We knew the website, Bike Radar, would put our relaxed fit shorts (now Dreva Denim Technical Trail Shorts) through really tough testing, but that’s what they’re made for. We sent them the denim shorts in a size 12.
Highs: Good fit and look, denim style, length
Lows: Denim material warm in hotter temperatures, not suitable for wet trails, colour ran on first wear
Buy if: You want a good looking pair of mountain bike shorts and plan to ride in dry, cool condition
Findra describes its Relaxed Denim MTB shorts as having “a flattering fit and the strength and style to take on any situation you can throw at them.” And I can agree that the shorts look great on and are very comfortable. The two-way stretch denim provides a great fit on and off the bike and the size came up as expected in a size 12.
The length of the shorts was just right too, finishing above the knee (I’m a relatively short 5 foot 2 inches), which is a good length if you’re planning to wear knee pads, and they didn’t snag or catch either.
The shorts fasten with a button and zip, fitting with the jeans style, and although I was concerned that the button might dig in while riding this too was comfortable due to the off-set positioning. There is enough material at the back too to avoid any embarrassing gapes.
There are two back pockets as well as pockets on the left and right hip, and a zip pocket on the left leg, which is a great size and position for a phone and keys if you’re riding without a pack.
The British weather
The shorts are described as water repellent, but unfortunately I found that they didn’t perform well in wet trail conditions.
After cycling through a number of wet, muddy puddles, and a few rain showers, the shorts soon soaked up water, especially on the inner thigh.
Obviously, this is not the nicest feeling, particularly when pedalling, and they became increasingly heavy too with water eventually creeping through to my bib shorts — which made the insides of my legs pretty wet.
If you’re riding on already soggy trails or riding out in the rain this means that you feel damp and wet almost immediately and due to the material (5 percent elastane, 32 percent polyamide, 63 percent cotton) the shorts don’t dry off very quickly. It felt a bit like getting caught in the rain in a pair of jeans and trying to stop them from touching your skin.
On hotter, drier days, the shorts can feel a little warm, but still comfortable. I think these shorts would be ideal for riding in mild, dry conditions, but in my experience aren’t ideal for the changeable UK conditions
The fabric is described as protective and abrasion resistant, and while I fortunately didn’t test this out on the trail, the shorts did wash well on a 40-degree cycle. Be careful though on the first wash because the colour ran on my first wear of the shorts while riding — again, much like a normal pair of jeans.
The shorts are available in sizes from 6–16.
Overall, I really like the style and look of these shorts, and post-ride they look great and feel comfortable. It’s just a shame that they don’t handle wet riding conditions as well as hoped
Photo credit: Bike Radar.