Black Widows

58 reviews
Size Chart
Colour
Jet Black
Size
Despatch winter blues and arachnophobia with these three-quarter length merino lycra thermal knicks. The state-of-art eXo™ skeletal pad and Bandolier™ cuffs ensure hi-octane performance so you can set the pace at the head of the bunch.
+Features
  • eXo™ skeletal pad - 3D anatomical shaping, multi-level foam, rapid drying, seamless synthetic 'chamois' pad with anti-bacterial finish.
  • 'Contour fit' with s-shaped seams allows the lycra to stretch freely with your body.
  • 10-panel construction.
  • Flat seams for enhanced comfort.
  • Wide Bandolier™ waistband for maximum comfort.
  • HighRise™ rear ensures a generous overlap with your cycle top.
  • Bandolier™ textured-lycra cuffs.
  • Fast-drying, 4-way stretch Hot Shot™ Merino.
  • Designed & made by us in Aotearoa | New Zealand.
+Tech

  Weight: 220 gm

+Hotshot™ lycra
4-way stretch winter luxury uniquely combines superfine NZ merino against your skin with a tightly woven, hardwearing nylon outer and lycra to stretch and move with your body. Warm as pie. Developed by Ground Effect and knitted just for us.
  • Composition: 38% merino; 46% nylon; 16% lycra.

+
Outskirts™ garments are designed specifically for women. However If you're struggling to find exactly what you need in the Outskirts™ women's range, check out our men's products for further options. Jackets, tights and baggy tops often fit both men and women equally well.

+eXo™
This state-of-art eXo™ skeletal pad delivers maximum performance for those who ride long and fast.
  • Pad and shorts' outer fabric are laminated as a single layer – providing increased precision with minimal movement between the fabrics and your saddle.
  • Near-seamless interface between pad and body of the shorts.
  • External and internal differential-density mouldings provide additional padding at pressure points without increased bulk.
  • 3D anatomical shaping, 4-way stretch and seamless construction hug your body for a performance fit.
  • Polyester-knit face fabric against your skin disperses heat and moisture.
  • Bacteriostatic finish for added hygiene.
  • Dries rapidly after washing.
  • Made by TMF in Italy. Market leaders in cycling pad design and innovation. Manufactured in strict compliance with European environmental standards.

+'S' Seams
S-shaped seams don't limit the stretch of lycra fabrics - ensuring Ground Effect shorts hug and move with your body, not against it.

+Bandolier™
Textured-lycra bands glue the legs of our premium shorts to your thighs, and provide muscle support – all without the discomfort of gripper elastic.

+HighRise™
A stretch lumbar panel and HighRise™ rear overlap with your cycle top to keep you covered. No bare skin or lewd exposure.

+More than Kiwi Made
Ground Effect clothing is crafted right here in New Zealand. Has been ever since we started back in 1994. Manufacturing locally works for us. We operate a quick-response system - holding minimal stock of any one item, but churning out a few more quick-smart when the pile gets low. The upshot is that we are seldom caught with our shelves empty, so orders get despatched the same day you place them.

+Compare

  Black Widows Witches Britches Short Cuts
Pad eXo Softail Softail
Fabric Hot Shot™
Merino
Hot Shot™
Merino
Shockwave™
Lycra
Panels 10 8 8
Bandolier™ Waist Yes No Yes
Bandolier™ Cuffs Yes No No
Sizes 10 - 16 8 - 18 8 - 18

+FAQ

eXo™ vs Softail™ pad?
  • Unlike conventional pads that are sewn into a complete short, the state-of-art eXo™ skeletal pad is a laminated inner and outer 'bum' panel that is integral to the short's construction.
    • This provides increased precision with minimal 'slippage' between the laminated fabrics and your saddle. This benefit is particularly noticeable on extended hill climbs.
    • In addition, the combination of external and internal differential-density mouldings allow for a closer fit and increased flexibility while still providing excellent padding.
  • The more conventional Softail™ pad is also a premium quality solution. However construction is a little less complex keeping the price of Softail™ shorts and tights sharp.
  • If multi-day missions are your gig, or you regularly ride for a couple of hours or more then you'll almost certainly value the enhanced performance of the eXo™ pad.
  • For keen cyclists with a more recreational and less intense itinerary, the Softail™ pad still delivers superior comfort and performance in the saddle. 
▸ Should I wear underwear with these shorts?
Hell no. You want to have as smooth an interface as possible between your bum and the saddle. The seams on your underwear will inevitably be in the wrong place - causing rubbing and saddle sores. Also underwear is generally cotton - nice for everyday use but damp skin below is more susceptible to chaffing.

+Hitching up ya britches?
  • The challenge in fitting 3/4 length shorts and tights is the inherent tension of the fabric between your hips and knees. Even with stretch fabrics this can encourage your pants to creep down off your hips so the pad no longer fits snugly against your bum. It's more likely if you're lucky enough to have a longer-than-average femur.
  • The trick is to inch up the fabric below your knees so there is less tension along your thighs. If you are a girl, think about how you pull on your fishnet stockings. If you are a boy, think about something else.

+Washing

  • All Ground Effect clothing enjoys a warm 40ºC machine wash. Try to avoid cold-water detergents and those with bleach, 'oxygen whitener' or fabric softener.
    • The cold-water varieties have little enzymes that are super-charged to brave the cold but can damage technical fabrics and cause skin irritation. 
    • Bleach rots natural fibres like merino, strips the dye, attacks laminates of waterproof fabrics and can also cause skin irritation.
    • Sodium Percarbonate (the main ingredient in oxygen whitener) can make colours run.
    • Fabric softener and stuff containing it like wool wash destroys the water repellent finish on waterproof and water resistant fabrics, and can cause colours to run. 
  • As a rule of thumb, a product that is easy on the planet is also easy on your body. Select a mild plant-based soap like EcostoreEarthwise or Aware.
  • Hand washing is sometimes the only option on tour, but a washing machine rinses more thoroughly and is preferable if you have the choice.
  • Most Ground Effect gear dries super-fast so hanging on the line or drooping over the bedpost is generally the best option. High heat can damage some fabrics so if you do take your threads for a spin, set the device on 'medium' or 'warm' rather than hot. A lap in the dryer is recommended for your rain jacket, after it has dried on the line, as it helps recharge its water repellent finish. 

  • With shorts in particular, cold-water detergents and those with bleach or fabric softner can cause 'nappy-rash' so if you're experiencing issues in that department try a warm 40ºC machine wash and a change of cleaning brew. 
  • A washing machine rinses more thoroughly and is preferable if you have the choice.
  • UV rays accelerate the decay of lycra. Our fabric is knitted so the lycra component lies on the inside of the fabric - shielding it from the sun when you're out riding. Consequently you should avoid drying these shorts inside-out. It's not a bad idea to do so occasionally as the sun does help keep the pad hygienic - although it is treated with an anti-bacterial finish anyway. But drying in this manner is a trade-off with the damage done to the Lycra.
  • It's common practice to not wear underwear with your riding shorts so you need to wash your shorts daily. And it's recommended to give your shorts an initial wash when they're new - the eXo™ pad in particular becomes less stiff after the first wash.

  • Wash colours separately.

+ Shipping
  • Items are generally packed and sent the same day your order is received.
  • Costs $7 by overnight courier within New Zealand.
  • NZ$7 by tracked airmail to Australia.
  • Around NZ$15-25 by tracked airmail to destinations elsewhere in the world - calculated in our shipping cart as you check out. 
    • More shipping and tax details in our FAQ.
    Customer Reviews
    4.8 Based on 58 reviews
    Write a Review

    Thanks For Your Review

    We value your feedback. If you're stoked with your Ground Effect kit then you might like to share it (the review not the gear) with your mates. Thanks again.

    Filter Reviews:
      MN
      23/08/2021
      Margaret N.
      Australia Australia

      I love the 3/4 knicks, very comfy, chamois good. Wear on trail & road bike.

      SG
      14/07/2021
      Stephen G.
      Australia Australia
      Sleek looking... but not warm and not a great fit.

      As an owner of a pair of Witches Britches bought many years ago, was happy to try an 'upgrade' to a better chamois and bandolier waistband. Was I happy/impressed with the new 'thermal knicks'? Nope.... The new merino fabric, although it looks schmiko, doesn't insulate as well as the older merino fabric. "But it doesn't get cold in Perth" you say!? Well, we ride at 05:30 in the winter, and it DOES get down to low single digits. My rides using the Black Widows have fallen short in a few areas... 1) as mentioned, the insulation factor was poor - they don't keep your skin/knees warm despite the hype. Especially if you compare the warmth from the older style of merino fabric used. 2) as I am tall and thin, my only option was to go down a size for overall fit. The "calf" cuffs come right up to my knee and the waistband is borderline loose, so there was no way I could have gone up to a size that would have given me a better fit. An option would be making clothing for athletic built women too (even extra long), and not just the 'standard' woman body build /hobbit build (it's a joke ok :-)).... First piece of GE clothing I've genuinely been disappointed using....

      14/07/2021
      Ground Effect

      Hi there, thanks for your review, We are sorry to hear your Witches Britches do not work for you. We try our best to make our gear for as many people as possible, but every body is different so some items will not suit everyone. If you have only tested the sizing then we try and make exchanges and refunds as simple as possible. All the information can be found online or on the invoice that came in the package. Pop us a line on 1800 145 333 to have a chat. Pedal on, Ernie

      SR
      01/07/2021
      Sue R.
      Australia Australia
      Cosy & comfortable

      Love my new winter riding nicks. Super comfortable and keep me warm on frosty mornings and cold arvo.

      WD
      23/06/2021
      Wendy D.
      New Zealand New Zealand
      Perfect winter combination

      Black Widows with Shindigs (long socks) on winter days are the perfect combination for me. Push your socks down when you are hot usually that's the long uphill grind then pull them up for the downhill. Black widows are a great fit and well made like all Ground Effect gear. Our first choice everytime and service is fantastic too! Thanks.

      SW
      31/05/2021
      Sally W.
      New Zealand New Zealand
      My second pair

      I finally wore through my first pair of these after lots of use so bought another. Just as good as the first ones. Love them.