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Your Guide To Maternity Cycling Clothes

Author: Kristen Bonkoski

Updated:

I biked my entire pregnancy; in fact, I was still cycling the day before I went into labor.  Not only did doing so keep me sane, it also ensured that I had a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. 

More and more moms that I know are biking throughout their pregnancies as well, but as I talk to them a common theme seems to emerge—a problem in finding maternity bike clothes!

When I was pregnant, I relied on one pair of Terry maternity bike shorts (that I washed A LOT).  Unfortunately, Terry doesn’t even make these anymore which is SAD.  

My baby bump was also relatively small so I never invested in any maternity jerseys.  Instead, I would wear maternity tank tops under some of my looser jerseys, and toward the end of my pregnancy I wouldn’t zip them all the way.

The Best Maternity Bike Clothes

If you already have maternity exercise clothes, you might also just decide to just use those and forgo buying cycling-specific clothes.  Yeah, you might look like a noob, but it’s just 9 months right?!?

If you do want to find bike shorts and some maternity specific bike jerseys, I’ve tried to save you some time to round up a list of the (very limited) options on the market.  With no further ado, the best maternity cycling clothes (or items that aren’t maternity-specific but that you can make work for a pregnant belly).

Kaden Apparel Primo Maternity Bike Shorts

kaden apparel maternity bike short

The Primo Maternity Chamois Shorts from Kaden Apparel are pretty much the best maternity bike short option on the market. These specially designed shorts are a game-changer for expectant mothers who want to continue cycling during their pregnancy. With a tall belly band and an articulated curve under the belly area, these shorts provide optimal comfort and support.

One of the standout features of these shorts is their versatility. The tall belly band can be worn up or rolled down, allowing you to wear them long after your pregnancy days. The Primo Maternity Chamois Shorts are also c-section friendly, making them ideal for postpartum use as well.

These shorts have received rave reviews from satisfied customers. Many praised the comfort and fit, with the leg holes offering ample room and the padding providing just the right amount of support. The responsive and helpful customer service from Kaden Apparel was also highly appreciated.

Some reviewers mentioned minor cons such as an itchy tag on the thigh and a desire for slightly thicker padding.

Price & Where To Buy:

Kaden Apparel Kokopelli Maternity Mountain Bike Shorts

Here’s another option from Kaden Apparel. The Kopopelli short is a baggy mountain bike short without a chamois liner.

The Kokopelli shorts are designed to provide comfort, durability, and versatility for pregnant shredders. Made from 4-way stretch fabric, these shorts offer a perfect fit with ample room in the butt and thigh areas, accommodating riders of different sizes.

The soft and supportive belly band features a curved design for maximum comfort and can be worn up or rolled down. With a 9″ inseam length, these shorts reach slightly above the knee and can be rolled up for a shorter style.

They also feature rear pockets and a convenient zippered phone pocket.

Tested for durability, these shorts retain their shape even after extensive use, making them ideal for multi-day trips.

Price & Where To Buy:

2XU Prenatal Active Tights

While these aren’t cycling specific tights, nor are they padded, they can be a really great option for biking especially in cooler weather.

They are compression tights which means that they can help prevent some of the swelling that happens in the legs during pregnancy, especially after exercise.

They also provide plenty of belly support which can feel great when jostling around on the bike.

Finally, the nice high belly means that you might be able to get away with a non-maternity jersey without worrying about it riding up.

Price & Where To Buy:

Bib Shorts – Any Brand!

Almost every woman I’ve talked to who biked thru their entire pregnancy ended up wearing bib shorts.  Bib shorts, while not maternity specific, work well for pregnant bellies because there is no waistband. 

Order a size larger than what you would normally wear and you should be able to make them work for a full nine months. 

Check out our sister site, FemmeCyclist.com, for a list of great cycling bib options.

Chamois Briefs

This isn’t a bike short, but is a good option for pregnant women.  Cycling briefs are just padded underwear that you can wear under a pair of gym shorts or similar.  They will fit under your pregnant belly and won’t break the bank either.  

My favorite pair is the Baleaf Cycling Underwear.  They are cheap and comfortable.

Or, for more padded chamois options, check out this list of women’s padded cycling underwear.

Maternity Bike Jersey Options

Since we first published this article, the few maternity cycling jersey options on the market have disappeared. That’s right–there are ZERO maternity jerseys. Womp, womp.

Here are a couple of ideas.

  • Wear a mountain bike style jersey instead. These are loose around the middle. Just order up a size or two from what you would normally wear.
  • Borrow a jersey from your husband!
  • Wear a full zip jersey (unzipped) with a maternity tank underneath. This is what I did for the last few months of my pregnancy.

Bottom-Line

The maternity bike clothes market is pretty weak.  Keep your head up and make due for nine months. 

Before you know it, you’ll be back in your old bike clothes.  And if you decide to start your own maternity cycling clothes line, let me know!

More Stuff You Might Like

  • Bike Riding While Pregnant: 9 Things You Need To Know
  • Biking With Baby: From Newborn To Infant To Toddler
  • About Us

    The Rascals are a family of three. Kristen (mom), Blair (dad), and Parker (kiddo). We started Rascal Rides when Parker was born and we didn’t want to give up our passion for biking. As we learned, we shared. Over the years, we’ve tested hundreds of kids bikes, helmets, bike trailers, and more.

    Kristen is a USA Cycling certified coach and loves to share her passion for biking with other families. Blair is a bike geek, mechanic, and mountain bike junkie. Parker is our resident tester and inspiration.

    If you see us out on the trail, make sure to say hi!

4 thoughts on “Your Guide To Maternity Cycling Clothes”

  1. Hi Kirsten – it doesn’t surprise me that there is such a lack of maternity wear, but hopefully this will be a growing area as more and more mums-to-be decide to continue cycling during pregnancy. It’s out of these experiences that people tend to act to fill a gap in the market. Fingers crossed! Karen

    Reply
    • Hi Karen–I think you are right. I know that when I was pregnant, there was a bit of a stigma around it and I think that is starting to fade. That, and the shear volume of women riders taking up cycling; eventually the cycling industry will have to respond….KB

      Reply
  2. This article doesn’t (yet!) include the best option — a removable or replacement chamois (i.e. cycling pad)! These can be paired with a pair of inexpensive (non-padded) maternity bike shorts (widely available). Aero Tech Designs, based out of Pennsylvania, sells several US-made options that are all under $30.

    Aero Tech’s **removable** chamois ($27.99) comes in women-specific option and has a silicone gripping bottom surface that holds the pad in place and reduces movement: https://aerotechdesigns.com/rebishchpad.html#

    Their **replacement** chamois are designed to be sewn in to a pair of (fitted) bike shorts. They have a bunch of different women-specific options ($19.99 to $29.99), which you can view here: https://aerotechdesigns.com/replacement-chamois-pads.html/?_bc_fsnf=1 (note that the “women” filter on the left doesn’t work — they actually have 9 pads made for women, not just 3!). Their 9 models that are for women or unisex are:

    PAD – Luna Cycling Chamois Pad – Replacement Cycling Pad – Women’s Specific
    https://aerotechdesigns.com/luna-cycling-chamois-pad-replacement.html
    –> $29.99 / high-performance foams / 15mm max thickness / designed for 6+ hour days
    –> My assessment: heavy padding looks like a good option for pregnant women with medium to large bellies!

    PAD – Gel Chamois Pad for Cycling
    https://aerotechdesigns.com/padgelchpadf.html#
    –> $24.99 / gel / 12 mm max thickness / designed for touring (long distance)
    –> My assessment: minimal padding, probably not best option for pregnant women

    PAD – Top Shelf MLP Replacement Chamois
    https://aerotechdesigns.com/metopshmlpch.html
    –> $24.99 / high-impact foam / 10 mm max thickness / designed for long distance cycling
    –> My assessment: Good option if chafing is your main issue, otherwise probs want something with more padding.

    PAD – Elite Long Distance Air Gel Chamois – Replacement Cycling pad
    https://aerotechdesigns.com/cypadellodic.html#
    –> $29.99 / foam / 15 mm max thickness / designed for long distance road or mountain biking
    –> My assessment: Newer pad from Aero Tech that is apparently extra good at wicking and evaporating perspiration, so potentially worth trying if you’re looking for a pad that is great a wicking (which I know many of us pregnant folks are!). That said, it appears that there is not as much padding on this chamois, especially up front, compared to the Luna listed up top.

    PAD – Goddess Women’s Ventilated Fit and Trim Sew In Cycling Chamois Pad
    https://aerotechdesigns.com/padspcrpa.html#
    –> $19.99 / foam / max 10mm thickness
    –> My assessment: Good budget option, but seems to have very little front padding.

    PAD – Century Replacement Chamois Pad – Endurance Molded Shape
    https://aerotechdesigns.com/enmocrpad.html#
    –> $24.99 / foam / max 12mm thickness
    –> My assessment: Also seems to have very little front padding.

    PAD – Victoria Chamois Pad – Women’s Bicycle Short Padding
    https://aerotechdesigns.com/victoria-chamois-padding.html
    –> $24.99 / foam / max 10 mm thickness / mid-distance cycling
    –> My assessment: A bit hard to tell from the photos, but looks promising as a thinner option that still haas decent front padding.

    PAD – Triathlon Chamois pad – Thin padding for Swim, Bike, Run
    https://aerotechdesigns.com/padtrlimosel.html
    –> $19.99 / unisex / foam / max 6mm thickness / triathlons
    –> My assessment: Probably not a good fit for pregnant women due to minimal padding, unless they are specifically looking for a triathlon pad.

    PAD – Classic Black One-Piece Crotch Pad, Chamois for cycling
    https://aerotechdesigns.com/blpeoncrpad.html
    –> $17.99 / unisex / foam / max 12 mm thickness / designed for leisure cycling or spinning
    –> My assessment: Great budget option with lots of padding for shorter rides!

    After thinking through all of these options, I decided to go with the removable chamois (first link) since I’m super busy and didn’t want a lack of time to sew in the chamois to prevent me from getting out on my bike! If I had more time, I would order the Luna chamois and sew it in, as it offered the best padding. (Normally I don’t like a lot of padding, but when I’m pregnant I’ll take it all!)

    Reply

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