Troy Lee Designs Women's Skyline Shorts - Review

Jul 8, 2015
by Rachelle Frazer Boobar  
TLD Speeda Shorts
Bam. Women's Skyline short re-designed for 2015.

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.

TLD Speeda Skyline
Love 'em or hate 'em the Speeda colorway will catch the eye.
TLD Women s Speeda Short
Side zip and that nice big comfortable waistband.

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.com

TLD Women s Speeda Short
You'll find a little mesh in the fly for added privacy...
TLD Women s Speeda Short
Hello, I'm a sneaky back pocket and I also have really nice stretchy Lycra back panel for comfort and ease of movement.

Pinkbike’s Take:
bigquotesI'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


Visit the high-res gallery for more images from this review.




79 Comments

  • 101 0
 Saw leopard-print thumbnail. Opened page solely to read the comments.
  • 15 7
 Ugly
  • 2 2
 Still looks like a Clone Trooper helmet, to me. Now in Neon Leopard, for blending in on those UV planets.
  • 7 3
 This reminds me why I'm not a TLD fan.
  • 12 0
 Was not disappointed.
  • 28 0
 "I've found the new Skyline shorts to be a pleasure to both look at ... " - Cyndi Lauper, is that you?
  • 18 0
 @Layman - Busted! I am an 80's sympathiser.
  • 21 0
 If anyone has played GTA 5, these shorts are very familiar
  • 2 0
 Yessss...!!
  • 18 0
 dollar i see some guy with the womens cheetah print shorts in the bike park.
  • 9 0
 Lol it has already been spotted at Northstar. It's comical.
  • 14 0
 Women's??? Oh shit
  • 6 0
 They offer "Speeda" in men's & women's, not just women's.

No Coral for the dudes, though.
  • 2 2
 I might try that but it would be lacking, eh, space. If you know what I mean.
  • 4 0
 I could totally see ratboy rocking these
  • 3 0
 I rock the Cheetah shorts! Takes balls to wear them hahaha.
And that was probably me at Northstar with them @RaysCycle
  • 1 0
 That guy might be me. Love these.
  • 17 0
 speeda will match a guy on a 27,5 plus e-bike.
  • 18 2
 Speeda: my eyes just threw up in my mouth.
  • 8 0
 Those shorts make my beer taste bad.
  • 4 0
 That's impossible
  • 14 0
 The underwear looks like it's outside the pants pants
  • 1 0
 I saw panties too!!! so funny
  • 1 0
 Crotch accents...definitely draws attention...
  • 1 0
 I have yet to bump into a woman who is actually wanting more attention drawn to her crotch area... lol
  • 10 0
 It's Troy Lee so it must be cool.
  • 3 0
 Rachel: on the backcountry.com they show the black shorts with the Elastic adjuster, but not the others. It looks like neither of the ones in your photo has elastic adjusters. I wanted to order a pair for my wife, but was worried about the waist size. She is really skinny (college cc runner) and the small size seems like right on the edge of being too small. Any reason why TLD did not stick with the elastic?
  • 2 0
 @unrooted There's actually a lot of give in the waist, especially with the elastic inserts so you'd be safe to give them a shot I think. Unfortunately the tabs you see on backcountry.com are pre-production shorts...
  • 7 1
 @unrooted Scott, The production model, for sale world wide, including backcountry.com does not have waist adjusters, only the preproduction samples did, and we screwed up with the descriptions to our dealers in addition to the images being sent out with adjusters. Instead, we used 2 points of elastic ribbed stretch fabric on the short. We reached out to backcountry to fix the description and upload new images, sorry for the confusion.
  • 4 0
 Great, thanks for the update. Just ordered her a pair, she'll look so rad at the Leigh Donovan skills camp in mammoth this month!
  • 6 0
 ohhhhh girls just wanna have fun
  • 1 0
 Agree. Girls just wanna have fun. Boys just wonna looks cool
  • 9 2
 My vagina has wings
  • 2 2
 So what have your tits got?
  • 7 1
 Neon leopard print is rad, and I will fight anyone who says otherwise.
  • 1 0
 see you at noon on the main road
  • 4 0
 I wouldn't want anyone to think anyone wearing these was my riding partner! The last time I saw a design this gash was when Chris Bangle designed the 7 series.
  • 1 0
 Gash?
  • 3 0
 Bangles beemers helped BMW overtake Mercedes in terms of sales. So he must have got something right. Yes, some of them looked horrible but most of have aged pretty well and still look modern. His design influence is still visible in the current models.
  • 2 0
 I'm Just talking about the 7 series.
  • 2 0
 Love TLD clothing and usually buy plain black men's skyline in 28. Great length and fit great. Decided to buy the women's and simply HATE them. They fit super tight and are too short! Will never buy women's specific mtb clothing ever again! Why do they have to be so short???
  • 2 1
 My wife was so excited for these, until she saw how just short they are.... She knows that fashion isn't everything, and she's a bit of a girly-girl, but even she is dismayed at how dorky above the knee shorts look with knee pads (especially in the bike park). For any other ladies out there looking for something a bit longer, she bought a pair of Dharco's recently (www.dharco.com/product/ladies-freeride-shorts-blk) and absolutely LOVES them. I own several pairs of TLD Skyline/Ace shorts, and I have to say that the Dharco's are every bit as good as the TLD's in fit and quality.

To Troy Lee Designs: my wife requests longer shorts, pretttty pleeease!
  • 1 0
 I bought two of this shorts. They are nice cutting, fit my butts and waist very well. Very comfortable. The color is a bit funny when order these shorts from the catalog. But not a problem because I look forward when I ride not look down.
When MTB male rider start to worry about the outfit color so much?????
But I have to say personally I feel YETI shorts is the best I have ever wear.
  • 1 0
 fit looks bad on her. Too tight and too short. if she sat on a seat and started pedalling shes going to get a sweaty mini and very exposed knees. why do they make womens shorts with such a high crotch so you get camel toe? dont care if i look like a boy, i want to be comfy when i ride!

i hope its just be a bad size for this girl and they are better fitting in real life....
  • 1 0
 While I love TLD and their products, these shorts were not a win for me. If I were to write a review on them, I couldn't because the smalls don't stay up on my body. I've worn variations of their shorts for years and some fit perfect, some are a little big, but I tend to have that problem with most companies. However with these shorts, the sizing is completely off. Wish it wasn't because my friends who can fit into them generally like them.
  • 3 0
 my eyes, thats pretty nasty design - I may have had swim shorts like those in the early 80's
  • 3 1
 What's old is new again... the leopard print reminds me of what was stylish in pro racer fashion during the late 80s/early 90s.
  • 4 1
 Love all the guys commenting who have five gazillion shorts to chose from. Range of womens gear is pretty limited.
  • 12 9
 TLD, so naturally it's hideous.
  • 17 1
 Thank you! (guess you didn't see the black or coral solid set)
  • 1 0
 If you guys made the LCQ shorts in speeda print I would buy three pairs.
  • 3 0
 If there is a matching speeda jersey, then all hope is lost.
  • 2 1
 Combine this page with the saxophone music from RF's posts and we have a great day for us. Plenty of comical distraction from a downed NYSE.
  • 3 0
 I like them, really. Leopard should always be on everything.
  • 3 0
 Love your sarcasm.
  • 10 0
 The only thing that leopard print should be on are leopards and hookers.
  • 1 1
 Love both the old and new TLD women's shorts! Super comfy, breathable, and portioned for female athletes! Way better fit than TLD's competitor who cuts their cloth for starving models not female athletes.
  • 1 0
 Yeah but what about female athletes who are petite? Their old shorts used to fit me. These ones are impossiblely too big for me to wear. I'm always TLD'd out but this year I had to go to a different company for shorts which really bummed me out. I know you meant know harm by your comment, but I assure you I do eat, but still am a size 2.
  • 2 0
 Almost got these for the girlfriend for a laugh, then saw the price and got tickets for stand-up comedy instead.
  • 1 0
 Those don't look like they fit properly. The way they're slightly bunched near the groin suggests either they're too small or poorly cut and would ride up.
  • 2 0
 You mean Speedo?

....Look at those colors. They have "repurposed banana hammock" all over them.

#Seriously
  • 3 1
 Never had a problem wearing dude shorts or riding dudes bikes.
  • 1 0
 Always worth a try, and would definitely work for some. For what it's worth, my wife has tried on heaps of dudes shorts, but always finds the "leg holes" to be too big/wide. Maybe my bike-related obsessive compulsive disorder has rubbed off on her...
  • 1 0
 Steel Panther said they would put in an order for those TLD Speeda colorway print shorts. -CF-
  • 3 1
 Dear God.
  • 12 1
 Yes?
  • 4 3
 GRRRR naughty so we know what gear's gonna come up on Brazzers these days
  • 1 2
 It's awesome all girl pants end over the knee, just to make sure the knee pads slide down in a crash. What about long pants for long legs?
  • 7 0
 You're using the wrong knee pads maybe?
  • 1 1
 Would be nice if... All Nee pads slide down if your falling head forward and don't wear long or long enough pants
  • 2 0
 Hey I just bought the Racefae DIY shorts and they are long! I really like them.
  • 1 0
 That's a chick wearing those leopard skins???
  • 1 0
 nice, wonder how long till the ebay versions appear....
  • 1 0
 Im Troy lee fan and I have the red ones and they are pretty cools
  • 1 0
 Eggplant
  • 2 1
 I think they're awesome!
  • 1 0
 WalMart, under 10 bucks
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