When I received my Detour jersey and Crush shorts one month ago, they were the first pieces of Club Ride apparel that I had ever worn. Truthfully, they were the first Club Ride products that I had ever so much as picked up. It’s not that I’m overly selective – I have jerseys and shorts from Fox, Dakine, Giro, Troy Lee Designs, even Sugoi. But Club Ride? It was never on my radar.
If you’d asked me to describe Club Ride, I would have told you this: It’s a dad brand. It’s the sort of bike clothing worn by middle-aged men with fingerless gloves and a Garmin mounted on the handlebars. That dad clacking around the grocery store in his clipless bike shoes? Probably wearing Club Ride.
So it was with a healthy dose of skepticism that I set out to review a mountain biking jersey/short combo that boasts of its ability to “work just as well on the single track as they do at lunch.” To me that translates to “the embarrassing stuff that your dad wears in public.” But hey, stereotypes are made to be broken. And who better to review Club Ride gear than a true skeptic.
And while I can’t speak to the lunch-date performance of the Detour and Crush, I have put them to the test with a month’s worth of varied trail riding. Here’s my take:
With a middle-of-the-road price tag ($79.95), I would argue the Detour jersey exceeds expectations in terms of fabric technology. As a huge wimp about heat and humidity, I appreciated the performance of the RideDryWear fabric. It’s lightweight and quick-drying so you never feel like you’re draped in a wet blanket, and the full-length side mesh panels allow an impressive amount of air to circulate on the inside. And as a pale kid in constant search of shade, the high collar and UPF 30 rating have given me some added confidence to head out on exposed rides during the middle of the day.
The Crush shorts, meanwhile, price themselves into a slightly higher bracket ($119.95.) That being said, I would argue that you get your money’s worth out of the DurX fabric and durable water-repellent (DWR) finish. These shorts are lightweight and flexible enough for longer rides, but still have the sturdy feel that you’ll appreciate during the descent.
The side zip pockets are easy to access, though definitely on the smaller side – not ideal if you’re banking on storage space for tools. But they do neatly fit a standard size phone and wallet without digging into your leg, or worse, flopping around while you’re pedaling. They also feature a media port for connecting your headphones (although I personally don’t recommend trail riding with a cord dangling off the side of your bike.)
Both the Detour and Crush are equipped with Club Ride’s RideLight reflective accents, so you have some backup if you find yourself on the roads at dusk and didn’t plan on needing a taillight. I routinely overestimate the amount of light left in the day (or maybe I’m just out of shape), and find myself riding roads home long after the sun has ducked behind the ridgeline. It’s nice knowing that passing cars have some help picking me out of the shadows.
I’ve found the Detour jersey to be at its best on short- to mid-range rides of the after-work variety. It’s comfortable against the skin, and the cut has clearly been designed with attention to rider movement. That means there’s no on-the-fly resituating required when you’re quickly transitioning between sitting and standing.
On longer rides that require a backpack, I have noticed that the snap front has a tendency to work itself into some awkward positions under the sternum strap and hip belt. It’s never proven to be a source of discomfort or a hindrance to my riding, but it’s a mental distraction nonetheless.
Club Ride does not make the standard claims of “odor resistance” that so many brands are spitting out these days, and perhaps with good reason. After marinating in my laundry hamper overnight, the jersey was pretty potent when I threw it back on for my next ride. It’s not something I’ve worried too much about (comparatively, I’m no worse off than any of my riding buddies), but it’s worth noting given the claims of versatility for post-ride socializing. In appearance, people might not be able to tell you’ve been out on the trails, but depending on how sweaty the ride, your scent will give you away.
In terms of true, trail riding performance, the Crush shorts have impressed. They pedal well and haven’t shown any signs of weakness over the course of a month of varied riding. The poly-spandex fabric blend with four-way stretch never feels heavy or saggy during the climb, yet it still manages to hold its shape well during the descent – eliminating the annoying flapping that comes along with many of the thinner, lightweight shorts out there. If my review of the Crush’s performance feels brief, it’s because I truly have no complaints. They do what you hope for from a trusty pair of trail riding shorts – go largely unnoticed.
Fit & Fashion
The Detour claims to be “designed after classic Western shirts.” Why is that a selling point? I don’t know. But with its snap-front style and pointed-tip collar, it definitely has a cowboy-ish look. Admittedly, I’m more of a standard T-shirt rider, but I will say that I have appreciated the ability to pop a few snaps for added airflow on especially hot days. Just remember to re-snap before heading back into public – I’ve gotten some snarky comments from my buddies about the amount of chest showing.
Constructed with Club Ride’s Comfort fit, the Detour is relaxed enough to eliminate any points of restriction through the underarms and across the chest, yet stays comfortably in place when you’re in and out of the saddle. It also, presumably, allows you to hop off your bike and stroll into a respected establishment without getting judgmental looks – if that’s a concern.
The Crush uses Club Ride’s Sport fit construction to balance pedaling efficiency with a slightly more relaxed look and feel. I’ve worn these shorts with and without a chamois liner underneath, and found them to be comfortable in both scenarios. They do have a tendency to ride up during the climb, resulting in a shorter-feeling length than the 13-inch inseam would suggest. It’s not a hindrance since the seamless crotch gusset prevents that, just be prepared to occasionally see more of your pasty thighs than you would expect from a trail-riding short.
Despite my initial eye-rolling in response to off-the-bike performance, I have since become a Club Ride believer. I wear these shorts to work and around town on a regular basis – something I would never do with my other trail shorts. So what they lack in comparison to the fit and fashion of conventional freeride baggies, they make up for with everyday comfort and versatility. I would argue it’s a tradeoff that skews in favor of the middle-aged rider. If you wore the Crush with a full-face helmet at the bike park would you look out of place? Definitely. But you’d also look like you have a job. So take from that what you will.
Club Ride’s commitment to on- and off-the-bike versatility has helped the company develop a loyal following of mountain bikers who sneak rides in whenever and wherever they can. If you’re looking for true, performance bike apparel for endurance XC rides, these products are not for you. Similarly, if you’re riding lifts and hitting jumps, you’re most likely going to feel a little stuffy out there. But if you’re riding singletrack in between life’s other commitments, the Detour and Crush have been designed for mountain bikers like you.
Nate Tomlinson, Senior Content Writer
The Crush shorts are a winner. They’ve exceeded my expectations for comfort, performance, and versatility. And while the Detour jersey isn’t my ideal riding top, the right customer will find a comfortable and stylish shirt with true trail-riding capability. If you need a new kit, but you’re reluctant to shell out big bucks on clothing with a single function, the combined price tag of $200 for the Detour/Crush is a no-brainer.
Technical Features: The qualifier here is price point. You’d be hard-pressed to find an equivalent level of technology in a lower price bracket. RideDryWear and DurX fabrics exceed their modest performance claims, and thoughtful design elements have clearly been implemented with the specific needs of mountain bikers in mind.
Performance: Both the shirt and shorts made good on their claims of on- and off-the-bike versatility. Some knocks against the Detour for backpack compatibility and odor control. But I can’t say enough good things about the Crush shorts. In terms of on-trail performance, both the jersey and shorts are lightweight, comfortable, and adept at managing sweat – three key traits.
Fit & Fashion I’m still not sold on the concept of singletrack-to-lunch attire. But I’ll compromise with Club Ride and call this kit trail-and-street ready. In other words, highly functional trail riding clothes that aren’t blatantly single purpose in fit or appearance. With that as the goal, the Detour and Crush earn high marks.