Howies Long Way Home shorts review£85.00

Good first attempt at riding shorts, but spendy

BikeRadar score2.5/5

The first go at proper riding shorts from clothing maker Howies isn't bad, but ‘Large Wage Harm’ might have been a better name for them.

They’re a good basic shape and length. They don’t expose much of your thigh when riding, and hang just low enough to keep your kneecaps cosy when you’re stood waiting at the bottom of a hill. The Cordura nylon is usefully tough and shrugs off puddle splashes when new.

The broad elasticated waist gets a wicking lining and a short anchored belt section at the front, and there’s a long stretch panel across the top of your backside to stop builder’s bum. Details such as the Reflec exterior panels and inside wicking mesh sections on the back of the legs are neat, too.

There are the two basic hand pockets and a small key/coin stash, but they could use a zip for proper security. The zipped cheek pocket isn’t quite big enough to take an Ordnance Survey map, either, which is a shame. Ditto the bottom-of-leg ‘vents’, which aren’t long enough or high enough on the leg to provide cooling where it counts.

The basic square panels don’t offer anything like the sculpted mobile fit of something like a top-line Gore Bike Wear or Sugoi short, either. That meant we had to rely a lot on heaving the belt extra tight to stop them working their way down, and put up with a lot of excess fabric rustling around in our lap. It’s not that they’re uncomfortable, but there are certainly better fitting shorts about.

What’s more, £85 is enough to buy pretty much whichever pair of top-line shorts you want, complete with inner liner short. But that’s not so with Howies, where the matching Merino wool liner will fleece you for an extra £45.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK
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