The Nukeproof Blackline women’s shorts are a great value pair of women’s shorts that are true to size, comfortable and crucially, long enough, for trail and enduro riding with knee pads. The subtly branded pair is a no-nonsense short for all day riding in all seasons.
Nukeproof’s new clothing range has four distinct lines, Kashmir for the downhill riders, Nirvana for the enduro rider, Outland for the trail rider and Blackline as more premium trail wear. Women at the moment only get kit in the more expensive Blackline range, comprising of shorts and two jersey options, short and long sleeved. The Blackline shorts retail at £60 which I think is good value considering the performance.
The short is constructed from a tough and stretchy fabric with DWR coating meaning these are splash and showerproof making them good for all seasons. There are chunky YKK zips on the fly and the two hip pockets and the one at the rear too. Mesh lining to the aforementioned pockets ensure no additional bulk which is great for longer days in the saddle. There is an additional loop in the left hand pocket to attach keys for extra security.
There is triple stitching where necessary and although this stitching is relatively flat it would be nice to see an extra panel inserted at the inner thigh to move the seam away from the crotch area to prevent any chafing or excessive wear, although none was felt or seen during the test period.
The shorts also feature a silicone strips on the inner waistband to stop the shorts slipping around but with the high waisted cut this was never a problem. I didn’t need to use them but there are waist adjusters inside the short too, these lie flat and are unobtrusive, adjusting the shorts from the rear panel. The cross over flap at the fly does up with two poppers, the shorts feel robust, sturdy and ready for a hard time!
The Blackline shorts pull their trump card where comfort is concerned, like many female cyclists I’ve not got the smallest thighs so found the loose cut from Nukeproof both comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. The brand seems to have managed to blur the lines between a loose fitting short with one that doesn’t look too baggy. The cut does hang pretty straight though and the high waist does leave some extra room at the crotch reminding me of wearing men's kit of yesteryear. These aren't the most shapely shorts, but that doesn't really matter where on bike performance is concerned.
I’m also not the tallest rider (160cm) but regularly find that mountain bike shorts are too short in the leg, not the case with the Blackline’s, they drop over the knee and cover knee pads well with no nasty ‘thigh gap’ in sight. I would like to see the high waist to be dropped a little, just to prevent bulk when seated cycling for long periods but this is a minor gripe and personal preference.
I am a dress size 10 for trousers normally and tested these shorts in an XS, the kit does come up slightly bigger than other similar kit so size down rather than up if you are unsure.
It’s hard to find fault with the new gear from Nukeproof at the price point they have chosen, I also tested the Blackline jersey and liked that too. The Blackline shorts are a fuss free pair of shorts that fit well, are pleasingly long enough and are comfortable for all day rides whilst being tough enough for muddy bike park laps too. Yes, the cut could be a little more refined (pay Gore C5 All Mountain prices at £100 for that) but as it is, it doesn't hinder a good ride and are superbly comfortable. At £60 the shorts are good value and with subtle branding I think they’ll be a great purchase whether or not you ride a Nukeproof.
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