Active Clothing

OV and Rapha’s Collab Has Settled It: Bike Shorts Win the Summer Wardrobe Wars

Kells McPhillips

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Photo: Outdoor Voices; All Graphics: Well+Good Creative

In the past decade, leggings have become the reigning queen of athleisure. As temperatures hike up higher (and higher!), there’s a natural desire for our athletic wear to do the same. That’s where bike shorts come in—and thanks to their swift rise in popularity (searches for the athleisure item have soared in the past year), finding cute, comfy options has never been easier.

Today, movement-forward company Outdoor Voices even launched a special collaboration with Rapha, the cylcing brand to know, to outfit cyclists for the summer. Along with padded bike shorts (which your peach will really thank you for if you’re tackling longer distances), the collection also includes playfully-paletted jerseys, sports bras, socks, and even a bike bag for holding your lip balm and sunscreen.

It comes at an apt time. When you take a look at how people have been sweating while in a long-distance relationship with their gyms and studios, you find yet another reason why bike shorts are flying onto the doorsteps of cyclists and ultimate comfort seekers alike. Worldwide, movement-lovers who haven’t biked since they got their driver’s licenses have now hopped aboard the helmet, bell, and bicycle bandwagon. Adult leisure bike sales increased 121 percent in March alone, and even Peloton’s at-home bike can’t keep up with the demand for stationary cycling.

The open road is waiting—and we’re confident that these eight pairs of shorts below will take you miles without chafing, knee sweat, or lack of style.

8 of the best bike shorts for women to keep you cool all summer long

1. Beyond Yoga Heather Rib High Waisted Biker Short, $68

Photo: Beyond Yoga

This short comes in two closet-basic colors: black heather and gray heather to provide the perfect base for your bright summer tees. The fabric also contains UV protection for all the fun in the sun you’ll be having in the coming months.

2. Girlfriend High-Rise Bike Short, $48

Photo: Girlfriend Collective

Girlfriend Collective’s stretchy, light-as-air material makes wearing even their leggings a delight in the summertime. Cut them off mid-thigh, and I—for one—am even more of a happy camper. Most sizes in black are sold out at this time, so consider this your opportunity to choose plum or moss instead.

3. Rapha + Outdoor Voices High-Waisted Padded Shorts, $110

best bike shorts for women
Photo: Outdoor Voices

Outdoor Voices is the founding member of the athleisure color-block squad and that fact remains in their collab with Rapha. While you could pick up a solid pair, the multi-hued options are far too fun to pass over. So why would you?

4. Lululemon Align Super High-Rise Short, $58

best bike shorts for women
Photo: Lululemon

The Align Pant gets name dropped by fans of sweat everywhere, and their shorter, summer counterparts are no exception. Whether you sport them for park vinyasa or as your grocery store-wear, Ella Dove, Director of Creative Development says they’re like “butter.”

5. Walmart Moa Collection Women’s High Waist Elastic Band Solid Active Yoga Biker Shorts, $10

Photo: Walmart

These ultra-affordable biker shorts come in 16 colors ranging from white to salmon to electric green in sizes small through 3XL.

6. Gym Shark Power Down Shorts, $40

Photo: Gymshark

Gymshark pieces are made for the days you want to go hard in whatever sport you’re doing. So if you’re game for intense sweating, these biker shorts will be your best sidekicks.

7. Universal Standard Knockout Biker Shorts, $65

best bike shorts for women
Photo: Universal Standard

The high-waisted bike shorts are soft and don’t ride up no matter what activity you’ve got on, from a trip to the grocery store to a long ride.

8. Nike One Women’s 7″ Shorts, $40

best bike shorts for women
Photo: Nike

Nike’s take on biker shorts include two hidden pockets where you can stash your keys, phone, earbuds, or snacks, meaning that if you’re purchasing your pair for sport, you should look no further. Beauty and Fitness Director Ali Finney says the sweat-wicking material stays close to your body and keeps any form of butt sweat far-far away.

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