“Nice size 36 shorts,” Mike said as he tugged on the back of my jeans shorts. The waist gaped open.
With a little wiggling, I probably could have slipped out of them without undoing the fly, but convinced that a wash would cure it all [I’m pretty sure it didn’t], I insisted that they were just a little stretched out. Besides, being a little too big for me also meant that the legs were a little longer. Almost long enough to cover my tan line.
“Is that your tan line?”
“...Yeahhh...Wow. Damn. Yours are so nice.” Jared had pulled up his shorts and pressed his thigh next to mine.
“Well, someone’s gotta be!” He laughed as I protested that my shorts were not optimal for clean-tan-line-creating. Andy just shook his head and told me that I had to ride more.
Which is true. But, in a way, I’m still sort of convinced that my Pearl Izumi Sugar Shorts aren’t going to give me the kind of tan line that makes your thigh look like it was taped off, then spray painted with tanning lotion. Being a touch too big, the padding would sometimes catch on my seat, making me stumble awkwardly. Despite the gripper elastic, the legs would creep up during my ride, too, blurring that melatonin tattoo attesting to solid time in the saddle. Never mind my jeans shorts, I needed new cycling shorts stat.
Enter Capo to the rescue. After seeing the review of the Cortina jersey, the super nice guys at Capo offered to send me a matching pair of shorts. I wanted to virtually hug them.
Let me back up. Having worn the jersey on more than a handful of occasions, even without extensive jersey experience, I can say that it is definitely super comfortable. The pockets are made of full Lycra, and while there are only two, they’re deceptively deep. Extremely soft and form fitting, there’s no flap-age, reducing the jersey to something you just don’t have to think about while you’re riding. It even passed Coach DS’s zipper test [if you can unzip it with one hand easily - no biting the collar allowed!], and the guys appreciated the attention to detail, like how the label isn’t just screened onto the Lycra. Even my fairly critical, style-conscious sister commented on how nice it looked.
All this meant that I had high expectations for the shorts. I mean, I know they’re going to look good; but Capo’s set the bar high in terms of functionality as well. When I received them, I jumped out of my jeans and immediately tried them on. The first thing I noticed was the segmented padding [ignore how phallic it looks, please], which meant the Diaper Effect was significantly reduced. The padding is comparable in thickness to my Pearl Izumis but it felt sleeker and more efficient. No more feeling like I was sitting on a Maxipad - we’re in tampon territory with these babies.
Not to mention the crossover waistband that is a godsend to those with Lycra muffin tops. It’s so thin, too, that there’s virtually no visible line under the jersey...and that jersey doesn’t hide much. My only initial doubts stemmed from the elastic around the legs; instead of gripper elastic, the shorts use a thin, slightly stretch-resistant compression elastic. The shorts clutched onto my keirin thighs and I wasn’t sure if I was going to lose circulation in my toes as a result.
But like the jersey it matches, the shorts look really good. It's dark enough that you don't have to worry about looking chubbier than you are [and what woman wants that when she's in full Lycra?], and in a weird way it almost deludes you into believing - truly believing - that you're bringing sexy back [to the bike]. Maybe I was just in a good mood, though.
But potential sexiness aside, I was concerned about how it would stand up to a decent ride. So I suited up and clipped in to drag the Cross Monster out on an easy 30 miler.
When I sat down on the saddle, my first thought was, weirdly enough, that it was slippery. The next thought was that I could definitely feel the saddle underneath me, a lot more than when I’m wearing my other shorts. Not in a bad way; I was just more conscious of it. There was no need to rock back and forth trying to figure out where my sit bones went. For once, I knew exactly where they were and I had them right where I wanted them.
To be honest, after those first two revelations, I hardly noticed what I was wearing for most of the ride and had to force myself to concentrate on whatever signals my butt was sending to my brain. The one thing that really stood out, though, is that these shorts will not budge. The compression elastic around the legs that I wasn’t so sure about wasn’t uncomfortable or distracting while riding; in fact, they held everything down and refused to creep up. There was no adjusting or pulling down because white skin was emerging from the bottom of my shorts. Unless I forcibly pulled them up or down, those things weren’t moving. At all.
Which meant that when I came home tired and happy, and peeled off my gear, the longer Capo shorts had already left a sharp, clear tan line. Like the kind that looks comically fake but has turned into a point of pride for those of us who are obsessed with bicycles. Never mind the fact that my thighs now legitimately look like candy corn, and that mini skirts might be out of the question for the rest of the summer. Those shorts are going to make me look pro, even without clothes on.
And really, what more can a girl [on a bike] ask for?