Sombrio has been around since the 1980s and established themselves as pioneers of modern and functional mountain biking apparel. Today, it’s almost impossible to imagine mountain biking clothing being limited to skin-tight Lycra and or wearing plain, regular jeans out on the trails that were typical in the 80s. Sombrio created a new range of gear that continues to check all the boxes for mountain bike riders through the decades with functional and stylish pieces to enhance the riding experience. I recently got to test out their Fall-ready kit: Silhouette Riding Shirt, Summit Tank, Summit Shorts, and Cadence Liner.
Silhouette Riding Shirt
The Silhouette Riding Shirt is a classic plaid button-up that’s meant to be worn on and off the trail. It’s specifically tailored for mountain biking by the company that decided that there was more to mountain biking apparel than lycra back in 1980. This button-up is excellent for fall weather or for those chilly early morning ride starts that we sometimes dread. Pair this shirt with the Sobrio Summit Tank for an all day riding kit.
The shirt is made of lightweight cotton and polyester blend for comfort, durability, and functionality. You’ll want to wear this shirt all day. I never felt it got in the way of my riding. The easy snap-on buttons at the front and at the cuffs make it easy to take on or off. You’ll notice the two flap chest pockets that add style and room for nutrition gels or ID cards.
Out on the trails, this shirt helps keep the rider warm while helping to dissipate heat and sweat when the climbs get demanding. The small underarm holes are greatly welcomed to vent heat. If you forget to check the weather before your ride and things get too hot, unbutton the shirt and roll up the sleeves for maximum ventilation. You can also fit elbow pads by rolling up those sleeves. The polyester and cotton blend gives this shirt a high quality feel, and I’m certain it will survive many washes. The shirt should be able to handle some falls but I would like to see reinforced materials at the forearm and elbow area.
The Silhouette Riding Shirt is one of the most lightweight and comfortable button-up trail shirts I have tried. This isn’t just a unisex button-up. It’’s specifically tailored for women who spend their days on the saddle. The shirt is true to size with a “loose/baggy” feel to it. I think many women will appreciate the roomy chest area. A tailored low cut at the front will keep the shirt out of the way and a long hem at the back will keep your lower back covered. No buttcrack showing with this shirt! It allows for plenty of range of motion, and I enjoyed the wiggle room that it offers. If you prefer a more fitted style, you may want to size down. I am 5’7” and 157 lbs. wearing a size medium. Sombrio’s sizing chart for tops was pretty accurate. I suggest checking it out and measuring to ensure the perfect fit.
I can’t forget to mention the hidden and easy-to-access zipper pocket on the side seam on the lower right. I was able to fit an ID, credit card, two gels, and a chapstick inside. I would like to see a lens cleaning cloth on their next iteration like many other companies are doing, along with velcro or buttons for the two chest pockets. The price tag at $100 may deter some mountain bikers, but this shirt will last you many seasons of riding. Don’t forget you can also use it for hiking and many many other activities.
Overall, the Silhouette Riding Shirt is a versatile piece to add to your wardrobe.
Colors: Creek Plaid (tested), Buffalo Plaid
Material: Dura Tek – 56% polyester, 41% cotton, 3% spandex
The Summit Tank is not your typical tank top. It comes with a modern twist meant for hot days at the trail. The Cool Wik material offers plenty of breathability while being silky smooth to the touch. It pairs well with the Silhouette Riding Shirt. This combo kept me warm at dawn and cool as the day progressed. I was pleasantly surprised to find a small zippered stow pocket in the lower back of the tank where you can fit small credit card sized items.
The tank actually runs on the larger size, which worked out great for me as I prefer a looser comfort fit. If you’re looking for a fitted style, you may consider sizing down from your usual cut. This tank is a simplistic approach to summer riding. Stay cool and look cool all day long.
Colors: Mustard Dirt (tested), Coho Tunnel
Material: 56% polyester, 41% cotton, 3% spandex
The Summit Shorts are your all mountain trail shorts meant to keep you riding in style season after season. They offer 4-way stretch durable and breathable fabric to make riding even more enjoyable. Having tried the Sombrio V’AL 2 Shorts in the past, I knew these would not disappoint, and these shorts really live up to their description. They have become my “daily” shorts. With a secured front zipper and hidden snap button with velcro, they don’t slide down the waist when riding. If the shorts feel a bit loose at the waist, like they did for me initially, the velcro straps at the waistline offer adjustability for a more personalized fit.
With lightweight fabric combined with the 4-way stretch comfort, these shorts will inspire you to take the longer route. The clothing you choose to wear can make a big difference depending on the weather. Having ventilation holes in the upper back area and near the inner thigh helps keep things cool. You know they are good shorts when you forget you’re even wearing them, which is something I don’t always experience with trail shorts. Also, I didn’t feel the shorts catch on the saddle which was a plus.
Finally, four pockets! The pockets are my favorite feature of these shorts. There are two large zippered front pockets that allow me to carry my iPhone XR and ID cards, and two back pockets for when I need to stash more trail goodies. You can never say no to more pockets! For those of you who ride at the bike park often, there’s a lift-ticket clip inside the left front pocket.
These shorts are almost perfect. The only thing that was odd for me was the sizing. I followed the sizing guide and went for a medium, only to find they were very snug around the waist restricting my overall movement. I decided to size up to a large but found they were a bit baggier than expected, especially at the thighs. I wish there was a size between their medium and large, but the large will do just fine. It’s important to note that the Velcro tabs came very handy on a size large when fully cinched and they stay in place. When fully cinched, those Velcro tabs do look a bit bunched up in the back waistband, but with a loose top you won’t really notice it. The leg seam on a medium rests above my knee while the large is below.
Colors: Black (tested), Nu Navy, Heathered Charcoal
Material: Mobil Mesh (84% polyester, 16% spandex) ; Piston 230 (72% nylon, 28% spandex)
The Cadence Liner is a very breathable and stretchy chamois for long days out on the trail. The comfort level is high with plenty of padding and a hugging wide waistband. The Mobil Mesh all around does an excellent job at wicking away sweat and moisture.
Chamois fitting is all about personal preference, as we all come in different shapes and sizes, so take my impressions with a grain of salt. The Cadence Liner offers a snug no-gap fit, allowing the stretchy fabric to mold to my body shape. I barely noticed they were there. The seat padding has four panel segments that cover my sit bones and provide plenty of cushion comfort, preventing any painful pressure. This chamois doesn’t not cut into my legs or groin or roll up during the ride. You can feel free to ride all day long with these.
Similar to the Summit Shorts, I had to size up for a perfect fit. Again, I followed the sizing guide and the medium did not fit, so I exchanged the chamois for a large size. I would definitely recommend taking your measurements as it seems the tops and bottoms sizing can be inconsistent. For example, I am a medium in tops, but a large in bottoms for Sombrio.
The $80 price tag on these may push you away, but investing in a high-quality chamois may be the difference in enjoyment and performance when riding. Always invest where your body makes contact with your bike. At this price, I would like to see some silicone grip at the leg openings to prevent them from possibly riding up, but so far that hasn’t been an issue. If you have been on the hunt for a comfortable chamois because your current ones aren’t quite meeting your expectation, I suggest you consider the Sombrio Cadence Liner.
MSRP: $80 (available from Sombrio)
Materials: Mobil Mesh (84% polyester, 16% spandex) ; Piston 230 (72% nylon, 28% spandex)
Style, durability, functionality, and lifetime warranty don’t often come in one package. Sombrio did what they do best, which is to dive deep into their mountain bike roots to create amazing gear for riders.
Thank you Sombrio for providing these items for testing.
The Feel Good, Ride Good series is an effort to help women find mountain bike gear and clothing that just feels right. We recognize women have different body shapes, styles, and needs so we hope to help them discover women’s products that fit those unique requirements so we can just focus on the ride. While we are all different, we all want gear that fits, that works, and matches the energy and personality we bring to the bike. We’ll be back on #FeelGoodFriday with more women’s MTB products