This post may contain affiliate links, which help to keep Discerning Cyclist rolling. Learn more.
Wearing the right legwear is the most important clothing consideration for cycling.
Get it wrong and you can end up sweating may more than you need to, destroying inappropriate trousers/shorts and – worst case – chafing. Nobody wants that.
In the summer months, such decisions are even more important. That’s why I’ve spent the past 10 years unearthing the best casual cycling shorts in the world.
And this year, we have a new contender: Ornot’s Lightweight Mission Short.
Ornot Lightweight Mission Short
Lightweight, breathable, flexible, durable… these shorts have everything you should want in a casual cycling short. For good measure, they also look (and feel) great, plus four good sized pockets.
- Very flexible
- Extremely comfortable
- Beautiful styling
- Not cheap!
Ornot’s Urban Cycling Shorts
When I started Discerning Cyclist back in 2012, there were a few brands producing products that attempted to bridge the gap between style and function. And, in truth, the results were mixed. It was usually pretty clear than products were still “cycling clothes”, even if they tried to look a bit more every day.
But with the growth of activewear, athleisure, workleisure – or whatever new tag is now around – the quality of stylish clothes with built-in functionality has matured wonderfully.
To me, Ornot’s Lightweight Mission Short is the most epitome of the Discerning Cyclist mantra: these are stylish shorts. Point. No-one looking at them would ever assume that these are “cycling” shorts or boast the incredible functional that they do. And I love that.
So why do I love Ornot’s shorts so much?
Well, visually, they present a flattering slim fit design that cut a few inches above the knee (8.5” inseam).
But what you might not spot at first glance is that these shorts are stretchy. Really stretchy. You can squat in them with virtually no resistance.
Thanks to their blend of 85% Nylon and 15% Elastane, they’re not just lightweight, but also very durable.
Casual Bike Shorts with Gusset
Indeed, durability is a key feature of these Ornot shorts – and it’s something that you can overlook in cycling legwear.
The crotch is the area that gets most exposed (pun absolutely intended) in cycling shorts. This is due to the constant contact with the bike saddle, which can quickly wear away the material and seams.
To counteract this, Ornot have added a built-in gusseted crotch (i.e. a separate piece of material around the crotch area so that the seams don’t wear away).
As well as breathability, flexibility and durability, another key element of any cycling pant is… pockets. I know, how exciting.
But again, Ornot have nailed this important criteria. The shorts have four pockets, two front hand pockets and two rear pockets. The right rear pocket is also zipped. The thing I like about these pockets is that they feel are deep, but compact enough so your things aren’t bouncing around. There’s plenty of space for a phone or wallet and there’s no feeling that they’ll fall out of your pocket.
Ornot Lightweight Mission Shorts Review: Summary
This might sound like hyperbole, but I think these are the perfect urban cycling shorts. They look great and they feel great – on and off the bike.
At $118, they’re far from cheap. But that’s the only criticism I have of them. Really.
If you can afford them, Ornot’s Lightweight Mission Short won’t let you down.
I opted for the “Stone Blue” colour (pictured), but they’re also available in “Slate” (dark grey).