As women we have limited options for stylish mountain bike apparel, so I’m always on the lookout for more. When I came across Club Ride’s Freedom short online, I had to investigate further and reached out. Though we’ve been familiar with Club Ride for some time now, I was happy to see something in the women’s line that appealed to my personal tastes.
When it comes to clothing, fit is a priority. The Freedom short hits the mark here; it’s slim fitting and slightly on the longer side (12″ inseam) that for a look that flatters a lean build and long legs. This is especially important if you plan to wear knee pads when riding technical trails— we’re not a fan of the short shorts and pads look— it’s horrible.
Executed in a nice looking neutral plaid pattern, Club Ride did a nice job using subtle earth tones rather then bold or dark masculine colors. I am not one to typically gravitate towards plaid. However, the execution here was well done; after all, if I wanted to look like a guy, I’d buy men’s clothing.
- Lightweight, stretch, poly-blend wicking fabric
- Seamless crotch gusset
- Zippered side smartphone pocket
- 2 side and rear pockets
- Belt loops
- Reflective accents
I initially received these shorts in a size small and thought they looked great. They were the right length for me, hitting right above my knee, and I really liked the slim fit. However, once I sat down I was disappointed, as I had extra fabric bulking in the crotch area. The waist was slightly on the loose side, laying on my hips but I wasn’t concerned they would slide down further.
I am typically a US size 26 in women’s bottoms but feel the size small is more comparable to a size 27. Club Ride’s size chart lists the size small as a US women’s 26-27 or 4-6. Conflicted, I really liked the look of these shorts but wasn’t thrilled with the way they looked once I was seated, I decided to order the XS. And I am happy I did. While I wouldn’t normally consider myself an XS, the shorts fit me really well. The extra bulk was no longer an issue and I was surprised by how much mobility I had and how well my chamois fit underneath even though they were on the snug side. One thing I also need to point out is I do not have bulky thighs – sizing down is not an issue for someone with my body type.
I’ve tested these shorts on a number of mountain bike rides now and have been continuously impressed. They are lightweight, making them great for warm weather trail riding. The fabric dries quickly, doesn’t stain easily and has quite a bit of stretch. I’ve wore them with several knee pads and found my light weight g-forms fit the best. The shorts aren’t quite loose enough for an all mountain knee pad.
I usually pair the shorts with a slim fitting basic black jersey or tank top. I really like this classic look.
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