilverLine Bib Short||150 USD||3-layer 13 mm. Cirro-W||seamless straps w. mesh back panel||elastic woven||none||road||link||link|
|Giordana Women’s Fusion Bib Short||130 USD||3-layer 13 mm. Cirro-W||seamless straps w. mesh back panel||Lycra||tall laser-cut||none||road||link||link|
|Castelli Endurance W Bibshort||160 USD||Progetto X2 Air Donna||drop tail bib straps||Endurance Evolution compression fabric||GIRO3 leg gripper||none||road||link||link|
|Castelli Free Aero Race 4 W Short||126 USD||Progetto X2 Air Donna||none||Forza fabric||GIRO4 leg gripper||none||road||link|
|Castelli Prima Short||100 USD||KISS Air2 Donna||none||Pro Dry Soft Lycra||GIRO3 leg gripper||none||road||link|
|Castelli Unlimited W Bibshort||150 USD||KISS Air2 Donna||back bib panel||Lycra||raw-cut w. silicone||2 mesh rear pockets, 2 side pockets||road, gravel||link|
|Castelli Velocissima 3 Bibshort||140 USD||KISS Air2 Donna||drop tail bib straps||Endurance Evolution compression fabric||raw-cut w. silicone||none||road||link||link|
|Sportful Neo W Bibshort||110 USD||Bodyfit Pro W MD||clipless||Lycra||laser-cut w. silicone gripper||none||road||link|
|Sportful Supergiara W Bibshort||195 USD||18 mm. Total Comfort W||mesh straps w. mesh back panel||Compression fabric||elastic woven||1 mesh cargo pocket on left leg and 2 mesh pockets on back||road, gravel||link||link|
|POC Womens Ultimate Vpds Bib Shorts||200 euros||Women’s Multi D||reverse suspender||laser-cut w. silicone gripper||none||road, gravel, MTB||link|
|Craft Adv Unbound Bib Shorts||160 euros||16 mm. C1||mesh straps||Lycra Sport Energy||elastic woven w. silicone||Stretch pockets at legs, zip back pocket||gravel, MTB||link||link|
|Craft Adv Endurance Lumen Bib Shorts||120 euros||12 mm. 3-layer C2||mesh straps w. mesh back panel||recycled polyamide||elastic woven w. silicone||none||road||link||link|
|Craft Essense Bib Shorts||90 euros||C3||center strap w. back panel||Lycra Sport Energy||elastic woven w. silicone||none||road||link|