Troy Lee Designs Skyline Short ReviewAugust 4, 2016
- Zippered pockets
- Good ventilation features
- Sizing runs small
- Minimal crash protection
The Troy Lee Designs Skyline shorts have outstanding features to promote good breathability and ventilation. They are well fitted, eye catching and are kneepad compatible. However the sizing runs small through the hips and the shorter inseam of eleven inches will almost certainly leave skin exposed in a crash.
The Troy Lee Designs Skyline short runs on the small size and has a straight cut through the hips that is more in line with a men’s cut rather than a women’s. Our tester’s sample size small (3/4) felt tighter in the hips and rear when compared to all the shorts in the test. It is recommended that cyclists order the next size up for a more relaxed fit. This more constrictive fit makes these shorts better suited for enduro riding rather than straight-up cross country or urban riding.
The inseam for the small runs eleven inches and hits well above the knee. The legs are tapered but still accommodate kneepads due in large part to their shorter inseam length.
Constructed with a four way stretch, midweight ninety percent polyester/ten percent Spandex fabric, the Troy Lee Designs Skyline shorts have three zippered security pockets. One pocket on the left hip, one on the right leg and one back panel pocket on the waistband. All pockets are stash pockets rather than cargo. The leg pocket zipper is welded for water-resistance.
External Velcro waist adjustments tabs cinch in the waistband to assure no back gaps but also increases the probability of a jersey snag. The waistband’s wide-panel construction makes it very comfortable with a high rise in the back for good rear coverage. However, the Troy Lee Designs Skyline shorts also rise higher in the front, which can feel restrictive to the stomach when in aggressive riding positions.
A Lycra stretch panel runs across the upper back and as a panel in the crotch to allow for additional stretch and breathability. The fly is secured with Velcro and two sturdy snap buttons. Each leg has a mesh opening to promote ventilation on hot days as well as accommodate kneepads. Depending on the size and coverage of the kneepads, some cyclists will experience a pad-to-short skin gap when in aggressive riding positions.
The Troy Lee Designs Skyline shorts do not come with an integrated chamois but our tester found that the shorts accommodated all chamois worn during testing.
The Troy Lee Designs Skyline shorts are well constructed with a medium-weight four-way stretch Polyester and Spandex blend. The single stitching is straight and precise with a medium-weight thread.
The medium-weight four-way stretch fabric of the Troy Lee Designs Skyline shorts lends itself to good protection during low-impact crashes. However the shorter inseam of eleven inches, even when paired with kneepads, will leave leg skin exposed.
The Troy Lee Designs Skyine shorts run small and depending on the cyclist can feel restricted in the hips. While our tester noticed the tighter fit in the hips and rear, there was no restriction in range of motion. The higher rise in the front created some moderate bunching but did not chafe or feel uncomfortable.
Comfort is enhanced due to a waffle-weave on inside of the fabric, which creates a series of air-gaps that promote ventilation. A Lycra stretch panel runs across the upper back of the short and as a panel in the crotch to allow for additional stretch, comfort, breathability and range of motion. Each leg has a mesh opening to also allow for good ventilation on hot days as well as accommodate kneepads.
Our testing team tested the shorts in and around Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota; Sedona and Tucson, Arizona and Moab, Utah over a period of two months on asphalt, gravel, 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.