By Stan Purdum
Years ago, I purchased a pair of inexpensive bicycle shorts that were so uncomfortable that I discarded them after a couple of rides and vowed to wear only shorts from major cycling brands. But over the last several months, I noticed low-cost shorts from Sponeed, a company I’d never heard of, showing up in several articles with titles like “Best Cycling Shorts for 2019/2020” and decided to investigate.
I found them at Amazon in the $30 to $35 range, depending on size, but they can also be found for less elsewhere online. I liked that that they were available with color accents that might make riders more visible on the road. But what really got my attention, was the many enthusiastic and positive reviews from verified purchasers, with 72 percent giving the shorts five stars.
I have since learned that some Amazon sellers have schemes to buy reviews, but I have no evidence one way or the other that Sponeed is among the deceivers. Still, it’s probably best to view users reviews as a guide rather than as gospel.
In any case, ordered a pair, and have since worn them on rides of more than 50 miles, and they’ve kept my buns happy the whole way. I liked them so well that I now have a second pair.
According to Sponeed’s website, (https://www.teamsponeed.com/) they’ve been in business for eight years. The fact that English is not the copywriter’s primary language is obvious when you read the text on the website and in the Amazon description, but the company gets its message across. What it doesn’t describe very well, however, is how good their chamois is. The sales copy mentions that there’s “3D gel pad in key areas,” but the chamois deserves a photo to communicate the design. I’ve supplied one:
The chamois might best be described as “articulated” since the pads are in separate but strategically placed pieces with channels in between to keep the shorts from bunching up and to allow perspiration to flow away. The Amazon description says the shorts have “a great moisture feature and a four-way performance stretch, 6-Panel anatomic design for superior, chafe-free comfort. It is made of harmless high-quality fabric, 80% polyester and 20% spandex lycra with sublimation print that never fades out.”
What I’ve not yet had enough time to test is long-term durability, but I’ve washed both pairs several times and seen no deterioration thus far.
The sizing of these shorts uses the Asian standard, which runs smaller than the US standard, so it’s best to order a size larger than you usually wear.