Troy Lee describes the 2017 Women's Ruckus Shorts as an ‘intermediate weight, durable trail short’, designed in a looser fitting style.
While arguably the fit comes up a little small (I usually wear an 8-10 and needed a medium in these shorts), the cut is comfortable.
The shorts came to part way down my knee and were loose enough to fit a pair of knee pads beneath them, without that horrible gap that sometimes appears between the bottom of shorts and the top of pads.
In the medium size I also had plenty of room to wear padded liner shorts underneath (a liner is not included).
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The internal adjustment on the waistband, combined with a Spandex panel on the lower back, meant the shorts laid flat against my back without any gaping or unsightly views for the rider behind — this can sometimes be a challenge for me as someone with a curvier derrière.
The internal waist adjustment also meant that there was no annoying flappy bits to deal with on the outside of the shorts. The waist fastening includes a popper and a Velcro fly, which held well during testing.
There are two sizable pockets — one on the left hip and the other further down the right thigh — so there is plenty of space for a phone and snacks. Both pockets have a zip fastening to keep your belongings secure.
The Ruckus Shorts are made from a four-way stretch fabric, which provided plenty of flexibility and at no point did I feel restricted or that the shorts were cutting in.
In fact, these are some of the most comfortable shorts I’ve worn for riding — they really let you move around on the bike and there’s no uncomfortable tightness around the waist when climbing.
The fabric is slightly heavier than some of the other shorts on the market, which means they may not be perfect for really hot weather. However, the extra weight (which is not downhill-short heavy) did make me feel comfortable when riding overgrown trails — something I could do without worrying about snagging.
The fabric is water resistant too, so I purposefully tried them out in some rain — a 1.5 hour ride in a summer downpour. The fabric performed well, at least initially, with the moisture visibly beading up on the surface rather than soaking in.
Troy Lee doesn’t market the shorts as waterproof, and the seams are not taped, so it was no surprise that the rain eventually made it in. However, in a lighter shower or a puddle-soaking, the water-resistance is a definite bonus.
The inevitable next step was to see how well the shorts washed and this is where they let me down slightly. After washing there are definitely still traces of that muddy ride embedded in the seat.
They are still passable as a clean pair of shorts, but a few more muddy rides may well change that. This is something that could be overcome by purchasing the shorts in black instead of the turquoise colour I was testing, but where’s the fun in that? And with the shorts costing £115 / £110 / AU$TBC you’d hope not to have to worry about these things.
Overall, the Troy Lee Designs Ruckus Women's Shorts look good, appear to be well made and are exceptionally comfortable.