NZO’s Dobies trail shorts dispense with the usual baggy-plus-inner construction to make a short that’s cool, comfortable and tough, but best for shorter rides rather than all-day epics.
Instead of a complete inner lining, Dobies have a soft, comfortable fleece pad attached to a stretch outer shell through the crotch area.
The big advantage of this is that on hot days you don’t get that boiled gonads feeling that comes from multiple layers of fabric.
The downside is that they’re not quite as comfortable as the very best double-layer shorts, or as good Lycra shorts on their own. They’re absolutely fine for a couple of hours blatting round the woods (one tester was happy in them for four-hour rides), but if very long rides are your thing, there are comfier options.
The problem on longer rides is simply that Dobies don’t stay in place as well as Lycra shorts or liners. That bit more movement means a little more chafing. They’re still a huge improvement on unlined shorts and underwear though.
They’re also tough as old boots, and that’s a big advantage. If your riding involves the odd spill, then they’re substantially better than Lycra because they will handle crashing better. That’s a reasonable trade-off and Dobies are surprisingly good at both comfort and durability.
As well as the intelligently placed side pockets there’s a handy cargo pocket for keys and cash so you can wear them into the pub and buy beer.
NZO hails from mountain-bike mad New Zealand, and is only available mail order over the Interwebs, which makes for a good price/quality trade-off.