Bargain shorts from the sports supermarket, but Decathlon's ST900 Women's Mountain Bike Shorts don't cut any corners in terms of performance.
Like Decathlon’s jersey counterpart – the ST100 Jersey – they are a budget option without budget features.
Like many other popular shorts we’ve had on test, they use a stretchy, water-repellent material that’s at the lighter weight end of the fabric spectrum, and they’re available in three colours. For ventilation they have perforated inner thighs, with holes that are actually small enough to prevent flashing random bits of flesh.
They are well served with pockets too; a zip rear pocket can accomodate keys, and there’s a thigh pocket for a phone that’s water resistant. It’s a nice touch for keeping any valuables safe and clean, but we did notice that the thigh pocket would feel a bit sweaty against bare skin if not paired with undershorts – they are not included but Decathlon does offer these separately. Rounding off the features is a loop on the right hip for gloves. Don’t leave them in it and ride off, as you’re bound to drop them, but for occasions mid-ride where you might stop for a chat or to take a photo, we found it to be a handy feature (if you’ll excuse the pun). In case you’re forgetful, there are symbols on each of the pockets show what they’re designed to carry, although there’s nothing stopping you being a rebel and mixing up the contents.
The position of the seams and panels are well considered to the female form and they are the only shorts on test with an elasticated waistband (although Troy Lee does offer one in its Luxe range), which is really comfortable and actually sits at waist height. Paired with a zip and a hook closure it feels secure. There’s no waist adjustability though, so if you have slimmer hips you’ll probably want to try them on before committing to a size.
Rachael: Sized up to a medium. Small was a snug fit but offered no room for padded shorts underneath and sat very snug on the thighs and hips. Medium was much more comfortable around the curves.
Laura: I stuck with a Large but could have also worn an XL. They were the longest in the body length but nearly the shortest in leg length with 11in inseam, and slightly less hip room – not ideal for taller, curvier shapes.
Wearing these back-to-back with shorts up to four times more expensive highlighted just how amazing the value is – they really pack a punch. Little tweaks could really elevate these shorts, like adding a couple of inches in length and bring their environmentally credentials in line with the jersey, but if price is your number one consideration, they definitely do the job.