You don’t have to be a princess to feel every stitch of a bike short after about mile 30. Leg bands seem to get tighter…waistbands start to dig and feel like they may be making a tattoo on your skin…fabric starts to itch…chamois, well, you don’t even want to think about what’s happening down there. We live and breathe bike shorts at Terry and are always on the hunt for ways to improve them so that you don’t even have to think about them when you ride.
We start the process with a list of issues we’re trying to solve and create a brief that goes to our design team. Schematics are built with specifications for details that can inform our manufacturing sample rooms. From there we work with fabric companies from all over the world to get access to the latest in technical improvements, sometimes developing our own fabrics for specific uses. At the same, we work closely with a chamois company in Italy to create new shapes, densities and ventilation zones for testing. All this takes at least 9 months, many samples and repeated fit sessions.
The result: new and updated Terry bike shorts with all kinds of innovative features for 2020:
For longer distance cycle touring, we wanted a fabric that felt great against the skin, and was soft but with enough compression to provide muscle support for long days. Our new Wayfarer Short features the resulting French Meryl® nylon in a satin, matte finish. We decided it needed to be a color so behold, Indigo. This is one beautiful, comfortable, high performance bike short – and already one of our best sellers this season.
Additionally, we’ve upped the performance options on liners with the new Aria. Liners normally tend toward the entry level in terms of fabric and chamois, but we wanted to develop something new that you could actually ride in for several hours. By their very nature, liners add heat and bulk so the fabric we selected is a unique open mesh made of a nylon/spandex blend that feels great against the skin and definitely increases the ventilation factor.
We’ve experimented a lot with leg bands and use many different types of them in our line. The main challenge is to keep shorts from riding up as you pedal, without binding/pinching against the leg (the dreaded sausage effect). Many of you are also unable to have silicone against the skin and most leg grippers use this in some way. We’ve developed a couple of new ways of dealing with leg bands. You’ll find them resident in our Chill Program (built-in leg band which doesn’t require a separate seam but has silicone sprayed in a 2″ pattern at the inside hem), GORE’s new C7 (which uses silicone strips rather than seams to secure the hem and keep shorts in place), as well as the Wayfarer and Bermuda (no gripper, just a turned up, zig-zag hem and a lot of tailoring finesse).
We’ve come to the conclusion that short of going the bib route (which effectively removes a waistband altogether), higher and wider is more comfortable when you’re in the bike position. The key is shaping and structuring without adding heavy elastic. It takes some rather sophisticated sewing techniques to make it feel like there’s slight elastic in the band so it stays put, without actually having to use it. Our manufacturer in Spokane has that figured out for us and that’s what you’ll find in both the Holster Hi Rise and new Holster Prima Capri. And GORE offers a new stay-put feature in waistband design with the application of silicone to the inside rear waist in the C7 Short.
Another evolution in the approach to waistbands can be found in the GORE C-5 Short which has an elastic-free front waist panel that’s very wide and made of mesh — a ventilation dream. It stays up by virtue of a well designed side/rear panel with reinforcement.
As riding inside has become an essential part of our cycling reality, we’ve worked with our chamois manufacturer in Italy to develop a new concept intended for studio and indoor use. We’ve taken reticulated foam technology to create a pad that’s significantly thinner and lighter, more breathable and ideal for indoor conditions. Like the majority of our chamois pads, it features 4-way Elastic Interface Technology so it stretches with you. The shaping is narrower, seamless and has Terry’s innovative soft wing construction to minimize bulk between your legs. It has has an antimicrobial cover that inhibits the growth of bacteria while maintaining the skin’s normal bacterial balance. You’ll find the Reticulated chamois being used in our Studio Capri.
Alternatives to Lycra
Baggy shorts have also evolved. They’re no longer wide-legged man pants. Innovations here include fabrics with higher degrees of stretch, unique waist adjustability and stealth-y pocket integration. We’ve extended our Metro Lite line to include liner-less options that you can choose to ride commando or with a high performance liner like the Aria (above). The secret is a center gusset that runs the full length of the crotch, removing seams in key saddle contact area.
We have a dizzying array of great bike shorts for women this year. Take some time to shop the news and read the reviews of our tried-and-trues. Our team of experts can help if you find yourself having a hard time choosing, so when all else fails, call us at 800.289.8379 and we’ll help you find the right short for you – guaranteed.