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Kit review: The North Face Spoke Capri women’s cycle shorts

Written by Fiona July 25 2013

A few months ago I bought Little Miss a second-hand bike. Ever since she has been using it to cycle with her (separate) dad and Wispa the Wonder Whippet. This is all fairly remarkable given her lack of enthusiasm for most things sporty! The bike seat is quite comfy but she moaned about a sore butt on longer bike rides.

The North Face Spoke Capri women's cycle shorts

The North Face Spoke Capri women’s cycle shorts. Little Miss said a flat “no” to being photographed in her shorts!

I knew just the thing: Padded cycle shorts. But Little Miss – a fussy and self-conscious teenager – didn’t fancy the “nappy shorts” that I wear. “They look bulky and uncomfortable and I’ll look stupid in them,” she said. She might as well have added, “I’ll look as stupid as you!” I have worn padded cycle shorts for so many years that they feel like a second skin and I wouldn’t go out for a cycle without them.

But I reckoned that one try of the padded shorts and Little Miss would be a convert. The Cycle Surgery kindly sent Little Miss a pair of The North Face Spoke Capri women’s cycle shorts in a skinny UK size 8. One look at them put Little Miss off even more. But after much cajoling she put them on – and all of a sudden she rather liked them.

Little Miss and padded cycle shorts

“They fit nicely, don’t they?” she commented. “The padding feels funny but I like the feel of the fabric. They are tight but kind of hold you in.” This was before she even went for a bike ride.

Heading out with her dad for a cycle recently she told me she wasn’t sure about being seen in public in “proper cycle shorts”. I told her not to be so silly. She frowned.

On her return it was a very different story. Little Miss said: “Well, you were right. They do feel good when you’re cycling. The padding is comfortable and not too bulky once you get on the bike. I like the stretchiness of the fabric. The gel strip on the bottom of the legs around the shin is really good, too. It keeps the legs of the shorts in place. Hmmm, really, I do quite like these.”

For the rest of the evening she happily pottered around still wearing her padded shorts. Just like her mum!

In conclusion, if a fussy teenager can be converted to the advantages of padded cycle shorts then I imagine anyone can. The fit and style of The North Face Spoke Capri women’s cycle shorts is very good. The quality looks excellent. You can buy these RRP £64.99 shorts for £38.99 at the moment from the Cycle Surgery.

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