Over the course of the last decade, the technologies involved in keeping your shorts from riding up have evolved into way more comfortable options. Due to the different fabrics and panel construction we use for different types of shorts, we offer a wide variety that don’t necessarily make decision-making easy. This article will highlight the myriad options, why you might prefer one versus another and which shorts use them.
Fully Integrated Gripper
What it is: Silicone print applied directly to the bottom 2” of the short fabric, eliminating the need for a separate leg band.
Pros: Stays in place without pressure against thigh; no separate leg band (no sausage effect), no stitching, seamlessly smooth fit against leg.
Cons: Costly to apply and limited to certain fabrics. Uses silicone (an occasional irritant to sensitive skin).
Shorts that use this gripper: The Chill Series
What it is: Separate laser-cut leg band fabric lined with a silicone print for all-over grip
Pros: Lightweight and minimally constructed; only one seam attaching the leg band onto the short. Provides a sleek, low-profile finish with soft grip.
Cons: Requires stitching and uses silicone.
What it is: A classic for bike shorts and one we’ve used with many of our bottoms for many years. Elastic with rubber threads woven into the face to provide a gentle grip. This style of grip is sewn on the inside hem of the short.
Pros: Remains comfortable against the skin during long rides and multi-day tours. Stays firmly in place and won’t ride up while pedaling. Durable construction withstands heavy use. No silicone used.
Cons: Is a narrower gripper application so it can cinch thigh depending on where it falls on the leg. Requires stitching.
Shorts that use this gripper: Touring Shorts in all lengths.
Elastic with Silicone Grip Strip
What it is: Elastic band with silicone grip strip sewn on the inside hem of the short.
Pros: Offers more grip than the woven elastic grippers so it will stay firmly in place while pedaling. Durable construction will withstand heavy use.
Cons: Uses silicone. Is a narrower gripper application so it can cinch thigh depending on where it falls on the leg. Requires stitching.
Shorts that use this gripper: Bella Shorts in all lengths.
Bonded/Partial Bonded Gripper
What it is: A strategic mash-up of two different finishes. The inner leg panels are folded back and bonded for a stitch-less, gripper-less, chafe-free finish. The outer leg panels feature a separate self-fabric fold over band with a silicone chain grip printed onto the interior edge of the fabric.
Pros: Provides a gentle grip; no need for restrictive elastics or extra stitching. Inner leg is free from stitching for longer distances and extended use.
Cons: Outer leg band requires seaming. Uses silicone.
Shorts that use this gripper: Grand Touring Short
Self-Fabric Fold-Over Hem
What it is: A simple, comfort-focused approach consisting of a folded over band of fabric sewn onto the short. The double layer of fabric increases compression to keep things in place without the use of a gripper. ‘Self-Fabric’ means the leg band utilizes the same fabric as the rest of the short.
Pros: Does not use grippers or elastics that could cause discomfort.
Cons: Can move around more compared to shorts that have grippers. Requires stitching to attach leg band to short.
Zig Zag Fold-Over Hem
What it is: No separate leg band. The bottom edge of the short is folded under and finished with a zig-zag stitch. This seaming method has just the right amount of stretch to avoid binding/cinching the thigh. Similar to the ‘Self-Fabric Fold-over Band’, this construction results in 2 layers of fabric, increasing the compression of the leg band to keep it in place.
Pros: Uses minimal stitching, reducing the potential for discomfort. No gripper used and therefore minimal opportunity for binding/sausage effect against the thigh.
Cons: Has the potential to move around while pedaling. Does use minimal stitching, potentially reducing durability.
What it is: The minimalist approach designed to provide complete leg band freedom. The legs are clean cut—no hem stitching, no separate leg band, no silicone, no grip.
Pros: Forgiving fit. Completely free of restriction, grippers, and stitching that could lead to irritation.
Cons: Legs will shift a little while pedaling due to the lack of gripper. Can only be used with certain fabric type and inseam length.
Shorts that use it: NEW Easy Rider Short