Friday, August 15, 2008

Part II - Baggy Cycling Shorts

Continuing from Part I - Lycra cycling shorts; what if the aerodynamic efficiency of revealing Lycra attire does not appeal? Do you feel too much like Borat in a mankini?

Baggy Cycling Shorts

On paper, baggy cycling shorts shouldn’t sell: They are loose clothing which flaps in the wind, causing some unnecessary drag. However, it’s not all bad, on hotter days, such air intakes are a welcome breeze.

To go baggy becomes a compromise in favour of increased practicality, and possibly fashion criteria too.

Certain models are so well designed with subtle styling, that the shorts can easily be worn away from the bike, and blend-in with day-to-day functions very inconspicuously. Something which cannot be said, for joining the supermarket checkout queue in a curve-hugging Lycra bib.

For brands, try:

Downhill Cycling Shorts

These are designed for a very specific purpose; fast downhill mountain biking, where the emphasis is on rider protection. Strengthened areas include additional padding for the faller, and tougher materials for the endurance of the shorts. These additions are reflected in the substantially higher price.

Downhill cycling attire tends to be oversized, to enable compatibility with the significant body armour and pads worn underneath. This makes them heavy and solid. Great for their designed purpose, but not the ideal choice for daily bike commuting. Unless you live at the top of a mountain.


  • 661
  • Adidas
  • Endura
  • Fox
  • Race Face
  • Sombrio
  • Spyder

Best cycling shorts?

Considering the all above, what are the best cycling shorts? The answer becomes a personal choice comprising each individual’s priorities of; wind resistance (drag), fashion, practicality (e.g. pockets), comfort (e.g. cooling, padding), ride types (long-distance, or to the shops), and cost.

Looking around the cycle routes of London, it’s clear that there are many different personal interpretations of what order those priorities should reside in.

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