High performing waterproof shorts from the big bike brand, Cube. They aren't cheap but do the job well
Nov 28 2017
Shorts and 3/4s
Lightweight and loose fitting
Good leg length
Needs another pocket
You want a minimalist but well thought out and durable pair of waterproof shorts
We are now regularly stepping out in waterproof gear, here we test the Cube Blackline Rain Shorts. They aren’t cheap but they prove to be high performers with an adjustable elastic waistband and importantly, durable and waterproof too.
Delivery of Cube's Blackline Rain shorts had perfect timing as my local trails make their annual pilgrimage back to the world of slop. I’ve long been a fan of a waterproof short and in my opinion, there are a few fundamental points that a waterproof short should conform to, especially if like me, your preferred trails are those of a more technical nature.
Firstly, they should be lightweight, secondly they shouldn’t be too tight fitting otherwise they’ll feel intrusive when moving around on the bike and won’t allow comfortable space for kneepads, and thirdly, they shouldn’t be too thick (unless you’re riding in very cold temperatures) as that can hinder breathability and you’ll likely feel like a chicken in a roasting bag. With all of the above in mind, I was pretty pleased to see the Cube Blackline’s ticked all of those boxes, as well as a few less important ones too.
My personal preference when donning the wet weather lowers is for them to have an elastic waistband or at least a portion of it to be elastic, this helps massively with comfort as waterproof material usually has much less inherent stretch. It also means layering up and thus tucking upper layers into them is more easily accommodated. The other thing I like is a generous leg length - no one wants mud and slop venturing up above the knee pads and under the short. Again, the Cube Blackline delivers on both of these subjective areas.
The Blackline’s have an adjustable waistband as well as that aforementioned elastic section, and a lower cuff toggle adjuster should you for some weird reason ever decide you want them winched tight to your thighs. Many brands do this, a pointless inclusion in my opinion but unintrusive nonetheless. They even come with a little carry pouch that you can squash them into for storage - something you’ll probably never do once they’re encrusted in ten layers of your local soil samples, however, a neat addition. Oh, and after several wet miles, obligatory scuffles in the undergrowth, they’ve proven totally waterproof and durable. Breathable? On par with expectations for any waterproof kit.
So, a winner all round? It’s almost a yes, the only place I can even slightly fault the German conglomerate’s wet weather short, is that I’d like another pocket other than the single left-handed inclusion and, at £84.99, they’re not cheap - especially for their minimalistic design and from a lesser known technical clothing manufacturer. They’re in line with other brands such as Endura, Altura and Madison (reviews of their versions coming soon) but just don’t fit with Cube’s normal ethos of high spec, high value.
When all is said and done though, the Blackline’s tick nearly all of my wet weather kit requirements.
A self confessed bike geek, Adam has been riding bikes for over two decades and breaking things for nearly as long. With more facial hair than on his head, his appearance is one of a hard paper round! He's friendly, approachable, critical and fair - loves a good stoppie and a turnbar tuesday, real ale and long bikes.