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review

TICCC Roam Shorts

8
£95.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Fit issues aside these are a joy to ride in – minimal looks with excellent details and flap-free, shush-free comfort
Non flappy
Great pockets
Stretchy
Made with recycled fibres
Don't-know-they're-there
The fit won't work for all
No waist adjustment
Weight: 
368g
Contact: 

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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There's a lot to like about the TICCC Roam shorts. They're the best baggy cycling shorts I've worn, non-baggy baggies and fantastic for riding in, be that for 200km or just down the pub. They sit close to the body and are made from a soft, lightweight fabric that's perfectly stretchy so they're incredibly comfortable. They don't flap about and aren't 'shooshy'; they don't bunch or snag on the saddle or get in the way of pedalling at all, which makes them incredibly unobtrusive on the bike. The pockets are excellent, too. And they're made with an eye towards sustainability and the environment, if that's important to you.

Unfortunately their fit could be an issue; it was for me, and without any built-in waist adjustment to take up any slack they required a separate belt.

> Buy now: TICCC Roam shorts for £95 from TICCC

The Roams are, on the face of it, an unassuming, understated pair of shorts to wear on or off the bike, but they're incredibly well thought out – mostly – and a pleasure to wear in the saddle.

2022 TICCC Roam shorts - back.jpg

More a touring or commuting design than a rufty tufty mountain bike baggy, they're very subtly styled and well tailored so they don't scream 'cycling' if you're wearing them casually off the bike. Available in a selection of subtle colours, the only graphics on them are a TICCC logo on the front of the right leg and a large spot on the back, both of which are reflective for low light conditions.

TICCC is very active towards being kind to the planet, with 95 per cent of its cycle clothing collection being made from fabrics using recycled fibres. The Roam shorts are made from an Italian, sustainably manufactured, lightweight performance fabric. The fabric has been tested and certified to be free of harmful substances, the recycled content verified, and the product process approved as being sustainable. On top of this they're made close-ish to home in Europe, which cuts down those environmentally awkward shipping miles.

It's a four-way stretch material, which means the shorts move easily with you on the bike, conforming to your body where necessary and with no creasing or bunching elsewhere to cause inconvenient rubs.

There's a large cycling-friendly seam that loops across the top of your bum to help the shorts fit with you when in the saddle, and while there are four seams that meet bottom and centre they never made themselves felt. All the seams are flatlocked. I mostly wore the Roams with chamois bib shorts underneath and they were perfectly comfortable for all-day rides.

Pockets

There are four pockets on the Roam shorts: two open ones up front for standing-around hands, and two zipped ones towards the rear for more secure stuff.

2022 TICCC Roam shorts - waist band.jpg

Extra praise should be lauded on these rear zipped pockets as they're the best I've ever used on a pair of baggy shorts. They're big enough to hold a decent sized mobile phone (but not one of those massive bricks) or a chunky wallet, even some mini-tools if you like, and the zip is angled rearwards and only undoes two-thirds of the way down the pocket so there's little chance of anything falling out if you ride off unintentionally undone.

2022 TICCC Roam shorts - zip pocket.jpg

Their positioning is also excellent, meaning that whatever the contents are and however heavy, they don't bounce about. The four-way stretch material also helps here to hold stuff in place. They're placed right on the hinge of your hips and slightly to the rear so there's minimal up and down movement and absolutely zero jiggling of whatever the contents may be. Hurrah! I despise pockets in baggy shorts that allow their contents to rattle and bump around to the extent that I'll never use them. Worn over a standard pair of bib shorts, the TICCC shorts were so good they'd be an acceptable alternative to cargo shorts.

The rear half of the waistband is elastic and it does a good job of keeping the shorts tight to your body. If you want to use a belt (more on this in a minute) there are five sturdy loops to keep one in place.

The zip is protected with a decent flap front and back. It's plenty long, too, which makes male comfort breaks easy (the Roams are unisex), especially if you're wearing bib shorts underneath and have to undertake tricky clothing and body part negotiations swiftly.

2022 TICCC Roam shorts - button and fly.jpg

Closure is with a hook and press stud that works well, mostly... The stout press stud female half is mounted on a tab of stretchy material, which is great for comfort and doesn't dig in if you're bent over the bars, but it's elastic enough that the upper part of the press stud can sometimes squeeze out of it if you're a bit keen with your undoing tug action. It's an easy enough fiddle to get it back in place, but it's a bit annoying and it paid to take extra care unpopping once it had happened.

Fit

While I think the Roam shorts are generally excellent, there was an annoying and disappointing negative. I had issues with fit. TICCC suggests selecting your regular size for a classic/relaxed fit, or a size down for a close/athletic fit; as a slap bang in the middle medium on the size chart but liking close-fitting baggy shorts, I tried both to see which would suit me best.

As a brief aside, I seem to be struggling with cycle clothing sizing at the moment. I've always been a medium across the board but I find I'm easily slipping into a small these days. I've not changed shape much at all over the years, so I'm wondering if manufacturers are massaging their sizing to flatter the ego of cyclists who might be getting a little rounder round the middle...

Anyway, the TICCC Roam shorts in small were perfect around the waist and fitted well around the hips and bum but were stupidly tight around my thighs – tight Lycra tight – and I certainly don't have a sprinter's physique. The mediums were a better fit around the legs – still not flappy baggy but with plenty of room to move – but the upper half was a lot looser and I needed to use a belt to keep things cinched around the waist.

2022 TICCC Roam shorts - back cuff detail.jpg

The shorts were manageable enough without a belt, and they didn't instantly slip down, but they were very much gappy and breezy around the top.

As I said earlier, TICCC includes belt loops on the Roams, but while using a belt is fine if you're wearing them as a casual walkabout garment, it's not ideal on the bike. It was okay, but not something I'd expect to have to do with a cycling garment, and I think some kind of built-in waist adjustment, as seen in many other cycling baggy shorts, would be a far better and more adaptable solution.

They're designed to fit both male and female cyclists, which I feel may also present further issues with the vast amount of body shapes the shorts are required to fit.

Another thing to note is that the Roams are short in the leg compared with standard mountain bike baggies, so if you're wearing 'proper' cycling shorts underneath they're likely to poke out the bottom. I didn't mind as it also kept the shorts close to the leg, and less flappy and in the way.

The fit issue is a great shame as apart from this the TICCC Roams are the best baggy cycling shorts I've worn. They're not a baggy baggy, so don't flap and flutter in the wind, which makes them great for all kinds of riding. Even making progress at speed on a drop-barred bike they don't feel like they're catching the breeze and robbing you of fun and watts. The soft, four-way-stretch fabric helps here too as it conforms to the body where necessary, and doesn't shoosh with every pedal stroke. I really am not a fan of a noisy baggy that lets you know each rpm, so the Roams are a stealthy winner for me here.

The light fabric dries quickly should you need to wash them, which is handy if you're using them on a multi-day tour or adventure, but if you want to pay heed to TICCC's sustainability concerns and not wash them every time you use them, you can just give them a decent airing and they do survive not being put in the machine after each use. TICCC says the largest carbon footprint of a garment's lifecycle is generated through laundering, so its fabrics are selected for their quick-dry and odour-resistant qualities, which means you don't always need to wash your kit after each use. Your own personal sniff/dirt/ecological conscience would apply here.

Their light weight, crease-free and on and off the bike attributes also make them ideal for the multi-tasking needs of longer bikepacking trips.

Value

The Roams aren't cheap, but their price is reflected in their quality and eco-friendly fabrics, good design, great pockets and excellent manners on the bike. I'd pay that premium for non-rustly fabric and unobtrusive pockets.

They have the look and feel of touring/commuting/randonnee shorts rather than rugged mountain bike baggies, which limits comparisons a bit.

The closest similar pair we've tested, Rapha's Commuter Shorts, were marked down for belt issues and dowdy looks, but scored well on comfort in the saddle and were £60 (in 2020); the Commuters are no longer available, though the very similar looking Randonnees are £95.

The Chapeau Gravel Shorts are a lot longer in the leg but still lightweight, stretchy, pocketed and good for all-dayers in the saddle, and are a significantly cheaper £59.99.

The Roams look better value than Gore's Explore Shorts, which are a little more mountain biking orientated and also more pricey at £119.99. DWR treated and with a water-resistant rear panel for the more splashy rigours of off-road riding, they were reviewed on our sister site off.road.cc and well praised for their riding comfort, and just about justified their cost.

Conclusion

Despite the fit niggle, the Roam shorts were an absolute joy to wear, even with having to use a belt, which was only a minor annoyance. I'll happily wear Lycra all day long but wearing a pair of baggy shorts over the top can relax my attitude, offer a layer of protection from undergrowth and/or untoward crashes, and make everyone a little less self-conscious where people might be trying to eat and drink at some point in a ride. I wore them on many multi-hour days out without any hint of annoyance or discomfort – they're so quiet, flap free and unobtrusive, you really can't tell you're wearing them.

Verdict

Fit issues aside these are a joy to ride in – minimal looks with excellent details and flap-free, shush-free comfort

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: TICCC Roam Shorts

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

TICCC says: "Move freely '' by bike or by foot. Our brief, to make a pair of versatile shorts that function beautifully on the bike, yet look smart should you find yourself going social. The performance fabric selected for these shorts is made with recycled fibres. The quick drying, anti-crease, four way stretch properties make it a serious technical garment for everyday on and off bike adventures. Four pockets (two front, two zipped side pockets) have been positioned and engineered to ensure contents don't move excessively or hinder when riding. Seams have been moved away from areas prone to irritation. The ergonomic panel shaping allows for our Ride bib shorts to be worn as a 'liner' if required for on and off-road riding. Finished off with our TICCC reflective logo and 'breakaway' dot for low light conditions on the road or in the bar!

"Our Roam shorts have been designed to fit male and female athletes. Our unique 'unifit' pattern system and fabric selection allows this garment to form and function around a variety of body types.

"As with all TICCC products, these shorts have been made responsibly in Europe. All fabrics are made 'close to home' in Europe and have been sustainably manufactured. The fabric used in these shorts is made with recycled fibres."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

From TICCC:

Italian lightweight performance fabric

Made with recycled fibres

Soft on skin feel

Quick drying, anti-crease fabric

High stretch properties

200g (size M)

Sustainably manufactured fabric: OEKO-TEX® approved - A health and safety certification. These fabrics have been tested and certified to be free of harmful substances.

GRS approved - A sustainable production certification. The recycled content of the fabrics have been verified and the product process has been approved as being sustainable.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10

Well made overall, though the stretchy fabric of the popper tab allowing the popper to rip out is a design oversight.

Rate the product for performance:
 
10/10

Fit issues aside, they're excellent baggy shorts that aren't baggy, made with soft and quiet material, not flappy, snug and comfortable all day.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

Still looking good despite being ridden mostly off road and squeezing between trees and foliage.

Rate the product for fit:
 
4/10

The fit didn't work for me, but your body shape may differ and it could be fine. Ideally I would be a small in the top half and a medium in the leg. I used a belt to take up the slack in the waist of the mediums, which wasn't perfect but it did the job. Other than that, the slightly baggy but still close-fitting fit was spot on for me.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
5/10

TICCC suggests selecting your regular size for a classic/relaxed fit, or a size down for a close/athletic fit. As a slap bang in the middle medium on the size chart but liking a close fitting baggy short, I tried both to see which would suit me best, but neither did very well. The mediums were loose around the waist; the smalls were too tight around the leg.

Rate the product for weight:
 
9/10

Made from a lightweight fabric, they're perfect baggy shorts to wear over 'proper' cycling shorts and not even notice.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
9/10

Don't-know-they're-there comfortable, even on very long days in the saddle.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

They're not cheap, but their price is reflected in quality and eco-friendly fabrics, good design, great pockets and excellent manners on the bike. I'd pay that premium for non-rustly fabric and unobtrusive pockets.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Mixed them in with all the other cycling kit on a gentle 30-degree, absolutely fine.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

TICCC says its brief for the Roams was to make a pair of versatile shorts that function beautifully on the bike, yet look smart should you find yourself going social, and I'd say it's nailed that. Lovely on the bike and subtle enough to blend in when away from the saddle; they really shone on the bike, though.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Subtle styling, lightweight, soft, non-shooshy, stretchy fabric, the pockets.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The fit was an issue for me.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

The closest similar pair we've tested, Rapha's Commuter Shorts, were marked down for belt issues and dowdy looks, but scored well on comfort in the saddle and were £60 (in 2020); the Commuters are no longer available, but the very similar looking Randonnees are £95.

The Chapeau Gravel Shorts are a lot longer in the leg but still lightweight, stretchy, pocketed and good for all-dayers in the saddle, and are a significantly cheaper £59.99.

The Roams look better value than Gore's Explore Shorts, which are a little more mountain biking orientated and also more pricey at £119.99. DWR treated and with a water-resistant rear panel for the more splashy rigours of off-road riding, they were reviewed on our sister site off.road.cc and well praised for their riding comfort, and just about justified their cost.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

If it wasn't for the fit issue, I'd be giving these shorts a five stars top score. Lightweight, comfortable, unflappy, quiet when pedalling, great pockets and don't-know-they're-there comfort even on the longest days riding. I'm not an odd shape so the fit might be an issue for quite a few people; having to use a belt didn't really detract from the usability of the Roam shorts, but it was a bit of a nuisance; some integrated waist adjustment would be far better.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 50  Height: 180cm  Weight: 73kg

I usually ride: It varies as to the season.  My best bike is: The one I\'m on at the time

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Fun

Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.

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