From a distance, the length and cut of these sturdy Demo Pro Shorts from Specialized suggest a far more gravity-oriented slant, but that belies a far more all-round capability.
They are some of the longest I’ve tested recently, with the 16in inseam dropping well below the knee, and while the legs sport a close fit, they are still more than comfortable with pads.
All great for downhillers so far, but once on the bike I quickly realised the wonderfully stretchy fabric made for great pedalling comfort.
They never felt too restrictive on the move and, although perhaps for long days cranking through the hills I wouldn’t choose quite such a long short, the stretch made them perfectly useable. So, if you do a bit of mixed riding styles, these shorts would cover you.
Even with the stretch and a comfortable feel against the skin, the fabric manages to maintain an impressive air of durability. I didn’t mark them during the test period and think you’d need to get pretty creative to do some damage to them.
Airflow is excellent, with a wide perforation band around the groin area, which helped to keep sweat build up to a minimum in all the usual hotspots. Also, the sturdy external waist adjusters had enough Velcro to keep them secure once set.
I appreciated small but significant details such as the deep micro-fleece lined waistband too, which added hugely to comfort levels. There’s also a small pocket at the base of the back that’s just about useful for a credit card.
The other pockets are zipped numbers at the front/top of the thigh and, while I missed a good, deep set of hip pockets, they were perfectly acceptable for throwing wallets and car keys into on the way to and from rides.
As with all Specialized gear these days, they are very understated in the branding department, with only the subtlest ‘S’ tab visible at the bottom of the right leg. The design of the Demo Pro Shorts definitely appealed to those of us keen not to look like factory racers.