Gear Guides

Gear Review: Shorts

Allan Shaw wearing Chrome shorts

Hailing from Scotland and currently residing in Mexico City, Allan Shaw is the jack of all trades. A photographer, bike messenger, designer, owner of Gay's Okay Cycling, and unofficial Chrome Shorts tester. We sent Allan every style of technical shorts we make for him to put to the test and help guide you to your next pair. For reference, Allan is 6"2 tall and 30" in the waist.


Not all shorts are created equal. For many, there is a style and a fit for every occasion and choosing the right one for you can take some consideration. In rain or shine, at some point in my illustrious career, I spent an almost a three-year period where I only owned one pair of long pants, which is sparingly used as little as I could get away with. So the fit, fabric, durability, and style of a good pair of shorts really matter to me. You want them to feel good, look good, and last for years.

The whole Shorts Collection scores high in all those areas, there is truly something for everyone. Having had the chance to try out the full collection, I will break down the options and help you decide which one is for you.

Person standing in front of a bike wearing a jacket and shorts
  • First Impressions: A very cool addition to the Chrome short collection. The tech shorts. The trail shorts, the wear them down to death shorts. Built to fit in in the city and excel out in the wild. Comfortably fitting over a chamois liner as well as knee pads, the shorts have a looser fit and a lot of versatility. The material and the seam-stitching feel bulletproof. No rear pockets but two side zip pockets for more riding comfort is a great touch, and velcro adjustable waistbands in place of belt loops, these are no-nonsense shorts for riding.
  • Key Features: 14” Inseam, Nylon/Spandex Fabric, Quick Dry and Water Resistant
  • Perfect for: MTB, Gravel, and Bikepacking adventures.
Person adjusting the waist strap of their shorts


Person sitting on their bike wearing shorts
  • First Impressions: The Folsoms have been a personal favorite of mine for some time. A great pair of work shorts, with a slightly shorter inseam and a slimmer fit these babies are super comfortable. The solid stitching and the stretch fabric feel as heavy-duty and durable as they are. This pair also has the full-length gusset and comes complete with a built-in U-lock holster with solid webbing. Castle Rock comes through as this ashy greyscale, a nice off-set color to match with other clothing.
  • Key Features: 11” inseam, Nylon/Spandex, Quick-dry and Water Resistant, U-lock holster, floating pockets
  • Perfect for: These have become my go-to recommendation for new Bike Messengers looking for good shorts. They are super practical for city riding and all day, everyday use. This pair can keep you comfortable for big mileage as well as enjoying a sunny standby downtown.
Close up a bike lock attached to bike shorts


Person standing in front of their bike
  • First Impressions: All the best features of my all-time favorite pair of Chrome shorts, but now with a 2” shorter inseam. Go figure, I love them! As someone who frequently rolls his shorts up or tends to cut a pair of jeans as short as I feel, this shorter cut feels like a breath of fresh air. The same great fit and utility details of the “full-length” Folsom short, including the U-lock holster, but the shorter cut, for me, is even more comfortable. I have this pair in Olive Branch and appreciate the perfectly descriptive color name.
  • Key Features: 9” Inseam, Nylon/Spandex Fabric, Quick dry and Water-resistant, U-lock Holster
  • Perfect for: Long summer days on the bike. Great shorts for working messengers, bike touring and commuting.


Person standing in front of their bike
  • First Impressions: The closest thing to your favorite pair of cut-off Jorts, but with the same lightweight but durable stretch fabric. The added cotton to the fabric gives them more of an everyday feel and comfort, and the shorter inseam adds to a style I really appreciate. These shorts have a real party vibe.
  • Key Features: 8.5” Inseam, Cotton/Nylon/Spandex Fabric, Five-pocket commuter, Reinforced waist and gusset, water/wind resistant
  • Perfect for: Late nights and long days. City living and hot summer days.
Person standing in front of their bike


Person looking at their bike
  • First Impressions: The fabric feels super lightweight and has a more relaxed, looser fit on the thighs. The shorts use a full-length gusset, which means an extra panel of fabric is sewn into the full inside arch of the leg, giving you noticeably more space to move on the bike, as well as improving the lifespan of the shorts. Great rear zip pocket and reflective details. I chose the Wood Thrush color for this pair, a really nice, earthy, and rich tone.
  • Key Features: 14” Inseam, Nylon/Spandex fabric, Water/ Wind-resistant DWR
  • Perfect for: Great everyday shorts. Comfortable both on and off the bike. From out in the park to going to a show, drinks at the bar to hikes in the hills.
Person putting phone into their back pocker


Follow Allan on Instagram and his company Gays Okay Cycling.


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