Chrome’s Sutro shorts are billed as being able to be worn from “city to trail” normal, and comfortable enough to be worn to the pub but robust enough to be worn out on the bike hitting some trails or long distance tours. Quite a lot of uses for a pair of shorts to cope with when usually there are some compromises when the “all rounder” label is added to an item of clothing. Jack of all trades or master of non? I was intrigued to find out.
The Sutro short has a 14″ inseam, this means when standing up (I am 6ft tall) the hem sits just on the middle of my knee cap. when sat in the saddle they sit around 15cm above my knee easily clearing the end of my bib shorts. The legs are not flappy, one of my pet hates when wearing baggy shorts but either are they tight. Chrome claim they work with knee pads, I’ve not tried this as I don’t wear them but I think they’d have to be pretty low profile pads to not interfere with the short leg.
The Sutro short on the Chrome Industries website is currently £132, or less if you search around on the net. A not insubstantial price but first impressions when you remove the shorts from the packet they do feel of great quality and when I tried them on for the first time they did feel very comfy straight away.
The shorts have what Chrome call a 5 bar flexy comfort waistband and velcro strap adjustability. I usually take a 34″ waist and the shorts fit well in that size for me and the waistband adjuster allows pie expansion! The velcro is unobtrusive and has never snagged on other clothing. The waist also has a press-stud and button fastening and has stayed secure when riding. It’s also easy to unfasten for those trails side pee stops.
The shorts have a DWR coating that has shaken off spray and in one case marmalade when sat ready to ride while having breakfast! There are two zipped pockets and two open side pockets, the side pockets are lined with a very fine mesh and tiny eyelets that Chrome say will let any liquid or dirt through, nopt that I’ve ever had liquid in my pockets. The zipped pockets sit just behind the opening to the side pockets and add a level of security for valubles, but they are not big enough for todays huge smart phones. Not that I’d carry my phone in my pocket while riding. I would if I was wearing these shorts to the pub, which they are more than comfortable enough to do in. They also don’t look like you are wearing cycling shorts to the pub either, unless you are also covered in mud from the trail!
Riding for the first time in the Sutro shorts I found the crotch area a little stiff but after that first ride I’ve not noticed it again as the shorts have bedded in. The Shorts have a little stretch to them which makes them very comfortable for riding in. You don’t notice them much at all, some shorts have the tendency to feel tight around the thigh at certain points of the pedal stroke but these just don’t have that at all.
I’ve found with baggy shorts that when standing up to pedal the short can slips down slightly and when you sit back down you have to reach back and pull them up to get rid of the gap at the rear and reposition them for pedalling. I’m very pleased to say this hardly ever happened with the Sutro. They are probably the best fitting short I’ve tried. They work excellently over a bib short. I’ve done a number of long and short rides in them (100k+ & just to the shops) I even crashed twice in them on their second ride! They have shrugged this off and still look new. They wash really well too. The only trouble with this robustness is that they are probably a short that I would not wear on the hottest of days because that durability comes with thickness. Not massively thick or heavy but I’d wear a thinner short with more vents in summer. Luckily (or not!) those hot days do not occur much in the UK so I’d be wearing these for 3/4 of the year.
I wondered at the start If these shorts were a true all rounder as that is a bold claim but actually they surprised me, you could wear these shorts for anything, walking, work, the pub and they work exceptionally well for riding in. Would I pay the £132 RRP for them? after trying them and finding them so comfortable I think I actually would!
The Chrome Sutro Short, probably the the only pair of baggy shorts you’d ever need.
More details of the Chrome Sutro shorts can be found here