I’ve been a fan of Serfas products since I bought my first Serfas bike headlight and bike taillight that I use almost daily. So when Serfas sent me a pair of their Superleggera cycling shorts for review, I was excited. I have been looking for a brand of cycling shorts to wear to switch away from Pearl Izumi, which used to be my favorite, but don’t seem as great as they once were in the past couple of years. (Look for my cycling shorts shootout post soon, where I will compare all the brands I have been trying out, including Mavic, Specialized, Bontrager and a few other brands.)
Although a lot of cyclist swear by bib shorts, I don’t like them and prefer standard cycling shorts. I don’t like the feeling of the straps on my shoulders, and I also don’t like the inconvenience of getting them on and off. Sure, the tops of standard cycling shorts might ride down a little bit over time, but that doesn’t bother me compared to bib straps.
Sizing for cycling shorts can be a crapshoot. As someone who weighs around 150 pounds with a 30 waist, I wear a medium in Pearl Izumi and Specialized. But in a Castelli, I have to wear a large. And with Serfas, I end up wearing a small. It’s really annoying if you want to try a new brand of shorts, because you can never know for sure what’s going to work for you in advance.
My first concern with “gel” in the name of the shorts is that they would be heavy or have a super squishy feeling to them. But the shorts don’t weigh any more than any of my other shorts, as far as I can tell by holding them. And the chamois feels like a regular chamois — a very comfortable one at that. The gel is described as “a lightweight, nitrogen infused, anti-migrational gel.”
Serfas describes the Superleggera as a “touring short that is designed to provide maximum comfort and performance for long rides.” But they fit just like any of my “racing” cycling shorts, and the price of $100 suggested retail puts them in the same category as the other mid to high end cycling shorts of other brands that I wear. I think maybe they just mean that these shorts are suitable for higher mileage days in the saddle.
The stitching and construction of these shorts is very high quality. I was impressed with the little details, like how they have the brand and model printed on the chamois, and how they have the brand on the inside of the really nice silicone leg grippers that keep the shorts comfortably in place. They call the seams “flat lock seam technology,” which I think just means that they use flat seams that don’t rub when you are pedaling.
The shorts have 10 panels, which give them a very comfortable fit. The inseam is 9.5 inches, and they come down on my leg to a similar position as other brands like Pearl or Specialized or Castelli.
These shorts are comfortable, and will keep a permanent rotation in my cycling drawer. If you get the chance to pick up a pair, you won’t be disappointed.
Did I leave anything out? Have any questions about the shorts? Do you own a pair? Leave a comment!