Shorts on test

img_0148Shorts can have a bearing on your performance due to fit and comfort but they also provide protection from the elements and falls. I looked at 4 pairs of top brand shorts – 2 light weight and two heavier duty waterproofs.

POC Flow Shorts

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RRP £78

POC are known for their quality and tendency to size garments on the big side and these shorts are no exception.

The fabric is sturdy and hard wearing and provides good protection from the elements. Sizing wise you’re likely to need a size smaller than you’d expect though the velcro waist adjustment straps give a decent amount of ‘fine tuning’. There’s a slight rise on the back of the waist band but this is pretty much a standard cut and leg length gets my approval.

The pockets are a good size and deep but the one let down for me is the lack of zips – getting to the end of a ride to find your missing your phone or car keys isn’t a happy place to be. Another thing that I’m sure will make some people think twice about them is they don’t come with inner shorts (this isn’t an issue for me as I’m too lazy to pedal far enough to need them).

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Overall, despite the pockets, I really liked these shorts to the point I bought a pair.  Good looking, sturdy shorts which provide protection from the elements and the ground (should you need it).

What the others say

Chain Reaction Cycles – 4.4/5 out of 5 reviews

Available on Amazon

POC Flow Mountain Bike Shorts, Men’s, Uranium Black, Mens, Flow, Uranium Black

Royal Racing Storm Shorts

img_0139RRP £90

Royal Racing’s Storm shorts were the second pair of heavier shorts I tried and, like the POCs, I liked these alot.

I preferred the look of these to the POCs with sizing being spot on, good length legs and a decent rise on the rear of the waistband to keep your backside covered. The pockets are well sized and have zips to stop any items going missing unexpectedly. Velcro waistband adjustment straps give plenty of room for manouevre and when coupled with the ratchet fixing at the front can be tailored to fit all shapes and sizes.

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As with the POCs some may be put off with the absence of inner shorts but the big issue for me was that the pair I tried had a weird fit at the back – looked a bit like I had a turtles head which isn’t a good look for anyone on the trails. I tried adjusting them this way and that and shifting the waist band to different heights on my waist but I couldn’t shake that bulge.

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Overall, I really like these shorts and would have rated them (and bought them) above the POCs but for the weird fit at the back. They’re well made and will give you decent protection from the elements and look great providing you’re a different shape to me.

What the others say

Chain Reaction Cycles – 5/5 over 5 reviews

Available on Amazon

Royal Racing Storm Short Man black black

Fox Racing Attack Ultra Shorts

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RRP £100

I generally have a lot of time for Fox products and, though I knew this style of short wasn’t what I’d normally buy, I had high expectations.

I like the design of the shorts to look at and leg length is good though when they’re on they’re a bit tight for my liking. Getting into to them is initially a bit of a squeeze too as they only have a poppered fastening at the front.

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There’s good adjustment from the velcro waist tabs and the 4 way stretch fabric is light and breathable. For me, the fabric is too flimsy (I could see these lasting all of 0 minutes if I fell off in a slate quarry) and the breathing holes look a bit like someone in the office at Fox has been trying out their new hole punch.

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You only get one pocket, it’s pretty small and is oddly situated half way down your right thigh.  On the redeeming side though they come with a good quality inner short but I feel this is tarnished a bit as you cant get them out unless you cut them out (the tabs holding them in place have scissor marks on them). I think this risks putting a few people off.

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Overall these shorts are a tale of two sides for me – some things I really like about them and some things I really don’t. On balance I think there’ll be plenty of people that give them a thumbs up but they’re not for me.

What the others say

Chain Reaction Cycles – 4.2/5 over 5 reviews

Available on Amazon

Fox Attack Q4 CW Short

Troy Lee Designs Ace Shorts

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RRP £119.99

They’re the most expensive shorts on test here and come from a well respected manufacturer but…..well…..read on…..

As with most Troy Lee Designs stuff, sizing tends to be on the small side and these shorts don’t buck that trend. Even with the right waist size though the shorts are tight fitting and come up short on the leg length – if you wear knee pads beware the dreaded short/knee pad gap!

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The material is thin and flimsy though the vent holes are edged. Front fastening is by a popper and velcro? and the pockets are small though you do get zips on two of them.

 

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The outer short quality carries on to the inner shorts which look flimsy and there are comments on other websites about them ripping fairly easily.

 

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Erm…..not really sure what to say about these other than, in my opinion, they’re not that good and when you consider the price…..

What the others say

Chain Reaction Cycles – 4/5 over 20 reviews

Available on Amazon

Troy Lee Designs Short Ace

Adi

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