First off, Kick Ass... these have got to have the best name of any shorts I've ever looked at. There, now that's out of the way, so are they any good apart from that? Well, these days you're lucky if you can get much of a choice of shorts for £25. Wiggle, Edinburgh Bicycle and Altura all do a short or two around this price, but they are thin on the ground in general.
The Kiss Ass is a fairly lightweight lycra short with a six panel construction and synthetic chamois pad that is aimed primarily at mountain bikers, but is actually more of an all rounder, given the fairly generic nature of the pad.
The main fabric is soft and wicks moisture well, while avoiding any of the unwanted baggyness that can be a problem with some cheaper shorts. There's no real positive muscle support per se, but they are comfortable to wear and don't bind the legs. The pad itself is a pretty good quality, well shaped Coolmax pad very reminiscent of some of Endura's lower end shorts and tights. The legs are secured with leg grippers and the waistband is broad and fully elasticated. Basically, all the features you could want from a basic technical lycra short are present and correct. There's even a bold reflective logo on one thigh.
Wear comfort is surprisingly good. The pad conforms nicely and is unobtrusive but provides a decent level of cushioning. With it being a fairly generic design of albeit female specific pad, there's no real problem with ride position specific zoning, so the shorts do make a good all-round option for either road riding or mountain biking or any other type of riding for that matter. The only niggle would be the waistband which could do with being a touch higher at the back than it currently is.
Sizing is true to size, with a size 12 being like a high street 12 rather than smaller, as with many brands.
All said and done, these would make an ideal budget purchase, or for those trying out lycra shorts to see how they get on.
Good value for money for a basic no-frills comfortable lycra short.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Dare 2b Women's Kick Ass Shorts
Size tested: Black, Size 12
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?
Aimed primarily at mountain bikers but a fairly generic chamois pad so fine for all types of cyclist.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
6 panel construction
Coolmax synthetic pad
Gel gripper tape at thighs
Machine washable at 30
Available in sizes UK8-18
Nicely finished for the most part but a slightly bulky joining of seams at the edge of the pad is not ideal.
Comfortable and unobtrusive
Decent tough fabric and a good quality pad mean they should last well.
Neither impressively light nor over heavy.
Surprisingly comfortable for my expectations of the price.
Really good value for those looking for an entry level short or those on a budget.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed very well as a basic women's lycra short.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Price, pad comfort
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Waistband elastic and shape (could have been higher at the back)
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes it was fine.
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Probably, especially one on a budget or just starting out.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Good value for money for a basic but well thought out and comfortable women's lycra short.
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
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, general fitness riding, mtb,
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.