The Shredly Jana ($95) is an all-mountain/cross-country mountain bike short that is made in the U.S.A.
There are two things that stand out for me with Shredly. First, it was started by Colorado mountain biker Ashley Rankin (via a Kickstarter campaign), who saw an opportunity to create a specialized niche of mountain bike shorts for women. And create she did, in a kaleidoscope of wild patterns with total trail functionality. There is no mistaking a Shredly short for a Pearl Izumi, Zoic, Sugoi, whatever. In mountain biking apparel, Shredly is as distinct as a Moots (you know I had to throw that in there). Today, four years later, she is still the designer and product tester.
Second, male or female, a designer of athletic apparel should really have a feel for the sport that the piece of apparel is designed for and perhaps the unique physical accouterments of the body that will wear it. It’s been a problem with women’s clothes for hundreds of years and, in 2016, still persists (though not as rampant as it once was).
What I liked
- Style. Scour the Internet and singletrack far and wide and you’ll never find shorts that come close to Shredly’s eye-catching prints and pops of color. They are made in the style of a surfing short but intended for mountain biking. Equal parts tailored and relaxed, the mid-weight, Spandex-infused stretchy fabric is neither restrictive nor baggy and allows for an uncompromised range of motion.
Kneepad compatible. Despite the more tailored fit of the Shredly Jana, the leg openings are wide enough to accommodate knee pads. The 10.5-inch inseam hits two inches above my knee. This does, however, leaves some skin exposed should you crash even when paired with knee pads.
- Outstanding and accurate fit. The Shredly Jana shorts have a straight cut through the hips and run true to size. My size in any kind of shorts is either a small or size four depending on how size is rated. The Shredly’s that I tested were a size four and were the correct size for me. They were not baggy, they did not restrict. An internal elastic band in the waistband, which secures with a button, allows more adjustability for smaller waists to mitigate gaps at the back. I had to take advantage of this adjustability, yay me! Although the Shredly Jana shorts do not come with an integrated chamois, they accommodate all chamois worn and work well with bibs and chamois cycling knickers on cooler days.
- Comfortable. Despite the tailored fit and mid-weight fabric, the Shredly Jana shorts worked very well in all disciplines of cycling from urban commuting, long road and gravel rides and cross country riding. Zippered mesh thigh vents offer additional ventilation on warm and humid days. Two pretty snap buttons and a Velcro fly allow the shorts to sit perfectly flat at abdomen without any bulges.
- Outstanding construction. Here is where Shredly radiates the Made in the U.S.A. standard. Durability and construction is outstanding on the Shredly Jana shorts. The double stitching is very meticulous, straight and precise with a heavier thread. Though I received a brand new pair of Shredly shorts for this review, I own three others and one of them is four years old and the general structure and condition is still excellent and holding up well.
What I didn’t like
- Pockets are few and lack any real functionality. After four years of riding in Shredly’s, my only semi-beef is that the one side-leg snap pocket and two mesh-lined front hip pockets aren’t really functional. Not that I need them to be. I don’t carry objects in pockets that could be pierce vital organs or arteries should the unthinkable happen. Still, the snap pocket, while moderately secure, isn’t large enough to hold my Motorola Droid Turbo smartphone or an iPhone 6+. However, if you happen to have an iPhone 5, 5S, or similiar-sized phone you’re in biz! All pockets, though, are equipped to carry things like an ID or credit card, lift passes, cash, lip balm, small map, etc.
The Shredly Jana shorts are the most eye-catching and stylish women’s mountain bike shorts. Construction is outstanding and precise with a flattering tailored fit that allows for comfort, range of motion and knee-pad compatibility. However some cyclists may find the fit too tailored and the lack of functional pockets an annoyance.
Not me though.
I personally don’t find the pocket issue that big of an issue since I typically carry a hydration pack with me. So not a deal breaker by any means.
The $95 price tag might feel like taking a bullet but Made in the U.S.A. means quality construction and product longevity.
The Shredly Jana’s are a Gear Gals piece of Recommended Gear.