Cadence Skyline Shorts
Size tested: 32
Inseam: 8.5” (on a size 33)
Leg opening: 9” (on a size 33)
- Water resistant, four-way stretch fabric (88% Nylon/12% Spandex)
- Tapered fit for cycling
- Reflective label for visibility
- Four pockets
Reviewer: 5’9”, 140 lbs.
Test Duration: 15 days
Cadence was founded by a former bike messenger in San Francisco in 2003, with the goal of offering a variety of lifestyle cycling apparel. They currently offer apparel for commuting and casual wear, as well as traditional Lycra road kits.
The Skyline is Cadence’s synthetic commuting short, and strikes a balance between fashionable looks and comfort while riding.
Cadence uses a combination of 88% Nylon and 12% Spandex to resist water and keep the shorts stretchy. The construction seems quite sturdy, with extra stitches around the pockets and other areas that may need reinforcement.
The shorts’ overall look is pretty minimal, with no loud graphics or logos. Two front pockets and two back pockets provide plenty of room for a phone, wallet, keys, and multitool. Since the shorts are geared more toward casual use than long rides, they do not include a chamois.
In terms of style and design, the Skyline reminds me a bit of Kitsbow’s shorts. Cadence may indeed be taking a design cue from Kitsbow, since both brands are catering to a pretty similar crowd – those that don’t mind paying a premium for comfortable and fashionable cycling apparel.
The Skyline cuts off slightly above the knee, and sits closely around the wearer’s leg. Additionally, the cut of these shorts is damn skinny – skinny to the point that quite a lot of riders may have trouble squeezing into them. I’m a pretty wiry dude (5’9” and 140 lbs.), so I felt like the shorts fit my build nicely, with the cuffs sitting closely around my quads but not being completely tight. But if I was any bigger, I might actually have some serious issues putting these shorts on.
If you have the super lean physique of a stereotypical road/XC rider, the Skyline should fit great. If you’re any bulkier than your average lycra-wearer, go for something geared more toward the average body type. Both Club Ride and Chrome offer shorts with a slightly more relaxed fit than the Skyline.
I primarily used the Skyline for bike commuting in a variety of conditions. The shorts’ material is great for this purpose. The cloth is breathable, doesn’t hold odor, and repels light rain rather than soaking it up. Again, the shorts’ fit is on the tighter side compared to your average pair of baggies, but the cloth is stretchy enough that it doesn’t hinder leg movement at all. (These qualities also made the Skyline great for use in the bouldering gym.)
However, that tight and stretchy fit did sometimes cause them to scoot up my quad during seated pedaling, making them look more like spandex. This had no effect on their comfort or performance, but if you have any paranoia of getting caught by the fashion police mid-commute, take note.
The Skyline’s pockets are quite conducive to bike commuting. I typically like to put both my phone and wallet in my back pockets, and was happy to see that I didn’t feel like I was sitting on them while in the saddle. That said, I would have personally preferred at least one zippered pocket just to assure me that my valuables would still be there at the end of the day.
So far, the shorts are showing no signs of wear. I’ll update this review if anything changes.
I’ve enjoyed wearing the Skyline, but the price tag and fit make it clear that Cadence designed these shorts with a specific consumer in mind. The Skyline isn’t for everybody, but if you’re skinnier than average and the $110 price tag doesn’t seem like too much to drop for a pair of multi-use shorts, the Cadence Skyline should make you a happy commuter.