Review by Joe Schneider // Photos by Brandon Turman
Troy Lee Designs dubs the Ruckus short the "jack of all trades," meaning they complement riders who dabble in everything. I'm one of those riders, and I've spent over seven months riding anything and everything in them. During that time the look has changed slightly, but these shorts deserve a chance in the spotlight.
Ruckus Short Highlights
- Two-way stretch, lightweight, breathable 92% Polyester / 8% Spandex mix material
- Removable chamois liner
- Full waist and hip height adjustment via micro fiber waist adjusters
- High quality ribbed Spandex stretch panel
- Unique leg length adjustment feature ensures personalized fit
- Reflective rear detail for added visibility
- Pedal friendly side pockets with content security panel
- Zippered front media pocket with YKK brand zipper
- Ergonomic MTB specific cut and fit
- MSRP $110
Out of the box, I was stoked with what I picked up. The Ruckus shorts were light, flexible and durable feeling. I dug the fact that the chamois was removable, and the two articles of clothing could move independently of one another. The last thing I noticed was how basic they were, at least at first glance. In my opinion basic is a good thing - there were no bulky patches, sewn on graphics, or excess layers of material from numerous pockets and vents. All of which may never be used or of much value to the end user. Right off the bat, I was very satisfied with my initial impression and excited to ride in them. Could these be the ultimate riding shorts?
On The Trail
Taking to the dirt, I was immediately comfortable and pleased that there was no break-in period required. The short material was indeed light feeling and effortless to move; plus, between the seat and the chamois the short material didn’t bunch up or feel bulky.
Going through the shorts from the ground up, the provided features were all useful or had value:
The leg length was great - long enough to not feel like an XC racer baggy, but not too long that they got in the way. They come with a second hemmed section so you can cut about an inch off the length. That is not what I was after with my 32-inch inseam, but it may be nice for riders with shorter legs.
There are only two pockets on the shorts - one on either side, and in the standard pocket location. One has a zipper and the other one doesn’t. They aren't huge. At first I was skeptical of the small pockets, but then I saw the function. Being smaller, about iPhone size, they keep everything close. Your stuff never slaps your legs and you instantly forget there is anything in your pockets when you start riding. They give you just enough capacity to carry the essentials and prevent the ride from feeling like a hiking trip.
The chamois is nice - it is not too bulky and provides enough cushion for longer rides. It doesn’t make up for a poorly conditioned behind, but is good on the longer pedals. The pad doesn’t get in the way while standing or descending.Seven months worth of rides later, I have no complaints with the chamois and haven't chafed.
Finally, TLD placed two snaps above the Velcro fly and an elastic adjustable strap on each hip. The micro fiber waist adjusters are infinitely adjustable within their range, and provide a bit of stretch to compensate for the change in diameter of your gut from seated to standing. I typically wear a size 31, but due to the fact that they're only offered in even sizes, I went with the 32. It was a good choice, and the waist adjusters provided enough adjustability for me.
Things That Could Be Improved
The only major thing that could be improved is having zippers on both of the main pockets. It would add peace of mind about not losing anything. I used both pockets equally, but did lose two things during all my rides, and I believe it was while seated in a shuttle van.
Although it is minor, sometimes pedaling while seated with my dropper post down, the bottom of the short will get stuck on top of kneepads. It is not an issue while standing or pedaling with the seat up.
Long Term Durability
Durability seems to be top notch.I usually hang them to dry, and the color is still bold after seven month of use. The stitching hasn’t begun to fail and I don’t have any rips. They get top marks in this department.
What's The Bottom Line?
I have done dozens of 6+ hour trail rides, ridden lift access bike park laps all day, raced several enduro events, ridden through bushes and branches and slid on the ground like baseball players wish they could. And guess what? These shorts still look nearly new. The bottom line is that I'm satisfied. You get what you pay for with the Ruckus shorts - good construction, essential features, and stylish comfort wherever you may want to ride.
For more details, visit www.troyleedesings.com.
About The Reviewer
Joe Schneider grew up in Durango, Colorado. Beginning in 2002, at the age of 13, he started riding mountain bikes and racing in the local race series. One thing led to another and he eventually made it into the mid-ranks of the pro cross-country field. Collegiate racing shed light on technical riding and he began to pursue longer travel bikes and most recently dirt bikes. He enjoys smashing through rocks or getting loose on flowy singletrack. Ultimately the alpine shuttle is his favorite, with a couple thousand feet of climbing and two or three times that in descending. He is currently a Mechanical Engineer who designs tools to blow things up. He loves to ride snowmobiles, motos, and mountain bikes whenever possible with his lady and many good friends. As a practiced mechanic, he enjoys spending the remainder of his free time fixing and maintaining all of his rides.