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There are the skills that everyone says you’ll need when you go to university: independence, time management, perseverance and the like. However, no one mentioned what I have come to realise is one the most valuable skills: leaving for a 9 o’clock lecture as late as possible. For me, this also means that I have to nail the busy commute across London as efficiently as possible.
Obviously, no one wants to turn up to lectures in head-to-toe Lycra, nor the inconvenience of carrying and changing into different clothes. Equally, four hours of Maths is made even more unpleasant when you arrive sweaty and slightly ‘raw’ down below because you have rushed in wearing normal clothes, a problem only compounded by warmer weather.
It’s simple enough to address “top half concerns” with a breathable or baggy t-shirt but “bottom half concerns” are far more pressing. The search goes on for what trousers or, at this point in the year, shorts facilitate as long a lie in as possible while still cycling to lectures in comfort and style.
READ THE GUIDE: Best Urban Cycling Shorts for Men + Women
Commuter Cycling Shorts for Men (and Women)
Enter one of the latest offerings from British brand Velocity, the Men’s Climber Shorts. Coming in at £84 with a range of colours (burgundy, black and orange) and sizes (28” to 36”) these claim to be ‘Men’s specific, cycling specific shorts – that look just as good on and off your bike’.
Upon first inspection they look like a classic pair of chino summer shorts that are a staple in the wardrobe of basically every male I know. However, having put them on, you begin to notice the differences. Velocity use a blend of fabrics, 98% cotton and 2% elastine; so while they look like a normal pair of stylish shorts, they feel more stretchy. The result? They are a joy to commute in.
There is enough stretch so that they are very comfortable on the commute but not too much stretch that I feel like I’m wearing burgundy lycra.
One of the best cycling features is the reinforced diamond seat. This provides both extra comfort, for which my undercarriage is grateful, and increased durability, for which my resident seamstress is grateful about since she won’t have to patch it up every few months because my saddle has burnt a hole in them like some previous shorts. None of the previous ‘rawness’ in sight. With a nice light construction they keep it all cool down there, a benefit you might not notice until you wear an inferior pair of shorts and suddenly things are very unpleasant.
READ THE GUIDE: Best Cycling Jeans
These shorts also boast big pockets, and when I say big, they are actually big enough to have my phone, wallet and keys in without one of them ramming into my hip every pedal stroke. The back pockets are buttoned for more secure storage. By day the trim of the back pockets appears to be black (though silver is an option) but my fellow commuter informed me that as darkness fell, my derriere began to shine as a result of the previously discrete reflective trimmings.
Velocity have beefed up the belt hooks so that you can carry stuff on them a la trendy fixie riders, though I’m not sure they’d be suitable for some of the beefier D locks around. Much to my fellow commuter’s delight, Velocity have also made the back higher because – let’s face it – nobody wants to see that. Not only has the back been raised for modesty’s sake but the waist has been lowered so that these shorts perfectly avoid the awkward bunching at the hips that other trousers and shorts seem to accumulate during the duration of a commute.
All of these features mean that on the bike, the Climber Shorts work like a charm keeping you cool, comfortable and chafe-free.
Off the bike they look really stylish. No more of these shorts ending just below the butt cheek, these shorts are on the money with the just above the knee length. This was key to these shorts attaining The Mother’s Seal of Approval, arguably the most important test they faced. The fabric also has NanoSphere® treated fabric, for water and stain resistant cycling. Why is this included in the off the bike section I hear you ask? Well because my packed lunch pasta also wiped off easily. They can also go into the wash with any of your other normal clothes. I have the 32” burgundy shorts but they are also available in black and orange with sizes from 28” to 36”.
Velocity Climber Shorts
The Velocity Climber Shorts are designed for climbing, with a stretchy and durable fabric that allows for freedom of movement. They feature a slim fit, side pockets, and a hidden zippered pocket for storing small items.
- Great fit
- Looks good of the bike
- Very comfortable to cycle in
- Slightly pricey
- Belt loops could be stronger
Velocity Climber Shorts Review: In Summary
All in all, Velocity have provided a great pair of shorts, as extra minutes in bed can be assured while also allowing me to commute in comfort.
On the bike, the stretch, reinforcement and cut make the riding very pleasant and they also look great off the bike with a very stylish cut. And for a piece of equipment which does the job perfectly and with so many features, you could spend £84 in many worse ways.