When I started cycling I bought several horrible pairs of cycling shorts merely because they were only ones available at the stores in my area. Eventually I started buying my cycling clothes at a Performance Bicycle store and was content with the Performance brand of cycling shorts. Last year Performance stopped selling the shorts I was used to and I couldn’t find a suitable replacement in their store. Fortunately, after several futile efforts, I was able to find a fantastic replacement, the Pearl Izumi Men’s Elite Cycling Shorts.
The Pearl Izumi Men’s Elite Cycling Shorts are the most comfortable pair of shorts I ever owned. These shorts have a four-way stretch fabric that moves moisture to the outer surface for fast evaporation. Even when the heat index is over 110 degrees these shorts remain dry and comfortable. The 3D Elite chamois on these shorts is made with a variable density microfiber that wicks moisture away and has active carbon yarns to help reduce odors. These shorts are a bit longer than the other brands I’ve used in the past and have silicone dots on the hems to help hold the shorts in place. The shorts are mode of 69% nylon, 16% polyester, and 15% spandex.
I now own four pair of these shorts and have ridden over 4,500 miles in them over the past year. While the 3D Elite chamois is very comfortable, I would always suggest that you use a chamois cream regardless of what brand of cycling shorts you wear (I prefer the Blue Steel Sports Anti-Chafe Chamois Creme). I routinely use these shorts on 50 to 70 mile rides without any discomfort whatsoever. My quads are rather large (my best friend says they look like tree trunks) and I’ve never had the hem creep up my leg, even though the hem is not as tight as I would like. The waist on these shorts has a drawstring, but I’ve never found a reason to use it.
One added benefit of these shorts is that it uses the same 3D Elite chamois as the Pearl Izumi Men’s Elite Thermal Cycling Tights and the Pearl Izumi Men’s AmFIB Tights. Once you get used to the 3D Elite chamois you can ride in it all year round (I ride in the AmFIB tights in temperatures all the way down to zero).
The Pearl Izumi Men’s Cycling Shorts are not cheap, but it is hard to put a price on a comfortable ride. These shorts have a retail price of $100, but you can find them on Amazon.com for around $75.