Maloja Cadena Tulip women's MTB shorts review - Total Women's Cycling

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Maloja Cadena Tulip women’s MTB shorts review

If you want clothing that performs, but don’t want to sacrifice your personal style, then the range of kit available from German company Maloja is worth checking out, specially their Cadena Tulip MTB shorts.

The lightweight Cadena Tulip shorts perform well for trail riding in warmer weather or balmy autumn days – if we get any.

There are more and more colourful options now available in the world of MTB shorts, but patterns have been noticeably absent in my experience. Until now; the Cadena Tulip shorts from Maloja have a full-on print from the thigh downwards.

Part of the Pachamama range, the Peruvian-inspired pattern incorporates traditional elements like tulips, birds, hearts and geometric patterns into a design that’s distinctive and unique.

I’m not generally a pattern-loving gal, but I actually quite liked these – teamed with a plain jersey, they look different enough to be interesting and fun, without heading towards pattern overload. I can see them being a bit marmite though.

Also, if you’re not a fan of the rust-brown colour I tested, don’t worry! The shorts also come in a deep blue and forest green base colour plus pattern. Or if you don’t fancy this print, the Cadena shorts also come in two other all-over pattern options.

The fabric is 2-way stretch, which provides a good degree of movement, and is complemented by a stretch panel at the rear of the short just below the waistband. The material is lightweight and breathable, but feels robust enough to cope with a little rough treatment on the trail.

As a UK size 12, I opted for the size large, which fitted fine though they were quite snug around my bum. They are loose but not massively so around the thigh, and I also found them just slightly short for my liking, coming just to the knee on me – I’m 5’8.

There’s plenty of room to accommodate kneepads with no catching or pulling, though the hems did ride up a little over the pads when riding. These shorts also don’t have any built in venting, relying instead on the lightweight fabric to keep things cool.

The waistband can be adjusted to fit using an internal Velcro pull-tab. They don’t come with a chamois liner, so you’ll need to get one separately if you like a little padding. Mine fitted fine under the shorts, which might have contributed to the snug fit in that region.

The shorts have 3 pockets – two hips pockets at the front and a cargo pocket on the left thigh. The hip pockets have a zip closure, so will keep change, cards etc. safe and secure. The cargo pocket on the thigh is quite roomy, and has a Velcro fastening. It’s perfect for carrying snacks or a camera, and it’s deep enough to keep the contents secure when riding.


A lightweight short with a standout pattern, with the basic features you’d expect at around this price point, good for trail riding on warm days and great for standing out from the crowd.


– Unusual and unique design
– Secure pockets
– Lightweight fabric


– Slightly snug sizing on a curvy frame
– No vents

Price: £66
Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
Colours: Rust (pictured), blue, green
More information: Maloja

Available from: Other Maloja clothing options are available from Minx Girl and Bike Tart.

Like what you see? Check out our First Impressions of a selection of other Maloja kit.

What Maloja say about the Cadena Tulip shorts:

[Translated from German]

The rad short from polystretch material is lightweight and dries quickly, thanks to its stretch properties much freedom of movement and optimal comfort. It has a built-in waist adjustment system as well as a stretch panel below the collar back. The short has two small zippered front pockets and 1 patch pocket side cover with an embroidered Maloja. Special elemento de diseño is the print with typical Peruvian elements in bright colours on front and back.


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