When the Patagonia Men’s Dirt Craft Bike Shorts ($149) arrived on my desk to review, my initial reaction was one of curiosity.
While I’ve always enjoyed riding mountain bikes, I never put any effort into actually acquiring the gear necessary to do so proficiently. I always knew that I probably should grab a pair of riding shorts, but was far too lazy to do so, and would spend the days after I went for rides lamenting the fact that, for lack of a better word, my ass was too sore.
I wondered if the Dirt Craft shorts, with a padded inner liner and a looser outer short, might just be the solution to my bike gear apathy. So I threw them on and grabbed my bike, heading south into the hills of La Jolla, California. I didn’t really have a route in mind; I just wanted to see how I felt after spending a day pedaling with the shorts on.
Well, after roughly 30 miles of riding on the shorts, I woke up the next morning and was relieved to realize that I felt fine.
The padded inner liner Patagonia built into the shorts kept my rear from feeling too sore when I got off the bike, and the stretch fabric on the outer and inner short performed well in wicking sweat away from my body, so the shorts never chafed.
With its built-in adjustable belt, the shorts fit perfectly and evenly at all times during the ride, eliminating any uneven areas in the short that might become uncomfortable over an extended ride.
Though the classic, clean brown finish of the Dirt Craft shorts made them look more fashionable than most bike shorts, the fit of the shorts was very tight. As in, so tight that I’m fairly sure a passerby could tell you the exact amount of money I had, in change, stashed in my pocket.
While that might not be an issue for many riders, specifically those looking for solid compression and sweat-wicking from their shorts, it can make carrying any extras (like a smartphone) in your pockets a slight hassle.
But as far as performance goes, you’ll be hard pressed to find a pair of shorts that will keep you as comfortable during, and after, your time on your bike.
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