Protective under shorts are a natural choice for commuting and other utility riding, retaining the seamless, flattering profile of ¾,lengths and/or smart cotton trews thanks to the Polyester based material’s wicking prowess and neatly contoured synthetic chamois. However, worn under heavier pile touring plusses, cut closer to boxer shorts they rode up my thighs, resulting in bunching and painful chafing, so stick with more traditional inserts for longer/faster paced riding.
Wearing traditional Lycra shorts beneath civilian apparel works to a point but spoils their graceful lines and leads to a clammy crotch-especially in warmer weathers. Protective have overcome this by using a sophisticated polyester fabric impregnated with Lycra for some additional stretch properties. Climate control is pretty good for polyester, these stayed odour free after a full day and moderately paced eight mile commute, meaning you can pop to the pub or other gathering without necessitating a change or courting unfavourable looks.
Sizing is typically Protective, generous, and yet precise. Our medium fitted my thirty-two inch waist perfectly while the tactile elastic and obligatory silicone leg grippers prevented them wandering. Many years a kit test pilot, it’s easy to dismiss acronyms such as AFT (Anatomic fitting technology) as little more than marketing speak but, in fairness this and Protective's body mapping concept has resulted in a medium density synthetic chamois that moulds readily to my contours and to most perches without feeling like the proverbial slab of steak off the bike.
Wearing them beneath heavier plus fours resulted in unsightly and uncomfortable bunching around the groin eight miles into a fast paced 20-mile circuit. This instantly induced flashbacks of riding twenty-five miles in tennis shorts as a 12 year old and saw the remaining five miles completed out of the saddle.
Great for medium paced riding in street clothes
road.cc test report
Make and model: Protective Washington undershort
Size tested: Black M
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
•Protective Tectron Evolution undershorts make everyday outer shorts or trousers more comfortable."
•Stretch synthetic chamois
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
93% Polyester 7% Lycra mix, synthetic chamois, silicone leg-grippers.
Thinner material translates into greater comfort worn beneath regular/formal trousers.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Comfort is best beneath street shorts/trousers with no bunching and the are extremely practical over moderately paced, shorter journeys. However, the boxer short cut can ride up, chafing uncomforably when worn beneath thicker pile plusses and indeed, some courier knickers-especially on longer, faster paced rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Low weight, discrete practical cut that doesn't spoil the graceful lines of civilian and smart clothing.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Cut just a little too short for more aggressive riding.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, for commuting and utility riding.
About the tester
Age: 36 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)