While a lot of the team here at CycleTechReview are dedicated road and track racers, some of us like to kick back a bit when it comes to our riding. I’ll put my hand up and admit to spending less time racing these days. Therefore I don’t always want to don the lycra when I head out on the bike and, if I’m taking a mountain bike out, then the lycra definitely stays in the wardrobe. But what to wear when you want to be comfortable on a bike without wrapping yourself in lycra?
It was riding with mountain biking friends that first led to me being introduced to the Ground Effect clothing brand. Based in New Zealand, the company began specialising in mountain bike kit, think loose but not so baggy as to be impractical and you’ll be on the right track. The company has now expanded to include more road friendly kit, and I’m going to take a look at some of its offerings.
The company is mail order only as that keeps the prices down, and even with the clothing coming from New Zealand delivery usually only takes around a week.
First up are the £69.99 Juggernauts. The whats? One thing you’ll soon learn about Ground Effect is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously when it comes to naming its products. The Juggernauts are one of four designs of baggy riding shorts, with the other being the Snipers, Supertankers, and Double Happys.
Described by Ground Effect as, ‘Super-sized shorts for those who prefer living long and loose’, the Juggernauts are knee length, unlined shorts. They do, however, have some very cycling specific features. The first of these is the ‘Hi-Impact Stretch’, a densely woven nylon-polyester mix that as the name suggests has an element of stretch about it. It is also extremely tactile. It is combined with a selection of mesh panels; one across the rear of the waist and one in the front of each leg with a zip covering to allow you to regulate your temperature.
The mesh panel in the rear is very stretchy and makes a surprising difference to the feel and fit of the Juggernauts. Combined with the high cut at the back the panel means the shorts don’t leave you with a bare back when you’re in fast riding position.
Staying at the back of the Juggernauts a bit longer and you’ll find the Easy-Rider waist with adjustable velcro Trim Tabs, basically these are two big Velcro straps that allow the fit to be adjusted. Due to the size of the tabs you can adjust them on the move with gloves on, so if you have one too many cakes at the café and start to feel them as you ride away you can get yourself some slack without having to stop.
If you are a dedicated fan of lycra, you might find the idea of pockets on cycling shorts a strange one, but I appreciate them on baggy shorts. The reason being that when riding in baggies I’m more inclined to stop along the way and it’s far easier for me to get money, or my smart phone out of my short’s pockets than my jersey’s pockets when I stop. So you can understand why I like the two mesh lined hand pockets on the front and the zipped pocket on the back.
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