We wanted to suggest that The North Face add a few things to the Women's LWH Short, but we couldn't think of a single thing. The LWH has everything you could want in a mountain bike short. It comes equipped with a water-resistant fabric, multiple vents, tons of cargo space, and a removable chamois liner to take the edge off even the most brutal ride.
The LWH starts with a stretchy polyester/elastane main body fabric that won't inhibit your range of motion. The fabric is treated with FlashDry, which resists water and helps the short dry faster. This not only reduces the weight of the short on a long, hot ride, but helps you stay dry and comfortable. Speaking of comfortable, The North Face also included intake and exhaust vents to help you cool down. An elliptical knee hem helps the short slide easily over your shorts, and a crotch gusset further enhances mobility.
The North Face includes a removable chamois liner short. Designed to absorb shock and vibration, the chamois helps your body resist fatigue while you ride. It also helps manage moisture by pulling it away from your skin to keep you dry and comfortable. Since the liner short is removable, it can be used with other shorts, or even pants for chilly-weather riding.
The LWH has an all-mountain fit. That is, it's loose but not quite freeride or DH baggy. Adjustable waist tabs allow you to dial in a custom fit, and the high-back waist band keeps you covered when you're in the riding position. Mesh-lined hand pockets and a zippered cargo pocket take care of your valuables, and reflective elements throughout the short make you more visible to traffic.
The North Face Women's LWH Stretch Short comes in sizes X-Small through X-Large. It's available in TNF Black or Graphite Grey.
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Fit and Sizing
I love that North Face actually makes a pair of XL shorts that fit me. In fact, I had to size down in this particular model shorts to a Large. BUT, for reference, in the sizing of most other bike shorts brands I have to wear at least an XL if not an XXL, and if it's a more roadie-centric brand the XXL are often too small, and the XLs in most mountain brands are still too small. So if you are plagued by bike companies that do not cater to women with *ahem* any junk in their trunk, or thunder in their thighs, I highly recommend The North Face bike shorts. They still need to work on their chamois design, I often wear a different brand liner or spandex short under mine. I have a pair of TNF shorts from the first year they started making bike shorts that have been my ultimate favorite fitting bike shorts ever since (and they have held up the last two years wonderfully) and this LWH Short comes as close as I've found since, so I think I'll keep 'em! (Although I really wish they would just re-make those other shorts... I wish I remembered the name... they came in black plaid and blue plaid).
These LWH shorts have a medium rise in the front although if TNF is listening, it could be a touch shorter (i.e. nice when you are bent over in the saddle), and a little bit of extra coverage in the rear (again, perfect for biking position), and a decent enough inseam for some leg protection in a fall (these come to my knees, I'm not sure they are really a 6" inseam? Feels more like 10" without actually measuring)