The Flylow Cru Liner and Cru Bib Short are built for long-haul days in the saddle, custom designed with Italian fabrics and just the right amount of cushion.
Here at Flylow, we make stuff to use it. And by use it, we mean wearing it for hundreds of days on skis or hundreds of miles in the saddle. We try not to make anything we’re not going to use heavily and frequently. Which means wear testing is easy: Our athletes and crew put our gear to the test through hours of hard use. If things are going to break or fall apart during the design and testing phase, we will find those weak spots and make them stronger. Durability is the very core of our design ethos.
We’ve been making mountain bike shorts for a few years now—breathable, resilient shorts that are designed for long, sweaty climbs and high-speed descents. But until recently, we’ve been pairing our shorts with a chamois made by other companies. We’ve worn liners from a lot of different brands to try to find the perfect option, but many felt lacking.
“We did not offer a chamois short, and what was available on the market did not have the quality and durability we wanted,” says Chris Blum, Flylow’s senior director of product. “Other shorts were hot, or those made from cooler materials had low-quality pads and fragile mesh fabrics.”
So, under Blum’s supervision, we decided to make our first chammy. It was not without a long and thoughtful design process of what we could do better. The men’s Cru Liner and women’s Cru Liner came out last year; and this year, due to demand, we added a men’s Cru Bib Short and women’s Cru Bib Short. (Because, let’s face it, some cyclists simply prefer a bib.) The shorts are designed to be worn under an overshort (not on their own, but hey, you do you). And since padding and patterning are unique for women and men, we designed from the ground up for both versions to ensure the best quality and fit. Our bibs are also designed to make using the bathroom easy without completely disrobing. (You’re welcome for that.)
We don’t want to brag, but these are the best chammies we’ve ever ridden in. (And that’s saying a lot—we, um, ride our bikes a lot over here). You could ride an Everest amount of vertical (like our friend Harrison Biehl did recently!) in these liners and have enough cushion, but they’re also lightweight enough for short rides.
Flylow athlete Ross Tester had this to say about the Cru Liner: “These liners are super comfy and will prevent you from being a sore-ass when you’re out for long days on the bike. The padding is unlike any other liner I’ve worn, it’s super supportive. The fabric is stretchy and breathable. I put them on to go riding but then got sidetracked by some work around the house and forgot I even had them on! Big fan of the side pockets for a gel or to stash my phone if I’m not wearing a pack.”
Skier/biker and Flylow athlete Chelsea Sullivan has been testing the women’s Cru Liner. “Things I love: It’s thicker padding than my last chammy. The high-waisted design is ideal,” Sullivan says. “The length of the cut on the legs is great. I love the stretch, they don’t ride up, and they fit true to size.”
The fabric was sourced from Italy and custom built for the chammy specifically. “Some of the finest things in life come from Italy: Coffee, pizza, fine shoes (including bike shoes), ski boots, fashion, and exceptional cycling fabrics and pads,” says Blum. (Fun fact: The same Italian fabric vendor we’re using also designs speed skating uniforms for American Olympic athletes.)
We developed two fabrics with excellent stretch and recovery that offer ample breathability. “We built in large mesh areas to make the shorts comfortable on the hottest days,” Blum says. “The pad is ultra comfy for short or long rides and does not feel too bulky if you are off the bike. The two side pockets give some utility to store a few low-profile items.”
Most importantly, we field tested the liners extensively to make sure they worked just right on the saddle of a bike. “The pads are positioned in the right spot, and the pattern is designed to give you coverage even if you are hanging way off the back tire,” adds Blum.