Gear For Venture is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Click to learn more. »

Gel vs. Foam Cycling Shorts

Gel vs. Foam Cycling Shorts

Introduction – Gel vs. Foam Cycling Shorts

Many people think that padded shorts are just for pros. However, that’s not the case. While these shorts are an accessory for cyclists who ride professionally due to the time they spend on their rides, other cyclists, such as amateurs or people who commute to work by bike, can benefit from them too.

You may have heard about gel and foam if you’re a cyclist looking for padded shorts for a more comfortable ride. These have the same goals but also tend to have some differences.

Before we explore these differences, let’s consider why you may want to consider getting cycling shorts.

Can You Tumble Dry Lycra?

Why You Should Wear Cycling Shorts

As you increase your riding regularity, you may experience some sore muscles due to sweat, friction, and extreme weather conditions. Cycling shorts are one of the best ways to protect your body while riding your bike. Some say they may be the difference between loving and hating your bike.

For example, cycling shorts have fitted chamois. This way, you can rest sure that your pads won’t move as you do, protecting your important areas of the body at all times, no matter what.

Secondly, cycling shorts tend to be made of light spandex fabric. This allows your skin to breathe while still providing stretch and compression without pressing too much on your body.

Mountain riders can also benefit from cycling shorts. As they ride, they experience significant vibrations due to uneven roads. This vibration will not affect or hurt your body, thanks to tight shorts.

Whatever your cycling type, there comes a moment when sweat appears. This moisture can become quite annoying or even hurtful due to friction. Cycling shorts prevent this from happening, as they provide breathable clothing while reducing friction.

Bike Shorts Gel vs. Foam

Gel and foam bike shorts tend to hold some differences from each other. This, as you may imagine, depends entirely on preference and comfort. While some cyclists prefer to wear gel-padded shorts, others would rather go with foam pads. However, gel-padded shorts do provide longer-lasting protection.

On the other hand, gel shorts may be more expensive than foam-padded ones. To choose between one or the other, you may want to consider how regularly you ride your bike, the trail or road conditions where you go biking, and, of course, your budget.

This video breaks down various kinds of shorts and cycling kits (Credit to Global Cycling Network):


Whether it is gel or foam, padded shorts are a great way to improve your riding experience. If you tend to ride regularly and want to boost your performance and comfort, you should consider getting some for future rides.