Recently I went all in with MTB gear and splashed out on some Hucker mountain biking shorts by Dainese. Previously I have ridden in normal gym shorts with padded cycling underwear beneath, I was comfy in this set up but got through a lot of shorts. So this article is not just a review of Dainese Hucker mountain biking shorts but also about riding in gym shorts vs MTB shorts.
Purchasing specialist MTB shorts was prompted by my first mountain biking holiday. Like John Wayne in The Horse Soldiers I would be in the saddle all day, so I figured my gym shorts would take a battering and may prove to be less comfy leaving me with a John Wayne walk.
Introducing Dainese Hucker mountain biking shorts
Dainese are an Italian brand making a range of motorbike and cycling clothing and safety equipment. A trusted brand in the cycling world they are a safe bet for good quality gear. Dainese products are stocked by Halfords.
The Dainese Hucker mountain biking shorts are designed for comfort, freedom of movement and breathability. They are specifically for downhill MTB. At home I mainly ride cross country and all mountain but with a trip to the Austrian Alps on the cards downhill was on my mind.
Although designed for DH riding they have many attributes for my normal riding. The Dainese Hucker MTB shorts are ultra-light weight, but are made from hard wearing tear resistant Duratex Fabric. In key areas they use breathable Diratx material to help keep moisture away from those places where friction and sweat can cause chaffage. They have a soft and perforated lining made from a G9 fabric which wicks away moisture and keeps air flowing through.
At home I spend a lot of time riding uphill to enjoy very short downhill, or I ride technical XC trails, so I wanted MTB shorts that give great freedom of movement when pedalling and negotiating obstacles. The Dainese Hucker use X shaped elasticated insets in the crotch and lumbar areas that flex as you pedal, dramatically reducing material against skin friction.
The outer material provides a degree of water resistance to help keep you dry in light rain, but are not designed to stay dry in persistent rain or a heavy downpour. The good news is they are also quick drying so if you do get wet the Huckers won’t stay that way for long.
Finally they have adjustable side straps to fine tune the size and a small zipped pocket perfect for keeping cash safe.
Review of Dainese Hucker mountain biking shorts
I am not one to wear tight fitting cycle shorts, so I was looking for something baggy but fitted enough to avoid spare material getting in the way. The Dainese Hucker MTB shorts provide the perfect middle ground.
The elasticated inserts are a fantastic innovation, providing a greater range of movement where you need it most. Namely the crotch! They are in an X shape moving up through the shorts to your waist both front and back. This means the legs of the shorts move independent of each other and the waist, dramatically reducing friction in the crotch and inner thighs and causing less stress to the garment.
It doesn’t matter if it is summer or winter, I get hot when I ride and come home a sweaty mess. What I immediately noticed with the Hucker’s was a nice draft blowing through the shorts, particularly in the key sweaty areas like the inner thigh and crotch. Although I still came home a sweaty mess my MTB underpants were noticeably less sweaty than normal.
While riding in Austria I was caught in light rain, the shorts kept it at bay for a while but then light rain became heavy and I was soon soaked. Wearing padded cycling underpants the foam padding soaked up the water so it felt like i was sitting in a puddle. The good news is the Dainese Hucker shorts were dry 30 mins later, the bad news is my pants were not.
One downside I need to mention in this review of Dainese Hucker mountain biking shorts is that the washing instructions are to hand wash at 30 degrees. Being a bloke it didn’t occur to me to check this before chucking them in in the washing machine on a normal 40 degree cycle. They came out fine, although I will put them on a 30 degree handwash cycle in the future. But in my opinion sports clothing that gets sweaty and muddy should be designed to be machine washable at 40 degrees.
Riding in gym shorts vs MTB shorts
Although I have been riding in gym shorts for years and was reluctant to shell out on a pricey pair of MTB shorts, it took one ride to convince me I should have changed a long time ago. Shorts that are designed to move and flex according to a mountain bikers needs means you get a more comfortable ride, add to this breathability in all the right places and sweat is reduced in the key areas where chaffage can occur.
Although MTB shorts are not cheap, the Dainese Hucker are £67.45 at Halfords, they are made from a durable fabric that should last a lot longer than gym shorts. This is not just through wear and tear, but if you fall off, snag bushes or tangle with brambles along the way the MTB shorts will handle this much better than gym shorts and protect you better in the process.
Review of Dainese Hucker mountain biking shorts: Conclusion
OK lets get it off my chest, I love them and wish I had gone all in with my MTB gear a long time ago. Although they don’t make me a better rider they make me more comfortable meaning I can ride for longer, plus they eliminate chaffage meaning there is no need to walk like John Wayne.
At the time of writing could buy a pair of Dainese Hucker MTB shorts from Halfords for £67.45.