Padded Bike Shorts VS Padded Seat

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Man on an MTB riding through jungle - Padded Bike Shorts VS Padded Seat.

Mountain biking is not for the faint of heart when it comes to fashion and accessories. From the helmet and tight-fitting shirt down to the bike shorts. When it comes to bike shorts, there are a couple of options that have stood the test of time: padded bike shorts. 

So, as a new biker, you may be asking yourself, which is better? Wearing padded bike shorts or purchasing a padded bike seat? In all honesty, it comes down to personal preference. 

So naturally, there are pros and cons to each option. So it all comes down to doing some research and making the decision that best suits your needs. Some things to consider are what type of biking you will be doing and what distances you will be biking.


Which One Can Last Longer?

Overall, a pair of high-quality padded bike shorts will last longer than a padded bike seat. The gel material that is used to make the padding of a bike seat will not last as long as the padding in shorts over long-term use. 

Bike shorts are composed of a different type of padding that is known to be more durable than gel-padded bike seats. Both products will break down over time after considerable use. 

Aside from the materials that bike seats are made of, they also break down faster due to the biker’s weight.


Which One is More Comfortable?

A lot of new bikers tend to opt for the padded seat because bike shorts are not the greatest-looking attire. Also, switching out the bike seat for a padded one seems like an easier and quicker fix than donning some wonky-looking shorts. 

With all that being said, it all comes down to the writer’s opinion. Many avid bikers claim that padded biking shorts are more comfortable and supportive during rides as opposed to padded bike seats. 

However, keep in mind that padded bike seats are intended for short and casual rides. So determining the comfort level of each should be graded based on the type of cycling you intend on doing.


Pros & Cons: Padded Bike Shorts VS Padded Seat

The pros and cons of each of these products are all in the eye of the beholder, especially when it comes to comfort. A pro for padded bike shorts is that it rests against your body and aids in protecting you from chafing and blisters. 

A con of padded bike shorts is that they are not the most fashion-forward article of clothing. In addition, some people can be self-conscious about wearing the padding because of the placement of it in the shorts and crotch. 

A pro for the padded bike seat is that it is a one-step solution; you install the new seat, and then you’re all set. 

A con about the padded bike seat is that the material will break down quicker, requiring a speedier replacement. In addition, padded bike seats are not as customizable as padded bike shorts to fully meet the biker’s needs.


Price Range: Padded Bike Shorts VS Padded Seat

On average, both the padded bike shorts and padded bike seats fall into similar price ranges. Both products can be found online starting as low as $15.00 and increasing in price from there. 

The average price for either the shorts or the seat is around $20.00. Some seats can be found with memory foam and also come in various size options. 

The padded bike shorts can be found in a much wider array of options, such as color, lengths, and padding style and placement.


Final Verdict

At the end of the day, as a biker, you have to decide what type of cycling you’re going to be doing. Are you going to go out for a nature ride and take on some rugged terrain? Then the padded bike shorts may be your best option. 

On the other hand, are you planning on taking a casual stroll through your local state park? Then considering a padded bike seat may be the right choice for you. It all comes down to what best suits your needs. 

If you are not planning on riding long and rough distances, then the one-step fix of installing a padded bike seat is the choice for you! But, if you are looking for extra support and safety during your extended adventures, then exploring padded bike shorts would be wise.

In conclusion, padded bike shorts do offer a little more flexibility and options for you as a biker. The bike shorts provide an extra opportunity for customization from the different padding placement options and designs. 

Whereas the padded bike seat has minimal design differences and is limited in the types of materials, it can be made of. Price ranges for both the padded bike shorts and the padded bike seat are similar and affordable. 

Depending on how long you plan on riding for and what type of ground you intend on covering, the padded bike shorts and padded bike seats are both reasonable options for new and experienced bikers.