I bought the CW-X tri shorts to replace my worn out pair of Sugoi RS tri shorts which had been a favorite of mine for several seasons. When I first tried them on my first impression was that they were slightly less comfortable than the Sugoi shorts. However, some of the differences in comfort can be attributed to features unique to the CW-X shorts intended to combat fatigue and increase performance. The shorts feature a higher waistband in order to apply targeted compression to muscles of the core and lower back. I haven’t been able to discern whether or not there is a benefit to this feature, and I would hazard a guess that more benefit could be gained through a functional core strength program than with a little bit of extra fabric, but it certainly can’t hurt. The waistband does give the feeling of wearing your pants just a little too high when you first put the shorts on, but its something I don’t notice once I am racing. In fact, it even seems to offer a little extra protection from chafing when my race number belt starts to migrate north.
The shorts feature a very thin but comfortable fleece chamois. Despite having virtually no padding compared to other tri-shorts, and especially compared to regular bike shorts, I have never experienced any discomfort while riding, and I have worn them for every distance from sprint to full Ironman as well as during several 150+km training rides. That same minimal chamois makes these shorts even more comfortable for running. Add in the flat seams, and targeted compression in the quads and hip flexors, and I feel like I could run all day in these shorts. Despite the mesh ventilation panels, the thicker fabric used to supply the compression does make my legs noticeably warmer while running when compared to other tri shorts, but this is only noticeable on the hottest race days, and somewhat welcome on the cooler days. The additional heat could also be attributed to longer inseam length, a design feature which I am sure is used to allow compression to be applied to a larger area of the legs.
While some of the other brands I’ve worn equal the CW-X shorts in terms of comfort, there is no comparison when it comes to durability. Most other brands last me two season before being retired, but my CW-X tri shorts still look brand new after two seasons. If you are looking for tri shorts that provide all day comfort for events of any length, and will last for season after season, I highly recommend you take a look at the CW-X Ventilator Tri Shorts.