They're good all-purpose shorts, these Outriders from Rohan. They're bike-specific in a very understated way, well constructed and comfy; just the thing for short rides and any destination where showing up in lycra might be frowned upon.
The shorts are constructed from a stretchy polyamide/elastane mix fabric, and the build quality is very high indeed; after three months' use there's really no sign of wear at all. They're pretty unadventurous style-wise, with two front pockets, a zipped rear and belt loops, and the leg length leaves the hem sensibly clear of the knee for riding.
Rohan have employed their Forward Pitch Cut for these shorts, meaning they're designed to look right off the bike and feel right on it. That worked okay in one of the Rohan jackets we tested, and a bit less so in the other, but for the shorts it's just so. They look like normal shorts but you don't feel all bunched up across your belly when you're on your bike; job done.
The Outriders are very comfy to ride in. Rohan have stuck to the traditional seam pattern which can be an issue with some shorts, but I've had no problems with these. The fabric is stretchy but not clingy, and doesn't restrict your movement at all on the bike. When it rains it's fairly quick to get wet, which can be an issue if you're wearing cotton briefs; although the shorts dry quickly once it stops raining, your pants won't. It's a shame they don't offer a pair with Rohan's excellent water repellant coating.
The Outriders also work well over lycra, although the leg length means that longer bib shorts will poke out the bottom.
The wicking belt band keeps everything comfy at the waist, although the fact that it's not attached along its bottom edge does mean that it sometimes rides up. It's not a big problem, mind. Sizing wise, well... bless you Rohan for attempting to combat my body issues but we both know I'm not a 34in waist. If you're buying online, size down unless you want 'em baggy.
All in all these are good all-purpose shorts with enough bike-specificness to make riding in them enjoyable. The neutral styling means you can just wear them about too, if the sun ever comes out. They're not cheap at £60, but they look like they'll last.
Good all-purpose shorts for shorter rides where you don't fancy the lycra.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Rohan Outrider Short
Size tested: Graphite, 34 Reg
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?
Offering understated, everyday good looks in conjunction with no-compromise, bike-specific performance, our Outrider Shorts are the perfect choice for the keen rider.
They're made from a blend of polyamide and elastane with our advanced Dynamic Moisture Control™ finish.
It's a tough, premium fabric that's been tried and tested on our best-selling trekking trousers. It offers high levels of both abrasion and tear resistance but it's also nice and light, really comfortable to wear and highly breathable.
The addition of elastane to the blend guarantees completely unrestricted freedom of movement.
They're built around our Forward Pitch Cut™ principles – they look totally conventional but the back is cut slightly higher and the legs are forward tilted, so, when you're 'in position' on your bike, the fit and feel is absolutely perfect.
They're supplied without an inner padded short – they can be worn with your regular padded cycling shorts (which you can obviously tailor to the season) or, if you're commuting or just out for a short ride, you can team them up with our rather nifty Bumper Liner and your regular underwear.
They feature a superbly comfortable, stretchy waistband with a moisture-wicking inner, two hand pockets and a small secure ticket pocket. There's also a zipped rear pocket which, again, is mesh lined for comfort and breathability.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Fabric: 89% polyamide, 11% elastane with DMC™.
Pack Size: 600ml
Drying Time: 4 hours
Very well made, not a single stitch out of place in three months of wear
Good all round shorts; not that specifically bikey but comfy to ride in
Look like they'll last a good while
Sensible weight fabric for the job
Comfy and a bit stretchy; size up big so best to try
They're not cheap, but you should get plenty of use out of them
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good all purpose shorts
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Quite quick to soak in the rain, although they dry equally quickly
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 38 Height: 190cm Weight: 98kg
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.