If you're after a pair of padded Lycra shorts for summer riding at a decent price, then Lusso's Layla Cooltech shorts fit the bill. As a bonus, they're a flattering fit, thanks in part to their eight-panel construction and especially the deep and low waistband that holds your tummy in.
They're a comfy fit too, with the waistband sitting below the waist at the front so there's no cutting in when you lean over on the bike. At the rear, they rise nice and high to prevent any chill on your lower back.
The Italian Cooltech material is super-stretchy yet feels supportive, like it's streamlining your legs. The fabric is quick drying too, which is good on hot, fast-paced rides where you're bound to get sweaty. It also has built-in UV protection so good for long sunny days.
The women-specific anti-bacterial chamois is described as a 'long distance pad' and is labelled medium density. It's certainly a generous size, with four distinct three-layer pads to cushion your sit bones and private parts. I'd call it thick rather than medium, but it doesn't look overly obtrusive off the bike. Once you're in the saddle, you're not nearly as aware of its bulk, and it did the job. I prefer thinner padding myself as I find too much can actually increase, rather then reduce, pressure, but it's very much a matter of personal preference.
The leg bands are good and wide (those on the test pair were nearer 40mm than the 32mm listed), which helps reduce any unsightly bulging, and the 10mm-wide strip of silicone gripper keeps them in place.
Each leg has a thin reflective tab as a nod to low-light visibility. Also contrary to the tech spec, only two of the eight leg seams are flatlock stitched, but this wasn't noticeable and didn't pose any issues. The waistband is flat-stitched.
Sizing was spot on with the medium fitting me well, as indicated for 10-12 clothing size. The polka dot design on the legs and back of the waist is quite cute but might not be for everyone – it makes matching up tops a bit tricky if you don't want to clash. Lusso does sell stylish-looking matching short and long-sleeved jerseys, though, for £50 and £60 respectively, if you want to complete the outfit.
Flattering and comfortable Lycra shorts with polka dots for a little splash of colour
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lusso Layla Cooltech Shorts
Size tested: Womens, Medium, Black
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?
These shorts are designed to keep you comfortable on long distance rides in warm temperatures, with built-in UV protection in the fabric.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Ladies Specific Seamless Anti Bacterial Insert
* Long Distance Pad
* Italian Cooltech Fabric
* Flat Seams
* Leg Grippers 32mm Woven with SC-9
* Wide Soft Waist Band
* Antistatic & 50UV Ray Protection
* Machine Washable
* Made in UK
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
After wearing these with a cycling skirt, you could see slightly lighter patches where the waist had rubbed the Lycra, but this is just a cosmetic issue.
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
I found the pad a bit thick, but that's a very personal thing.
Rate the product for value:
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Good - did what you'd expect of a pair of padded cycling shorts.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The flattering fit.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 43 Height: 170cm Weight: 60kg
I usually ride: Marin Point Reyes 29er My best bike is: Giant Anthem X1
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, club rides, mountain biking, audax
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