Shorts manifesto - Bike Magic

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Shorts manifesto

BAGGYmagic Short Manifesto! (or ‘Guidelines for gussets’)

As we’re doing a grouptest of superficially very similar baggy shorts we thought we’d better explain the things that we look for in our ‘perfect pair’.


Different folks want different things from their lower garments. Some want just enough fabric to hide the ‘meat and two veg / chipolata and petit pois’ effect of Lycra, while other riders want a multi-feature short that hangs round your shins. We’ve got a full selection on test, but we’ll let you know where each of them sit in the grand scheme of style.

Cut + construction

Again this has a lot to do with style but it also really affects how they work on the bike. Some are a simple shell over lycra liners, some are fully integrated and some are totally seperated.


We’re after something quite clever here. We want it to shift sweat and dry fast, feel comfy and ‘natural’ on the skin and generally go unnoticed physically or audibly. We also want it to survive a few dives into the bushes or arse slides down the trail. It would also be nice if it shrugged off wet weather and kept the grit out of your gusset after a few puddle runs.


Are they gut-busting with a tight bite round your thighs, or do they leave you with builders arse and free range plums? We’ll let you know.


Pockets are always handy – until they get in the way. It’s actually really hard to get more than a 5mm Allen key and a set of keys into a pair of shorts without them bouncing off your legs or digging into your pelvis. We’ll review the cargo situation and differentiate between useful storage and irritating decoration.

Special features

We won’t really know what these are until we meet them, but we’re willing to give extra marks if they’ve managed to add something cunning that we think is worth having.

On the bike

They might look great, but if they chafe, dig in, sag, flap or just drive you nuts on the bike then they’re not much use from a cycling point of view. We’ll rate how far we reckon you’d want to ride in them.

Now go read the tests and see what measures up so far.


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