Name: Michelle L
Years Riding: 15+ years
Product you are testing: Loeka All Mountain Ozust shorts
Size / Colour: Medium (Black with turquoise trim)
How long you have been riding the product: 5 months
During what style of rides do you wear it on? All mountain, free ride, DH
I have been riding since the early 90â€™s and have gone through all the riding clothing trends. One thing that I am extremely grateful for (especially after having kids), is that baggies are still the way to go! That said though, being a bit on the â€œhippyâ€ side of body shapes it was often challenging to find a good pair of high performance shorts that fit wellâ€¦..(i.e., by the time I found a pair that fit the butt and thighs, there was normally a huge gap in the waist). So the search continuedâ€¦â€¦..
Colour, Style and Fit
Last year, I ended up getting a great deal on a pair of Loeka shorts, specifically their All Mountain Ozust Shorts. Loeka is a womenâ€™s specific clothing company (check out http://loeka.com/). Their claim is that, â€œThe fit of Loeka’s clothing has been designed specifically for a women’s body shapeâ€¦.â€ Hmmmm, that sounded promisingâ€¦..plus I was intrigued by another claimâ€¦ â€œThe shorts have taken into account a women’s waist to hip ratio and hip to thigh ratio. In other words, the shorts have been designed to fit as many body styles as possible while providing comfort and styleâ€. Soâ€¦â€¦.I thought that I would give them a try.
I am 5â€™7â€ and 145lbs (on a good day :)), so I ended up getting the medium, in black. Out for the box, they turned out to be a perfect fit for me â€“ what a revelation! They have this cool inner mesh lining which is super comfy and I love the contrasting turquoise colour that matches the detailing on the shorts. Butâ€¦â€¦more importantly, how would they be on the bike?
I started wearing the shorts in January (they had ended up being a Christmas present to myself ïŠ). The winter was wet, cold and miserableâ€¦..I wore them a couple of times in the soaking wet and then gave up on shorts in general and just started wearing tights and riding pants instead. The shorts ended up getting too heavy when wetâ€¦.any kind of shorts would haveâ€¦.it was just that kind of winter.
When spring came, I tried again, this time during a 2hr ride on Fromme. First impressions were pretty good. Even though they are a bit longer than my other shorts, there was lots of room for knee pads and the fit felt pretty good. The back of the shorts felt like they were sitting a bit low and it took a bit of time to get used to. My friends said that they still looked â€œrightâ€ while ridingâ€¦.it was just the initial feeling.
I then tried them on a longer all-mountain ride (a 4hr+ spin on Seymour and Fromme â€“ some may call it North Shore XC). On these longer rides, I ride with a bit of a thicker chamois so after a few hours it seemed like my shortsâ€™ combo was a bit of overkill (lots of material and a lot of â€œshortâ€). I also found that because of their length and type of material, they can make a bit of â€œswishingâ€ sound when riding – not a big deal, but when they get a bit wet or the ride gets long, this can get distracting.
The next test was some DH riding. I ended up wearing them during the Sunshine Coaster DH race. This time, I didnâ€™t bother with a chamois and the Osuzt shorts felt AWESOME. Very comfortable shorts and the inner mesh just makes the shorts feel like so smooth â€“ a very lightweight feel, yet protective too. They must have been good, – they even took me to the podium!
How do you compare the product to the competitors (and which competitors): Pretty good. They are my 2nd â€œgo toâ€ baggie shorts behind my Dakine Mode Shorts. For me, they are â€œtoo muchâ€ short for an All-mountain riding short.
Word on the street (popular/not popular): It is always great to support a female focused, high performance, sports clothing company and the word on the street is that they make high quality products. Their popularity though seems to be based around body type. They offer a great fit if you (like me) have been given generous helpings in the hip and thigh departmentsâ€¦but if you have more of a â€œboyishâ€ figure these may not be the best for you.
Durability: It is too soon to tell as I have only been riding them for a few months, but so far there has been no sign of wear or weak points. The quality of manufacturing and materials in these shorts is very high â€“ you can tell as soon as you pick them up. I have high hopes for these shorts in the durability department.
To sum up, here is my Pro and Con list for the Loeka All Mountain Ozust Shorts:
â€¢ Stylish look
â€¢ Flattering fit, for those with a more typical women’s body shape
â€¢ SUPER comfy on their own or with a light chamois
â€¢ Works well with knee pads
â€¢ Not the most comfortable in the wet or on long (3+ hours) all-mountain or XC rides
â€¢ The back felt a little on the low side when riding, but I eventually got used to this.
Thoughts on improving the product: Perhaps incorporate a slightly higher back with an elastic panel?
I really liked these shorts and they were definitely the most comfortable shorts that I had ever tried on out of the box. Even though they are marketed as an All-mountain short, I will be using them as my DH shorts and for shorter (2 hour) freeride/all-mountain rides when I can get away with a lighter chamois (or none at all). I also love wearing these shorts â€œout and aboutâ€ after my rides â€“ they have a great understated street style.
Thank you Loeka for making female focused, high performance mountain bike clothing!
A huge thank you goes out to our 2012 Muddbunnies Race Team sponsors! Our racers have the opportunity to race because of these wonderful sponsors, please take a moment to visit their sites:
Red Racer Beer: www.redracerbeer.com/
Reflect Sports: www.reflectsports.com/
Dirty Girl Designs: www.dirtygirldesignscanada.com/
Design Out Loud: www.designoutloud.com/
Caps New Westminster: www.capsbicycleshop.com/
Different Bikes: www.differentbikes.ca/
Velocity Cycles: www.velocitycycles.ca/