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Here is what they reckon:

Simple is Good

Dobies are an outlier in the world of mountain biking shorts. A deceptively simple design means there are less parts to fail, and the elastic waist with a drawstring to secure it is the most flexible and user friendly system ever devised. The other key feature that makes this model work so well when you are riding is what is NOT there: a fly. There are no extra layers of fabric, zip, buttons or anything else that might get in the way of supreme comfort.


From a happy customer, Rich:

I took two pairs of these on a 3000 kilometre bikepacking trip: 

one pair for riding and the backup pair for, um, not riding. They excelled in both arenas.

At home I use them on the trails, and not on the trails. They are my do anything, go anywhere shorts.

NB: This photo isn't Rich, or the Tour Aotearoa. It's us, on a different expedition. But you get the idea.


From Joe Cruz, inveterate bike traveller:

Oh, man, the NZO Dobies. I love those shorts. The fit and look are great, they’re ridiculously comfortable with their thin pad worn “commando” style, and they are basically indestructible. I’ve bought exactly two pairs in my life. I got the first in 2003 and wore them on countless day rides and dozens of trips. Alongside a pair of lycra race bibs, they were the only shorts I had for the 11 months I spent in Asia and were my mainstay for warm weather. By 2010 they were just starting to show some age, so I got a new pair. That second pair has been to Nepal, Southeast Asia, the length of South America and through South Africa. I still reach for them nowadays and I can’t say they look much worn at all. Crazy.

Joe Cruz/JoeCruzPedalling

From the distant past:

Digging through the email folder for something, I found this treatise form 2005, when Dobies were already a long-established design:

Dobies, in my book, are simply the best shorts on the planet.

I got my first (and so far only) pair about 7 years ago. N-Zone was a new startup company apparently more aligned to sifting about Zippy Central cafe than making a buck out of bikes.

It's great to see that the sift mentality can co-exist with making a buck, and that the Dobie is now the default bike short for those in the know. But let's focus on our story...I'm pretty sure my pair are #4 or #5. Back then N-Zone was an exclusive little boutique, catering for locals and the odd Aucklander who stumbled into town.

The local N-Zone mafia rode, played and drunk too much coffee together, and new goods were tried out on crash test dummies on the doorstep trails in the Redwoods - it's great to see little has changed.

You can spot old-school Dobies: they have been washed so many times the canvas is nearly white. The labels are unreadable or like mine, have fallen off entirely after years of abuse and high-speed application to terra firma. The pocket has a velcro flap. There will be frayed edges around the hem, from countless rides. In contrast, the black N-Zonium stretch fabric will look like absolutely new, and the chamois will too. Basically, they age like good jeans: lived-in, functional, street cred and comfy.

What have my Dobies done? They have outlasted 3 bikes. They have been worn to work all day for 4 years straight. They have been to America, where their minimal cool design and quality made converts all over. They have been tramping, swimming, climbing, flying, driving...they are the pinnacle of cycle couture - desirable, functional, uber-stylish and plain old-fashioned quality.The elastic waistband usually does the job, but when things get really exciting, the drawcord can be done up to ensure you & your Dobies are not parted. The pocket is just right for the phone & sunnies. The chamois...never needed more, never wanted less. On a bike it's just right, off a bike you don't know it's there. The fit lets you move around the bike without any hangups, yet you don't freak out the crowd when ordering a flat white.

Does this sound like love? Is it wrong to love a pair of shorts? Paula has been around as long as my Dobies, and I love them both dearly. I'd hate to ever have to choose between them, because either way I'd loose something indescribable.

Dobies rule. Here's to the next 7 years.

Dobies were hatched in our second year of operation. There was no industry 'standard' in those days, defining what a short should look like or how it should function. This attempt at hitting all the goals we set ourselves was an instant classic. People bought them as fast as we could make them, and several much larger companies immediately tried to copy them. Fortunately their versions were not very good.

Now the industry is all grown up, and the major players make products by the container load, an oddball like the Dobies would be too risky: by the time the product had been through three or four pairs of hands to get to the shop floor the benefits might be lost in translation. So nobody else makes such a simple mountain biking short.

Nzo has made quite a few iterations of this product and we reckon the latest one is the best. We like it. And we think you will too.

A very old advertisement

This is an ad we ran when we launched Dobies in like, 1999. We actually ran a sort of contest by leaving a notepad on the counter of our shop, asking for suggestions. We got some good ones, but the best was Dobies. That one came from Jake. We don't remember what he got for coming up with that name, but we did make him a special pair with double two-colour piping - that may have been his prize.

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