I first noticed the Hummvee Knickers when out riding the Umpqua River trail with our buddy Fred of Wolfhound Cycles. I’ve been a fan of knickers off and on for a while, but there was something extremely appealing to me about the profile of the Hummvee shorts. Instead of looking baggy, they look a bit more streamlined, and have a bit of a taper to the legs. They look great on Fred lengthwise, possibly because he’s a bean pole of a guy with long legs. The Endura shorts have a similar to appeal to other riders, as my brother picked up a pair as well before leading me to follow suit.
The Endura Hummvee knickers are a bit more fitted than a typical DH/FR style baggy short. In fact, due to the tapered leg, many types of knee pads won’t fit underneath. My Fox Launch Knee pads and 661 Straits are too big. Since these are trail riding shorts, it isn’t an issue at all, and we typically pair them with low-profile lighter weight knee protection when we want to wear pads. (The G-Form pads are a great pad to pair with the Hummvee.)
The profile and fit of the Hummvee is dialed for trail riding though. While they have a streamlined look, they feel spot on and comfortable in the hips and thigh, and feature a bit of adjustability via velcro straps at the bottom of the leg that keep wind out when it’s chilly. There are also knee darts to aid in comfort while pedaling. I’ve never had an issue with being tangled with my saddle, and don’t ever think about the shorts when I’m riding. When I don’t have to think about my gear and can focus on the trail, I’m happy.
Note: They do seem to run slightly snug at the waist initially. Some have commented they prefer to go a size up. I typically wear a medium/ 32″, and also find the medium to fit fine; although they do seem snug, what you’re actually feeling is the elastic stretching. I think that sizing up to a large would result in a poor fit. One thing I did notice is that when viewing Endura’s size chart, it appears they are basing their recommendations on your actual waist measurement. My waist measures out at about 33 1/5″ inches, which places me as a medium according to their size chart here.
We’ve found them to be ideal for adventurous rides where temperatures vary, and having a bit of extra length is a bonus. Not only do they keep your knees warm on brisk evenings or night rides, but having a bit of extra protection when riding overgrown trails or stomping through the woods is quite nice. Although they have a zippered vent on the hips, and mesh behind the knee for ventilation, they get a bit hot during the peak of summer. During spring and fall though, they’re one of our first picks when we’re not sure of the conditions we’ll be facing. (I’ve since picked up the Hummvee is the standard length, and it is my go-to short)
The shorts are well constructed of durable nylon, and have a water repellant coating. A number of different types of materials are used that all mesh together with form following function. Various weights of nylon can be found, some of the rip-stop variety. The seat panels are made from the heavier duty cordura style material many DH and moto shorts use. Everything is reinforced everywhere, and the panels are triple stitched together. It not only looks durable, but after a year and a half of abuse, my pair is holding up extremely well. I’m not crazy about the aesthetic of the rear elastic waistband, but it is extremely comfortable, and functions well.
That’s the appeal of the Hummvee. It’s a short designed for function, and it works. It isn’t going to be confused with a hip looking short I’d put on to roll around town on the fixie, (unlike say, offerings from Chrome) but the no-nonsense functional short I choose when heading out for an adventure. (again, the trim profile doesn’t hurt either) With numerous zippers and pockets everywhere, it has a military-like feel to it, and I’ve found it works well for hiking and rock climbing to boot. I’m a big fan of belt loops and belts on my riding shorts since they stay put better, and the Hummvee includes a low profile nylon belt that fastens with an adjustable quick release. The belt combined with the rear stretch panel results in a short I’ve never had issues with moving or sliding down on me; something I wish I could say for a lot of the other shorts in my dresser. A conventional snap and zipper can be found in the front, making it simple to relieve yourself when you need to as well.
There are a number of useful pockets found on the shorts, and are some of the best I’ve found. There are two pockets placed in the traditional spots on your thigh you’d expect to find cargo pockets. Large cargo pockets are stupid on riding shorts when actually riding though, since stuff just bounces around on your thighs. The pockets are fairly small, and just large enough to be useful for storing small, light weight items. I find them good for storing goo packets or shot blocks in the short term, and while I don’t use them regularly, I find I use them just enough to find them useful. The two front pockets are of a good size and secured with zipper as well. There are two extremely useful rear pockets as well. I wouldn’t ever put my wallet or cell phone in them, but they’re large sized, and intended for maps. They serve this purpose very well, and I also use them for stashing energy food and food wrappers or temporary storage of a multi-tool, tube, etc. during a trail side repair. In addition, there is a clip that could be used for hanging a key chain. Although I’m a fan of carrying my keys on a ring with a carbiner, I’ve found the placement isn’t useful for me, and tend to hang my keys on a belt loop. (I’ve made it a habit to move my keys to a secure location in my hydration pack while on an actual ride after losing a few keys in a crash)
The Hummvee short also includes a removable liner that connects to the outer short via small snaps. I rarely take the time to snap the liner in as the short fits great without needing the additional support. I don’t find anything exceptional about the liner or the pad, but have no complaints about it for general trail riding. I generally pair the short with whatever’s closest in my short drawer, but it does add value to the short’s price.
Overall, the Hummvee shorts are packed with useful and functional features. Although the general aesthetic (especially from the rear) is a bit lacking, in the black color way they look just like basic black 3/4 length shorts from afar. They’ve been around for a few seasons, but if they aren’t broken, why fix them?They’re priced extremely reasonably, especially when you consider their durability and the mileage you’ll likely get with them. We like them so much we also purchased the standard short version for the warmer parts of the year.
The Enduras will set you back about $90 or so. Check them out: Endura Hummvee 3/4 Short with liner