Text version of the review below:
Bike shorts have come a long way. It’s all about the stretchy fabrics that make a short snug enough not to get caught on the seat post, yet unrestrictive while pedaling or moving around the bike. Thicker, stretchy fabric goes a long way in protecting skin in a crash too, absorbing some of the force, skin would normally take. Most companies have clued in to the hip pocket designed to secure a smartphone while not effecting movement.
The major differences in a shorts are the way companies choose to tighten up the waistband—something that’s necessary as the fabric gradually stretches out during a ride. That’s where the greatest differences were found in this crop of five test shorts. Some systems definitely work better than others. Most companies add belt loops as a fail safe, which is a good call.
Three of the five shorts came with a chamois liner included, which certainly effects their value. Fans of indie companies will be disappointed to see the Specialized Enduro Short as the Best In Class, but being a bigger company certainly has its advantages in terms of pricing and hiring quality design teams. Simply put, the Enduro Pro is an incredible product with some real innovations in the storage department.
We rode the shorts last fall on the trails of Arizona and Utah primarily in cooler temps in the 60s and 70s, though on a few occasions we did get caught out in the 80s.
The Club Ride Commander short is long on style, but doesn’t skimp on function either. It’s got five well placed pockets, a nice balanced fit, and is made of an attractive and stretchy fabric. Our only quibbles are a lowish backside and the expense. Paired with their top-of-the-line bib, the setup clocks in at $180.
Read the full review here.