The Essential shorts feature detachable inners, which at this price is a real bonus. Made from a particularly hard – wearing nylon fabric, the outers are up to some abuse, and yet the inside surface is very slick for easy movement of the shorts against your legs.
A high flat front is not ideal for a bike position, though it looks smart off the saddle. In keeping with the plain styling, there are two low-profile zippered pockets and a hidden side zip for easy on and offing. The waistband is very elasticated at the back, giving a comfortable roominess but is cut almost too low for biking. Inners are in a surprising pale blue and are actually not bad, save the tight elastic leg grippers (turn them up to avoid marks). The pad is very narrow and unlikely to be of much use for the sitbones but at least it’s not bulky or noticeable when walking. A small reflective logo and side piping finish off the details.