Sometimes it’s only when you discover the solution you realise there was a problem and that is the case with the Le Col Indoor Training shorts. Comfort and moisture management is essential for indoor training and they have made two weeks of quarantine indoor training more productive than they would otherwise have been. Even if you limit your indoor sessions to poor weather these shorts are a sound investment.
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After years using old, worn out cycling shorts for my indoor training, suffering in clammy discomfort, I jumped at the chance to test Le Col’s indoor Training Shorts.
The British company is one of a number of premium brands to have launched clothing optimised for use on the turbo, partnering with Wahoo, to provide these shorts with a distinctive splash of colour.
According to Le Col it's adapted these shorts from the summer pro bibs used by Bahrain-McLaren, and while we’ve not compared them to Mark Cavendish’s pair, we noticed they closely resemble the Pro Lightweight model you can buy.
The most obvious feature is the huge perforated panels around the hips and down the front of the legs. Laser cut, the hundreds of holes are designed to provide ventilation, while the lycra construction of the rest of the garment is noticeably lightweight.
The straps are of heavier construction and the bibs come up much higher on the abdomen than some other shorts, surprising for a garment intended to keep you cool, though at least that provides some flattering compression!
The multi-density Dolomiti Pro Gel chamois is super smooth, though seems quite bulky. Le Col claiming it is “optimised for indoor training," though it is also available in other shorts in the company’s line up.
While they’re well put together we did notice some slightly baggy fabric around the chamois, though this had no bearing during the ride. You certainly do not feel the pad’s bulk in the saddle which is soft, supportive and perfect for those long sessions, completely wicking moisture away in the hottest, sweatiest of conditions.
Of course moisture and heat management is what indoor training kit should be all about and these shorts do a great job. To test this, during the recent spell of hot weather we set the turbo up in direct sunlight for a session, and while the Garmin registered 43º, the shorts coped admirably.
We never felt the burn black shorts and hot sun can combine to create, they never felt clammy even under the colourful, large gripper which did its job perfectly. It’s no surprise there is little in the way of compression, the perorations see to that, and I did find myself occasionally slipping forward during intervals, the backside being slightly slippery, but these shorts do their job very well.
Though it depends on the size of your wallet, £150 is a lot to pay for a pair of shorts designed never to be used out on the road. However, they are £10 cheaper than Le Col’s own Pro Lightweight shorts and we can see no reason why you can’t use them outside, adding to their worth.
These shorts are high quality, and if they make your indoor training a more attractive proposition, as they did for me, their value far exceeds pure finance.
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