Size tested: Large
Tester size: 6’0”, 175 lbs., 34-inch waist
- Technical nylon material for durability
- Quick dry for moisture management
- One-way stretch fabric for movement without saddle snag
- Waist adjustment side straps for perfect fit
- Zippered storage pockets
- Seamless crotch gusset for comfort
- Style and comfort of street wear
Test Location: Lake Tahoe, California
Test Conditions: Cool fall weather, ranging from dry to muddy.
Test Duration: 3 weeks, ~10 rides.
Club Ride is a cycling apparel company based in Sun Valley, Idaho, whose mission is to “deliver the most stylish and functional cycling apparel in the world.”
The words “stylish” and “functional” typically aren’t found in the same sentence when it comes to mountain bike clothing, but Club Ride is making riding clothes that, in my opinion, actually look cool. They seem to be part of a general movement toward more stylish mountain bike clothing, and I was excited to try some of their gear.
Knickers vs. Shorts
The first piece I tried was the Half Rack, a “traditional, below the knee length riding knicker.” Prior to the Half Rack, I’d never worn a pair of knickers. I hadn’t avoided them, but I’m generally reluctant to buy new stuff. I usually just work with what I’ve got, like tights under baggy shorts, or leg warmers for cooler riding weather. This was my first foray into the world of the man-pri, and I must say: I’ve been pleasantly surprised.
The over-the-knee coverage really takes the bite out of the wind on chilly fall rides, and I don’t need to wear knee or leg warmers. Even though it’s only a thin layer of nylon, the wind hits that before it hits my skin, which made my knees warmer and more comfortable than riding in traditional above-the-knee length shorts.
Club Ride’s shorts, including the Half Rack knicker, are all made from “technical nylon material.” Over the course of my test rides, I have found this material to be incredibly quick drying. While it does absorb moisture, it allows for super quick evaporation, keeping me drier during chilly fall rides.
Made from a blend of 94% nylon and 6% lycra, the fabric is also designed to have one-way stretch properties. The one-way stretch material is employed strategically in various panels throughout the knickers to give where you need it, not where you don’t. For example, the material in the crotch allows side-to-side stretch but not fore and aft. According to the technical features listed on the knickers’ hang-tag, this is supposed to allow freedom of movement while preventing the always dreaded saddle-snag. And as gimmicky as that might sound, I have yet to snag my Half Racks on my seat, a problem that I often experience with my other Race Face and Pearl Izumi riding shorts.