2XU Women’s Compression Cycle Short

The manufacturer provided this cycling short for the purpose of this review.

By Jenn K.

2XU uses a collection of 3 different types of compression fabrics each geared towards different performance benefits. All these fabrics have high gauge elastomeric yarns, superior medical grade circular knit structure to allow 360 degree stretch, greater flexibility, unsurpassed power and durability.

PWX Flex: Has a high denier that delivers high power. This is the most flexible and breathable fabric.

PWX Weight: Higher denier for greater power and support, high flexibility and breathability.

PWX Power: Highest denier for unparalleled power.

2XU Women's Compression Cycle Short The 2XU Women’s Compression Cycle Short uses the PXW Weight Fabric for enhanced power and compression. This fabric is designed to support the hamstrings, quads, abductors, and the glutes. This fabric allows for greater muscle stabilization for reduced muscle fatigue and damage. This fabric also has moisture management, UPF 50+ sun protection, and antibacterial properties.

This short is part of the Perform line-up of 2XU compression garments. It is to be worn during activity and offer comfort and muscle containment for reduced muscle damage.

The short is made with 80% nylon and 20% Elastane (Invista Lycra). It is constructed of 105 denier Lycra. This is an enhancement from the previous material that was used by this manufacturer. This new material is designed to offer stabilization of the muscles, less vibration and fatigue, and moisture management properties for promote dryness, comfort, and focus.

The legs of the short are designed with Y Elastic Grip to prevent the short legs from riding up and irritation. The grip around the leg bands is a sticky rubber shaped like an “X” as the 2XU logo.

The Compression Cycle Short has an attached Italian Fusion Pro 2 multi-density female specific, seamless chamois. This chamois is interesting that the padding has various densities and the different densities are marked on the chamois. The maximum support is 120 density and this is towards the rear of the short. The chamois padding then graduates to an 80 density and then 40 density in specific targeted areas (more towards the front and surrounding the other densities to where the chamois meets the shorts).

2XU Chamois

The Compression Cycle Short is available in black and in sizes xx-small through xx-large. Based on the sizing chart I would wear a medium; as I do in my other cycling shorts. The size medium fit me well and is true to size. The shorts have a flatlock stitching design in black and dark grey. The side panels and the upper rear portion of the short have reflective accents for the brand. One side has the 2XU logo and the other side has “2XU” printed.

I washed the short in a laundry bag in cool water and hung it to dry. While later inspecting the short I noticed that a thread has come undone on the rear in the flatlock stitching. This thread has pulled about 3 inches. I do not know what to think right now as I am not happy that a thread has pulled this prematurely. I was afraid that they may rip apart on my century ride this weekend so I put some fabric glue on the inside of the stitching when I cut the thread. I will be calling customer service about this if more threading comes undone.

I tried the Compression Cycle Short on a 20 mile ride with my local bike club to see how they fit. The initial fit is good. The short was tight, but not overly so. The legs stayed in place. This short is thinner than my other cycling shorts and I noticed that they are more constrictive. The material of this short is also different, it has a slight rubber feeling (I do not know exactly how to explain it). I also noticed that the Compression Cycle Short rests lower on my body than my other shorts.

Time will tell if this short is worth the money. Right now I am completing two century rides per month and it will be interesting to see if it holds up through the first one.

Update 10/17/12

A month has gone by and I have been wearing the 2XU Compression Cycle Short on my training road rides and a metric century. My century rides over the past month have been cut short due to a bike mechanical issue and high temperatures. On the ride that I had the bike mechanical issue I was still able to log 50 miles. Luckily the area of the short that the stitching has become undone has not become worse since the area was secured with fabric glue. However, the spot of fabric glue can be seen as the area is shinier than the short material. I have worn this short in temperatures ranging from the low 60’s F to the low 90’s F. Even in high temperatures there was no feeling of overheating.

Glued area

This short gives good and adequate compression. I noticed this mostly in the quadriceps area of my legs. The material of this short feels different than any other cycling shorts that I own. The material is thin but seems to be durable as the fabric has not torn yet or has worn in the inner thigh area from rubbing against my seat. The only issue I have encountered thus far is the thread that came undone before the short was worn.

The Compression Cycle Short has a smooth feel, but they have a slightly rubber feeling (I actually do not know how to best describe it). They are comfortable and feel smooth against my skin. I will say that when wearing this short my legs feel compressed and there is no early fatigue. I noticed this on my fast paced club rides. It may be that I was more rested, but the shorts felt really comfortable so I am sure that made a difference to some point.

I wish the short was not cut so low in the back. I wish it sat higher on my waist so that when I wear a shorter race cut jersey the skin on my back is not exposed when I am bent over on the bike. I am constantly pulling down my race cut jerseys when I wear this short. This really bothers me about the design of this short.

The chamois is very comfortable. I like the various levels of padding in the chamois. There has been not irritation on my skin from the chamois nor have there been any pressure areas. The longest I have worn this cycling short is 62 miles.

Inside of leg band

The leg bands on the short have not ridden up or chaffed the area that they touch on my legs. The grip is also not irritating nor does it have a tacky/sticky rubber like feeling. Also the leg band is not overly compressive that more compression is noted in that area or any circulation is compromised.

The Compression Cycle Short has been laundered in a front loading washing machine with regular detergent. The short has been hung to dry overnight and they are ready to be worn by the morning. The decals of the company logo have not pulled away from the short material or have peeled up in any way. Also there has been no pilling of the short material after washing and the short has not stretched.

Update 11/19/12

Another month has gone by and I had the opportunity to wear the Compression Cycle Short during a century ride and on some 40 -mile training rides. The temperatures ranged from the low 40’s to the upper 80’s when I wore the Compression Cycle Short.

Luckily the stitching I glued has not unraveled, but I notice the area and that irks me. However, my club cut jerseys cover the glued area.

The short was comfortable on my century ride and it layered over my knee warmers comfortably and the knee warmers stayed in place under the short. When wearing the knee warmers I could see the outline of the top of the knee warmers on my upper thigh under the short. This happens when I wear knee warmers under any short and cannot be avoided. The leg grips on the short kept the short legs in place over the knee warmers.

I wish these shorts had a higher cut waist. Especially for when I am wearing my race cut jerseys. It is irritating to be constantly pulling down the back of the jersey to make sure my lower back is not exposed. This is a non-issue with my club cut jerseys as they are longer in the back.

I like that this short is light-weight and offers support. The short feels tight on my legs, but not overly so. And there has been no swelling above my knees or on my thighs were the short leg bands sit. With all the miles I put in on the bike I never have cramping of my quads or hamstrings. If I cramp it is in my calves. So I cannot really say that the compression helps with any cramping issues I would experience. I will say that my legs feel less fatigued after and during long rides or sprinting rides when I wear the Compression Cycle Short. I also noticed that my quads feel a snug pressure from the short. On my century ride I had to tackle the most challenging hill climb at mile 75 and my legs felt fresh. This was not expected since my riding time the week before was cut significantly more than I wanted to. After my century ride my legs felt pretty darn good. Either I am becoming a stronger rider or this short offered some performance benefits.

There is no premature wear other than the pulled stitching when I received the shorts. I am surprised for how often I have worn this short that there is no wear in the inner thigh area.  They have also laundered well with no fuzzing and the logos are still intact.

The chamois is super comfortable. I like the variation of the chamois thickness and how it is dispersed. Having the thickness more dispersed eliminates bulk in the chamois area and I like that. It also looks better when wearing the short since there is less bulk.

I will continue wearing these shorts until they fall apart and I hope to wear them during my double century in February.

The Compression Cycle Short retails for $190.00. For more information please visit www.2xu.com.



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