Monday, January 21, 2013

Champion Systems Cycling Shorts Review

I have always rode my longer rides in DeSoto 400 Mile bike shorts and bibs. I like everything about them, the pad, compression, look, and feel. I was given a voucher for $80 through an ambassador type program for a company and they use the Champion Systems bike gear for their clothing. Basically, I was able to get a pair of their bike shorts with an upgraded chamois for about $15 bucks after shipping. Definitely worth it. I have worn them for three 2 hour plus rides in them in the last week and here are my initial thoughts.

Feel: As I said, I am used to the DeSoto shorts (race in Riviera Forza's as well). The Champion Systems shorts felt pretty loose on my thighs. I definitely do not have monster thighs by any means but I expected a little tighter feel. Not necessarily a bad thing, just different than what I am used to.  I was worried the shorts would ride up a bit during the ride but they never did. The leg gripper is really comfortable. I didn't notice it once during any of the rides.

Chamois: I opted to go with the endurance chamois for an additional $10. They claim the pad is elastic which allows it to move around with the body while riding. They also made the shorts anti-microbial by weaving silver ions into the yarn rather than using chemicals like other companies. I haven't looked in to this too much, but I suppose it is a good thing not to have chemicals near the..ahem..sensitive areas.

The chamois is dimpled which again was different than I was used to. I could not tell the dimples were there once I put them on. While walking around, the pad seemed to sag a little, it just felt a little bulky (almost like I was wearing a diaper). This could be due to the upgraded thickness pad I opted for being a little too big for a size small. However, as soon as I jumped on the saddle, I forgot all about that. The pad felt pretty good, even after two hours of riding. I never noticed any discomfort. Some bike shorts don't fit well when riding in the aero position, which is were I spend 99% of my time when training. These really felt good throughout the whole ride, no matter what position I was in. Like so many other triathletes, I use the Cobb V Flow saddle which is a little wider than most saddles. I was happy about the feel of the shorts during the ride. I didn't notice the 'sagging' chamois after the ride either. It is possible this will go away after the shorts get broken in a little more.

Other: The color and graphics on the shorts were really nice. I was pretty impressed with how they looked. It is winter here in Iowa, so all of the rides were indoors. Despite the heavy sweating, the shorts remained comfortable the entire time. Sometimes as sweat rates increase, chafing increases as well. I didn't have any issues (thankfully!). I didn't give any thought to the waistband either, very comfortable and didn't cut in at all.

Overall, I would rate these a 7 out of 10. I will continue to use them on mid to longer rides. I will probably use these for the rides that are 50-70 miles and keep my DeSoto 400 Mile bike shorts for the longer rides since they are quite a bit more expensive. I am happy with them, but would probably opt to go a different route rather than paying full price (approximately $90 shipped with upgraded pad). I am intrigued by their "summer cycling short, " I hope I will be able to give them a try some day.

1 comment:

  1. Cycling is a wonderful pastime. It gets you out of doors; it gives you a chance to do something for your cardiovascular health with minimal impact to your joints; and it is quite exhilarating. However, a fun ride can quickly turn miserable if you are not wearing proper gear. Flappy jackets create wind resistance.

    Female Cycling Knicks