Chrome Sutro Shorts: Quick Review

Chrome Sutro Shorts: Quick Review – by Grannygear

I have owned two pieces of clothing (shorts and a set of gloves) from Chrome. Both of them have had several things in common. They look like they were built to last. They have been very functional. I have used them a lot. A lot…a lot. The Union shorts are something I have loved to own. I have worn them almost exclusively off the bike, although they are fine for riding in, at least for shorter rides. But they are just so well done and have held up to all kinds of wear and tear. Love ‘em.

The Chrome Industries Sutro Short. (Image courtesy of Chrome)

The Chrome Cycling Gloves have been a glove I wear more than any other long finger I have. I am just now starting to see wear in them so it’s time to get some new ones, but for 30 bucks or so, these have been better than many gloves I have had that cost more.

What It Is: So here we have the new Sutro short, retailing for $130.00. Yeah, that is not cheap. Here is what Chrome says about the new Sutro on the webpage for these shorts.

Over 15 years of technical shorts experience were put into our new Sutro Short. Built with performance fabrics and a looser fit, designed trail rides, city parks, single tracks and even pump track; the Sutros are made with classic Chrome style that’s tough enough for the city and versatile enough for everywhere.

  • Versatile, durable, 4-way stretch city to trail short
  • 5 Bar Flexi comfort waistband
  • Seamless bonded hem to avoid chafe
  • Quick dry, stain and water-resistant DWR finish
  • 14″ inseam; looser fit can be layered over a chamois liner and knee pads or worn alone
The Sutro shorts from the rearview.
A view from the backside. (Image courtesy of Chrome Industries)

Picking up the Sutros gives one a feeling of “these things are substantial”. They have some heft to them and the fabric feels thicker than most baggy shorts I have had. It does have stretch to it though. The stitching and overall build looks to be very ‘Chrome’ in that it is well built. Tank like. At least they feel like 130 bucks in that way.  They have no rear pockets, but that makes sense for a short that is also for cycling. Pretty hard to ride with something stowed back there. They have two slanted front pockets and two zipped ‘stash’ pockets backing up each front pocket. Nice! There is enough room for cash, cards, even a typical men’s wallet in the zipped ones.

There is an adjustable waistband for getting the fit right. I have the 32×13 regular fit size and that works well with my slim build. There are double snaps for the waist closure, more like riveted pieces.  Solid. 

I took these on vacation where we kicked around Nashville, doing the tourist stuff…bars, music, food, museums, walks to coffee shops, etc. I almost exclusively wore the grey Sutros on that trip…like the Chrome Union shorts, they became my go-to short. When I got back from that trip, I took them on a couple of rides to see how they were on the bike. Here are my thoughts.

The length is great. I hate short shorts (the ghost of Magnum P.I.), so the leg length being right at the top of the knee is good to go. The fabric is pretty thick, almost heavy, but the stretch keeps them comfy and allows for the right amount of give. They never bunched or pinched or rode up.

But that significant fabric does make me pause for ‘middle of summer wear’ if the activity was on the active side. Compared to a light weight short like the Sportful ones I also have, these are not near as carefree in hot temps.
At first the lack of rear pockets made me think twice about using them as a wear-into-town-go-on-vacation short. But the saving grace here are the two front zipped pockets. They allowed me to put cash, cards, keys, and my wallet in there. And when you are mingling among thousands of happy country music revelers in downtown Nashville, that bit of extra security was very appreciated. The open front pockets easily held my cell phone and my ‘normal’ sized iPhone likely would fit into the zipped ones too.

The Sutro short has pockets big enough for your smart phone.
Pocket big enough for a phone? Got that.

At The Finish: These are a sharp looking short and I would say, ‘classy’. So I would feel comfy going from t-shirt to button down in them. Now, on the bike they were very good. They did feel a bit warm-ish, but over a short-liner, they did just fine. No complaints. For a city ride to work or coffee short, I would certainly use these on the bike. I have a stack of shorts in my closet. There are two shorts on top of the heap. Both of them have a Chrome logo on them. Ready for the weekend party, the next ride to coffee, and the coming apocalypse.

You can find out more about these and other offerings from Chrome here:

Note: Chrome Industries sent over the Sutro shorts for test and review to riding Gravel at no charge We were not paid, nor bribed, for this review and we always strive to give our honest opinions and views throughout. Images used in this post courtesy of Chrome Industries


Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. An inaugural member of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame and Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004- Guitar Ted has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and back road events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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