Serfas Men’s Ripcord Cargo Shorts

29 Jul

I normally ride around 6,500 miles a year and most of those miles are on the road—which means most of the time I wear Lycra cycling shorts. However, about 20% of my mileage is on off-road trails and I wear mountain biking shorts on those rides (the “when in Rome do as the Romans” thing). The MTB shorts I bought when I started cycling about twelve years ago were heavy and held water like a sponge. Fortunately, in the past few years several manufacturers have developed MTB shorts that are lightweight, durable and don’t hold moisture. A few weeks ago the folks at Serfas sent me a pair of their new Men’s Ripcord Cargo Shorts to review these shorts should appeal avid mountain bikers, recreational cyclists and commuters alike.

Serfas Men's Ripcord Cargo Shorts

Serfas Men’s Ripcord Cargo Shorts

The Serfas Men’s Ripcord Cargo Shorts consist of an outer shell and an inner liner. The outer shell is made of lightweight 100% Polyester and has a snap front closure with a zippered fly and an adjustable Velcro waistband. The outer shell has four pockets. There are two large pockets on the front of the pants—one on each side just like every other pair of pants you own. However, these pockets have mesh on one side so water or dust won’t build up in your pockets. These are what I call “walking around” pockets—they are great for holding small items when you are off your bike, but since they do not close I wouldn’t use then while riding.

Serfas Men's Ripcord Cargo Shorts

Zippered Pocket On The Serfas Men’s Ripcord Cargo Shorts

On the lower right-hand side of the pants there is a roomy zippered pocket (7″ wide x 8″ deep). The zipper appears to be made of a high-quality nylon and is very smooth to open or close. Since this is the most secure pocket I keep my car keys and billfold in here (I sometimes have to drive my Jeep to the off-road trails).

Serfas Men's Ripcord Cargo Shorts

Pocket With Velcro Closure

On the lower left-hand side of the pants there is another roomy pocket (7″ wide x 8″ deep). This pocket closes with a piece of Velcro and you can easily open or close it as you are riding (I keep extra carb gels in this pocket).

Serfas Men's Ripcord Cargo Shorts

The Inner And Outer Layers Snap Together

The detachable inner liner of these shorts is made of 90% Polyester and 10% Spandex. If you are used to riding in Lycra road shorts then you will find one of the biggest downsides to most MTB shorts with a detachable liner is that they tend to hold in heat and moisture (mainly because they have two layers). However, these shorts don’t seem to hold moisture like most of the other MTB shorts I own (and for the post month I had to ride on many days when the humidity was well over 80%). This liner attaches to the outer shell with a pair of snaps of both sides of the pants.

Serfas Men's Ripcord Cargo Shorts

Chamois On The Serfas Men’s Ripcord Cargo Shorts

Last, but not least, the Serfas Men’s Ripcord Cargo Shorts has a high quality chamois (Serfas calls it their “Launch Pad Compression Foam Chamois”). If you are looking for a solid inch of gel then this chamois is not for you! This chamois is fairly thin, but  extremely comfortable. As with every other chamois on the market, I would strongly suggest you use a chamois cream before you go out for a ride (put some cream on the chamois itself and on your skin in the area of your sit bones).

The Serfas Men’s Ripcord Cargo Shorts are available in five sizes (S, M, L, XL, and XL). In my opinion these shorts run a bit small—so if you are on the border between two sizes I’d go with the larger size. By the way, since these shorts have an adjustable Velcro waistband if your pants are a couple of inches too big you can quickly adjust them to have a perfect fit.

These shorts retail for $60 and are available from the Serfas website and from authorized Serfas dealers (most bike shops). These pants are also available on, but they appear to have an older version of these pants in the photos and description.


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12 responses to “Serfas Men’s Ripcord Cargo Shorts

  1. kirisyko

    July 29, 2013 at 6:20 AM

    Reblogged this on Sykose and commented:
    Another great review.

  2. Mountainstroh (Tony)

    July 29, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    I never wear the Lycra, these are my standard wear and love the pair I have!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 29, 2013 at 10:06 AM

      Glad to hear it! One of the guys at the local bike shop said they sell a LOT of these. Serfas makes a quality product that is considerably less expensive that some of the other brands.

      • Mountainstroh (Tony)

        July 29, 2013 at 10:11 AM

        Exactly! Many a century has occurred on with these shorts!

      • Richard Masoner (@cyclelicious)

        July 29, 2013 at 12:41 PM

        “Serfas” and “quality” in the same sentence? Not in my experience. Nothing I’ve used from Serfas has lasted through even a single year of cycling. A good number of products I’ve demoed fail to even last out the week. I expect most apparel to at least last for a good 10,000 miles of use or more.

        Perhaps they’ve changed since I gave up on Serfas a few years ago, though. The price point for these shorts suggests a higher quality than what I’ve seen in the past, so I look forward to any updates. Typical things to watch for will be the snaps breaking off, complete failure of those zippers, and stitches coming out of the seams.

        • All Seasons Cyclist

          July 29, 2013 at 5:37 PM

          Richard, please give them another try! The zippers on these are far better than any of the Pearl Izumi MTB shorts I own, and the chamois is at least equal to that of the PI shorts — and these shorts have more pockets as well. I really don’t know what Serfas clothing was like a few years ago, but everything I’ve bought from them in the past few years has been high quality stuff.

  3. billgncs

    July 29, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    never used the chamois butter before — does it wash out well ?

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 29, 2013 at 10:10 AM

      I can’t ride without a chamois cream! My personal favorite is the Blue Steel Sports Anti-Chafe Cream, and the Chamois Butt’r Eurostyle is nearly as good, but less expensive. As for washing out of the chamois — I have to confess that I don’t do my own laundry. However, my beloved wife said the cream washes out easily!

    • K

      July 29, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      I’ve washed these out of my (Serfas and Pearl Izumi) shorts in a standard automatic washing machine (with standard, Target-brand clothing detergent) with no issues whatsoever: Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, Chamois Butt’r, and Bag Balm. No hand-washing necessary.

  4. isaac976

    July 29, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    When I was reading on and on, I was thinking this suckers gonna cost in the hundreds, and I was surprised that it cost a reasonable range of $60, I usually bought MTB shorts and use em as everyday attire cause some look really cool.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 29, 2013 at 11:26 PM

      You could easily use these shorts are regular cargo pants (with or without the liner). The exterior shell dries REALLY fast.

      • isaac976

        July 29, 2013 at 11:27 PM

        My Oakley and Pearl Izumi are really heavy, Thanks dude.


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