Troy Lee Designs Luxe Short Review
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Troy Lee Designs Luxe Short
|Price||$71.40 at Amazon|
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|Pros||Comfortable, ventilated, one good pocket||Lightweight, durable, great pockets, comfortable||Lightweight, four-way stretch, excellent fit, breathable, super comfortable||Weather and water resistant, comfortable, flattering cut||Lightweight, breathable, many pockets, affordable|
|Cons||Expensive, somewhat short for knee pads, plain style||Expensive||Not as protective for burly terrain, openings in pockets make them less secure||Bulky waistband with velcro tabs, too warm for hot days||Not water resistant, runs large, velcro waist adjusters|
|Bottom Line||Pull-up stretchy shorts that provide comfort and performance on the mountain bike||One of the most comfortable mountain bike shorts out there, with 4-way stretch and a uniquely low-profile waistband||One of the best fitting shorts we have ever tested, with a minimalist design, lightweight, and a high level of comfort||A technical short that provides protection from wet trails and is also really comfortable||A very functional pair of mountain bike shorts that are lightweight and super affordable|
|Rating Categories||Troy Lee Designs Lu...||Rapha Trail Shorts...||Patagonia Dirt Roamer||Endura MT500 Spray...||Zoic Navaeh|
|Fit and Comfort (30%)|
|Pedal Friendliness (30%)|
|Specs||Troy Lee Designs Lu...||Rapha Trail Shorts...||Patagonia Dirt Roamer||Endura MT500 Spray...||Zoic Navaeh|
|Shell Fabric||Bluesign approved 4-way stretch||Bluesign and Oeko-Tex certified, 88% Nylon, 12% Elastane||90-denier 86% recycled polyester/14% spandex with 4-way stretch and a DWR finish||4-way stretch nylon front panels with DWR finish, waterproof 3-layer rear panels||86% polyester, 14% spandex|
|Lining Main Fabric||None||None||None||None||None|
|Inseam Measurement||11 in||13.5 in||12.5 in||13.5 in||11 in|
|Number of pockets||3||4||2||2||4|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Troy Lee Designs still makes the Luxe shorts (and they also make Luxe pants), but no longer offer them in the color we tested. They now come in black, steel green, and a wild cat white print. -May 2022
Like yoga shorts for mountain biking, these shorts flex with every curve no matter how much you move on the bike. The Luxe shorts stood out for their comfort and supreme stretchiness.
Fit and comfort
The Troy Lee Designs Luxe short features a pull-up design with no zippers, buttons, snaps, or fancy waist adjustment systems. There is an elastic drawstring inside the waistband, if needed, for extra adjusting, but primarily this short is depending on stretch fabric for a good fit. The cut accommodates hips and the stretchiness of the fabric fits different shapes quite well. It feels very much like yoga pants on the waist and hips, but without being too tight in the legs. That said, the waist is considerably less stretchy than the rest of the shorts, which is very helpful in keeping the shorts from moving while riding but may mean sizing up depending on your waist size.
Troy Lee's size chart gives the measurement of the shorts, rather than the person they are intended to fit. If you have a favorite pair of shorts already, you can use them as a guide, but if you don't, this can make sizing tricky. We tested an extra small, and while sizing for mountain bike shorts can be quite variable, our main tester confirmed that they fit as expected.
Overall, we found these shorts to be quite comfortable for long and short rides. A nice feature is the perforation dots on the entire panel of the fabric that forms the gusseted crotch and inside of the thighs that provide noticeable ventilation and prevent overheating.
At 11 inches, this inseam may not be long enough for many women to wear with knee pads. They do provide adequate protection from grabby bushes and burning sun rays, however. The material is quite durable and held up well on our tests, though the extra-stretchy panels on the hips were showing slight signs of pilling after only a few rides.
These shorts never slid down or shifted while pedaling. Our testers attributed this to the cut of the shorts and the wide, yoga-pant style waistband. Silicone printing on the inside of the waist material adds extra non-slip protection, as does the internal drawstring. Featuring 4-way stretch fabric all around, the Luxe performs really well on the bike. The black fabric on the back and side panels is extra stretchy for even more freedom of movement.
With only two pockets, the Luxe is fairly minimal in this category. The pocket on the back of the right leg is large enough to hold a phone and the diagonal zipper makes for super easy access. While this pocket placement seemed odd at first, our testers really liked how items were held close to the body and didn't move while riding.
There is a second pocket on the back of the waistband, which we didn't like as much. If you wear a pack of any kind, you can't really access this pocket, and the zipper pull is a pressure point under the weight of a pack.
The Luxe is a fairly utilitarian short, sewn from multiple panels to make them look technical and sporty. Our testers appreciated the clean lines, good fit, and especially the lack of bunchy fabric on the waistband. One minor detail that had us baffled is some stitching on the front in the shape of a zip fly. Since these shorts don't have a fly, it literally does nothing except draw attention to this area. We wouldn't necessarily wear these out for beers after a ride, but they are cut for a female body, which is not something you used to be able to say about women's bike shorts.
The Luxe is also available in black, Snake Multi, and Floral Black.
These are one of the most expensive shorts in our test. They fit and performed really well, however, and that is worth gold if you spend long hours on your bike.
The Luxe short from Troy Lee Design is designed for maximum comfort and it delivers. If you seek the comfort of yoga pants combined with the performance of a technical mountain bike short, we feel these are an excellent option to consider.
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