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Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.
The Le Col Sport shorts are a good, well-made option for the summer.
The Sport range contains Le Col's most affordable clothing, although £99.99 is hardly cheap, obviously. Le Col are aiming at high quality here rather than going for the mass market.
Any pair of cycling shorts is only as good as the seatpad, so let's start there. Le Col use a mid-range pad from Dolomiti and I got on well with it. It offers pretty good cushioning. The soft outer fabric is 3mm thick and the inner section, with gel under your sit bones, is 8mm. The top section is perforated, which helps with breathability. There's also quite a bit of channeling in the pad which improves both the airflow and the shape.
I've done a couple of 4hr+ rides using these shorts and I've never had any problems staying comfortable in the saddle, so the pad gets a seal of approval from me. You'd maybe want a higher end pad if you're going to be out all day long.
The shorts themselves are made, as usual, from a nylon/Lyrcra mix, the same fabric all round; there aren't any mesh panels or anything like that. The seams are flatlock stitched and they're put together well. The shorts aren't going to fall apart if you ever catch a thread. I also found them pretty supportive without feeling restrictive, although the exact fit is going to vary between individuals.
The leg grippers, as you can see, are of the elasticated tape variety. I didn't find them too tight, and silicone dots on the inside hold them in place against your skin. A little reflective tab on the side/back of each leg helps with visibility at night.
The bib uppers are mesh, as is usually the case. These breathe well and the straps are wide enough that there's no noticeable pressure around your shoulders.
On the down side, the 'Le Col' lettering on the back began to peel off after the first couple of rides and washes. I lost the 'Le' so now it just says 'Col'. Hopefully the remaining letters will peel off soon because my friend Colin won't ride with me at the moment. He thinks it's a bit odd. (That's a lie. I don't have a friend called Colin. But the shorts will certainly look better if all the remaining lettering goes because it won't look like there was ever supposed to be anything there in the first place).
Apart from that, these are really good shorts. They don't have any mind blowing features, but they're unfussy and well-made, and they put in a solid performance.
Well-made shorts that put in a solid performance
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Make and model: Le Col Sport Summer Shorts
Size tested: Small, Blue - Red Medium also sent
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?
Le Col says, "The Le Col summer shorts have been designed to sit below our "Pro" level shorts but still deliver a quality cycling short for summer riding. We have gone to great lengths to deliver value for money with the Le Col Sport range including.
Quality gel chamoix
Flat locked seams
Leg gripper for fit comfort
Mesh bib straps for heat regulation
Colour co-ordinated Le Col logo"
Can't argue with any of that.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Puts in a good, workmanlike performance.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very good build quality and decent mid-level pad.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The fact that the lettering starting coming off after just a couple of rides was disappointing. It looks a bit tatty, but it'll look fine once all the lettering has gone. I might have to help it on its way.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? I'd consider it, yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yep.
Age: 43 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.