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Vulpine's Women's Summer Capri shorts are a great way to embrace a more casual summer riding look, for cafe cruising, bumbling about town or even longer rides. They're one of the few I've encountered that aren't designed more with mountain biking in mind - these are quite definitely a relaxed stylish capri-about-town rather than something to wear when tearing up the trails, and a really good pair at that.
Made from a high quality, lightweight stretch cotton poplin fabric, they have the casual looks of a pair of more fashion orientated capris, but are designed to be breathable and stretchy enough for comfortable cycling.
It's not only the fabric that Vulpine have used that has a more active lifestyle in mind, but the shape and features too. There are two generous zipped side pockets, two rear button up pockets and loops for a belt. Inside, the seams are lined to maximise comfort and the gusset is diamond shaped to help avoid chafing when cycling.
I found the shape absolutely spot on. A nicely raised rear waistband prevents unsightly 'cyclist's bum' moments, the cut is flattering to all shapes and sizes, even the sturdier of thigh, and they're a good length, finishing just below the knee. The zipped side pockets kept the lines clean at the hips, and although I probably wouldn't often use the rear button pockets, they do add to the style of the shorts. I loved the colour choices of bright blue or navy too.
These were genuinely comfortable on and off the bike, and with or without liner shorts they did a brilliant job at achieving quite a difficult task. The fabric has just the right amount of stretch for even quite sporty riding to not feel a chore, yet they don't scream out cycling shorts when you get to your destination.
Vulpine suggest trying their own merino padded boxers as a liner option to go with these, but any liner would do. I found a belt a good option, but they work fine without too. I'd certainly put these on my touring kit list, and they'd be great for cycling holidays with walking days too.
Good quality, well-shaped and genuinely stylish capri shorts that work just as well on the bike as off
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Make and model: Vulpine Women's Summer Capri
Size tested: Large
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?
"A classically styled lightweight tailored capri, with subtle cycling details that work.
For 2015 we have made our Summer Shorts more flattering and feminine with a supremely comfortable 3/4 length knee. We've added greater stretch for comfort across life and cycling. These are perfect not just for cycling, hiking and sundowners on posh holidays.
There's secure storage with two zipped front and two buttoned rear pockets. The waist is cut higher at the back, so nobody sees anything more than they should. The seams are lined for extra against-skin comfort and our diamond gusset prevents a harsh ride sitting on seams.
Wear these in the warmer months for lightweight breathable comfort in the heat or on mild days. Designed as much for the open country road as a meeting room or Madrid tapas joint."
Do just what they are supposed to.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Made from 98% cotton/2% elastane lightweight poplin fabric with 4 way stretch
2 zipped side pockets
2 button rear pockets
Hidden diamond gusset to avoid seam/saddle interaction
Second internal fly button for strength
Taped and bound seams for comfort
Available in sizes XS-XL
Superbly made and really high quality components and fabrics.
Performed really very well for casually styled riding shorts.
Should last very well as the fabric is high quality cotton and quite tough.
Surprisingly lightweight for cycling capris.
Very comfortable on the bike, even for medium length rides. Great off the bike too.
Very good value as they are so versatile. Can be worn for cycling, walking or just bimbling about. Look like they will last well too so a safe long-term investment.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Shape, stretch in fabric, sleek zipped side pockets, on-bike comfort.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Very much
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Very well designed and with all the features you could want from stylish casual summer riding capris.
Age: 42 Height: 1.65m Weight: 73kg
I usually ride: Boardman Hybrid Fi My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.