When not racing mountain bikes, I’d rather wear baggy shorts over my lycra. The extra layer helps the thin lycra last longer, pockets are occasionally handy, and generally, it just looks a bit nicer.
I’ve had the North Face baggies for over a year now, and I’ve worn them in all weathers. They don’t come with a liner, but I’d rather wear bibshorts underneath anyway. For a relatively modest £40, they are a nice cobalt blue softshell type material, with little in the way of “features”.
Downsides: The pockets are too shallow to use while riding – stuff just falls out of them. The zip pocket by the knee is pointless, as anything within there knocks against your leg while you ride.
Good stuff: Everything else. The elastic waist is super comfy – nothing fancy, but it holds the shorts up, without digging in. The fabric is fairly light, but still tough. It doesn’t feel hot in the summer, nor cold in the winter. They are baggy, but not too baggy. The cut comes to my knees. The blue is lovely and bright and makes me smile (I know these things shouldn’t be important, but they are to me. So there)
After over a year of regular riding (I often choose these shorts over 4 or 5 equally suitable pairs), the bum is a bit thin and discoloured… most of the damage done on a few wet, gritty, muddy rides, but there is still plenty of life left in them. When they eventually die, I’ll probably buy another pair.