6 of the Best Mountain Biking Chamois You Can Find

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Although riding a bike can be a great way to get exercise and spend time outside, bicycle seats are known for not being super comfortable. If you’re riding for more than an hour or so, your behind can get pretty sore. When talking about mountain biking, rocks and uneven trails can be murder on your body.

Fortunately, one way to help make the ride more accommodating is to wear the best mountain bike chamois you can find. These products offer extra support and cushioning, allowing you to stay mobile for longer. We’re going to look at the top six chamois models available, as well as discuss what makes them so vital for riding.

Baleaf Men’s Padded Bike Shorts

BALEAF Men's Padded Bike Shorts Cycling Underwear 3D Padding Mountain Biking Bicycle Liner Shorts (Green, L) Check availability

These bike shorts from Baleaf are one of the most well-rated options you can find, with over 30,000 reviews on Amazon. Although we’re looking at the men’s chamois, the brand does offer women’s versions as well.

There are a few reasons why these shorts are so appealing. First, they have flat seams, meaning you don’t have to worry about chafing. Second, the fabric is light and breathable so  you can stay relatively dry as you ride. Finally, the 3D molded chamois is thick and comfortable, even after riding for miles.

What we liked

Since these bike shorts are pretty affordable, you might assume that the material is cheap and shoddy. You’d be surprised. Although some users report knockoff versions arriving in the mail, you can generally expect a decent quality chamois. Although we recognize that some user’s anatomy may be different from ours, we appreciate the molded fit.

What we didn’t like

Finding the right size for this chamois can be tricky, especially if you haven’t ordered this type of product before. In addition, some customers have reported the chamois shifting as they rode, so the pad became bunched up in the back. Overall, there is some trial and error involved. Be aware that you might have to return your first pair.

Pros

  • Many colors and sizes available
  • Lightweight and breathable fabric
  • Flat seam construction to prevent chafing
  • 3D gel chamois
  • Men’s and women’s versions available

Cons

  • In rare cases, the legs may roll up while riding
  • Sizing can be tricky for some riders

EZRUN Men’s 3D Padded Mountain Bike Shorts

EZRUN Men's 3D Padded Mountain Bike Shorts Lightweight MTB Cycling Shorts (Black,m) Check availability

When looking at mountain bike chamois, you can choose something form-fitting or opt for baggy mountain bike shorts instead. This pair of shorts from EZRUN is the latter, meaning they won’t hug your legs like long-lost friends reuniting after a few years.

Because of the looser fit, you can get better air flow through the shorts while riding. Also, they’re easier to wear when you’re not on the back of a bike, since they fit more like regular shorts.

What we liked

If you’re a bigger rider, you’ll likely appreciate the lightweight breathability of these bike shorts. We like that they’re not really constricting, which can be a problem with other chamois models. Overall, your legs (and other parts) can breathe easier on the trail.

What we didn’t like

Some riders don’t like baggy shorts because the material rides up while cycling. When that happens, you have to stop and readjust, or you risk experiencing some significant discomfort. If you’re a long-distance rider, you might want to get a set that is more form-fitting instead.

Pros

  • Quick-dry material
  • Side pocket for mobile phone
  • Zippered pocket on each side for added convenience
  • Lightweight and breathable comfort
  • Loose and relaxed fit

Cons

  • In rare cases, the inseam can come apart quickly
  • Relaxed fit may cause the padding to shift while riding

The YogaCham Women’s Chamois

YogaCham women's chamoisCheck availability

As we’ll discuss later, there is a big difference between men’s and women’s mountain bike chamois. Since bike shorts are meant to be worn without underwear, the padded liner must be customized to fit a person’s anatomy.

So, it helps for women to buy shorts that are designed specifically for them. The YogaCham is tailored to fit the female form with a well-crafted 3D molded pad. The shorts also provide extra protection from the elements with thick (yet breathable) fabric.

What we liked

The material of the YogaCham is rugged yet soft and flexible. If you have sensitive skin, you’ll appreciate how well the shorts glide against your body. Also, even though the material is relatively thick, it wicks away sweat and will dry pretty quickly.

What we didn’t like

Although YogaCham is made for women, it does miss the mark for larger body types. For example, the leg cuffs should avoid cutting off circulation, but users with thicker thighs beg to differ. Also, since the padding is thicker than the shorts, it does protrude a bit more than other models. So, it can look like you’re wearing a diaper when you’re not cycling.

Pros

  • Eight-panel design for better comfort
  • Anti-microbial chamois pad
  • Low-rise elastic waist won’t cut into your skin
  • Smooth leg cuffs don’t tighten as you ride

Cons

  • The fit can feel a bit bulky and awkward for some riders
  • Legs may be slightly constricting for heavier users

Club Ride Woodchuck Chamois

Club Ride Men's Woodchuck 3 Hour Biking Chamois, Compression Shorts, Bike Shorts Liner, Baselayer, Cycling (Black, Large) Check availability

There are two types of mountain bike chamois: those that can be worn as shorts and those that act as an interior liner. This pair from Club Ride is the latter, meaning that you’ll have to find another pair of bike shorts to wear over these. That said, this chamois is well-designed and offers a smooth and comfortable fit, so it’s worth the extra step.

What we liked

Club Ride knows a thing or two about making high-quality chamois. The Woodchuck is made from light, breathable, stretchy fabric. Since this pair is made for riding three hours or longer, the padding itself is extra thick and accommodating. However, when wearing these shorts, you don’t notice the pad too much. Overall, the Woodchuck just looks like designer underwear.

What we didn’t like

Most negative reviews were based on personal preference. First, the sizing can be a little slim, so heavyset riders may find it hard to avoid pinching or bunching. Second, some users noticed that the fabric can take a while to break in before it gets soft and smooth. However, that wasn’t a universal complaint, so some pairs may be stiffer than others.

Pros

  • Made for extra-long rides (three hours plus)
  • Works well as a liner for baggy mountain bike shorts
  • Padding isn’t too thick to be noticeable
  • Four-way stretch moves with your body
  • Triple-density foam with gel insert for a comfortable ride

Cons

  • Sizing can run a little tight for bigger riders
  • The fabric can feel a bit stiff at first

Troy Lee Designs MTB Pro Short Liner

Troy Lee Designs MTB Pro Short Liner - Men's Black, 34 Check availability

When looking for high-quality bike shorts, you’ll notice a few options from Troy Lee Designs. This short liner has a built-in chamois, which is why we featured it here. Since this is a liner, you’ll have to buy a secondary pair of shorts to wear over it.

This liner comes with a six-hour pad, meaning that it’s intended for long-distance riding. So, you can stay in the saddle for miles and miles before you start to get sore.

What we liked

Troy Lee Designs is a reputable brand, and these shorts are really high-quality. The fabric is super light and breathable, meaning that you can stay dry after a whole day on the trail. The elastic waist is also pretty comfortable and won’t dig into your stomach because of its low-rise design.

What we didn’t like

This company doesn’t seem to cater to larger riders, as its biggest size is a 38-inch waist. Also, some users have reported that the inseam can ride up like crazy. That said, the problem could be related to sizing, which is why it’s imperative to test your chamois before committing to it.

Pros

  • Super light and breathable fabric
  • The compressive design keeps everything contained
  • A six-hour pad can withstand a lot of abuse
  • Low-rise waistband won’t bunch up while riding

Cons

  • Limited size options available
  • In some cases, the inseam can ride up, creating discomfort

Wild Rye Marion Chammy

Wild Rye Marion ChammyCheck availability

Finally, we have another female-centric mountain bike chamois. This pair of shorts from Wild Rye is designed to accommodate the female form in a couple of different ways. First, the waist is much higher than other models, meaning that it will stay in place more easily during your ride. Second, the pad is bacteriostatic, which helps prevent microbes and sweat from developing a funky odor.

What we liked

The form-fitting design is lightweight and breathable, so you can wear it for hours without feeling too constricted. The pad is also much more discreet, so you could wear this liner without shorts over it if you were so inclined.

What we didn’t like

Some users report that the elastic band is way too tight at first. So, you might have to stretch it out or get a replacement pair in a size up. Another issue is that the seams are not invisible, meaning that they can rub against your skin while you ride.

Pros

  • Higher waistband won’t slump during your ride
  • Soft and comfortable materials
  • Bacteriostatic fabric
  • Long-ride padding
  • Moisture-wicking design

Cons

  • Seams are not invisible, so they can rub against your skin
  • The elastic band may be too tight for some riders

What is a mountain bike chamois?

A cycling chamois is a piece of padding that helps protect your sensitive areas from the abuse of being in a bike saddle for too long. If you were to ride your mountain bike for hours on end without a chamois, your body would feel pretty sore afterward. If you’re just a casual rider, you probably don’t have to invest in a chamois. However, serious cyclists swear by these shorts because they make the experience much more enjoyable.

Chamois vs. bike shorts

Although some bike shorts include a chamois, these two items are technically different. Bicycle shorts are designed to flex and wick away sweat while you ride. A chamois is the name of the padding that cushions your anatomy against the saddle. Some people may use these terms interchangeably, but they’re not the same.

How to choose a mountain bike chamois

We’ve already looked at some top models, but now let’s dive into the various features and benefits that will ensure that you love your chamois for years to come.

Thickness

Since the goal of the chamois is to prevent injury or soreness, you need to make sure it’s thick enough to accommodate your body. As a rule, smaller riders will need less padding because there won’t be as much pressure on the saddle.

Most mountain bike chamois will use an hour rating system. So the longer the time, the more comfortable the pad. For example, a three-hour pad will be thicker than a one-hour version.

Troy Lee Designs MTB Pro Short Liner - Men's Black, 34

The six-hour padding on Troy Lee Designs’ MTB Pro Short is particularly thick.

One thing to point out is that thicker chamois will be more noticeable when you’re not riding. If you don’t like the appearance of wearing a diaper, keep that fact in mind when comparing models.

Ventilation

Although the chamois is designed for comfort, the padding can only deliver so much airflow to your nether region. While you can’t do much about the foam or gel insert, you can choose a lightweight and breathable material for the rest of the shorts. The more air that can get in, the quicker your chamois will dry when you’re off the trail.

Flexibility

Since you’ll be traversing uneven terrain on your mountain bike, you need a chamois that will bend and move with your body. Rigid padding will shift around during the trip, making it much more uncomfortable. You’ll also have to stop and readjust every so often to avoid any significant pain and soreness later.

Men’s vs. women’s chamois

Male chamois are built differently than female versions for obvious reasons. As a rule, most chamois brands cater to male riders, so they might not make super comfortable models for women. Female cyclists may prefer to go with a company that specializes in their anatomy.

For example, most women’s chamois have extra anti-microbial protection since you’re not supposed to wear underwear with a chamois.

Liner vs. bike shorts

Some chamois products will have padding sewn into the shorts themselves. In this case, you don’t have to wear anything besides shorts. In other cases, the chamois is designed to be worn underneath baggy mountain bike shorts.

If you choose the latter option, you may have to worry more about heat and moisture while you ride. If you can get away with just wearing a chamois with no outer shorts, your skin will dry much faster.

Final verdict

Overall, the choice between chamois bike shorts and a liner is a matter of personal preference. However, we have to say that liners often have a better fit than shorts, meaning that you don’t have to readjust yourself too much while riding.

For that reason, we have to say that our favorite pair is the Club Ride Woodchuck for men, and the YogaCham for women. Both of these products are well made and will hug your curves without suffocating your skin.

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