Non-lycra shorts for commute?

Good morning commuters,

What kind of shorts (non-lycra or skin-tight shorts) do you have for your commute?

For many years, I've been wearing ~£10 hiking / "cycling" shorts from Aldi/Lidl but they eventually wear down / tear after two years or so. So I wondered what others wear.

I'm not interested in lycra tights or with pads as my commute is <20miles and I'm fine with no padding. My non-cycling shorts are all cotton, heavy, not stretchy and they get soaked with sweat...

What I'm looking for is something that is:

  • Not skin-tight but not baggy cargo shorts...
  • Water "resistant" (to cope with light rain, not water-proof)
  • Quick drying and wicks sweat
  • Light weight
  • Somewhat durable to wear / tear
  • Couple of pockets (but not essential)

I had a quick look on mountain bike type shorts but they look (allegedly online) long (over the knees?) or heavy (understandably for durability).

Quick search tells me the common suggestion is Humvee II shorts. Any other options to consider? Perhaps a copy / budget alternative, something from Decathlon?

Happy cycle commuting!


  • pangolin
    pangolin Posts: 6,422

    Have you tried proper cycling shorts? Your commute is like 18 miles right? They are so much better...

    - Genesis Croix de Fer
    - Dolan Tuono
  • monkimark
    monkimark Posts: 1,671

    I have a pair of Humvee II shorts that i use for mountain biking and occasionally commuting - they have a removeable thin padded liner that connects to the shorts with poppers. They are are slightly heavier/more roust material than other similar shorts I have (i think the lighter weight ones are Pearl Izumi and I have an old cheap pair of Altura, the pearl izumi ones have a bit of stretch to the material and are a bit less baggy than the Humvee

  • mrb123
    mrb123 Posts: 4,653

    I've got the Humvees for MTB. I don't really like the liner so tend to wear the outers over proper bib shorts.

  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,503
    edited June 4

    I'd agree with that.

    A friend has some Rapha shorts that look like normal shorts, no idea how well they wear over time though.

  • accountdeleted
    accountdeleted Posts: 45
    edited June 6

    Thanks @pangolin, what exactly do you mean by "proper" cycling shorts? I haven't ventured into cycling lycra, bib or tights yet because I'm not convinced (I accept that I have never tried) I need such specific clothes just to to 18-19mile leg commute 2x week. I would definitely consider cycling clothes if I do longer commute or go for a non-commute road cycle ride that's over 20miles. Maybe one day, but I don't plan to for foreseeable future.

    Thanks everyone for the Humvee comments. Also thanks @monkimark for Pearl Izumi and Altura reference. It feels like I need to venture to a shop to try on a few to try on how tight/loose shorts feel.

    As for the pads, Aldi shorts (current and previous ones) came with removable pads which I never bothered to use. I did use it once and it was so bulky (hey, it's £10 form Aldi) it was very uncomfortable and odd thing to wear... I'm so used to having no pads and for sub-20mile ride I don't experience soreness so I never bothered with it.