I have a lovely wife, ever discerning and helpful. I “look like an Elf” when I wear Lycra shorts, apparently. A comment from which I may never fully recover but a fair one considering how my legs look like knotty string.
I’m thankful though, it came from her before it could be shouted from the open window of a low slung, souped up, window tinted, crap car occupied by a spotty idiot who’s parents never taught him ( for it will be a him ) to be nice to cyclists about their fashion choices.
Also, let’s face it, there are times, regardless of the loveliness or not of your legs, when standing around in what amounts to underwear makes you look a prat. I’m talking about those times when you’re not hanging out with a load of similarly clad prats, where the ‘club effect’ gives credence to the collective delusion that we all look amazing.
Rather, I’m referring to being on public transport, in a shop, pub, restaurant or anywhere at all really that isn’t actually on your bike and under the critical gaze of normal people. Precisely what happens if you are the sort of person, like me, who likes to ride to places, not just through them.
Despite all the above, Lycra is difficult to beat for on bike comfort. So, after much unsuccessful searching for a clothing brand that offers practical comfort whilst covering the modesty, my interest was peaked when Aussie Grit Apparel appeared in my local bike shop.
My first impression was of cycling clothing well made, with classy materials and some clear but understated branding. No danger of looking like a sponsored splatter-painting here. Nice.
The Aussie Grit Flint shorts are a two layer affair of a sewn-in lycra inner, with integral pad and a looser fitting outer layer, complete with laser cut ventilation holes….364 of them if I’ve counted correctly. Almost one for each day of the year. A shame not to include the extra one. But where would you put it?! Maybe that’s why they didn’t…
A neatly detailed pocket at the rear is big enough for a smallish phone ( my iPhone 5 with waterproof case fits exactly). The pocket is nicely positioned, such that it’s contents don’t interfere with comfort when riding.
Whilst riding there is a relaxed feel to the fit but without the voluminous flappiness of MTB shorts. A pull cord at the waist is available for cinching up the fit and it tucks away neatly into it’s own little pocket. Beware though, don’t tuck bank notes in there as it is open at the bottom. A shame I think.
I’ve ridden in them throughout the recent heatwave, often on hard all-day gravel rides and have been delighted with the level of comfort.
The integral pad seems to be a carefully chosen item that doesn’t end up feeling like a soggy rolled up carpet in the nethers. It is minimal but somehow provides cushioning that’s just right. It doesn’t bunch up under the perineum and consequently pee stops are not a distressing “where’s willy” debacle!
When off the bike the pad becomes near invisible helping you pretend to be a normal person. Great.
Unless you are an all-out racer these seem the perfect multi purpose shorts. Particularly so if you are keen that what makes you stand out is the fact that you don’t !
Two pairs of those then please!!