I got the black version of these shorts, which is why I’m not posting any of the pics from yesterday’s ride. See, it’s winter here, so we ride in the dark, and by some conspiration of clothing companies, every single thing I wear for winter biking is black. I have pics of the shorts but you can’t really tell what they even are amongst my black jacket, black tights, black boots, black pogies, and big black tires. So, I used the pic of the red for this review because I’m so sick of black clothes right now.

I decided to try these out even though it’s winter, because it’s crazy warm out (mid 20’s, that’s crazy for us) and I had been flirting with “too warm.” I layered the Cascade shorts over a pair of tights but the joke was on me, I was DYING of overheating within a few minutes. But hey, the shorts have VENTS, don’t they? And they really helped. I finished my ride in relative comfort, though I’ve mentally added these shorts to the list of gear to bring when it’s really cold out. A lot of women ride in down skirts when it’s cold out up here in Alaska, but the shorts make more sense to me – they keep in more heat and are easier to use while sitting on a bike seat (considering that’s what they were designed for and everything).

Another cool feature of the Cascade shorts is the waistband, which has been designed to fit a wide range of sizes. It has non-restrictive elastic that keeps the shorts right where you want them. I tested the size small and I’m usually a US size 6. There was plenty of room for me to gain a few pounds, and enough elastic on the waistband to accommodate race weight as well. Great design!

The Cascades are baggies, no way around that. they go to just below the knee and the body-conscious set will miss their spandex. But if you’re a mountain biker who rides in inclement weather, you’ll be thankful for the water-resistant nature of the tough fabric. These are designed (obviously) for freeriders, but because it’s winter, I had to test them the only way I could, and I can tell you that they have a nice niche for fatbikers too. I’ve not had much luck with baggies before (call me crazy but I suspect the dude-focused MTB industry really doesn’t understand how to make baggies for women) but I liked these a bunch. Nice work Loeka; these shorts are just different enough to be a worthwhile offering for women, with good sizing, quality construction and good materials.