Kitsbow's Ventilated Short is a lightweight and not too baggy option for those who are looking for something to wear during big rides in the heat.
Leg length sat right at the knee, and there's a slight up-turn to the cut behind the knee to keep them from rubbing.
A slider-snap ensures you won't pop a button, while three-position alloy adjustment hooks on each side allow for fine tuning without having to use Velcro.
|I bet I already know what you're thinking: there's no way that the Kitsbow short is good enough to justify its $240 USD sticker price. Remember that it's all relative, though, and that there are many riders who don't bat an eye at spending that kind of money on their hobby/lifestyle. After all, there are loads of less expensive options out there for those who'd rather spend less than half of what these retail for, and many of us, myself included, spend more on coffee, Snowballs, and sugary drinks in a month or two than what these cost. On to the review... Those who prefer a casual, over-the-knee sort of fit will likely find the Ventilated Short a little, ahem, short for their liking, with their leg length just barely coming over the knee when standing. That means that, when you're pedalling, they tended to expose more of my creamy white thighs (lets all cringe in unison) than a baggier short that I might wear while in the bike park. I'd say that they have more of a ''performance fit'', and that I preferred this when out for a pedal on a warm day, or anytime I wanted to go for an actual ride that involved pedalling a fair bit - they feel light, airy, and nearly invisible, which is exactly what I want if I'm climbing up hills before riding back down them.|
You know what sucks? Velcro sucks. I've got a number of shorts that employ Velcro waistbands to allow for some adjustment, but that design often seems to come undone, especially when you run them through the washer machine, and will sometimes peel off when you're on the trail. And don't even get me started when it comes to belt loops on a short made for mountain biking... who the hell wants to wear a belt while on their bike? To be honest, I thought that Kitsbow's ''alloy slip hooks'' looked a bit hokey at first, but I'll admit that they make a lot of sense: they never come undone, are super simple to adjust, and while they might not offer the fine tuning that Velcro does, the three-position design of the slip hooks offers more than enough adjustment range. The locking slider snap does work as advertised, but I don't think that I've ever had a standard button come undone on me anyways. Maybe I need to eat more Snowballs? The rearward facing side pockets are a bit odd, but, having had other shorts with the same design, I can say that they are ideal at keeping things from bouncing around while you're spinning circles. They are relatively small, though, small enough that some new, larger phones or thick wallets might not slide in. Anyways, a lot of people's wallets might be empty after buying these, so maybe they'll fit better?
In search of some perspective, I ended up passing the Ventilated Short along to a notoriously frugal friend of mine who looked at me like I had something long and awkward growing out of my forehead when I told him how much they cost. I told him to wear them a bunch and them tell me what he thinks about them, and if he'd spend that kind of coin if he needed a new riding short for summer. Here's his thoughts: ''I compared them to other shorts I own that are made in China and Vietnam and have to admit that the quality is higher when it comes to material, stitching, and durability. The big thing for me is that they're made in Canada, which is something that I take into consideration when I'm spending any money, and that I'm confident they would hold up to years of abuse. Most of my riding wardrobe consists of relatively inexpensive kit, especially compared to the Ventilated Short, but I'd consider buying these given those facts.'' They're certainly not going to be for everyone, and cost is going to induce some head shaking, but they are nicely made shorts that are going to last. - Mike Levy
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