Club Ride Commander Shorts ReviewApril 20, 2017
- Great style
- Nice stretch
- Great tightening system
- Prone to plumbers crack
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.
The Commander short features a generous, comfortable fit, though it’s certainly snug enough you won’t snag on the seat upon dismount. It’s cut a tad low in the back, which means it’s prone to plumbers crack, though with the excellent Club Ride Airliner Mesh bib with which we tested them, that’s obviously not a problem. I loved the internal elastic and Velcro tightening system—worked very well.
As an aside, the Airliner Mesh Bib ($79.95) is exceptional. It’s not too snug, but made of stretchy material, isn’t loose either and has great padding for all-day ride comfort.
A sleek, nicely tailored short that is at home on the streets of Portland as on any trail. The aforementioned Velcro tightening system is hidden internally, but still works exceptionally well.
The medium weight fabric has plenty of stretch, so there’s little constriction, even pedaling cross country. The more generous cut helps there, too. The fabric is also lighter and more breathable than it looks. I never overheated, even in temps in the 80s.
Two front hand pockets, two Velcroed cargo pockets, and a zippered hip pocket (perfect for a smartphone),s mean there is plenty of storage for nutrition. Load it up too much and you’ll definitely want to thread a belt into the loops to help out the nifty internal waistband tightening system.
With a 12.5-inch inseam it’s a very protective short, though not so long you won’t want to pedal in it and there is plenty of room in the knees for pads, too. The medium weight, stretchy fabric should hold up well to most crashes.
Our testing team tested the shorts in and around Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota; Sedona and Tucson, Arizona, Jackson, Wyoming and Moab, Utah over a period of two months on asphalt, gravel, and singletrack in temperatures ranging from the low 40’s to the mid-90’s and on distances that ranged from six miles to 56. Our testing team did not intentionally set out to test the durability of each pair of shorts in a crash. Instead, to judge the shorts’ ability to withstand impact, they scrutinized their construction materials, the weight of the fabric and the stitching. Though, there may have been some crashes anyway.
Frederick Reimers was the editor of Canoe and Kayak Magazine from 2007-09 and has been writing for Outside, Men's Journal, Skiing and Powder ever since.