It’s a thankless task, but somebody has to do it.
And the funny thing is, I didn’t even intend to take it on. I went for a ride after several days of brisk but clear weather, expecting to enjoy tacky dirt and minimal after-match cleanup requirements.
After decades of riding in the local woods I should have known better, but a strategic blunder changed everything. Brisk around here means frost, and whatever we get on the yard is about three times frostier up in the forest. Go for a trail without enough tree cover and you better do it early, while it is still frozen. If you leave it until after ten, like I did, and then go and sample something like K2, be ready to navigate a slimy mess. The frost sucks moisture out of the dirt, and the shards of ice also crumble the surface. When it thaws, the trail surface becomes a slurry of water and broken up trail that is perfect lubrication for any rubber that might happen along.
These conditions separate the highly skilled zen warriors of the singletrack from people like me, and they also provide a great way to cover everything with sticky mud. I have a sample pair of Nzo Custom Sifters on high rotation to find their weak points (so far, so good) and they took the brunt of the roost off my rear tyre. They are a fetching shade of sky blue, so any dirt shows.
The stuff flicking off the tyre and being ground into the fabric between the saddle and me would be a great test of washability, but just for good measure, in the interests of thorough laundry research, I also crashed.
I launched off a tree that lays across a trail. The front tyre slipped, altering my trajectory enough to high side me fairly gracefully into a heap. So there was some nice dry dirt ground into the shorts as well as the wet spray job.
After the initial rinse the bright blue shorts still looked pretty bad. They spent a night in a bucket with stain remover, got rinsed again, and joined the next batch of stuff in the washer.
Came out mint. Big tick for washability.
TIP FOR DESIGNING YOUR Nzo CUSTOM SHORTS:
If you are going to go looking for mud, make the back part black, or some other dark colour. Save your sky blue ones for summer.