The Good: Great cut Lightweight Durable Comfortable Subtle design
The Bad: The design may be too subtle for some
I have used many versions of Royal's shorts over the years, and always been impressed with the overall quality and fit. Some years/models were better than others, but on the whole, I keep coming back to the brand because of the consistent good performance of their product (including jerseys, BTW).
The SP-247 is the workhorse of the DH/FR range. It's been a staple of the catalogue for many years, as a low-key alternative to the main racing line (called the Blast range, these days). It has many of the features of the racing line, just with much more subdued styling. For 2012, there was a significant overhaul of the shorts, notablythey dropped a lot of weight and bulk. What impressed me the most with the SP-247 this time around though was the cut. It's simply perfect for riding a bike. Overall, the fit is on the slim side (for a baggy short), this translates to less stuff that can snag branches or the front the saddle as you move around on the bike. But although they are quite slim, they never restrict your movements. The elastic panel in the back works very well, keeping your shorts snug and helping avoid giving the girls riding the lift behind you nightmares due to your builder's bum...
They take a beating too, I've had quite a few bails in mine with not much wear to show for it. The ratchet-based waist band is small but very strong, and keeps the shorts on at all times. The graphics seem to hold up to endless ride-wash-ride cycles as well.
In summary, these are labelled DH/FR by Royal, and while they are definitely up for the abuse, they are also slim and lightweight enough to be used as everyday trail shorts. And if you like your gear looking simple yet stylish, look no further (easy to match to ANY jersey of course). If you need eye-watering graphics and colors, probably best to keep looking.