Lycra has its place, but when it comes to trail and all-mountain riding, baggies reign supreme. Even more so when they’re comfortable and casually styled – like DaKine’s Syncline shorts.
The Synclines are cut a little longer than most shorts – sitting just below the knee – and are fairly baggy, as you’d expect from DaKine. Despite their length and bagginess, never once did we feel like they were in the way when pedalling. This is mostly due to the nylon used in the outer shell, which is soft to the touch and flexible, yet durable enough for proper trail riding. We did find that they bunched up a little when riding with knee pads though.
The shorts are secured with two press studs at the front, and tightened via elasticated waist adjusters at either side. DaKine even included belt loops, though we didn’t really see the point of those, as the waist adjusters were more than adequate. At the back is an elasticated panel – a nice touch that creates flexibility in the right area to prevent the shorts from riding down.
On the inside of the shorts, a polyester mesh lining keeps things breezy against your skin. If added airflow is needed, there are two zippered vents along the inner thighs that work effectively. Two deep, zippered pockets at the front, and two smaller pockets at the back take care of storage duties.
The Synclines are available with or without DaKine’s removable Comp liner. Constructed of mesh, it attaches to the shorts via two small loops with tiny press studs. The liner’s features are pretty standard fare – including an 8mm Dolimiti pad that has an antimicrobial treatment, and silicon grip tape at the ends – and it does the job well.
The only issue we had with the shorts was that one of the two press studs at the front failed after a few rides, partially detaching itself from the surrounding fabric.
The local DaKine supplier repaired the shorts with no fuss, but unfortunately the problem returned and we were offered a replacement pair. Overall, we found the Synclines to be well made though, so we suspect this may be a fluke, and the backup provided by the local supplier was reassuring.
Mostly we loved the Syncline’s understated styling – the pair we tested were all black with a simple grey DaKine logo on the leg. Coupled with their all-day comfort, it makes them a great pair of shorts for spending hours on the trails, followed by hours hanging with your mates.
COLOURS: Black, Blue, Charcoal
SIZES: S, M, L, XL, XXL
*PRICE: R1399 (with liner); R999 (without liner)
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*Originally published in TREAD Issue 26, 2013 – All rights reserved