Best kids cycling shorts
Cycling shorts can be a great addition to any child's cycling wardrobe, whether they are a beginner or an experienced rider.
They are specifically designed to provide comfort, support, and protection during long rides on the road or trail.
We've found that having a pair of "proper" cycling shorts also made our kids really excited about getting dressed up and ready to go out for a ride.
In this article, we'll explore the various types of kids' cycling shorts available on the market, and discuss how to choose the right pair for your child's cycling needs.
In a hurry? Best places to buy kids cycling shorts in the UK
Decathlon - Best for entry-level products for ages 8 plus. Their B’Twin range is excellent value
Tredz - Particularly good for youth mountain biking shorts
Wiggle - Good choice of big brand names in junior sizes
Does your child need cycling shorts?
As with everything you do in life, having the correct equipment can make things much more enjoyable. Cycling shorts are designed for comfort and protection on a bike ride and are well worth considering if your child is progressing with their cycling.
If they've mentioned being sore after riding their bike then a pair of well-padded junior cycling shorts may well help ease their painful bum.
And for everyone else it's worth investing in a pair as soon as your child starts to enjoy riding longer distances, to reduce the risk of chaffing or bruising from too much time in the saddle.
Many cycling shorts are also designed to help wick away moisture on a hot day, with some also having reflective trim for riding in low light levels.
Kids sized mountain biking shorts are also designed to protect legs from mishaps on the trail.
Having a pair of cycling shorts (especially if they're similar to riders they admire) can also encourage your child to get on their bike and pedal harder and faster.
The best kids cycling shorts
We're going to look at four different styles of junior cycling shorts to suits different types of riding:
- Lycra shorts
- Mountain biking shorts
- Padded under shorts
- Bib shorts
Kids-sized lycra cycling shorts
Lycra cycling shorts are designed to provide lots of additional padding in the saddle area, helping to prevent soreness and chaffing.
They are designed to be comfortable and supportive with the ultra-stretchy lycra material allowing full freedom of movement whilst cycling.
Lyra cycling shorts tend to be tight fitting (although sometimes little legs can end up with them looking more baggy). If they fit tightly this provides upper leg support, which can help when riding long distances.
Adults tend to wear this style of short on road bikes, but we found our boys just wanted to get dressed up where ever we were riding and look like a "proper" cyclist (they'd been watching a lot of road cycling on the TV and this translated to riding around the park for them!)
They also used to put them under thermal leggings in the winter to provide additional comfort beneath the warm layer, saving us having to buy winter specific cycling bottoms.
Age: 7-14 years
Colours: Black/lime yellow
The Btwin 100 shorts are suitable for bike rides of approximately an hour making them good for occasional riding as they are really reasonably priced for an entry level short.
The Btwin 500 kids cycling shorts are designed for longer rides on road or mountain bikes. The shorts feature a flat seam and foam pads, providing more comfort on all terrains.
We recommend paying that bit more for the additional comfort if you're planning on doing quite a bit of cycling this summer.
Age: 5-6, 7-9, 10-12 years
The Altura Youth Airstream fitted shorts are designed for younger riders looking for comfort and practicality.
The shorts feature a comfortable memory foam pad/insert and the stretch fabric uses Altura Dry technology to keep moisture away from the skin. This means your child should be dry and comfortable while riding in warmer conditions.
There's also reflective trim for improved visibility in low-light conditions.
Kids mountain bike shorts
Mountain biking shorts are designed to provide protection as well as comfort in the saddle.
They are made of a tougher, more abrasion-resistant fabric than lycra shorts, and are typically longer in length to provide better coverage and protection against branches, rocks, and other hazards encountered on the trail.
Junior sized MTB shorts may have pockets for storing small items like snacks, and may also be worn with a detachable liner with a chamois for added comfort during longer rides.
Some mountain biking shorts have adjustable waistbands or ventilation features to help regulate body temperature and prevent overheating.
Because mountain biking shorts prioritise functionality and protection over aerodynamics and speed they tend to be more versatile and easier to wear off the bike.
My youngest would wear his favourite mountain bike shorts all the time regardless of whether we were actually riding our bikes!
MTB Works Trail Ready Padded Shorts
Brand: MTB Works
Age: 2-14 years
The MTB Works Trail Ready Padded Shorts are a great all-rounder for young cyclists and are very durable.
The shorts are designed for not only downhill and exciting trail action, but also the easier days riding on the flat.
They're breathable, with mesh lining for comfort, zipped front pockets, and they also feature adjustable waist ties for comfortable wear.
Ti-Go Padded Shorts
Age: 2-12 years
The Ti-Go Padded kids MTB shorts were created for children to have max comfort while cycling.
The shorts feature a 'GO-SHOCK' chamois pad which is great for handling the bumps of the trails, and they're fitted with an inner short with silicone leg grippers for ease of motion whilst cycling.
Aimed at kids aged 2-12 years, the Ti-Go padded shorts bring adult quality to kids MTB shorts.
Age: 8, 10, 12, 14 years
The Rockrider 500 kids cycling shorts stretch to fit, and feature extra padding making riding extra comfortable whilst on the uneven mountain biking trails.
The mesh fabric helps keep moisture away from the skin, keeping your child dry.
An overall great choice if you're looking for both style and comfort as a young rider.
child-sized cycling padded under shorts
Padded under shorts are a great way of making any pair of your child's regular shorts, skirts or trousers much more comfortable for cycling.
They're also used in combination with mountain biking over shorts that don't have padding in them.
Under shorts also allow you to swap out the padded bit of the kit for hygiene reasons - very useful and cost effective if you're going on an extended trip and want to limit the amount you're washing/carrying.
Endura Padded Boxer Shorts
Age: 7-8, 9-10, 11-12 years
The Endura Padded kids boxer shorts provide a comfortable underlayer featuring strategically positioned ribs which provide additional stretch and comfort while riding.
The boxer shorts have a fast-wicking antibacterial finish keeping your child dry all day long.
Nukeproof Outland Liner Short
Age: 8-10, 10-12, 12-14 years
The Nukeproof Outland Liner kids shorts are made from a lightweight 4-way stretch material providing a supportive and comfortable fit whilst cycling.
The shorts feature flat-locked seams which eliminate chafing, and silicone thigh grippers which prevent the shorts from riding up your child's leg. The padding gives added comfort on even the bumpiest of MTB trails.
Kids cycling bib shorts
Bib shorts are the preferred short of choice for pro-racers. They're lycra shorts with shoulder straps which means they don't have a waist band.
This allows a tighter fit and there's no issues with bunching of fabric or skin showing when you're bent low over the handlebars.
The main issue for children who want to wear cycling bib shorts is how to cope with going to the toilet.
It's slightly easier for boys if they can master the "pull-down-up-and-over" technique for having a quick wee - we recommend trying this many times at home before risking it during a ride.
But even they will have to work out how to undress for anything more substantial. This can get chilly quickly on a cool day, and can be rather exposing if your child needs to take a quick stop behind a hedge.
Shred XS Cyclocross Shorts
Brand: Shred XS
Age: 4-14 years
The Shred XC kids bib shorts are designed to fit kids of a slimmer build, and are made from a compressed lycra material providing comfort and flexibility.
They are breathable and quick drying, with a POWERBAND compression feature that stops the shorts from riding up whilst cycling.
The XC kids shorts also feature seamless chamois foam padding and breathable mesh. The shorts can be worn on their own or as an underlayer under downhill and Enduro shorts.
B'twin Bib Shorts 900
Age: 8-9, 10-11, 12-13 years
B'twin 900 Bib Shorts have the same quality as adult shorts, but in kids sizing!
These cycling shorts have been designed for longer bike rides, with a pad for extra comfort, and breathable fabric.
The stretchy chest straps guarantee a great fit for your child.
BORA hansgrohe bib shorts
Brand: BORA Hansgrohe
Age: 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13 years
The BORA Hansgrohe kids bib shorts are the same design as the BORA Hansgrohe official team race kit but designed and sized specifically for kids aged 4 to 13 years old.
A great option to inspire future racers!
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