13 March 2008

bikefix Exclusive Review: Woolistic Cycling Shorts

This winter, I bought a bunch of wool clothing from various different manufacturers. I wanted to see which companies make clothing that I would be willing to buy again and/or recommend to my friends. When browsing the different websites I realized that the only pair of tight lycra-style shorts I found was made by Woolistic – a Swiss company who only designs wool cycling clothes (much of it vintage looking) [Ibex are another -marc]. Their clothes are made in different places from Europe to Asia, but they all are high quality and all use Merino wool.

To make these shorts work with the movement of your body, Woolistic used a well thought-out 6-pannel cut and just a bit of synthetic “stretch” (only 6%- 4% Nylon and 2% Elastic), the rest (94% - for the mathematically challenged) is lightweight merino wool. Despite the high wool content, they are machine washable. The chamois is specifically made for these shorts. It is made in one piece, with antibacterial Coolmax fabric and elastic padding so it can move with you – unlike most chamois. It varies in thickness from 2mm to 8mm ant the one-piece construction means it should last a long time.

I was a little skeptical about how these would feel while riding– I mean, even nice, high quality merino wool could be itchy when pressed against my inner thigh for hours on end, right? Not to worry though, as they don’t feel rough or scratchy at all. These shorts are very comfortable and are a fair bit warmer than my Lycra style shorts. On cold days these go very nicely underneath my tights.

These have quickly turned into some of my favorite shorts for riding, and even when the temperature starts to rise I will be wearing them. I bought an XL which might be a tad large for me – next fall I will buy a Large pair. My only complaint is that the bottom of the short (just above my knee) doesn’t lay tight against the skin now that they have been washed a few times. This could be because they are a size to big for me, or it may just be trait of these shorts. However, it doesn’t affect my riding- it just looks a little dopey.

These are some seriously fine shorts and have a special quality that is hard for synthetic shorts to replicate. Check them out at www.vintagevelos.com. $ 115.00.



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