Altura Altitude shorts
Zyro PLC 01423 325325
Altura mountain bike gear is designed by real gripping mountain bikers in Yorkshire. No surprise then that even their baggy summer shorts use waterproof material then ;-).Long and the short of it
With their legs flying at a slightly lower Altitude to the Double Happy’s these are more of a street / freeride styled short, but they’re still slim-cut enough not to flap. Contrast double stitching and a proper fly zip also gives them civvy appeal. Also available in Olive Green / Black.
Cut + construction
The curved, multi panel shell construction builds a slim hip fit that comes high on the body to stop builders bum and aching backs, while the crotch gets a durable stretch panel to stop any bunching and chafing.
The shorts also get a double-press stud fastening with elasticated rear waistband and two velcro adjuster straps on the side. Most impressively though, you actually get a proper zip functioning fly for rapid relief.
Rather than a pair of shorts dangling inside, the shorts are fully lined with wicking material, complete with stubby little leg seals to stop your shorts filling with filth when you crash. A small but very comfy fleece pad works really well on the bike and lets you walk properly too.
Using a surface-treated waterproof fabric for baggy shorts might sound like overkill, but given the normal character of our summers it’s a great idea. It keeps puddle splash out of your gusset and adds weatherproofing and warmth on those days when the weather catches you out, although it can get hot on scorching summer days. It’s light and moves freely too, so doesn’t impede your pedalling.
The inner lining is lovely and silky in a way that you’d associate with the frillier departments of M&S rather than mountain bike gear, but it shifts sweat rapidly to keep your gusset steam free most of the time.
Again, pretty much spot on, with a medium fit being fine on scrawny boy here. More voluptuous riders may want a size bigger for hip room, but it’s just right for bonier bikers sick of billowing bottoms catching on saddles.
Jeans style handpockets are slouch friendly off the bike but slightly shallow, so watch loose change and keys if you sit down. The thigh pockets are also velcro tabbed rather than zipped, so keep valuables in your jersey pocket or Camelbak instead.
Waterproof outer is great for Britain but the real joy is being able to have a proper p*ss thanks to the zipped fly. No more “bugger, thought it was empty” incontinence accidents with these babies.
Despite the fact they’re lined and use a slim pad rather than full inner shorts and fat pad, the Altitudes are great on or off the bike. Relatively slim cut and top quality fabrics mean they offer definite dodgy weather advantages over Lycra skin shorts with minimum performance compromise.Should I buy them?
Yes, you should buy these too. Very well designed, stylish, and fine for wearing all day on or off the bike. Fabric can be slightly hot on really scorching days, but considering how few of those we have the weatherproofing is a much more useful aspect. The free range joys of a proper zip fly more than compensate for the lack of pocket security too.