Is your child a cycling fanatic?
A lot of parents choose not to bother with cycling-specific clothing for their kids, but if your child spends a lot of time on two wheels, it may be worth considering. Cycling clothing is specially-designed to be lightweight, airy and uber comfortable.
If long bike rides are a common occurrence in your family, if your teenager is particularly into cross-country rides with friends, or if your child is part of some sort of cycling team, the comfort and convenience that cycling shorts provide could make all the difference. Plus, if your child is really into the culture around cycling they'll probably get a buzz out of wearing the gear.
Cycling shorts are designed to aid comfort on longer rides, particularly with the use of padding in the back portion that helps prevent aches, friction and chafing occurring after hours on the saddle (many avid cyclists claim they couldn't ride long distances without this addition). They're designed to fit the contours of the body and are usually made with lightweight, breathable fabric (often lycra, nylon or polyester) that allows for movement and temperature control. Special shorts also protect the legs from rubbing against the saddle itself and will be better at not catching on the bike or pedals, as normal clothes can.
These are the sorts of features you'll want to look for when sourcing the perfect kids' cycling shorts, and we've based our selection around this criteria. Peruse our guide to the most popular bike shorts on the market today, and see which sound most suited to your child's needs!
Image © Flickr
Kidadl's Top Pick
Whilst all the kids' cycling shorts on our list are highly recommended, if you're short on time here's our top pick based on quality, comfort and popularity amongst fellow cyclists.
1. Dolphin Kick Children's Cycling Shorts
These slick black lycra cycling shorts are lightweight, breathable and well-made, featuring silicon gripping pads in the legs to prevent them riding up and a reflective logo to increase visibility in low light. The pad sewn into the saddle area provides extra comfort on long rides. Available for ages 8-14, these are the perfect lycra shorts for any budding cyclist.
- Price: £23.99
- Age: 8-14 years
Best For Families On A Budget
2. B'Twin 100 Kids' Padded Cycling Shorts
These stretchy shorts are plain, simple and genuinely comfortable, and at under a fiver, they're a complete steal. The foam pad in the rear helps ease friction and reduce seat rubbing and the stretchy fabric allows for freedom of movement. The fabric may be a little thinner in comparison with other, more expensive brands, but Decathlon offers a two-year guarantee which, for such an affordable item, is a real bonus!
- Price: £4.99
- Age: 8-14 years
Best For Mountain Biking
3. Fox Racing Youth Ranger Cargo Short
Lightweight, comfortable and cut in a relaxed fit, these Fox Ranger Cargo shorts are made to be water-resistant and breathable, moving sweat away from the body to keep your child dry as they pedal. The cool cargo style is unisex and versatile (meaning kids won't be embarrassed to be seen wearing them between rides), there's tons of pockets and a detachable padded liner for added comfort. They come with a hefty price tag, but they're super durable and rip-resistant, and the adjustable waistband should allow your child to get a good amount of growth out of them.
- Price: £50
- Age: 6-14
Best For Beginners
4. dhb Kids' Cycle Shorts
These Wiggle cycling shorts are constructed from a comfortable, form-fitting lycra fabric with a cycle pad in the back that provides optimum comfort and support for rides of one to two hours. Reflective silver logos on the back and sides provide useful visibility on darker days. Finished with an anti-bacterial treatment, this pair ticks all the boxes for a beginner rider.
- Price: £20
- Age: 8-10 years
Best For A Splash Of Colour
5. Rockrider 500 Kids' Mountain Bike Shorts
Featuring an integrated form-fitting liner short underneath the loose-fitting outer layer and a side pocket ideal for carrying energy-refuelling snacks, these mountain biking shorts are super practical. At £14.99 they're great value, and the light, airy fabric with built-in foam pad at the back means they don't scrimp on comfort, either. We like the cool red and black design but they also come in plain black.
- Price: £14.99
- Age: 8-14 years
Best For Cycling Pros
6. dhb Kids' Bib Shorts
Image © dhb
Any pro cyclist will tell you: if you're cycling long distances, bib shorts can be a lifesaver. Designed to eliminate the issue of shorts riding down on long rides, bib shorts have two suspenders that strap over the shoulders to keep shorts in place as your child cycles. Without an uncomfortable waistband, riders in bib shorts are free from itchy discomfort around the waist and are more able to breathe easily. These black and white cycling shorts from Wiggle are constructed from a super breathable mesh fabric and designed to perfectly fit the form. The pad in the back provides support for up to two hours and moisture and anti-bacterial treatments help the product retain freshness when worn.
- Price: £25
- Age: 6-14 years
Best For High Quality
7. Castelli Kids' Future Racer Shorts
These kids' cycling shorts from Castelli are a little pricy, but they're from a reputable brand, are great quality and they look sharp. Featuring a six-panel construction for a streamlined, adaptable fit, a breathable unisex cushioning pad at the back and supportive leg grippers; we like the red and black, but they're also available in plain black and black/yellow designs.
- Price: £40
- Age: 5-10 years
Best For Tweens
8. Pinnacle Junior Padded Bicycle Shorts
If you're looking for cheap cycling clothing, Sports Direct is a good place to start; the prices on all their sports clothing is reasonable and they often have great sales. These kids' padded cycle shorts from Pinnacle are streamlined, simple and affordable, featuring a multi-panel design that perfectly fits the body and an anti-bacterial chamois pad in the seat.
- Price: £15
- Age: 7-13 years
Best For Bright And Colourful Shorts
9. Endura Kids MT500 Junior Baggy Short with Liner
These baggy shorts from Endura are lightweight, durable and super cool. Featuring a high-spec gel pad for supreme comfort, specially-engineered clickfast liners and zipped handwarmer pockets, these shorts don't come cheap, but they've got the features to back up the price. In a fierce tangerine orange (black camo and blue are also available), your child may never want to take them off.
- Price: £47.49
- Age: 7-12 years
Best Basic Shorts
10. Sports Direct Cycling Shorts
These girls' cycling shorts may not be bike-specific clothing, but if you're looking for something basic, comfortable and amazingly good value for your kids to bike around in, these are it. There's no padding, reflective strips or other fancy features, but they're made from a lightweight stretchy material that fits the form and allows for freedom of movement, ideal for all your child's basic bike needs on a budget.
- Price: £3
- Age: 4-13 years
Kidadl Best Buys selects the top parent-recommended products across the web for families of all ages. If you liked our suggestions for kids' cycling shorts then why not take a look at our list of the best kids' running shoes, or for something different take a look at these baby play mats and baby gyms.
Originally from Manchester, Olivia has spent the last couple of years living between Toronto and Vancouver. She now works as a freelance writer in London and loves literature, travel and eating anything sweet. Her love of spending time with children began when she worked as an au pair in Paris.