Troy Lee Designs Women's Ruckus Short Review £100.00
Slightly odd sizing lets down a well performing pair of shorts
Jun 21 2018
Shorts and 3/4s
Cool to wear
Great build quality
Good amount of stretch
Sizing is meant for thighs without muscle
Pricey for sub standard fit
You have skinny thighs or don't mind winching the waist in
Like the Ruckus women’s jersey we reviewed recently the matching Troy Lee Designs Ruckus shorts are bold, colourful and cool to ride in. The slightly odd sizing does let them down though, get the wrong size and these aren’t going to rate highly in the comfort stakes.
The Ruckus shorts are made to match the above jersey and, whilst I don’t go for the full pyjama party look, these do look pretty pro if you wear them together. Designed for the enduro racer or all mountain rider and new to the women’s line up for 2018, the Ruckus shorts have a range of feature that make them perfect for long rides or hitting up days in the bike park.
First off, the material used for the shorts is ‘Bluesign approved’ meaning that you can be sure that the fabric doesn’t include any harmful substances whilst ensuring that the manufacturers of this material stick to using safe processes for its workers. As you’d expect from Troy Lee Designs (and certainly from a £100 pair of shorts) the build quality is excellent and there is obvious attention to detail in the layout of these shorts. The fabrics used have a bi-stretch quality which is 90% nylon and 10% Spandex, this stretch is present in the main fabric, the rear panel and the mesh vents on the legs making for a short that you can move around in easily. In the burgundy colourway these are pretty lairy but you can also choose a more muted blue.
Elsewhere in stretchy terms, there is an elasticated panel just under the waistband which gives a good range of movement when seated on the bike. The waistband itself is shaped to site a little higher up the back and is perforated to create airflow with silicone grippers at each side. The large waistband is supported by a robust two popper fastening with an overlapping sturdy zip. There are side waist adjusters too, which sit nice and flat against the hips without catching on my jersey. These get caught on retraction though, you have to feed them back into the waistband housing in order to release and loosen the shorts. Slightly narrower tabs here would solve the problem.
On either side of the legs, there is a mesh-lined pocket which isn’t that big and one is oddly higher than the other but only by an inch or so. There is certainly not room enough for a phone, think energy gel or some cash etc. Whilst it’s nice that the pockets are positioned away from the hips to minimise bulk, they aren’t that useful in practice, you might find them better off just used as air vents. That would make the shorts super aerated as there are also vents on the inner leg operated by opening the hidden zip. These small zips work well and aren’t intrusive when riding at all.
Onwards then to my sizing issue and it’s something I’ve experienced with Troy Lee in the past, amongst other brands too. I’m a size 8-10 and chose to wear a size Small which is good for those with a 27-29” waist, of which I sit at 29”. I had to use a fair amount of the waist adjustment in order to pull the waist in whilst the leg of the shorts felt like they were sprayed on. Riding in these shorts felt restrictive and uncomfortable, tight on the thighs and riding up my leg leaving a skin gap above my knee pads. The Medium on (29-31” waist) was a whole lot better on the legs, fitting as a baggy short should and longer too, but, as you can imagine, were huge on the waist, I could only just get them tight enough. The larger size proved that the shorts were supremely comfortable and did an excellent job of keeping me cool whilst I rode but the cinched in waist felt bulky. At £100 I’d expect Troy Lee to have done a better job of measuring the female form, as it stands you’ll only fit in these if you don’t have cyclists thighs! ION Scrub Amp shorts have the fit nailed and are only a fiver more expensive.
These are a great pair of robust shorts if they fit you, I’ll hedge my bets though that you will have to size up and winch in the waist which is less than ideal from a pricey brand.
Previously Editor here at off-road.cc, Rachael is happiest on two wheels. Partial to a race or two Rachael also likes getting out into the hills with a big bunch of mates. In the past Rachael has written for publications such as, Enduro Mountain Bike Magazine, Mountain Biking UK, Bike Radar, New Zealand Mountain Biker and was also the online editor for Spoke magazine in New Zealand too. For as long as she's been riding, she has been equally happy getting stuck into a kit review as she is creating stories or doing the site admin. When she's not busy with all the above she's roasting coffee or coaching mountain biking in the Forest of Dean.