Review of Essential Machines for Freedom Shorts
The gorgeous aesthetics and obsessive design of Machines for Freedom’s products quickly put them at the top of my list of cycling gear. Even though I only ride trails, I prefer spandex kits to bags. I’ve been wearing Machines bibs for a few years, so I was excited when they released these bibless shorts. I literally ordered them the day they launched. I’ve been wearing them for months on my outings, they haven’t let me down!
The fabric is made of a different material than their shorts and pants. While their bibs are made of a smooth, high-shine fabric, these are duller, but still have a subtle sheen. The fabric provides good coverage without transparency issues. Personally, I like this fabric better than their bib fabric for the look and feel.
I bought them in size XS and they fit me perfectly. They are well adjusted and compressive without being restrictive or difficult to put on. Depending on the brand, I wear XS or XXS. They fit similarly to other brands of cycling pants and other Cycling socks from Machines. Buy your usual size, or go up if you are between sizes.
The waist is very high, with a lot of coverage in front and behind. It rises high enough to just cover my belly button. There are no seams on the top of the waistband so it won’t sag. Whether standing or in the riding position, the belt is totally comfortable for me. The chamois is comfortable in the saddle. It’s chewy without being too stiff or awkward. I’ve worn them for a few 2-3 hour rides, along with many shorter ones, and was very happy with how they feel.
The inseam is 8.5 inches, longer than the 7.5 inches inseam of their shorts. I was a little worried about the inseam length as I’m short (5’3 “) and many reviews on the Machines site disputed this. They looked a bit long when I put them on for the first time around but as I move around they settle down to a good length as my photos show. While I’m sure a shorter crotch would work too they don’t look too long even on my shorter legs. Once you start riding, they stay in place and won’t rise or slip. Silicone grips on the inner hem band help them stay in place. absence of seams at the hem avoids the dreaded sausage leg effect.
Overall I am very happy with these shorts and wear them constantly. At $ 148, they’re certainly in the upper end of the cycling shorts price range, but in my opinion, they’re worth it. These are my favorite cycling socks that I own so far, both from the Machines line and other brands that I have tried. The machines offer free shipping and returns, plus a 30-day trial period for the socks to make sure you’re happy with the fit and feel.
Machines for Freedom Essential Shorts
Machines for Freedom Long Sleeve Summer Weight – Blase Pink
Machines for Freedom x Roka Oslo sunglasses in palmera
Smith Forefront 2 Helmet
100% ridecamp gloves
Garmin Fenix 5S
Stance Crew Socks
Five ten freeriders
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