Not Into Spandex? Check Out ElevenPine's Uprising Short
Features
  • Converts from form-fitting to baggy
  • Strategic mesh for ventilation
  • Stellar chamois
Improveables
  • Length seems designed for really tall folks
4.0Rating
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

For some folks who ride bikes, spandex is a necessary evil.  Functionally, it stops some chafing and provides support and compression, but man, it can make you look like an overstuffed sausage.  To the rescue comes the ElevenPine Uprising short, a short than converts from a form-fitting cycling short to a casual fitness short with two zips.

elevenpine uprising liberator review

ElevenPine Uprising and Liberator Construction

ElevenPine puts some genius features in the Uprising short.  The main ones are the two zippers that run almost the full length of the outer thigh, converting the shorts from form-fitting bike shorts to looser, gym-style shorts.  Zip them up and put ElevenPine’s Liberator Liner under them and you have a solid pair of bike shorts.  Unzip and the Uprising short works for any athletic activity from trail running to yoga.  Velcro flaps keep the zips secure and the sliders covered.  The small, reflective details are a nice addition.

elevenpine uprising liberator review

The main short body is constructed of a soft, stretch fabric that moves with you but maintains its structure.  ElevenPine puts a looser, mesh weave along the zippers and across the lower back for extra ventilation.  These mesh areas match up to mesh on the Liberator Liner to keep things cool on hot days.

Two zip hand pockets safely stash important things like keys and gels.  They’re on the top of the thigh, so they might not be best for bulky items and could put your phone in danger during a fall.  Also, the zips orient from up and in to down and out and they tend to fold as you pedal.  We think they might be better if they were oriented from up and out to down and in so the zippers don’t interfere with pedaling.  Or, even better, put them on the back of the thighs so they aren’t in the way at all.

The Liberator liner short includes an elastic waistband and silicone leg grippers.  The fabric is supportive.  But, you want to know about the chamois, right?  It’s nice.  Really nice.  The 3D foam uses different thicknesses in the right spots.  Surface fabric has some texture to it, both to transfer moisture and to keep the chamois from moving around on your skin.  ElevenPine also includes an anti-microbial treatment on the chamois to keep things from getting stinky.

ElevenPine Short Fit

At 5’10” and 215 lbs, ElevenPine suggested a large for me in both the Uprising and Liberator.  Both fit well in the waist.  The Liberator Liner was just the right amount of tight without being restrictive.  Likewise, the Uprising was form-fitting without being too tight or too loose when zipped up.  When unzipped, the Uprising was slightly baggy, but that’s the point.

elevenpine uprising liberator review

Where things broke down for me was in the length of the shorts.  Both the Uprising and Liberator are long and high-waisted.  I pulled them both up to my navel and they still came down below my quads.  I suggest that the large size will be a good fit for someone with a 34″ inseam or above.  Folding the Uprising waistband down helped reduce the length a bit.

How Did We Test?

I took the ElevenPine Uprising and Liberator out on multiple mountain and gravel rides.  They earned their place on a ride up Mt. Tam, the birthplace of mountain biking, and kept my bits happy grinding up the dirt roads of Vail Mountain.  I also took them on a bikepacking trip that had me in the saddle for almost 12 hours over 28 miles one day.  Overall, I put about 250 miles on the shorts, with that number increasing weekly.

elevenpine uprising liberator review

ElevenPine Shorts Review

On the bike, ElevenPine’s shorts disappear.  That’s a good thing.  They lasted, comfortably, for any length of time, even without any chamois cream.  From all-day while bikepacking to six hours on gravel, I found the combination of the Uprising and Liberator to be supportive and protective of the important bits.

For people that feel uncomfortable in Lycra, when you reach your destination and hop off your bike, you can unzip the shorts and look casually athletic.  I am, unfortunately for everyone I encounter, completely comfortable stomping around in bibs and a jersey, so I kept the shorts zipped up almost the entire time.

elevenpine uprising liberator review

Off the bike, the Uprising shorts are casually comfortable.  Length/rise is less of an issue when one isn’t using them for biking.  Other than the unobtrusive zippers on both sides, the shorts blend in completely and can pass for regular shorts for any activity.

The fit issues were a little weird.  I’m not an abnormally short person, but I feel like ElevenPine designed their shorts for a much taller person.  That said, once I got moving, I no longer noticed it.  Even with the waistband folded, I was never uncomfortable and never felt like the length was a dealbreaker.

Final Thoughts

ElevenPine has figured out how to make a pair of shorts that satisfy both the functional requirements of bike shorts and the aesthetic sensibilities of your average rider.  The Uprising short serves well on the bike without making you look like a roadie if you have to stop by the grocery store before you shower.  And, the Liberator liner is a classic.

ElevenPine Uprising shorts are available in a grey-blue and black in waist sizes from 30″-43″ and fit true to size in the waist.  ElevenPine Liberator Liner shorts come in the same range (but only one color) and are also true to size.  They also make a mountain bike-focused overshort called the CrankItUp with a slightly more robust fabric.  Both the Uprising and the CrankItUp are available as a package with the Liberator Liner for $30 savings.