FUNKIER MEN'S F-PRO GEL CYCLING SHORTS
194g L Black (as tested) £49.99
Funkier Men’s F-Pro Gel Cycling Shorts are aimed at the enthusiast. Contact points, such as pads, are personal things, but these shorts have a lot to recommend them. They face a lot 0f competition, but I’ve found them very comfortable for longer rides – and they have a number of very nice features.
Pros: well-specced, nice features, sensible price.
Cons: nothing significant.
Made from eighty per cent Polyamide and twenty per cent Spandex, Funkier Men’s F-Pro Gel Shorts are a 12 panel design, promising “the ultimate combination of comfort, fit and performance.” Funkier’s ‘Pro’ range is designed to suit the “passionate” cyclist: with a sleek sporty fit, without going to the lengths of a skin-suit. 12 panels? Well, you can get more, but there’s the promise of lots of stretch whether bent over the drops or cruising on the flats.
Leg grippers are described as loose fitting, but are plenty tight enough to keep things in place. A 2cm waistband should provide a higher degree of comfort and security than a single elasticated hem. There are reflective strips around the grippers and on the rear, just below the waistband.
The pad is an antibacterial D8 model. This gives four-way stretch, aiming to any risk of chafing on long rides and give a secure feel when changing saddle position. High density foam covers your ischial tuberositites and more sensitive parts, with channels cut for ventilation and pressure relief.
On-the-saddle-support and comfort is also enhanced via the high-quality D8 gel seat pad found inside the shorts. Created with 4-way stretch it moves with you as you ride, preventing chafing. High-density foam is used across the ischiatic and frontal areas, easing pressure points and absorbing vibration. Grooved ventilation channels allow for continuous blood flow and further enhance flexibility.
Stitching looks good throughout. The pad has a slight ‘edge’ to it, rather than being sewn flush to the fabric, although I only noticed when I took a good look, having been blissfully unaware of it on the bike!
Size and fit 3.5/5
At 14stone and 4 pounds, I’m np Slim Jim, but the large felt perfect around the waist and on the legs. Had I especially bulging thighs, I’d go a size larger. Back length is plentiful, too, so no feeling exposed.
They come in sizes Small to XXXL.
Care is easy. Just a cool wash with other cycling items. I’d be wary of putting items with Velcro fastenings in with them – the same would be true of jerseys, base-layers, etc., too. By the way, after several washes, things still look pristine, with no bobbling or other deterioration.
Drying times are pretty good, and not dissimilar to Funkier’s Sestriere Seamless Boxer Shorts. Dry in a couple of hours on the line after a spin cycle wash, the pad, of course, takes longest to become wearable again. Mind toy, overnight indoors has seen things fine by the morning, but, again, that was after a spin. Hand wash and things can take a lot longer without a warm radiator. To be honest, that’s the case with most padded short, in my experience.
On the bike, the fabric dries within half an hour after a heavy shower. However, when prolonged rain gets to the pad, you’ll be in for an uncomfortable time. Again, the latter is not uncommon.
These are ideal for late spring and summer riding, when the time comes to ditch the longs. The fabric is light, without being puny, and above fifteen degrees has felt great.
They stay in place, too, even on longer rides. Mind you, I’m not really a speedster. Even so, I do like to get on the drops and try to re-live the days of yore, and I’ve not managed to expose any lower back yet. Those staying in that kind of position for longer periods will probably go for Bib Shorts anyway, such as the incredibly comfortable 7Mesh Bib Shorts. Leg-grippers are very effective, too: the shorts flow nicely with the pattern of pedalling.
70 and 80 mile long rides have been accomplished without any hint of a hot spot on the rump. The pad feels a bit chunky, at first, but is, in my opinion just about right. Comfort is great, and there’s a good deal of temperature control from those vents. I’ve not noticed any nasty niffs after long rides without washes in between
Fundamentally, the weight of the fabric shouts ‘road’ at the top of its voice. I’ve ridden a good few forest tracks with them, but would don either my heavier-weight Gore shorts or baggies if heading off through the undergrowth.
I like the reflective strips, too; especially those on the legs, which seem ideally placed to attract attention after the sun goes down on a summer night.
Ignoring Bib Shorts, such as the ultra comfortable 7Mesh Mk3 and Funkier's own offering, which some will prefer, there’s a huge range of shorts available. Budget versions come in from less than ten pounds. However, the quality of the pad is unlikely to match the D8 and you won’t get the nicer touches, such as reflective strips and wider waist band and leg-grippers. Even when hitting the £20-£35 mark, expect fewer features and fewer panels, leading to less flexibility in the shorts as you move position. however, store brands, such as the Triban R500, can offer very good value for money.
Coming in at the same RRP as the Funkier shorts, Endura’s Xtract Gel Shorts II offer a similar level of performance. A close-run thing! Endura’s FS 260 Pro Short is a price band up, but promises a lot.
Again, at a similar price point to out Funkier shorts are Altura’s Pro Gel Waist Short.
Whether in the gym, or on a long ride, the Funkier F-Pro Gel Shorts are spot on. Light, and reassuringly figure hugging, they are very good all-rounders for predominantly road or gravel riding. They’ve felt great in warm weather, and I am looking forward to many more summer miles.