The Craft Greatness isn’t really a bike short. It’s a liner, and I am very pro-liner these days. The vast majority of my rides are gravel rambles or mountain bike sessions, so the old bibs and jersey combo feels too constricting to me. I prefer to wear a pair of not too baggy shorts with a liner, and a shirt that billows, if such a thing is possible. I value airflow and comfort above most else.
I’d been banging around in the same three pairs of liners for a few seasons when I finally copped the mother of all saddle sores, and that convinced me to invest in some newer models. Enter the Craft Greatness, a beguiling assemblage of polyester and elastane that I hoped would return the chill to my pants area.
Craft make a boxer version of this item, a “hipster” version in their women’s collection, and a longer liner version, which is what I have.
And before I say anything else, let’s recognize that for clothing makers the liner presents a conundrum. Riders expect liners to be cheaper than their bike shorts or bibs, but that lower price necessitates a drop in quality. Seams appear where otherwise they might not. Chamois get downgraded.
And so, the results are, well, mixed. I’m a huge fan of Craft generally. I think they make a lot of high-value, low-cost garments, and my winter wardrobe in particular is packed with their stuff. I wanted the Greatness to be my new go-to liner. They are well made, as you would expect, but they run sorta large, actually quite large. I’m normally a nailed on medium, but these just didn’t give me that snug fit I was looking for in my size. That mis-sizing highlights the stiffness and narrowness of the chamois.
The Greatness is a good liner, as they go. The quality is there, but I highly recommend you sizing down to achieve the right fit. They come in white or black, and they retail for $49.99.