Enduro shorts.

Nothing is a more fragile thing than the ego of the teenage boy. Sadly, in cycling, most men fall into the mode of that fragile little boy. These men tell stories that involve a huge amount of imagination. The goal, protect the ego.

This is a photo of Joe Breeze. He’s not using his imagination.

This ego protection drive shows up in their fashions. Especially when these men have real terror in wearing traditional Lycra kit. They have body image issues, sexuality issues and simply lack a depth of experience. They think that they look funny and that people will think less of them if they wear it. In short, the macho ego fantasy prevents them from using Lycra. I was there as well when I started riding…but that was a long time ago.

It took me years to transition from riding with cutoff shorts and t-shirts to Lycra kit. First Lycra under shorts, then no shorts, then jersey instead of T-shirt. It wasn’t easy. I had to get over myself and accept that it really was better. And it was. My ego was the issue. I got over it.

Lycra kit is amazing stuff. There is a reason why we see professional and competitive cyclists wearing these pieces of gear. It performs. It doesn’t get in the way. It’s easy to keep cool. It’s easy to keep warm. You can ride in wet conditions and not be weighed down. Pockets on the back of jerseys can carry an unbelievable amount of food or kit. The list goes on but the imperative is that these pieces of clothes are a tool. They help the rider go faster, farther, better.

These days, we have casual male fashions for mountain bikers. Derivative of fancy evening wear and downhill kit, a guy can go out on the trail and look like a baller and crush all the lines. Not really, but that’s the lie that keeps it all going. The truth hurts.

I really don’t get the fancy boy shirt thing. So amazingly useless and uncomfortable compared to the traditional Lycra alternative. This is just really silly stuff. What. Fucking. Ever.

Baggy shorts are interesting, though. In downhill, we wear shorts made of Courdura to act as light armor. We need protection in the all too frequent crashes. The shorts are a lose fit because armor like clothing isn’t stretchable, light, or very flexible. To move, we need room. When crashing, we like that nice thick material between us and rocks and grating surfaces. Very baggy or needlessly long shorts get in the way of high saddles or bike parts. Long shorts can also restrict movement when interacting with knee pads. Another problem with long shorts is they trap a lot of heat. We want the clothes only as loose as needed. Only as long as needed.

Baggy shorts have come into fashion for trail riders but it’s just that, fashion. They hide scrawny legs and make riders look keen. They hide knock knees and make the form seem more substatial. Mostly, they just get caught in the saddle and overheat the rider. The crappy fashion materials that they are made from provide little protection and they cost a lot. Grrr.

The Troy Lee Designs Moto Shorts are just strange things. The are meant for downhill use but they are so absurdly long so to be comical. Otherwise, they are nice enough for use. I picked up a pair but they really needed to be modified. The pockets of the shorts are nice but for real performance shorts it’s often better to cut down moto pants like the GP Pant. It gives some options on more durable shorts for real DH use.

I want the protection that comes with DH shorts on long trail rides but I don’t want the drawbacks. I’m cutting from the bottom of these Moto Shorts to make them cool and easy to pedal a 10.25″ inseam. For DH, I’d only cut to an 11.5″ inseam. I like wearing these types of shorts on rain rides as well to keep cold water off my rump. Totally enduro.

Here’s a shot of these before modification. Silly long.


Then we eyeball what the right length is. These ended up getting set at 10.25″ inseam. I think that that’s a minimum. up to 11.5″ is probably ok.


Obviously, the rubber branding things need to be removed. Be careful to only cut the stitching.


The easiest way of doing this is to use nylon ribbon as edging. We iron the 1.5″ ribbon down the middle to make it easier to pin in place. 1.5″ seems to be hard to find right now but 1-1/4″ Grosgrain Nylon Ribbon is very available. Don’t use cotton or polyester batting. Nylon is absolutely preferred. It’s soft and slippery and one of the most durable materials usable here.


It’s very important to pin the mesh liner in place before cutting the shorts down. It’s very hard to keep them in line otherwise.


Use a nice sharp set of scissors. It helps when cutting over double layered areas.


Pin and double stitch the ribbon to the end of the short.


Smooth player shit, yo!