The affordable indoor-specific cycling shorts solution designed to promote better performance and comfort on the stationary bike
- Competitively priced
- Moisture-wicking fabric and chamois pad
- Lightweight yet supportive
- Freezepockets for extra cooling
- Gel packs are an additional expense
The notion of indoor-specific cycling gear has always been met by a universal guffaw. Who needs it, right? After all, regular cycling clothing is perfectly adequate for the indoor job at hand. Over the past 12 months, the entire Cyclingnews tech team has taken to riding indoors in an effort to stay fit and sane - and we've naturally looked in depth at the pros and cons of the best indoor cycling clothing.
Of all the brands, however, it's Nopinz that has filled this niche like no other. In fact, I recently reviewed its premium Subzero race suit and came away impressed by what it offers the racer thanks to a series of specially designed pockets and cooler packs to promote better performance and comfort. While the race suit is a pricey proposition Nopinz also offers a more affordable option - the Subzero indoor shorts.
We've been using them in a variety of indoor cycling settings over the past three months and this is what we think.
Design and aesthetics
Like the race suit, the Subzero indoor shorts utilise a lightweight, mesh-like fabric to help with cooling and ventilation. The fit is fairly tight but supportive enough to supply enough comfort for longer indoor sessions. They're available in three fade-to-blue colour options: light grey, purple or green (pictured here). Regardless of which colour you choose the leg sleeves are standardised in navy blue and feature the company's Nopinz logo on the right hip and wordmark above the knee in red.
The shorts also feature two freezepockets - on the top of the shoulder area and lower back. While the gel packs have to be purchased separately the bib shorts can be used without them, although we do recommend the former for the best experience. Another USP of the Nopinz philosophy is the impressive spread of sizing options which should help it find favour with a broader demographic. In this case, riders can choose from six sizes ranging from XS to XXL.
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Riding experience and performance
Nopinz's Subzero indoor shorts benefit from the same Dolomiti Pad as the race suit - the Gallio chamois which uses a 16mm open-cell foam multilayer pad. Rated at a recommended 6+ hours use, it offers decent comfort thanks to the unique moisture-wicking properties of the pad. As a result, it stays notably drier when compared to the best cycling shorts subsequently aiding in comfort and staving off saddle sores.
The shorts are notably cooler and less restrictive than regular options. You even get two strategically positioned freezepockets - on the shoulder and lower back - which together with the gel packs help promote heat loss. The gel packs are optional extras but worthy investments in my opinion. As mentioned in my Subzero race suit review the gel packs can take anywhere between 20-30 minutes to melt so thorough planning is required should your workout or race exceed this time limit.
In terms of fit, the shorts come with silicon grippers lined on the inside of the leg sleeves which help keep it firmly positioned - no leg creep here, even when putting in demanding efforts or moving around on the saddle. If you choose to ride without gel packs, the mesh fabric supplies impressive levels of thermoregulation.
Furthermore, if you do reside in a hot-weather climate the NoPinz Subzero indoor shorts can be used outside granted you take the necessary sunblock precautions.
As the indoor cycling space has grown and developed I like to think so have initial perceptions around discipline-specific gear. While it's understandable that some cyclists will continue to double up on their kit in a bid to save money, the benefits of using indoor-specific gear - bib shorts more specifically - are indisputable. Not only will they help prevent saddle sores but the chamois is also super-comfortable. Factor in the bonus cooling properties of the fabric not to mention the freezepocket functionality, and Nopinz clearly has a winner here.
At £109.99, it's competitively priced, too, and together with the prodigious sizing chart, the NoPinz Subzero indoor shorts make a serious case for both the recreational and serious e-racer.
Tech Specs: NoPinz Subzero indoor shorts
- Sizes: 6 (XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL)
- Weight: 178g (XS)
- Colours: 3 (grey, purple, green)
- Price: SubZero indoor shorts (£109.99), gel packs and cooler bag (£30)
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