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Troy Lee Designs Luxe Short Review

Pull-up stretchy shorts that provide comfort and performance on the mountain bike
Troy Lee Designs Luxe Short
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Price:  $119 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable, ventilated, one good pocket
Cons:  Expensive, somewhat short for knee pads, plain style
Manufacturer:   Troy Lee Designs
By Laurel Hunter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 12, 2021
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83
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 15
  • Fit and Comfort - 30% 9
  • Pedal Friendliness - 30% 9
  • Protection - 20% 7
  • Pockets - 10% 8
  • Style - 10% 7

Our Verdict

With a crazy amount of 4-way stretch, these shorts are built to move. Pull-up shorts can be limiting, as there is less adjustability in the waist size, but we found these shorts to offer the comfort of a yoga pant and the performance of a technical riding short. With functional details, such as strategically placed ventilation holes and a well-placed phone pocket, these shorts are meant for long rides. They are a little short to work perfectly with knee pads, and not the most stylish, but are certainly comfortable enough to cover big miles.

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Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price Check Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$110 List
Check Price at Backcountry
$110.00 at Backcountry$79.20 at Backcountry$56.21 at Backcountry
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Pros Comfortable, ventilated, one good pocketGreat fit, smart waist adjustment, usable pockets, lightweight, comfortableFeminine fit, burly material, glide patches for smooth pedaling, easy cinching at the waist, zippered pocketsLightweight, four-way stretch, excellent fit, breathable, super comfortableLightweight, breathable, many pockets, affordable
Cons Expensive, somewhat short for knee pads, plain styleNot waterproof, slim fit may not work for all ridersNot the lightest weightNot as protective for burly terrainNot water resistant, runs large, velcro waist adjusters
Bottom Line Pull-up stretchy shorts that provide comfort and performance on the mountain bikeReally comfortable and lightweight shorts that fit well, have great pockets, and look good on and off the bikeA flattering and durable short built with an emphasis on downhill funOne of the best fitting shorts we have ever tested, with a minimalist design, lightweight, and a high level of comfortA very functional pair of mountain bike shorts that are lightweight and super affordable
Rating Categories Troy Lee Designs Lu... Trail Cargo Shorts... Yeti Cycles Norrie 2.0 Dirt Roamer Zoic Navaeh
Fit And Comfort (30%)
9.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
8.0
Pedal Friendliness (30%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
10.0
8.0
Protection (20%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Pockets (10%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Style (10%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
Specs Troy Lee Designs Lu... Trail Cargo Shorts... Yeti Cycles Norrie 2.0 Dirt Roamer Zoic Navaeh
Shell Fabric Bluesign approved 4-way stretch Vaporize woven fabric Stretch polyester with DWR 90-denier 87% recycled polyester/13% spandex 86% polyester, 14% spandex
Lining Main Fabric None None None Sold seperately None
Chamois None None None Sold seperately None
Inseam Measurement 11 in 11.5 in 12 in 11.75 in 11 in
Number of pockets 3 4 4 1 4

Our Analysis and Test Results

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.

Performance Comparison


4-way stretch means these shorts move with you on the bike.
4-way stretch means these shorts move with you on the bike.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

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.

Perforation holes where you need them to ventilate and release heat.
Perforation holes where you need them to ventilate and release heat.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

Protection


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.

The inseam is a bit short to work well with knee pads for many women.
The inseam is a bit short to work well with knee pads for many women.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

Pedal Friendliness


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.

There is an elastic drawstring for waist adjustment.
There is an elastic drawstring for waist adjustment.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

Pockets


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 pocket on the back of the leg holds a smartphone close to the...
The pocket on the back of the leg holds a smartphone close to the body while riding.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

Style


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.

The style is pretty basic, but they perform well.
The style is pretty basic, but they perform well.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

Value


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.

Conclusion


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.

Laurel Hunter