DEKO EUROPA MTB THREE-QUARTER LENGTH SHORTS

Sharing obvious similarities with Revolution’s Tack, Deko Europa ¾ length MTB shorts make effortless transition to touring and everyday riding thanks to lightweight, fast wicking, yet rugged fabrics. Sure, messenger knickers win by a nose in the style stakes but adjustable calve grips and restrained graphics achieve similar effect, while facilitating a relaxed effect better suited to social contexts, such as Sunday lunch/or exploring more conservative countries.  

 

Polyester won’t set anyone’s pulses racing but Taslan is a lightweight, surprisingly breathable, shower-resistant weave that washes beautifully and packs remarkably small. Textured-two way stretch panelling enhances movement without bunching, or leaving the lower back vulnerable to chill. At the other extreme, a zippered ventilation panel allows tailored airflow, although regrettably too shallow for doubling as overflow storage for phones, mp3 players, bankcards and similar valuables. There’s no shortage of pockets mind… 

 

 

Two at the hip provide ample hand parking when mooching about. Clever magnetic closures seal the tops, preventing mortar-esque ejection of keys/wallets come the first hint of an inclement surface. An integral zippered pocket is ideal for change, specialist tool bits and similar small valuables without intruding painfully at higher cadences. Two butt with Velcro tabs follow the offset pattern, capturing mini pumps, CO2 cartridges, patch kits, tyre levers and multi tools unobtrusively, though a mini U lock proved too much, slapping my buttocks like a boisterous puppy.  

 

Sizing is precise, closer to that of civilian togs, though belt loops and Velcro tabards enable further fine-tuning. Retro reflective detailing is literally everywhere, yet manages sufficient neutrality to coordinate handsomely with race and street inspired threads.

 

Conversely, rides on the wild side and my quarrelsome farm cat have made negligible impression upon the fibres, which dry faster than most following persistent downpours or tours de Zanussi. Bedding in traditional leather saddles on extended autumn saunters has meant good quality eight-panel road shorts/tights but OEM inserts are readily available and only add £8 to proceedings.  

Michael Stenning 

 

Verdict: Stylish, practical longs for most occasions. 

 

www.encove.co.uk

 

PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 2014

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