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Whether you wear chamois as a cyclist or not is your preference, but for those of us that do, choosing the best women’s padded bike shorts is an important task.
They should be well padded, but not too padded, comfortable at the waist (no digging into the stomach please!), grippy at the thigh so they don’t ride up, and definitely not see-through if you plan on wearing them solo (i.e. no baggy shorts over them).
Just like shopping for most women’s clothes, though, finding a great pair of women’s bike liners can be a challenge.
I’ve tried many pairs over the years and below I’ve put together a list of my favorites to help you find comfort in the saddle.
What are chamois bike shorts?
Chamois (pronounced ‘shammies’) are essentially the pads that are sewn into lycra or spandex bike shorts, although most riders call the whole bike liner a chamois.
Chamois can be worn by themselves, which is how most road cyclists wear them, or underneath baggier shorts, which is typically mountain biker style.
Chamois provide a bit more cushion for your tush on the bike saddle and they can help prevent chafing by acting as sort of a compression layer to keep things nice and tight and contained.
Best Women’s Chamois At A Glance
- Two Wheeled Wanderer favorite: Terry Bella Prima
- Best MTB-specific chamois: Troy Lee Designs Liner
- Best versatile chamois: Wild Rye Alyssa Chammy
- Best lightweight padded shorts: DHaRCHO Party Pants
- Best budget-friendly liner: Terry Universal Liner
- Best extra-long shorts: Terry Bike Bermuda Shorts
- Best high-performance liners: Pearl iZUMi Pro
1. Terry Bella Prima Bike Shorts
Two Wheeled Wanderer favorite
Where to shop
- Intended use: All types of riding: mountain biking, road cycling, gravel riding, bikepacking
- What I like: Really comfortable, great length, the waist doesn’t roll down
- What I don’t like: Honestly nothing!
I recently tried out these Terry Bella Prima Bike Shorts and they have quickly become my favorite padded liners.
Not only are they super comfortable, but the chamois (the actual padded liner part) is just the right size and thickness. Many women’s padded bike shorts are either way too big or not big enough.
Another feature I love about these shorts is that the elastic waistband doesn’t roll down when I’m pedaling, like some other chamois I’ve tried. I’m not sure if this is because the material around the waist is slightly thicker so stays in place or if it’s because these are super high-waisted, which I definitely prefer.
If you’re looking for an all-around great liner that you can take on the trail or on the road, I highly recommend these!
If you want a similar short that is slightly less expensive, check out the Terry Bella Short. It’s made from a different fabric but has the same cut.
2. Troy Lee Designs Women’s Liner
Best mountain bike-specific chamois
Where to shop
- Intended use: Underneath baggy mountain bike shorts
- What I like: Great contoured fit, good chamois size, highly breathable
- What I don’t like: Run a little small, not very versatile for other styles of riding
I’ve been a fan of Troy Lee Designs for a while now thanks to their high-quality, comfortable, and stylish designs. They’re doing a great job creating women’s-specific apparel that is actually designed for women’s bodies – not just doing the old ‘shrink it and pink it’.
The Troy Lee Designs Women’s Liner is an awesome liner that is meant to be worn under baggy mountain bike shorts.
The “6-hour” chamois pad has just the right amount of thickness and padding and the wide elastic waistband prevents it from rolling down when pedaling.
The only drawback to these chamois is that they aren’t really meant to be stand-alone liners, so leave them at home for your gravel or road rides.
Other Women’s Biking Gear
3. wild Rye Alyssa Chammy
Best versatile Chamois
Where to shop
- Intended use: All types of riding!
- What I like: Awesome women’s-specific fit, great look
- What I don’t like: I find that Wild Rye apparel sizing is a bit wonky
If you’re looking for a versatile chamois that you can wear for all your biking adventures, the Wild Rye Alyssa Chammy is made for you.
Designed for everything from singletrack laps to long gravel days to centuries on the road bike, the Alyssa Chammy not only looks great but is also super comfortable and high-performing.
The Italian-made chamois pad is low-profile to remove any excess padding, but not so low-profile that you’re left without any comfort.
I also love the high yoga-style waistband that doesn’t roll down and the fun colors and patterns to highlight your strong legs.
4. DHaRCHO Party Pants
Best lightweight option
Where to shop
- Intended use: Mountain biking underneath baggy shorts
- What I like: Lightweight and quick-drying, fun patterns!
- What I don’t like: Not as durable as other chamois, wear out faster
The DHaRCO Party Pants used to be my favorite pair of padded liners, but I did find that they stretch out over time (which is understandable, but liners are expensive!). That being said, they’re a really great lightweight option that are super comfortable underneath baggy mountain bike shorts.
While they are designed for mountain bikers they could definitely be used for roadies as well because they’re light, breathable, and not see-through.
What I love most about these liners is that they’re super high-rise, so they don’t dig into my stomach and I’m not constantly trying to pull them up.
The chamois pad is medium in thickness, so you don’t feel like you’re wearing a diaper yet they still provide padding and the thighs have a silicone grip lining to prevent them from riding up.
They also come in fun patterns for those impromptu chamois dance parties out on the trail!
5. Terry Universal Bike Short
Best Budget-Friendly Liner
Where to shop
- Intended use: Casual or recreational riding
- What I like: Affordable, come in XS-XXL sizes
- What I don’t like: Small chamois may not work for everyone
If you’re on a budget or you’re new to biking and don’t need an expensive short, then the Terry Universal Bike Short Liner is a great option.
At only $40, the price is hard to beat but since it’s a Terry product, you can be sure that it’s great quality and good design.
These shorts are on the shorter side, which makes them great for wearing underneath skirts, dresses, or shorts if you’re heading out on a casual ride.
However, it’s important to note that the chamois (the actual padded part) is smaller than most other liners on this list.
6. Terry Bike Bermuda Shorts
Best Extra Long Liners
Where to shop
- Intended use: Road cycling, bike touring, bikepacking, recreational biking
- What I like: Great coverage, thick material = no see-through
- What I don’t like: Too thick to wear under baggy shorts, long length may not work for shorter women
If you’re like me and you like your padded liners long so they don’t ride up while pedaling, then the Terry Bike Bermuda Shorts are for you!
With an extra-long 11-inch inseam and a high waist, these shorts will cover even the longest of legs.
Like all Terry shorts, they are well-designed with a small pocket on the leg that’s helpful if you’re going for a spin and want to carry some cash or a credit card.
Since these shorts are so long and made from a slightly heavier material, they’re best worn on their own (i.e. not under baggy mountain bike shorts).
If you want a long short that isn’t quite as thick as the Bermuda shorts, check out the Terry Wayfarer Shorts.
7. Pearl Izumi Pro
Best High-Performance Bike Liners
Where to shop
- Intended use: Long-distance road, trail, or gravel rides
- What I like: Luxurious fabric, versatile
- What I don’t like: Expensive
Alright, I know $185 is a lot of money for women’s padded bike shorts, but the Pearl iZUMi Pro chamois are SO NICE.
They’re made with a luxurious Italian PRO Transfer fabric that is super silky and soft and provides excellent compression without making you feel like you’re in a bodysuit.
They have a high yoga-style waistband that stays in place when you pedal and the legs are designed with a grippy silicone to prevent them from riding up.
If you’re shopping around for a well-made, well-designed, high-performance bike short, these are your answer.
Padded bike shorts – aka chamois – can make or break your experience out on the trail or road. It’s wise to invest in a good pair of women’s bike liners, especially if your plan on doing a lot of biking or you’re prone to chafing while in the saddle.
The liners I’ve highlighted in this post are my personal favorites, but remember that everyone is different. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa. Shop around, read reviews, and hopefully you’ll find your perfect pair!
Looking for more women’s-specific biking content? Check out these related blog posts:
What are your favorite women’s padded bike shorts? What do you love about them? Let us know in the comments!