If you ride a bike, you are likely a little obsessed with finding the right bike shorts or bib shorts. You likely also have a very firm opinion on which you prefer (bibs or shorts), and you may even prefer bibs in some situations, and shorts in others.
I assure you, I am no exception! I have tried different bike shorts and different brands, and, like many of you I am sure, have settled on a few favorites.
I happen to love bib-shorts, and used to wear them exclusively. A couple years ago, however, I happened upon the Terry Breakaway Bike Shorts, and I absolutely fell in love.
You see, I was getting ready to go for a ride one day after work when I realized I forgot my bib shorts. Now, I am a road bike girl, and I am a bib shorts girl. At this stage in my cycling life I had only ever worn one pair of non-bib shorts and I absolutely hated them.
Those suckers squeezed me like a stuffed sausage, and the result was not pretty. They were the first pair of cycling shorts I ever purchased, I had no idea what to look for, and they were definitely NOT true to size, in my opinion.
Also, I was very much a newbie to cycling and didn’t know you weren’t supposed to wear underwear with bike shorts. Between the chafing and the belly spill-over that occurred, I think we can safely say I was uncomfortable and I did not feel confident. After one ride those shorts went straight to the bottom of the pile never to be worn (or even even seen) again.
Anyway, so I mentioned my forgotten bib situation to a friend and she says, “Don’t worry, we are the same size… I will run home and grab my pair of bike shorts for you to use!”
Now, I was skeptical, to say the least. I was stuck, though. She lived only a few minutes away. I did not have the time to go all of the way home and get my shorts, so I decided to give her bike shorts a go.
When I put on my friend’s Terry Breakaway Bike Shorts I was more than pleasantly surprised. So much so, that I ended up buying a pair of my very own, and I wear them often!
I would say that for indoor rides and rides around the neighborhood I wear my Terry Breakaway Bike Shorts more than any other pair of cycling shorts or bibs that I own.
Now, because the Terry Breakaway Bike Short is SO popular, it has added different versions to its lineup. In addition to the original version of the Terry Breakaway Short, Terry now offers the Breakaway LTD Bike Short AND the Breakaway Hi-Rise Short.
So what, specifically, is it that makes these shorts so special? In a nutshell they are a comfortable, solid pair of bike shorts at a reasonable price. Keep scrolling for pros and cons, a detailed review and information on where to buy Terry Breakaway Bike Shorts.
Review in a Nutshell
- 3 different versions of this short, so you can find the rise and color that works for you.
- Soft, comfortable feel.
- True to size.
- Leg cuffs do not dig in but still hold shorts firmly in place.
- Chamois is very well integrated into the short with seams that do not chafe.
- Waistband is extremely comfortable and does not roll down.
- Price is competitive for the quality of the product.
- Terry offers a full satisfaction guarantee.
- Bicycling Magazine editor’s choice.
- Manufactured in the USA at a green energy-certified sewing facility.
- The LTD Bike Short has flattering high visibility stripes in bright pink or bright yellow.
- The original Breakaway is only available in two colors, black and grey. The high rise short is only available in black. Therefore, those who like flashier color options may be disappointed.
- Material is a bit thinner than other shorts, so if you want a more substantial feel you might want to stay away. My 3 year old pair is still going strong after many uses, so for me durability has not been an issue.
- Chamois is a bit too thin for longer rides.
Price: $94.95 (Original) / $104.95 (Hi Rise) / $104.95 (LTD Hi Vis)
Terry Bicycles Was Founded By a Woman and Makes Gear Primarily For Women
Terry is an amazing company that was founded in 1985 by Georgena Terry. Their mission is to “Get more women riding bicycles — comfortably, safely, and beautifully.”
To put it simply, Georgena was a 5’2” woman who started building women’s bikes because men’s bikes didn’t fit her properly. She was the first to ever build bikes for women, so it’s not too surprising that her company continues the mission of outfitting female cyclists today.
- Listen (Podcast episode): Why We Need Bikes Designed For Women With Georgena Terry
Terry is the original women’s cycling gear company, and they have been in the game for literally decades. Given this, it’s hardly surprising that they produce a quality bike short for women.
The Breakaway Bike Short is Almost as Comfortable as a Bib Short
If you ask a woman why she prefers a bib short to a cycling short, she will almost always say that they are more comfortable. They stay in place naturally, there is no way for the waistband to roll down, and because they are bibs they smooth everything out, look great under a jersey, and there are less pressure points.
The Terry Breakaway Bike Short is the first pair of bike shorts I have tried that feel almost as comfortable as bibs. I attribute this to the wide waistband that doesn’t roll over or unnecessarily constrict. The Breakaway High-Rise Bike Short, as I am sure you can imagine, has an even wider waistband and then is even less likely to roll!
You can see the difference below in the high rise (left) and the LTD which has the original waistband (right).
I will say that because I am short (5’2″), the Breakaway High-Rise Bike Short comes up a little high on me and the very top does roll down a tiny bit. I truly don’t mind this at all, though, and find that overall I prefer this fit to the original rise because the support of the High Rise for me outweighs the slight roll.
Though I mention the thinner fabric of these shorts as a potential con, I do think that the thinner fabric of all of the versions of the Breakaway short is likely what makes these shorts less constricting.
These are NOT compression shorts. You will not feel constricted or squeezed at all. This may be a deterrent for some who like to really feel held in by a bike short, so this is important to mention.
The Breakaway Bike Short is Very Easy to Put On
At times the mere thought of putting on a kit can make me not really even want to ride. Sometimes you want to just jump on your bike and go, and the last thing you feel like doing is changing your clothes.
I never feel this way about the Terry Breakaway Bike Short. All three versions of these shorts go on SO very easily.
There is no pulling or tugging, the leg cuffs are not constricting and just slide right up your leg until they are at the proper place, and, more importantly, you don’t feel like you are squeezing every last bit of yourself into a sausage casing.
These shorts are perfect for those indoor rides you are trying to motivate for, or if you just need to throw on some shorts quickly so that you can ride around the neighborhood with the family.
The Chamois is on the Thinner Side
Now, depending on your preference, you may see this as a pro or a con. Sometimes if a chamois is too thick, or is not placed properly, it can honestly feel more like a diaper than a short.
You are definitely NOT going to get this feeling with the Terry Breakaway Short. The chamois is on the thinner side, and I find the placement to be just about perfect.
The chamois of all three versions seems to be pretty much identical, so it truly doesn’t matter which version you choose from the chamois point of view.
I do, however, have to admit that on longer rides I am more likely to get sit-bone pain with the Terry Breakaway Bike Short than I do with a short that has a more substantial chamois. This is why I tend to use my Terry Breakaway Bike shorts when I am doing shorter rides, or riding around the neighborhood with my son.
Also, I think that it’s important to mention that the chamois fits even better after a washing. When I first tried on the newer versions it didn’t seem to quite sit properly, but after a wearing and a washing they were just like my older pair.
The Shorts Stay In Place
One of the biggest complaints about cycling shorts, and the reason why many cyclists prefer bib shorts, is that the waistband has a tendency to roll down. The Terry Breakaway Bike Short waistband doesn’t not do this. It stays right in place.
Some cycling shorts manufacturers seem to try to get around this problem by making the waistband more substantial, and that is really uncomfortable too. You almost want the band to roll down and stop constricting you because it’s squeezing you so much!
Additionally, the leg of the shorts for each of the versions does not roll up or ride up, and stays right where you want it to be. Again, I have had some short leg bands squeeze my legs so much that they actually caused knee pain during my rides. The Terry Breakaway Bike Short bands are so wonderfully comfortable that this is never a problem.
3 Versions of Terry Breakaway Shorts to Choose From
I was so excited when I heard that Terry was offering new options to the Breakaway short, and I couldn’t wait to try them! Here are my general thoughts and impressions on all three pairs of the Terry Breakaway Bike Short.
Terry Breakaway Bike Short
I have owned the original version of the Terry Breakaway Bike Short for years. This is a well-fitting, flattering, comfortable bike short that I reach for again and again. These shorts have been well worn over the past few years. Still, they look pretty darn good if I do say so myself!
I especially love The Breakaway Bike Short for Peloton rides and for rides around the neighborhood. The chamois is not very thick, so for me it doesn’t work well for longer rides.
It is important to note, however, that when I pair these shorts with the Terry Butterfly Saddle this is a LOT less noticeable. The Butterfly saddle has a lot more padding on it than the specialized Power with Mimic that I normally use. Therefore, if you have a more padded saddle these shorts may work great.
I have found that a lot of companies that make both saddles and bike shorts develop them alongside one another, so it wouldn’t surprise me if Terry kept their chamois thinner because their saddles, at least the Butterfly, are a little more padded than some other women’s saddle options on the market.
Terry Breakaway LTD Bike Short
The only difference that is noticeable for me with the LTD short is its visibility. It’s so much more flashy than the original breakaway, which just makes it more FUN.
Also, it means that if you are riding on the road that motorists are more likely to see you than if you are wearing solid black or grey shorts.
Finally, they don’t just throw some bright colors into these shorts and call it a day. The design is meant to be flattering and accent the natural curves of your body which I really appreciate.
Terry Breakaway High-Rise Bike Short
I will be honest, I thought that nothing could top my love of the original Terry Breakaway Bike Short, but I was wrong. I actually prefer the high-rise option.
This could be because I prefer everything high-rise these days. I just love having my tummy gently held in, and that is exactly what the Breakaway High-Rise Bike Short does.
The original Breakaway just doesn’t quite come up high enough to cover it all. The High-Rise Bike Short does, however, and I am absolutely loving it. That really is the only noticeable difference between the two, though, so it all comes down to personal preference.
Bottom-Line: Comfortable, Durable, Attractive Bike Shorts
All of the versions of the Terry Breakaway Bike Short are a great choice. They are solid, comfortable and are absolutely perfect to pull on when you don’t want to fuss and want to hop right on the bike. I find they are my go-to short for my indoor cycling workouts, and for riding around the neighborhood with my son.
Though I find myself reaching for a bib short with a more substantial chamois if I am doing a longer, harder effort on the bike, more often than not the Terry Breakaway Bike Short is more than enough for my needs. They are so comfortable, and so easy to put on, that I find myself reaching for them more often than any other short. Also, at an 8.5” inseam they are the perfect length…not too short, not too long.
At a price point that doesn’t break the bank, and nice, neutral colors that go with everything, you really can’t go wrong with the Terry Breakaway Bike Short.
More Help Keeping Your Bottom Comfy
Not sure if the Terry Breakaway shorts are the right bottoms for you? Check out our list of our favorite women’s bike shorts.
If you’re suffering from discomfort down there, you might want to check out some of these other articles as well.
- 9 Best Women’s Bike Shorts
- 7 Best Chamois Creams for Women
- How to Heal (and Prevent) Saddle Sores
- 7 Best Women’s Road Bike Saddles
About The Reviewer
Stacy Ann Smith is a New England-based cyclist who strives to stay upright on her bike. She is the founder of Sascy Cycling, and her mission is to encourage women to love their body and focus on what it can do, not what it looks like. When Stacy’s not cycling she is teaching high school history and eating pizza with her husband and son. For awesome women’s cycling tips and to learn more about Stacy, visit Sascy Cycling at www.sascy.com or find her on Instagram and Facebook.