I bought a pair of Cannondale Doubletrack mountain bike shorts on March 24, 2007. The Cannondale Doubletrack mountain bike shorts consist of a mesh inner short with a padded chamois and a separate durable outer short. Last Monday (exactly a year after I bought them), the fabric finally wore through in the crotchal area. I know, too much information.
The inner liner is still fine although a little worn. Aside from my Shimano SH-MT20 shoes, this is the only piece of cycling-specific clothing I own. The liner and outer shorts withstood daily use during peak riding season, and the liner was used inside longer pants during cold weather, although I don’t wear anything special if I’ll be riding less than 10 miles (round trip) or so, usually.
When I started riding longer distances, even though my sit bones had gotten accustomed to being in the saddle, I found that I was still getting sore and chaffed. I purchased them for about $50 and for a year’s worth of riding, I’d say they were a great investment.
I opted for baggy mountain bike shorts primarily because the inner liner was versatile and could be used under pretty much anything, while the baggy outer short wouldn’t look terribly out-of-place off of the bike. Again, I’m thinking of the odd looks I might get as I walk into the office or grocery store. While I must admit that this was mostly a move taken out of being self-conscious about my legs, this combo of liner and baggy short is great for commuters who demand on-road performance with inconspicuous appearance.
On the singletrack adventures, these shorts worked really well, too. The inner thigh of the outer shorts are made of a thick, stretchy slick spandex type material to reduce the amount of rubbing and chafing you’ll get from the seat. It also keeps the shorts from looping and catching on the saddle. The rest of the short is made from a durable nylon material that resists snags from branches and thorns.
From an appearance standpoint, this setup isn’t much different than wearing some athletic shorts over lycra cycling shorts. Given the competitive price and the attention to detail and functionality that went into the outer short, I consider the Cannondale Doubletrack cyling shorts to be a worthwhile investment for commuters and mountain bikers alike. The outer shorts themselves held up to about 2,000 miles of mostly commuting with a bit of recreational road and singletrack use. The inner liner has about 3,000 miles on it so far, but it’s on the way out as well. I’ll continue to use the inner liner until it wears out, and I plan on buying a replacement pair of Doubletracks as soon as the Chief Financial Officer (that is, my wife) approves of the procurement.