Troy Lee Designs have been making women’s moto gear for over 10 years, but it wasn't until 2010 that the world famous design company started producing women’s mountain bike apparel, which was when the original Skyline riding short was developed. After going nearly five years with only a few minor changes, the Skyline has come blazing into 2015 with a major fashion and function update.
When the staff at TLD started working on new designs, Troy Lee himself requested that some of the new samples be sent over to MTB Hall of Famer and World Champion Leigh Donovan for initial feedback. At the time, Leigh was running her own boutique, so as a mountain biker living inside the body of a fashionista, she had an eye for design and a keen sense for function that eventually saw her come on board to advise the designers on the construction and fit of the new shorts.
Scrapping the old Skyline design, the team came up with an entirely fresh look for 2015. The all-new shorts are made from a two-way stretch, highly durable 90% polyester / 10% Spandex fabric mix. Gone is the partially gathered elasticised waistband of the past, and in its place is a wide panel construction, with the two-way stretch material strategically used for added give and comfort. The unsecured plunging hip pockets have also been removed and instead there's one smaller front stash pocket, a side cargo pocket and a back panel pocket, all zipped for added security. There's a Lycra stretch panel that runs across the upper back of the short, as well as a panel in the crotch which provides extra comfort, stretch and range of motion when riding. The fly opening on the Skyline is Lycra backed and features a mesh privacy flap, plus two pop buttons above the velcro zipper. The Skyline shorts come in three colors to suit all tastes: Speeda which retails for $75, and Coral and Black which retail for $70. The Skyline is available in sizes Small to Extra Large. www.troyleedesigns.comPinkbike’s Take:
|I've found the new Skyline shorts to be a pleasure to both look at and wear. Functionally, the Skyline's polyester / spandex mix is super light weight, and on hot muggy summer fares well in terms of breathability. The two-way stretch fabric combined with the Lycra panelling gives excellent range of motion on the bike and the wide waistband feels very comfortable around the midsection, which is great if you enjoy breathing while climbing as I do. One thing to note though is that there are no waistband adjusters - this was not a problem for me, but as always, double checking the size chart isn't a bad idea. Construction wise, I've found the tailoring of the shorts to be quite flattering to the female form, both for myself and on the many varied women I have now seen them on. There are some who feel that the length of the Skyline is too short, but I would say that this adds to their function with less potential catching on the seat and the overall femininity of the design is preserved. You can still wear knee pads, but depending on what style and brand you wear, don't be surprised if you do get a little skin-to-short gap when getting into aggressive riding positions on the bike. The Skyline has also gathered quite a bit of attention on the trails for their Speeda colorway which seems to divide people firmly into love it or hate it categories. For the haters, there's good news. There are black and coral options to choose from too.|
Troy Lee Designs arguably garners some of the strongest brand loyalty in the business, and the Skyline shorts are the first evidence of what's hopefully a new era of the ladies getting product that's up to snuff with what the boys get. I look forward to seeing what comes next. - Rachelle Frazer
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