Earlier this year Ekoi shook up the world of bib shorts with the release of its one-size fits all Morpho bib shorts. Made from a super-elastic tubular-woven material, the shorts are said to be good for anyone sized between 4’ 6” and 6’ 4” tall, or between 7 ½ stone to 15 stone.
Keen to see if the shorts lived up to Ekoi’s claims, I called in a pair and squeezed four of BikeRadar’s test team (no, not all at once) into them to see how they held up.
What are the Ekoi Morpho shorts?
Taking the shorts out of their packaging it’s hard not to be initially struck by how incredibly tiny they look. However, there is absolutely no denying that they are insanely stretchy and we’ve enjoyed testing the limits of their elasticity.
The seamless shorts are made from an unspecified, non-absorbent polypropylene/elastane mixed fibre that is said to be “warm in the winter and cool in the summer” and lighter, softer and more breathable than Lycra. The material is also reported to be 1.9 times faster wicking than Lycra.
It’s also worth noting that the shorts are hand wash only, presumably to maintain the integrity of their stretchiness.
Rather uniquely, the shorts also use an external chamois pad.
I asked Ekoi why it chose to go down this route and it claimed that having the chamois in direct contact with the saddle reduces movement, limiting friction and irritation.
Ekoi also claims that by having the chamois on the exterior of the shorts it stops them from getting “caught by the tip of the saddle, a phenomenon that many cyclists know can happen when your shorts are not tightly fitted to your body."
The shorts are prices £149.99 / €169.99 / $200 and are available direct from Ekoi.
So, do they really fit everyone?
The BikeRadar test team encompasses all shapes and sizes, from our alarmingly lean XC machine Joe Norledge to the muscles 'n' watts wagon Reuben Bakker-Dyos, which makes us an ideal group to try out the shorts.
Clearly more comfortable with each other than we really ought to be, we spent a morning swapping the shorts — underwear remained on before anyone bothers commenting — and noting down our thoughts…
“The shorts definitely took more than a regular amount of wiggling to get on, but once on, they felt snug but not overly so — you could even describe them as supportive.
“I was very fond of the leg length and they sit nice and high over the waist and snugly on the hips. The straps didn’t work great for me — so if you’re of ample bosom, I suspect you’ll struggle too.
“The material used in the edging around the body also felt a bit rough and I suspect it may chafe without a base layer. I obviously haven’t ridden in the them yet, but the aesthetics of the external chamois… well it looks like I have my shorts on inside out."
“For someone who tends suffers from baggy leg grippers, I was impressed with how well the shorts fitted my skinny frame. The straps also fitted fine, but I’m well within the size range of the shorts.
“I’m not keen on the aesthetics of the chamois but I can see the logic of the design."
“The leg length is perfect — they have a properly modern aero cut, kind of like some of Endura’s high-end shorts. The material actually felt really nice. Overall, the shorts actually felt totally normal, which says something.
“I still wouldn’t wear them as I can’t get over the external chamois. They’re also a bit expensive."
“The straps of the shorts weren’t the comfiest, but they fitted my real skinny legs surprisingly well — most shorts don’t. I personally thought the fabric felt a bit weird, but the length was spot on”.
So, do they work?
Overall, our initial impressions of the Ekoi Morpho shorts are surprisingly positive — our testers all expected to have a degree of either sausage legs or bagginess when wearing them, but they fitted everyone remarkably well.
While we can sort of see the sense in the external chamois pad, overall everyone agreed it was hard to get over the less than flattering aesthetics of the arrangement. But who knows, perhaps it’s the revolution in bib short technology we’ve all been missing out on?
We’ve nominated Matthew Allen to try and find out how the shorts shape up on the bike and you can expect to hear the results of his testing in the near future.