When it comes to choosing a new kit, I have to admit finding one that looks great is my top priority. Troy Lee Design’s turquoise Skyline kit caught my eye and might just be the best looking bit of mountain bike kit I’ve ever owned. For a kit to be truly great however, it needs to work. Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, here’s my take on the 2013 Troy Lee Skyline kit’s function.
Skyline Jersey: Cool, good looking, and practical. Not only are these good qualities to look for in a mate, they also sum up the Troy Lee Skyline jersey. The well-ventilated mesh material kept me cool on hot days but didn’t leave me looking like a creepy Euro in a see through shirt. At 170lbs and 6’1.5” with most of my weight in my legs, the size medium was a perfect fit for me. A moto jersey-inspired collar also adds to the overall comfort of the Skyline, with super soft fabric and plenty of room to move around.
The Skyline jersey is equipped with a zippered side pocket that’s big enough to carry an energy gel or two, or even a wallet, adding versatility with the extra storage. I wouldn’t recommend putting a cell phone in there though, as heavier items tug down on the jersey a bit too much.
Skyline Shorts: After putting the Skyline shorts on, the first thing I noticed was how dialed-in the fit is. Troy Lee seems to have revised their fits and brought their sizing more in line with the rest of the industry. In casual clothes I typically wear 31” or 32” waist pants and the MD/32” Skyline shorts fit me like they were tailor made; no fiddling with the adjustable waist straps required, which provide up to one size worth of adjustment if needed. This was true in the riding position as well. The lightweight 4-way stretch material and articulated shape of the shorts made them great to pedal in. Ventilation could be improved though, as there are no mesh sections or ventilation holes anywhere on the shorts. However, the material is light enough that sweat evaporated extremely quickly to aid cooling.
The deep front pockets are great for putting gloves in before or after a ride. Although I would have preferred that they were zippered for a little more security (of course the TLD Ruckus shorts are a great option for riders that absolutely need a zipper), the pockets are so well designed that it was never an issue. The Skyline short pockets are sewn so that they funnel items to the bottom corner, holding them securely. A D-ring is included at the top of the left pocket to attach your keys so you won’t get locked out of your car at the end of the ride. The pockets lie flat and don’t flop open when pedaling, which is a highly welcome feature that I wish all mountain bike shorts had.
For storing fragile items, there is a zipped pocket padded with closed cell foam under the waistband at the back of the shorts. A great place to stash your cell phone, this pocket offers total peace of mind while being very comfortable, and the foam also protects your phone from sweat. My Samsung Galaxy S3 is a tight fit and would only make it in without a case installed. iPhones, of course, fit great.
No liner is included with the shorts, which is actually a plus in my book, as I prefer to use bibshorts. For me, liners add to the cost of shorts without offering the precise chamois fit I prefer. The Skyline shorts offer a solid value and look great doing it.
Daniel Slusser is a professional bicycle mechanic with over ten years of experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from HSU and a master’s degree in history from Cal Poly. When he is not riding, wrenching, or writing he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.