Hands-on Gear Review

Club Ride Crush Review

Price:  $90 List | $34.96 at Amazon
Pros:  Durable quick drying fabric, slim fit, functional pockets, quality construction
Cons:  Short inseam, limited ventilation, not the best with knee pads
Bottom line:  The Crush is a slim fitting no frills technical bike short with a casual look.
Editors' Rating:   
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Shell Fabric:  91% Polyester / 9% Spandex
Lining Main Fabric:  None
Chamois:  None
Manufacturer:   Club Ride

Our Verdict

The Club Ride Crush is a comfortable and slim fitting high-performance mountain bike short hidden behind a casual look. The shorts look as good off the bike as on, but on the bike, they offer a great fit and pedal friendly design that is great for anything from a short ride to an all-day suffer-fest. Made with a technical 4-way stretch fabric with a quality construction, the Crush shorts are quick drying and proved to quite durable during our testing period. If you like a longer or baggier fitting short or you're a more gravity oriented rider, then these probably aren't a great option for you, but if you value a functional slim fitting short that is great for all other types of riding then check out the Club Ride Crush.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Jeremy Benson

Last Updated:
Wednesday
May 9, 2018

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Club Ride is a small mountain bike apparel brand that has been in the business for about a decade. The company's design philosophy is and has always been to make technical mountain bike clothes that look like casual wear. The Crush short is no exception, and you'd be hard-pressed to identify them as mountain bike shorts if you weren't in the know. Club Ride doesn't have the market share of some of the more prominent brands in the industry, although the company has been growing steadily, so we got a pair of their Crush mountain bike shorts to see how they compare to the competition.

Performance Comparison


We think the Crush shorts are great  but they have a fit that won't be for everyone.
We think the Crush shorts are great, but they have a fit that won't be for everyone.

Style


Club Ride mountain bike clothes attempt to blur the lines between technical and stylish, and the Crush shorts do just that. With a straightforward and relatively plain look, there is nothing that screams mountain biking about them, and they could easily double as casual shorts around town. The Crush has a 12.5-inch inseam and a pretty slim fit, so they aren't necessarily for the long and baggy shorts crowd, but if you appreciate a sporty and functional performance fit, then these are right up your alley. If you're interested in a similar fit but a little more length we'd suggest checking out the Dakine Syncline or the Race Face Trigger. The Crush is only available in Black, which goes with everything, so you won't have any difficulty paring these shorts with any other colors.

Did we mention the Crush shorts have a short inseam and tailored fit?
Did we mention the Crush shorts have a short inseam and tailored fit?

Features


The Crush shorts have two zippered pockets, one on each side, located about halfway down on the outside of the thigh. These pockets have vertically oriented zippers and reverse loading pockets, similar to those on the Kitsbow Ventilated V2, which makes for easy access while seated. The pockets are big enough to hold an iPhone 6, and the orientation and location of the pocket holds items nicely against the other thigh and doesn't conflict with your pedal stroke.

The pockets on the Crush shorts are well designed for easy access and pedal friendliness.
The pockets on the Crush shorts are well designed for easy access and pedal friendliness.

There are no belt loops on the Crush shorts; waist adjustments are done using the velcro straps located on the inside of the waistband. These waist adjustment straps do the job but lack the on-the-fly convenience of shorts with straps on the outside of the waistband like the Specialized Enduro Pro. The shorts are secured with a zipper fly and one large metal snap. The Crush shorts do not have any ventilation, but the material feels light on the skin and is very quick drying.

The internal waist adjustment and snap closure on the Crush.
The internal waist adjustment and snap closure on the Crush.

Durability


Throughout the course of our testing the Crush shorts have proven to be very durable. Club Ride appears to have good quality control, and the shorts were finished very well with no loose threads to speak of. The 4-way stretch material looks and feels very durable and offers some water repellency. We've ridden hundreds of miles in these shorts and they look the same as the day we got them, there are no rips in the fabric, loose threads in the stitching, and no standing of the material whatsoever. We are impressed.

These shorts have seen hundreds of miles of abuse and look as new as the day we got them.
These shorts have seen hundreds of miles of abuse and look as new as the day we got them.

Protection


The Crush shorts have a relatively short inseam, and they hang right to the top of the knee when standing and a couple of inches above the knee when pedaling. They provide slightly less leg coverage than some of the shorts in our test with a longer inseam. The fabric used does feel durable, but it is relatively thin, it will brush off bushes and the like, but doesn't offer the same level of protection offered by shorts with thicker materials like the Troy Lee Ruckus. The Crush's short inseam length and smaller leg openings aren't especially knee pad compatible, but they will work with some of the thinner options out there.

The material may be tough  but the Crush shorts offer less leg coverage in favor of a slimmer and shorter performance fit.
The material may be tough, but the Crush shorts offer less leg coverage in favor of a slimmer and shorter performance fit.

Fit and Pedal Friendliness


As mentioned above, the Crush shorts have a shorter inseam, and they also have a slimmer fit. They also run a little on the small side, so if you're on the fence, it would be good to size up. The size Medium shorts we tested fit a 32-33 waist. The shorts have good articulation when seated and they rise up well above the knee when pedaling. The inside of the shorts has a subtle raised texture that feels good and friction free against the skin or your liner shorts. The hem of the leg opening also has a welded seam, so it is very low profile and doesn't chafe as you pedal. We found these shorts to be especially pedal friendly and were comfortable doing so for any length of ride we could dish out.

When seated and pedaling  the Crush shorts rise well above the knee.
When seated and pedaling, the Crush shorts rise well above the knee.

Comfort


Testers found the Crush shorts to be quite comfortable, but they have a slimmer fit and shorter inseam that is an acquired taste. If you're okay with that type of fit, then these shorts are designed well and comfortable for any length of ride. The seams are well placed and sit flat providing a chafe-free riding experience. Our primary gripe with the comfort of these shorts is their lack of ventilation. It's not a problem if you live in a cooler climate, but as the temperatures soar a little air circulation would be nice. That said, the material used in the construction of these shorts is noticeably quick drying, so they don't stay soaked with sweat for long.

Simple black shorts. The Crush have a slim fit and shorter inseam.
Simple black shorts. The Crush have a slim fit and shorter inseam.

Best Applications


The Crush shorts are a great all-around mountain bike short. They are versatile for XC, trail, all-mountain, call it what you will, but pretty much any type of bike riding. They wouldn't be our first choice for gravity riding due to their coverage and knee pad compatibility, but we wouldn't hesitate to wear these shorts for any other ride. The lack of ventilation doesn't make them the best choice for people who live or ride where its especially hot, but they're great for temperatures in the 60-85 degree range.

Value


With a retail price of $90, we feel the Crush shorts represent a good value. Club Ride is a smaller company making high quality technical and stylish mountain bike apparel, and we like supporting businesses like that, especially when they make quality products like this.

If the slim and short fit is your style  then the Crush shorts are pretty sweet.
If the slim and short fit is your style, then the Crush shorts are pretty sweet.

Conclusion


With a shorter inseam and a slimmer fit, the Club Ride Crush mountain bike shorts might not be for everyone, but if you like a functional performance oriented fit then they are a great option. The materials and construction are top-notch, with a comfortable fit and pedal friendliness that is great for shorter rides or all day epics. The simple and subtle style of these short also makes them great for wearing to the grocery store, the bar, or wherever it is you go after a ride.
Jeremy Benson

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Most recent review: May 9, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
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