Bontrager’s Rhythm shorts are a touch narrower in the leg than most of the other shorts we’ve seen lately. Cut just above your knee, they don’t ﬂap wildly on descents or catch on any overhanging foliage. The Rhythm’s outer is among the lightest and most breathable we’ve worn, and it dries out fast.
The large stretch panels cover most of the back section and hips to allow you plenty of free movement, and there’s a decent amount of baggage space courtesy of pockets on either leg – one zipped and one with a Velcro closure. Getting a secure ﬁt at the waist is easy as it’s partly elasticated, and you can cinch it in even further with the two web adjusters.
The detachable liner comes with a broad, basic-looking seat pad that’s not especially deep or contoured. But it is very stretchy, and proved surprisingly good at taking the edge off bumpy trails.
The liner itself is like a lightweight and perforated bike short rather than an open mesh option, and although not as breezy as some, the ﬂat-stitched six-panel construction is really comfy. We’re not especially keen on the Rhythm’s 1980s styling, but the all-round performance is good so we can overlook that one small quibble.