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The Van Rysel Women's Cycling Shorts RC500 from Decathlon are a good summer staple for daily short rides.
They're designed for summer rides of up to two hours long, and I found them comfortable over this sort of period.
The pad has three sections and is reasonably narrow at the front, which helped with thigh comfort, reducing the potential for any rub or overspill. The zig-zag stitching of the pad allows for a lot of give when I pulled it about, though I didn't really notice it as a particular feature on the bike.
Decathlon claims the pad has a depth of 13mm and decribes it as 'spongy'; I'd say this is accurate, with the pad having the right amount of support and give to make for a comfortable ride. Pad choice is very personal, but I found this one to be unobtrusive yet supportive, and it wicked sweat well even in the searing heat we've had this summer.
The waistband is elasticated at the back, which keeps it fitting close, but with a stretchy wide band in a double layer of the main shorts material at the front. I found this comfy, and it didn't bunch up when riding. The shorts are high enough at the back not to leave anything on show.
With a 19cm inseam, they're as short as I'd be comfortable with, and well suited to summer riding.
The leg bands are also double layers in the same material as the main shorts. Although this was comfortable, and they didn't ride up at all, if you were also wearing knee or leg warmers you might miss the gripper for helping to keep everything in place. Riding in mid-summer, though, the lack of gripper made the shorts comfortable to wear.
The material is a stretchy polyester/elastane mix with minimal compression, light without being see-through, and washes well at 30 degrees. I tested the black and mint combo, with some decorative mesh panels on the thigh, which matched the mint accents on the Van Rysel top I also tested for a co-ordinating but not matchy-matchy appearance. (You can read my review of the top here.)
They don't boast the number of features of the Endura Xtract Lite shorts, but those are over double the price at £59.99.
Overall, these represent a good piece of kit for not a lot of cash, and have become my easy go-to when riding to the gym.
Good value summer staple for short rides
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Van Rysel Women's Cycling Shorts RC500 - Black/Mint
Size tested: XL
Tell us what the product is for
Decathlon says: "These women's cycling shorts have been developed by our design team for regular cycling on rides of up to 2 hours.
"The new, two-way stretch pad keeps you as comfy as possible thanks to its dense yet spongy foam.The zigzag stitching provides even more elasticity."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Our new women's pad keeps you comfortable under both your sit bones and your pubic bones. The padding is relatively narrow between the legs and is attached using zigzag stitching so that it won't rub or cause irritation as you pedal. The foam is spongy, with a density of 100 kg/m3 and a thickness of 13 mm. It also stretches in two directions, meaning it'll fit any cyclist's physique.
New built-in foam pad for guaranteed comfort and freedom of movement.
Elasticated waist at the rear to support the tummy comfortably.
Product that has reduced its impact by 10% thanks to eco-design measures.
The polyester/elastane fabric follows your movements.
Breathable and technical material actively wicks away perspiration.
Soft fabric, but flatlocked seams would have improved the construction and comfort.
These performed well throughout the recommended two-hour ride window, even on hot days.
No snags or sags so far.
The waistband is half-elasticated with the elastic at the back, which is a good compromise between comfort and fit.
I'm a street size 18 and the XL fitted closely but without additional compression – I'd have sized up to a 2XL if they were available at the point of testing. Sizes XS to 2XL are available (approximately size 4-6 through to size 18) – note that the size/street size equivalents are different for tops and bottoms within this range, though.
Lightweight summer wear.
They do well in the 'second-skin' stakes and the pad was unobtrusive yet supportive.
Cheap without feeling cheap to wear.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy to wash and fast to dry, so could be used the next day with ease.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The shorts performed well for short (up to two-hour) summer rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I liked the unobtrusive colour matching to the tops in the same range, and the comfort of the waist and leg bands.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I would have preferred flat seams for extended comfort.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Van Rysels at £24.99 are among the cheapest of the shorts we have tested recently. Decathlon does offer £19.99 shorts which didn't float Emma's boat, and though the Van Rysels don't boast the same amount of features as the Endura Xtract Lites, those are more than double the price at £59.99.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A nice piece of budget kit which, while not having a vast array of technical features, does what it says on the tin and provides a comfortable summer ride.
About the tester
I usually ride: Trek 7.5 WSD My best bike is: Turquoise Cruiser
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Novice
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, general fitness riding, Leisure