Whether it’s the first kilometer of your ride, or the last. Whether you’re hitting the pavement, or the trail. Whether you’re heading out for an hour, or for the day. The need for comfort and support on every second of every ride is unwavering. So we went back to first principles – make it fit, make it comfortable, and make it last. And after countless prototypes and extensive on-bike testing we’ve honed the MK1, MK2, WK2 Women’s Shorts and Bib shorts, Foundation Bibs and AK1 into incredibly comfortable shorts, elegantly patterned using only four main panel pieces.
Many conventional riding shorts use a flatlock or zigzag stitch to install the chamois by stitching from the inside through to the outside, a process selected because it’s easy to execute and results in a flat seam with minimal overlap. Unfortunately this technique has a major flaw – the stitching is exposed externally, and will frequently fail after being abraded by the saddle and bike. The heavy thread used will also rub against your body, chafing and causing hot spots along the edge of the chamois.
To address these issues, we developed our unique Clean Finish Construction. In the MK1s, MK2s, and WK2s the chamois is first sewn to a lightweight liner, which then interfaces with both the chamois and the main short material. This is a complex and precise process, with multiple layers being assembled and folded to get to the final result – a seam-free interface between the rider and the chamois. All seam allowances and stitching are internalized, maximizing your comfort and improving durability. The minimalist AK1 and Foundation Bibs use a simplified Clean Finish iteration to isolate the chamois seams from your body.
The MKs and WKs use elastane and warp knit nylon for maximum durability, stretch, and wicking, while the ultralight AK1 undershort and Foundations uses polyester knit mesh for optimal air flow. To provide the highest level of comfort, we use an Elastic Interface high performance chamois with a very high density open cell foam laminated to a brushed nylon/carbon fabric for great next to skin feel. The chamois is thermoformed for a gender-specific fit, and the shorts are patterned for the middle of the pedal motion, ensuring you experience the least fabric resistance at both the top and bottom of the pedal stroke. The MK2, WK2 and Foundation Bibs add the support of soft-brushed Italian elastic straps, while the WK2 Short sidesteps the need for straps by employing an extended waist panel. Both the AK1 and MK1 Shorts have a pattern-shaped elasticated waistband. Gripper elastic on all shorts reduces short migration.
The Clean Finish Construction of the original MK1s was the hardest design and construction puzzle we faced in building our debut collection, and the lessons learned have been applied across all of chamois shorts as we’ve expanded our offering. This is a collection that’s built to go the distance.