Words and Photos by Simon Stewart
Dakine Syncline Short
Price: $130 with liner, $90 without
I really like the material Dakine has chosen to weave into the Syncline shorts. It is comfortable, tough, lightweight and something often overlooked: quiet. Nobody wants noisy bike shorts. Another nice touch is the DWR coating, which allows them to shake off water like a Golden Retriever.
I thought I owed it to the readers to crash test these shorts. They're constructed of a 4-way stretch double-knit fabric so I tried to stretch them five ways by casing a gap jump. Although they did concede a tiny hole, I think anything short of chainmail would have been shagged, so I give them medium to high marks for durability.
Dakine incorporates an internally adjustable waistband and also adds belt loops to dial in the fit. I would call them roomy, and advise trying them on because you may end up with a size smaller than you usually wear. The length feels right and works well with kneepads. They have zippered leg vents but I must admit I've always found leg vents on shorts a bit silly. What isn't silly though is the zippered front pockets.
The Comp Liner is adequate but definitely not my first choice for long days in the saddle. That said, you do have the option to buy these without the liner. I'm looking forward to riding in these shorts more; they have just the right balance of weight and protection with comfort and style.