Mountain bike shorts: MTB pants with chamois

To sit comfortably on your mountain bike, special mountain shorts are strongly recommended. In many cases mountain bike shorts have a soft inlay, have a beading ability and are durable. All important features for a comfortable and safe mountain bike ride! In this guide I tell you everything you need to know about mountain bike shorts.

Why is special a mountain bike shorts important?

Let me start with why special mountain bike cycling shorts are so important. If you have ever cycled for a long time (on any kind of bike), you will probably experience a sore feeling after sitting for a longer period of time. This is also called saddle soreness and is a common complaint in cycling sports.

Why is this much more common in mountain biking than other cycling sports? Because you often go up and down on your saddle. Think of hills, where you jump off your saddle and then plop down again. Especially with mountain biking, shorts with a chamois – I’ll tell you exactly what this is – important, so that you can ride comfortably and safely on the MTB routes.

mountain bike shorts
Mountain bike shorts are often equipped with a chamois (soft inlay) to prevent saddle pain. © MTBdex.com

Features of mountain bike shorts

But, what makes a pair of pants mountain bike shorts? Mountain bike shorts should not only be comfortable, they should also be able to take a beating. For example, good MTB shorts are durable, they cannot tear and they are water-repellent, so that you stay dry. View important features of good MTB shorts below.

  • Wear-resistant: the mountain bike shorts do not wear out quickly. This is very important; If you use normal sports shorts, you will quickly notice that they will wear out quickly at the crotch (through the saddle).
  • Beading material: this ensures that droplets slide off and are not absorbed into the material. This keeps the shorts dry.
  • Stretchy fabric: this ensures that you can enjoy mountain biking, without the shorts restricting your freedom of movement.
  • Pockets: you often don’t want an MTB backpack if you only want to take a key and a banana with you. Fortunately, many mountain bike shorts are increasingly equipped with small pockets.
  • Ventilating: good cycling shorts breathe. This means that it ventilates well and ensures that you sweat less quickly in the clothing.
  • Lightweight: finally, mountain bike shorts are made of lightweight material, so you stay nice and light while mountain biking.

As you can see, these are completely different shorts than, for example, shorts for running or fitness.

Types of mountain bike shorts

There are many different types of mountain bike shorts available. It’s just what you feel comfortable in. For example, do you go for a somewhat looser baggy MTB shorts or do you prefer a lycra variant.

Baggy MTB shorts vs Lycra

The choice for baggy or lycra mountain bike pants is a personal one. Yet you increasingly see loose-fitting baggy mountain bike clothing in the woods. And that’s for good reason: you have much more freedom of movement, which can be a bit more comfortable on a rough mountain bike ride.

However, you can also simply opt for a lycra outfit. This is a bit tighter and is more suitable if you want to make speed (which is why cyclists almost always wear this). It is good to know that many baggy pants are also simply provided with Lycra inner pants.

Long or short mountain bike shorts?

There are short and long MTB shorts. Long MTB shorts are an interesting choice for cold weather conditions. On the other hand, of course, we should not think about having to wear long trousers on a hot summer day.

It is smart to have a variant of both on the shelf. There are also MTB shorts with legs that can be zipped off. This is very interesting if you go mountain biking in the mountains, as it can quickly cool down or get warm during the ride.

Want to buy new MTB shorts? You should pay attention to this!

If you want to buy new mountain bike shorts, there are a number of things you should pay attention to in order to make the right choice. Check out the buying tips below.

  • Fit: Of course the fit is an important point. Always try on shorts before you buy them. Are you in doubt? Then buy a size bigger. Also take extra space into account if you want to wear protection.
  • Material: check which material the mountain bike shorts are made of. Is this water-repellent and ventilating enough? Think carefully under which circumstances you will mainly go mountain biking.
  • Season: there are winter and summer mountain bike shorts. Always check carefully for which season the shorts are made.
  • Style: the eye wants something too. It can be very nice to combine your pants with a MTB shirt or jacket that you wear often.
  • Compatibility: check whether there is also a suitable shirt for above the MTB shorts. Is it an outfit? Then you can often turn it into a complete outfit.

Frequently asked questions about MTB shorts

Is there a difference in MTB shorts for men and women?

Yes, the fit is different. In addition, there are also different models that are only intended for women. Often there is also a different type of chamois inside the shorts.

Are there also long MTB shorts?

Although people often think that there are only short mountain bike pants, longer models are increasingly available. Long MTB pants are particularly suitable for winter, so that you are not only protected, but also warm.

What is a chamois in MTB shorts?

A chamois is also called a pad and is a soft inlaid piece, so that you sit more softly on your saddle. You can best compare this to a small pillow that you sit on. Sports shorts without chamois are not or less suitable for mountain biking and other cycling sports.

What do you wear under your MTB shorts?

Many mountain bikers choose to just keep on underpants. This is highly recommended in terms of hygiene. Go for comfortable underpants and keep some extra space in mind when buying new MTB shorts.

Lycra versus baggy MTB shorts: which is a better choice?

In addition to long or short, there is also a big difference in the style of MTB shorts. For example, baggy shorts are very popular. This type of MTB shorts is a bit looser and is often provided with extra inner pants for a good closure. Others prefer lycra mountain bike shorts, which are a bit tighter around the legs.

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