2016 Summer Clothing Guide

Jun 29, 2016
by Colin Meagher  



great people


How to gear up for those long days in the sun? First off, just because it’s warm out doesn’t mean ditching a base layer. A sleeveless option will function to wick the sweat off your body and help keep you cool. Secondly, as days grow longer, so do your rides. And, unless you have a taint of steel, a chamois liner short will become your best friend for long days in the saddle. Sure, you can ride without one, but it’s only a matter of time before a long, hot, sweaty ride will chafe your nether side into something resembling a baboon’s ass.

I might recommend turning that comfort level up to 11 by stepping up to a bib short - same awesome powers of sweat absorption and padding, and way more comfortable. The bane of bib shorts (trailside relief) has been mitigated, as some men’s shorts now have a fly - and for women, Giro now offers a halter top bib liner so you don’t have to perform a trail-side strip tease for a pit stop.

Most spring/summer gear is about common sense: lighter weight gloves, shoes that breathe well, and thinner socks. I will typically wear a lightweight set of knee guards, too. The latest “enduro” style knee guards are lightweight and breathe well – and they help me avoid a trip the ER for stitches and time off my bike.

Lastly, mountain weather can be iffy year ‘round, so I’ll typically a have lightweight jacket close at hand, particularly for the early season.

Colin Meagher stands at 5’9” and weighs 165 lbs. with a 32-33” waist, a 40” chest, and a 30.5” inseam. He shares the same measurements as his stunt double, Tyler Horton, who modeled all the men’s gear.
April was typical, with short bursts of warmish days, but mostly sub-60 degree (F) weather. May was rainy with a side of sunshine. Today, as I sit down to write reviews on the gear I have been riding, it is a sweltering 90 degrees and I am dreaming of an air-conditioned office.

As I pack and dress for each ride this time of year, I pay close attention to the forecasts and err on the side of caution with regards to the cold. I can’t really explain the scientific reason why ladies tend to run colder than the guys, so while my partner throws on a short sleeve jersey without much thought, I still contemplate how many layers will be necessary. Regardless of the forecast, I also always stash a lightweight “emergency” jacket in my pack. It’s important to be prepared.

Boxes started arriving in April. All six brands sent short-sleeve jerseys and it was still in the lower 60’s during the day. I cringed as I compared the Skittle colored spring clothing items against my blindingly pale Pacific Northwest skin. I wished I was back in California with my stable tan, but I was thinking crazy.

Spring means fantastic dirt and melting snow and, as if I needed more motivation, I was just handed a pile of new kits - a solid collection of styles and colors, with many shades of purple (a favorite flavor for me) - and any excuse to ride my bike is a good excuse, so long as I feed my kids at least two meals a day and keep my boss happy at the job that pays the bills.

Nikki Hollatz stands 5’5” tall and weighs 130 lbs. with a 28-inch waist, and 37-inch hips. She typically wears a size 6, or medium short and jersey. As with the winter gear review, Nikki does her own stunts.

Tyler Horton Modeling 7Mesh Clothing on the Syncline near Bingen WA.


About the Review Process

Like PB’s winter gear review, all tests on the clothing were based on one or two solid rides to assess fit and function vs. doing a long-term test for durability. A “solid” ride was defined as a minimum one-hour ride. Testing consisted of laps on a nine-mile trail with 1500 vertical elevation gain - the bulk of that climb comes in a two mile kick in the cardio testicles at the end of that ride. There were also a number of shuttle runs in Hood River’s Post Canyon, a few multi-hour adventures in Sedona, Arizona, Leavenworth, and Tiger Mountain in Washington. Temps were typically mid-70 to 80 degrees F (24-29C) - Except on Tiger Mountain where Mother Nature showed her sweet side and rained cats and dogs on us until we left town.

We were primarily testing jerseys, shorts and base layer pieces for this review, but manufacturers often included additional items which we often used in the photos to illustrate how they might integrate into their spring/summer ranges. We included MSRP on those items, but no reviews.






GIRO

Giro jumped into the apparel game recently with top-quality kits designed to appeal to road or gravel riders who weren’t into the Lycra look. Then came top shelf lycra. So, was it any surprise when dirt-specific items appeared on Giro’s menu this year? Not hardly. It’s been a methodical approach, and Giro is zigging while everyone else is zagging: almost everyone is churning out enduro-specific mountain bike clothing, but Giro’s initial foray into mtb specific clothing aims directly at the all-day XC trail rider, with kits suitable for multi hour rides, and just as ideal for a lunch ride or a spin to the bar to meet friends for happy hour.

Tyler pushing the Giro Truant jersey and shorts on Post Canyon s Borderline Trail.
Tyler wearing a Giro Truant jersey and shorts on Post Canyon's Borderline Trail.


Men’s Truant Short $100

This is a trail riding short, straight up. And Giro unabashedly states that on their site, noting: “our men’s Truant Short is built for trail riding. It fits comfortably on the waist with the ability to adjust as your ride changes.” It’s a quality, no nonsense design that ticks many of the boxes riders desire in a mountain biking short: waist tab adjusters and belt loops, too; a zip fly and a single-button closure; four pockets – two standard fronts, with a zip pocket on the side of the right leg for valuables, and a Velcro pocket on the left thigh, suitable for a phone. The for-way stretch fabric is 88% nylon and 12% Spandex, allowing for easy movement, and it’s treated with a 175 g/m2 DWR to help repel spring showers. The short is only available in black, and comes in size 30, 32, 34, 36, and 38.

Fit wise, Giro’s sizing chart is bang on. The Truant Shorts fit me perfectly with zero need to use the waist adjusters or a belt. It’s definitely more of an XC cut, but I had no issues using lightweight knee pads (like G-form’s Pro X and Raceface’s Indy knee guards). The 14” inseam is just enough that there’s no gaper gap above the pads, although the fit is just snug enough at the knee that I’d hesitate to wear a bulkier pad, which is fine. After all, the Truant isn’t a DH short; it’s aimed squarely at the pedal up to pedal down type of people who measure a good ride in hours, not minutes. It breathed well, and moved well. It also repelled water decently when I was caught in a mid-afternoon rain shower, and I never hooked the saddle in any “oh crap, I should ‘a dropped the saddle” moments in Sedona (if you’ve ridden there, you know what I’m talking about). Overall, it’s a solid, daily driver short.

Detail shots of Giro s Truant Shorts and Jersey.
Details: Giro's Truant shorts and jersey


Men’s Truant Jersey $80

The Men’s Truant Jersey is trail ready in its fit and fabrication, and has more style and sophistication than you typically see. Like the short, it’s aimed squarely at the all-day rider, with subtle styling that makes it perfect for a post work spin that ends with dinner out. It’s got a relaxed fit and a longer sleeve, ending just above the elbow, like the Royal Turbulence Jersey. The construction is 96% recycled polyester with 4% cotton, making for a soft feel next to skin. It has a tech T fit, with a stylish, three-button Henley closure at the neck, and its single zip pocket over the right kidney is a nod to tech apparel. It only comes in muted black, with a subtle blue graphic on the left. Sizes are: S, M, L, XL, and XXL.

The Truant Jersey was light, moved well, was smooth next to my skin, and breathed well. I never made use of the rear pocket, although it was an easy to reach had I needed it. I appreciated the Henley neck snaps on the neck, which allowed me to dive under the “I just went on a ride” radar when dropping into my local pub for a post ride cold one. I’m a size 40 chest, and Giro’s sizing chart put me right at the bottom of size large, which I found to be a bit more generous of a fit than I like, so I sized down to a medium. Overall, I liked the Truant jersey for its functionality mixed with its subtle styling.

Tyler modeling the Giro Truant Shorts MSRP 100 USD . Truant Jersey MSRP 80 USD . Tyler is also wearing the Kali Protectives Maya lid MSRP 100 Smith Arena Pivlock shades MSRP 159 Giro Terraduro shoes MSRP 180 USD and the Kali Protectives Hasta Gloves MSRP 30 USD . Under all that gear is Giro s Bib Undershort 2.0 MSRP 130 USD .
Tyler riding Giro Truant shorts $100. Truant jersey $80, Giro Terraduro shoes $180, and under all that gear is Giro's bib under short 2.0 $130.


Men’s Bib Under Short 2.0 $130

Like a lot of bib shorts of late, Giro’s offering has three cargo pockets on the back for storing trail essentials when riding without a pack. It’s manufactured from an 80% nylon, 20% Spandex blend. And it features a flap fly for trailside relief. It’s available in size S, M, L, XL, and XXL. It comes in black, and only black.

Sizing on this is again spot on. The chamois pad offered zero hot spots or chaffing despite numerous hours in the saddle. The mesh of the bib liner short breathed well, and the leg bands kept the shorts in place without the gripper silicon that’s so common on a liner short these days (those tend to irritate my skin). The legs were just long enough to overlap my knee guards, eliminating gaper gap. And for trailside dehydration breaks the flap fly was awesome. If you are a chamois wearer, I’d consider breaking out the wallet for a set of these; they are perfect for all day epics.


Women’s Truant Short $100

“Built for serious adventures in the Dirt,” the Truant short is Giro’s women-specific trail riding short that is designed with roomy leg openings and a longer inseam (11”). As Giro’s first dab into the world of mountain bike clothing, the Truant is designed a go-to, any day riding short, to please a variety of women: weekend warriors, casual cruisers, and shredders. Made with four-way-stretch 88% nylon and 12% Spandex. With well-placed zip pockets and a 175 g/m DWR coating for rainy weather, this short should please the most discerning consumers. Giro’s Women’s Truant short is only available in black, in sizes 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12.

Nikki Hollatz testing the Giro women s Truant Shorts and the women s Venture Sport Jersey on Hidden and Borderline Trails in Hood River s Post Canyon.
Nikki testing the Giro women's Truant shorts and Venture Sport jersey on "Hidden" and "Borderline" trails in Hood River's Post Canyon.


I tested the Truant short on a wide range of trails, including over 40 miles of local single-track in varying weather conditions. It felt true to size, matching the 27-28” waist description in the Giro sizing chart. I would categorize it as an XC short based on the cut and fit, but I really liked the style. I was impressed by the lightweight feel and the comfort of the stretch fabric design. The 11” inseam on the short put them a bit above my knee pads, but I have come to the conclusion that I don’t mind a little gap if the shorts are comfortable and doing their job. The waist adjusters and secure zip pockets are nice added features. Truant Short is functional, comfortable, and stylish for just about any riding conditions outside of a bike park. The best comment I heard while I was out testing the Giro kit was from my Canadian friend Tara who stated: “Your ass looks like a Lululemon.” To which I responded, “what’s a lu lu lemon?” I guess they look good.

Nikki with Giro s women s Truant Jersey MSRP 100 USD women s Venture Sport Jersey MSRP 80 USD and the women s Chrono Expert Halter Bib Short MSRP 150 USD . Nikki is also wearing the Montara MIPS Helmet MSRP 150 USD Smith Asana Pivlock shades MSRP 159 Giro s DND gloves MSRP 26 USD Alpinestars Paragon Knee Guards MSRP 39 USD Merino Seasonal Wool Socks MSRP 16 USD and Giro s Sica VR70 Shoes MSRP 250 USD .
Nikki with Giro's women's Truant jersey $100, women's Venture Sport jersey $80, and the women's Chrono Expert halter bib short $150. Nikki is also wearing the Montara MIPS helmet $150, Smith Asana Pivlock shades $159, and Giro's DND gloves $26.


Women’s Venture Sport Jersey $80

“The Women’s Venture Sport Jersey is ready for any adventure. Long gravel ride? No problem. Cross bike single track today? Check. Taking out the hardtail for some hot laps? The Women’s Venture Sport Jersey will deliver.” The fit is relaxed for comfort and performance, so it easily rolls with changing road and trail conditions—think of it as a performance jersey with a laid back style. This short sleeve jersey is designed with recycled polyester and infused with a hint of cotton for a super-soft feel, and impeccable moisture wicking ability. It comes with three pockets across the back for snacks and other small essentials. The jersey is available in Black or Purple; and sizes XS, S, M, L, and XL.

I tested the size medium Venture Sport jersey which had a nice, not-too-loose fit on me. A size small would probably have fit my frame, but more like a fitted road cycling type of jersey (which might be the preferred fit for some of you). I tend to ride mountain bikes with a pack, so I didn’t utilize the three back pockets much during testing, but if I only needed the bare essentials, I might find them useful. The jersey handled the heat well and I stayed dry during some intense climbs - moisture-wicking at its finest. It is was also nice to have a jersey on hand without significant branding for after-work social hour rides when I didn’t want to be recognized. I would be happy adding this jersey to my collection. I am excited to see what Giro has planned for the future of their female mountain biking line.

Details of Giro s women s Truant short Venture Sport Jersey and Chrono Expert Halter Bib shorts.
Details: Giro's women's Truant short, Venture Sport jersey, and Chrono Expert halter bib short.


Women’s Chrono Expert Halter Bib Short $150

While this is technically not a review, it is worth noting that Giro’s Chrono Expert halter bib shorts are pure awesome for women who swear by bibs. After years of peeling off jackets and jerseys every time I had to go pee, finally, there is a bib that I can take off without exposing my upper body to the elements and surrounding crowds. I know some of you like to show off your sports bras and six-pack abs, but after two kids, I much prefer to keep my beautifully designed body to myself. These are my go-to bib short for all things racing or riding. The Chrono Expert sport halter bib is available in size XS, S, M, L, and XL.





DAKINE

Dakine is based in Hood River, Oregon, and the office is chock full of riders, so their gear is designed by people who need the products that they make. Consequently, there are a variety of subtle and very useful touches to all their creations.

Tyler drifting the Syncline Trails in the Dakine Pace Shorts Charger Jersey Slayer Knee Pads and Traverse Gloves. Tyler is also wearing the Kali Maya helmet and the Giro Terraduro shoes.
Tyler drifting the Syncline Trails wearing his Dakine kit.


Men’s Pace Short $70

According to Dakine, “These unlined shorts will be the workhorse you're looking for: no frills, no gimmick—just a solid set of shorts that will move with you.” Pace shorts are made from 86% polyester and14% Elastene (otherwise known as Spandex), which makes for a lightweight, stretchy fabric that breathes well. Dakine has both belt loops and internal waist adjusters to tailer the fit. There are two front pockets and the short fastens with two snaps. The Pace comes in black (reviewed), red, a blue board-short type of graphic, and a gray/dark green camo pattern. Available sizes 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, and 40-inch waists.

The first thing I noticed was that the 14” inseam Pace shorts are exceptionally light weight (claimed weight of 135 grams). The second thing I noticed was that the fit at the waist is pretty exacting: I am on the 33” side of a 32”- 33” waist and while the body of the short was roomy enough for my hips and legs, the size 32” waist was pretty snug on me. Aside from the snug waist, the shorts delivered exactly what I wanted: light weight, breathability, and all day pedaling comfort. It’s a more tailored fit for sure, but one that played nicely with slim pads, like Dakine’s Slayer knee guards. Pace shorts were a go-to for hot, all-day rides, but if you are the type of rider who pushes to the edge, look for a more durable short.

Detail on Dakine s Pace Shorts Slayer Knee Pads and the Traverse Gloves.
Details: Dakine's Pace shorts, Slayer knee pads, and Traverse gloves.


Men’s Charger Jersey $45

The Charger Jersey has a “…simple raglan V-neck that looks like just a nice t-shirt, but performs like Alberto Contador's top, minus the sponsor logos.” The Charger jersey is manufactured from two varieties of polyester: a quick-dry polyester shoulder and body panels and with polyester mesh on the sides and under the arms. Both polyester varieties feature Polygeine Odor Control Technology. I tried the size medium in Haze—the blue striped with yellow highlights flavor. It also comes in the gray/dark green camo print of the Pace shorts, and a slate gray with blue sleeves. The Charger Jersey is available in S, M, L, XL, and XXL.

Tyler with Dakline s Pace Shorts MSRP 70 and the Charger Jersey MSRP 45 . Tyler is also wearing the Slayer Knee Pads MSRP 65 Traverse Gloves MSRP 30 Kali Protectives Maya helmet the Giro Terraduro shoes and Smith Arena Pivlock shades.
Tyler with Dakline's Pace shorts $70 and Charger jersey $45. Tyler is also wearing Slayer knee pads$65, and Traverse gloves $30..


For me, the size M Charger Jersey fit just the way a MTB jersey should, not too baggy and not too snug. It looks sharp, and seems to breathe well too. I didn’t notice any post ride stink after two hour-long rides, but I wasn’t really looking to measure my BO index, either. I’d hazard an assertion that the Polygeine Odor Control Technology works as advertised—both rides were in extremely warm conditions and I sweated my ass off. Overall, it fits great and performed well. Did it make me as fast as Alberto Contador? No. But, it performed as advertised and it made me look way more stylish than any Grand Tour racer ever.


Nikki Hollatz playing on the sunny slopes of the Syncline. Nikki is modeling Dakine s Siren Shorts Juniper Jersey Aura Gloves and Slayer Knee Pads.
Nikki playing on the sunny slopes of the Syncline, wearing Dakine Siren shorts, Juniper jersey, Aura gloves, and Slayer knee pads.


Women’s Siren Short $55

The Dakine Women’s Siren short is a lightweight all-purpose riding short with a 13” inseam. Constructed with polyester material in a geometric woven pattern – it’s lightweight, breathable and it doesn’t look like the typical dorky nylon bike short you see so often. The Siren also has a four-way stretch yoke panel, waist adjusters, and two hand pockets. It does not come with a liner. Dakine utilizes street inspired fabrics for their designs that include technical features, like wicking and odor control, so you look good both on and off your bike. Siren shorts are available in Black, Poppy, Gunmetal; and in 24, 26, 28, and 30-inch sizes.

I tested the size 26” Siren Short in Gunmetal. These shorts were a bit tight on me just in the waist, and in this instance, I would size up and be more comfortable in the size 28” short. Regardless, I squeezed into the 26 and, once I was riding, I didn’t really notice any tightness or restriction. The hips and leg openings were comfortable and the length of the short was adequate to fit over my knee guards. I prefer at least one secure zip pocket, but siren shorts only offer two open hand pockets, and while those pockets are deep and easily large enough to stash an energy bar, it’s probably not a good idea to put your wedding ring, phone or keys in there.

The Siren Short is one of the more stylish yet affordable enduro style riding shorts on the market. Dakine does a good job of offering up new colors each year to keep us looking fresh and I can vouch that these shorts are comfortable enough that you can wear them either on or off the trails.

Nikki Hollatz with the Siren Shorts MSRP 55 USD and the Juniper Jersey MSRP 45 USD . Nikki is also wearing the Slayer Knee Pads MSRP 65 USD Aura Gloves MSRP 35 USD Smith Forefront MIPs helmet MSRP 260 USD and Smith Asana Pivlock eyewear and Giro Sica shoes.
Nikki with Siren shorts $55 and Juniper jersey $45. Nikki is also wearing Slayer knee pads $65, and Aura gloves $35.


Women’s Juniper Jersey $45

“Instead of flashy logos and gimmicky graphics, the Dakine Women's Juniper Jersey impresses with its clean color scheme and comfort-driven design.” This short-sleeve jersey features moisture-wicking polyester material, with perforated mesh underarm panels for enhanced ventilation. Its women's-specific fit and raglan sleeves promote full range of motion on the trail without being overly loose. Other key features include an interior sunglasses wipe for cleaning smudged shades on the trail, as well as an extended back hem for extra coverage.” Check and check. The jersey utilizes 100% quick-dry diamond-knit polyester with Polygiene odor control technology. The jersey is available in Garnet, Beach Glass, and Carbon; and sizes are: S, M, L, and X.

Detail on Dakine s Women s Siren Shorts the fabric of the Women s Juniper Jersey the Slayer Knee Pads. and the Aura Gloves.
Details: Dakine's Women's Siren shorts, fabric of the Women's Juniper jersey, Slayer knee pads, and Aura gloves.


I wore the size medium Juniper jersey in Garnet. Compared with the Giro Venture Sport jersey, the Dakine medium was a bit looser fit, but that is consistent with their targeted user description. Despite the jersey being a dark maroon color (“Garnet”), the material and enhanced ventilation kept me cool and comfortable under the scorching afternoon sun. I liked the sleeve and torso lengths and the minimal branding. This is a good jersey to stock up on and is suitable for all styles of riding, including hitting the bike park on a nice summer day.

On a side note, Dakine typically offers their women’s jerseys in a three-quarter sleeve option, which I prefer to ride with, as I feel it provides a bit more protection from the elements and a better fit for wearing elbow pads. I was disappointed that none of the jerseys sent for this review had three-quarter sleeves.





ALPINESTARS

Back in 2011, I was fortunate enough to tour Alpinestars’ facility in Italy. At that point they were squarely focused on DH riding. But even then, they were bringing a sense of craftsmanship and exacting standards to their mountain bike apparel, mixed with a distinctive style that made me covet their gear. Now they are bringing the quality apparel and protection they were offering solely to the DH/bike park crowd to enduro and trail riders.

Tyler pushing the Alpinestars Drop 2 Kit around on some of the local Hood River area trails.
Tyler rides Alpinestars' Drop 2 kit around on the local Hood River area trails.


Men’s Drop 2 Short $129.95

The Drop 2 Short is, “…constructed for superb comfort and optimized riding performance over long distances.” It features a snap-out chamois liner short, two zippered vents on the thighs, two standard waistband pockets, two zippered thigh pockets, and an, “elasticized crotch and rear yoke for maneuverability.” Two snaps keep the waist sealed shut while two D-ring braced Velcro straps handle fine-tuning the waistline fit. The Drop 2 comes in Teal Green/Acid Yellow (Tested), Bright Orange/Acid Yellow, Black/White, and Bright Blue/Acid Yellow. Sizing is Euro standard, and it’s available in 28, 30 (tested), 32, 34, 36, 38, and 40. Check out their online chart and convert your size to Euro before you buy.

One can tell how good clothing is when it works so well that you cease to notice it. Such was the case with the Drop 2 short. It's not that I felt naked, rather the fit was simply phenomenal. It felt loose, moving easily on my body, but it was just fitted enough that I never worried about hooking the saddle or. The fabric was both lightweight and extremely durable, and the construction was bombproof: a high-speed body surf through a steep berm after a burped tire on a 40-foot table didn't even scathe them. The Drop 2 shorts breathed and moved so well that one could easily forget how tough the garment is. It has a good inseam length (14") and while the fit around the knee was roomy enough for bulkier protection than Paragon Knee Guards that I wore, they never flapped in the breeze. The included chamois liner short fits and performs well.

Tyler with the Alpinestars Drop 2 Short MSRP 129.95 and the Drop 2 SS jersey MSRP 54.95 . Tyler is also wearing the Paragon Knee Guards 39.95 F-Lite Glove 24.95 the MTB Tech Tank Top MSRP 49.95 a Kali Protectives Maya Helmet Giro Terraduro shoes and Smith Arena Pivlock shades.
Tyler wearing Alpinestars' Drop 2 shorts 129.95 and Drop 2 SS jersey $54.95. Tyler is also wearing Paragon knee guards $39.95, F-Lite glove $24.95, and MTB Tech tank top $49.95.


Men’s Drop 2 Short Sleeve Jersey $54.95

“With mesh inserts on the chest and back for enhanced ventilation, Alpinestars’ Drop 2 Short Sleeve Jersey is guaranteed to keep you cool on long Enduro trails.” The Drop Short Sleeve Jersey came to me in teal green with acid yellow accents and black mesh panels on the body, which matched the Drop 2 shorts. It has a pocket on either side of the torso that’s accessible via a Velcro-sealed flap. There’s also an internal headphone conduit with a collar clip, and a terry cloth goggle-wipe is included on the inside of the hem. The Drop 2 is available in the Teal Green/Acid Yellow that I tested, orange/yellow with black panels, blue/yellow with black and white panels, and Black/White. Sizing is S, M, L (tested), XL, and XXL.

The Drop 2 SS Jersey also had a fantastic fit with a nice open collar that allowed for easy breathing, and a longer drop seat to the back of the jersey, which is great for pack wearers. It also breathed exceptionally well, even with a pack on, and remained unscathed in that body surf episode mentioned earlier. The pockets were easily accessed and didn’t interfere with pack waist straps when empty. I didn’t use the headphone cord conduit or clips, but they seemed like a nice feature for people who want to be plugged in.

Details of Alpinestars F-Lite Glove and the Paragon knee guards.
Details: Alpinestars' F-Lite glove and Paragon knee guards.


Men’s/Women’s MTB Tech Tank $49.95

There were a couple of Tech Tank Tops in the box of samples from Alpinestars, and they seemed to be almost an afterthought to the ride kits, but after trying one out (Nikki got the other one) it may be a new go-to for me as a base layer item: I have no idea what the fabric is but the tank is constructed with three different weaves, it was soft on the skin, and it wicked exceptionally well. Additionally, there were no seams to chafe with a pack on. It remained stink free, as well. (Must be made of pixie hair blended with ground unicorn horn.) It’s expensive for a base-layer piece, but was pretty damn awesome. Available in sizes S/M and L/XL only.

Nikki getting loose on the Syncline Trails with the Alpinestars Stella Pathfinder shorts and the Mesa SS Jersey.
Nikki getting loose on the Syncline Trails with Alpinestars' Stella Pathfinder shorts and Mesa SS jersey.


Women’s Stella Pathfinder Short $114.95

“Light and durable, the Stella Pathfinder Short features a technical, multi-panel construction and stretch rip-stop inserts for a superb performance fit. Comfort details such as the seamless seat panel and the mesh waist lining are designed to enable you to stay out on the trails for longer.” Key features include elasticized rear yoke, adjustable waist, side pockets with zippers, and a removable chamois liner (not reviewed). The shorts are currently available in Black/Raspberry Rose. Available in US Sizes 26, 28, 30, 32, and 34.

I was pretty happy when I heard that Alpinestars had re-entered the women’s trail riding market. I tested the size medium, US size 28 shorts, which were not too tight around my waist or hips, The waist adjusters allowed me to tighten (or loosen), as needed – which is nice for women who prefer to wear their shorts higher on their hips than I do. The side zip pockets are deep and provide ample storage for a phone or bar. Out of the six kits I tested, these shorts have one of the longer inseams (13”?) and wider leg openings, which made for an easy fit over my knee guards.

I wore these shorts in cold and hot weather, including racing the Sea Otter Classic Enduro (mid 70s F/24C). Lightweight, durable, and most importantly, comfortable - these shorts can easily be worn in just about any riding condition outside of monsoon season. Final takeaway – this is the perfect trail riding short. It has a nice, curve-friendly fit, a wide range of size options available, minimal branding, and a wee bit of Italian flair.

Nikki Hollatz with the Stella Pathfinder Short MSRP 114.95 USD and the Stella Mesa SS Jersey MSRP 59.95 USD . Nikki is also wearing the Paragon Knee Guards 39.95 F-Lite Glove 24.95 MTB Summer socks 12.95 Smith Forefront MIPS helmet Pivlock Asana shades and Giro Sica VR70 shoes.
Nikki wearing a Stella Pathfinder short $114.95, and Stella Mesa SS jersey $59.95. Nikki is also wearing Paragon knee guards $39.95 F-Lite gloves $24.95, and MTB Summer socks $12.95.


Women’s Stella Mesa SS Jersey 59.95

“Developed specifically for women’s performance and fit and constructed from an advanced poly-fabric that draws moisture away from the body and extended mesh inserts that give high levels of breathability…” Alpinestars’ Stella Mesa short sleeve jersey is currently available in Black/Raspberry Rose, Raspberry Rose/Nepal Blue, and White/Ceramic. It comes in sizes XS, S, M, L, and XL.

I tested the size small jersey in Black/Raspberry Rose. At first I thought they might have sent me the wrong size, but the jersey fit perfectly. I have broader shoulders and this is typically where I might feel restricted with a size small. However, while the Mesa SS was snug in the shoulders, it wasn’t all constricting. Rather, it was just right. The open mesh inserts on the under arm holes gives the jersey enhanced breathability for hot days and the small terry cloth patch on the bottom inner portion of the jersey is handy for cleaning eyewear.

Alpinestars has done an excellent job with the design of their Stella line of women’s MTB clothing. The jersey is attractive, and I appreciated the subtle branding across the shoulder. The colors match up nicely with the shorts and I am ridiculously delighted with how cool my kids think I am when I wear this kit.

Details of Alpinestars Paragon Knee Guards F-Lite Glove and the Summer socks the words summer are visible when the sock is rolled down .
Details: Alpinestars' Paragon knee guards, F-Lite glove, and Summer socks (the word "summer" is visible when the sock is rolled down)





7MESH

7Mesh is based in Squamish, BC. It's the brainchild of some former employees of a little Vancouver, BC, based company called Arc’teryx, located within spitting-distance of the infamous "North Shore". As 7Mesh’s site puts it: “We were passionate cyclists who spent pretty much all of our free time on two wheels. And we just weren’t satisfied with the apparel available for our sport…We found ourselves dreaming about solving gear problems, about making things right. We’d start a company right here in Squamish, and use hands-on design. We’d focus strictly on cycling apparel. We’d use only the best materials and most modern manufacturing techniques. And after enough dreaming, we believed. So we all took a deep breath, quit our jobs and got to work.”

Tyler tackling a pre work dawn patrol on the Syncline Trais in the Columbia River Gorge.
7Mesh: Tyler tackling a pre work dawn patrol on the Syncline Trails, Columbia River Gorge.


Men’s Glidepath Short $140

The Glidepath model short from 7mesh is constructed from Soma two-way stretch fabric. Rather than relying upon stretchy fabric to conform to the rider, however, the Glidepath is carefully patterned to the riding position. The short features both external waist tab adjusters as well as belt loops, two reasonably deep front pockets, and two side-zip rear pockets. The waist is closed via a single snap. The size medium is measured for a 34-inch waist, and has a long, 16” inseam. The shorts come in Bad Ash Gray only, and are available in sizes XS, S, M, L, and XL.

The Glidepath Short was a pleasant surprise to me; the short is roomy yet fitted. As in the cut is more XC Trail than the looser, "free ride" fit I'd expected from a company based in Squamish, BC. Yet at the same time, the short offers ample room for knee guards. The fabric, the Soma two-way stretch, moves and breathes well, while being plenty tough enough to withstand the occasional “oh shit” moment. The pockets were well placed for easy access. Interestingly enough, there is no stretchy panel in the back. 7Mesh feels that they don’t need to “cheat”, so to speak, with a flexi panel to accommodate for manufacturing discrepancies. Consequently, it was no surprise that the fit was good (although the size 34” medium was almost too roomy for me). All in all, it is an exceptional mountain biking short for anything short of DH riding. As such it fits squarely within 7Mesh’s design ethos to “Streamline design and deliver simplicity without compromise. Remove, rather than add, to achieve our goals.”

Tyler modeling the 7Mesh s Glidepath shorts MSRP 140 USD and The Eldorado Jersey MSRP 60 USD . Tyler is also wearing a Kali Protecives Maya Helmet Smith Arena Pivlock Shades Giro XEN Gloves and Giro Terraduro shoes.
Tyler with 7Mesh's Glidepath shorts $140 and Eldorado jersey $60.


Men’s Eldorado Jersey $60

The Eldorado Jersey was another surprise. As 7Mesh states: “You don't need a top with all the bells and whistles, you just need a lightweight tech tee that wicks well, fits for riding and living, and looks good in the process. Simple, really.” The Eldorado is a 100% polyester garment. It comes in size XS-XXL, and two colors: Ember (tested) and Blue Sapphire.

The size medium Eldorado was a perfect fit for me - no surprise there. What was surprising was how silky smooth the fabric was against the skin, even when soaked in sweat. Typically, silky feeling fabrics tend to be clingy when damp, and even more so, as they get soaked. But the Eldorado remained smooth to the skin even on long, sweaty rides. Evidently, the trick is that the 100% polyester fabric used in the El Dorado has a bit of tooth to the underside of the weave that mechanically wicks sweat away from the body. Additionally, it has no elastene (Lycra) in it, as that fabric tends to hold water. As a result, the Jersey feels silky smooth, moves well with the wearer, and stays dry next to the skin. Breathability was also good. The only dis I can offer is that orange, (according to the female tester) is not a good color for me.

Details on the Glide Path short and the El Dorado Jersey.
Details: Glide Path short and El Dorado jersey.


Men’s S2S Short Sleeve Shirt $130

“The all-terrain shirt, reinvented: protective, comfortable, and light.” This technical piece can be worn as a stand-alone shirt or a layered outer shirt. It’s constructed from two fabrics: a wind-resistant front panel and a stretchy (but not Lycra) back panel. There are no pockets on the back to conflict with a hydration pack. Rather, two well-placed side pockets carry essentials like credit card, keys, and electronics. Colors are Goldstone, Ember, Black, and 2 Ball Blue (tested). Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL and XXL.

Typically, I bring either a wind vest or a lightweight breathable shell for big rides, particularly in the spring and in the high country in the summer where Mother Nature can throw a curve ball at you. My recent trip to Sedona, Arizona, saw me dodging lightning bolts and hunting for shelter from a rather aggressive hail storm one afternoon, and sweating my ass off in mid 80s temps the next day (28-29C). Either a wind shell or a vest would have sufficed, but the S2S shirt would also have been spot on. I just needed a bit more coverage than what a regular jersey offers, less than a vest, definitely not a long-sleeve; but I also needed something that would breathe well for the warmer day.

I like this piece. The size medium fit and functioned beautifully. I don’t think I’d wear this as a stand-alone piece (although that’s the way it’s marketed) It’s an item I would have in my pack as an extra layer for those just-in-case days, or I’d wear it over a base layer.

Tyler showing off the 7 Mesh S2S Short Sleeve shirt MSRP 130 USD .
Tyler showing off the 7Mesh S2S short sleeve shirt $130.


Women’s Glidepath Short $140

The women’s Glidepath short features a lightweight, durable and quick-drying nylon fabric, two front hand-pockets to hold quick-access items, and two zipped, side utility pockets, one with a secure cell phone sleeve, angled to not interfere with pedaling motion. Like the shorts from Aplinestars and Dakine, the Glidepath has a longer inseam (13”), and is compatible with most knee guards. Along with locking, low-profile waist adjusters, the short also has loops for riders who prefer a belt. It is currently available only in Bad Ash Grey, in sizes XS, S, M, L, XL.

Nikki testing the 7Mesh gear on Dirt Surfer trail in Post Canyon.
Nikki testing 7Mesh gear on "Dirt Surfer" trail in Post Canyon.


The women’s Glidepath fit loose and seems true to the sizing chart. They are lightweight and breathable, as the company describes, and the cuffs didn’t irritate my knees or legs when I went without knee guards. I also managed to find a bit of light rain during my testing and the water repellant coating (DWR) seemed to shed water appropriately, leaving me with dry shorts by the time I had finished my ride.

This short is designed for trail riding in just about any conditions and in any location. I spent a couple of really long days on my bike wearing it and I feel like I could recommend them to any of my friends as a super comfortable, women-specific trail riding short. I also tested them at the grocery store, the local pub, my son’s lacrosse practice… you get the point. An added bonus: the purple colored zipped side pockets also add a nice splash of color to the otherwise solid grey short.

Nikki Hollatz modeling 7Mesh s women s Glidepath Shorts MSRP 140 USD the women s Britannia Jersey MSRP 140 USD . She is also wearing Smith s Forefront MIPs lid Smith Asana Pivlock shades Giro DND Gloves Alpinestars Paragon Knee Pads Giro Seasonal Merino Socks and Giro Sica VR70 Shoes.
Nikki with 7Mesh women's Glidepath Shorts $140 and Britannia jersey $140.


Women’s Britannia Jersey SS $140

“The perfect mid-weight women’s riding jersey: carefully fitted, comfortable, and light.” The jersey has a full zip front, three rear pockets and two zippered side pockets. The jersey matches perfectly with the Glidepath shorts and has a lot of unique features that the other kits don’t offer, such as reflective details, and an elastic hem and sleeve. It has good breathability and is designed to fit properly in the riding position. It’s currently available in Emerald, or Royal Purple; and Sizes XS, S, M, L, XL.

I tested the size medium Britannia SS jersey in royal purple. The fit was a bit snug in the shoulders and the full zip tends to make me look poochy in the belly region unless I stand ramrod straight. I would probably opt for a size large in this jersey to suit my “loose is the new snug” style but the jersey is meant to be more fitted with the idea that it could be used for anything short of Park and DH riding (it’s too snug to fit over body armor). But, the Britannia jersey is not for me.

I have learned important lessons in reviewing cycling clothing over the past six months. Some apparel and certain colors just don’t look good on me. While purple is one of my favorite colors, 7Mesh’s hue couldn’t mask the fact that the tailored, front-zip Britannia jersey didn’t look or feel right on my build. That aside, 7Mesh packed a lot of features into this; it's worth a trip to the fitting room to see if it’s the trail jersey you have always wanted.

Details on 7 Mesh s women s Glidepath Shorts and the women s Britannia SS Jersey.
Details: 7Mesh women's Glidepath short and Britannia SS jersey.





ROYAL RACING

The design team at Royal Racing (like Dakine and 7Mesh) are hard-core users, so they are continually tweaking fit and function of their apparel to make it just that much better – and having an animal like the legendary Steve Peat as a lab rat is definitely a bonus.

Tyler pedaling around on the Syncline Trails with the Royal Racing Stage Short and the Turbulence Jersey.
Tyler on the Syncline Trails, riding a Royal Racing Stage short and Turbulence jersey.


Men’s Stage Short $109.95

The Stage Short is made for those needing a, “pro level short in a trail riding fit.” It has a nice bit of stretch to the body, a detachable chamois liner with a pro-level pad, a waterproof media pocket, Velcro waist adjusters, front and rear slash venting, bar tacking at stress points, and two snaps to secure the fly. There are laser cut perforations to aid in breathability, and the stretch fabric is aligned to move lengthwise in the back, and horizontally in the legs to make it more pedal friendly. The cut is optimized for the riding position and the fabric features a DWR coating to help keep you dry in the event of rain. Three colors are offered: Lime with Navy Blue (tested), Navy Blue/Electric Blue, and Graphite/Flo Red. Sizes are XS, S, M (tested), L, XL, and XXL.

The trail riding fit of the Stage Short moved well, in and out of the saddle. There was no sag in the crotch to hook a saddle, and the cuffs offered plenty of room for knee guards without flapping in the wind. Polyester/spandex blend (96%/4%) fabric is used throughout the body and it is reasonably lightweight and just stretchy enough to be appreciated. What really appealed to me was the functionality of the item as a whole: The venting was ample, the zippers were strategically placed, the waist tabs are in the right spots, and the length is just right. I’m no Goldilocks, but when it comes to clothing, I want it not too hot, not too cold, not too hard, and not too soft. I want it just right. And the function on this item was exactly that.

Tyler Horton modeling Royal clothing for the 2016 Spring summer clothing review on Pinkbike
Tyler wearing a Turbulence jersey $59.95, Stage short, and (inset top right) the LS Stage jersey, which is an option for the Royal kit, but was not tested as part of this review. $109.95.


Men’s Turbulence Short Sleeve Jersey $59.95

The Turbulence SS Jersey is my style of jersey. Royal touts it as, “designed to be versatile across all disciplines….Trail, All Mountain, DH, XC, and dare we say it? Enduro racing. It covers them all.” The body is composed of anti-bacterial polyester fabric (think no stink) with mesh panels for venting. The panels are biased to the front to function while wearing a pack. There are no zips and no pockets; rather this is a tech T style with gobs of venting. It comes in Lime with Navy accents (tested), Navy/Lime, and Flo Red/Graphite. Sizes are XS, S, M (tested), L, and XL.

I appreciated this piece a lot. The fit was great. It is a bit looser on the torso, but still relatively flap free at high speed. It vented exceptionally well, and moved well against both my skin and my base layer (when I opted to wear one). I particularly liked the sleeve length – somewhere between a three-quarter and a short sleeve – that reached to the crook of my elbow. My only complaint is that I’m simply not fast enough on the trails to deserve the “look at me!” lime color I tested.

Details on Royal Racing s Stage Short and the Transition Knee Guard.
Details: Royal Racing's Stage short and Transition knee guard.





SUGOI

Sugoi translates into “awesome” or “incredible” in Japanese. Or at least that’s what the founder told me in the late 90s when I was shooting some of their gear. A little search on the Google webs turns up the same definition as well. Sugoi started as a small company over 20 years ago, and has since grown into a reasonably large gorilla in the cycling clothing world. And while their focus appears to be more road and Lycra-esque XC than AM and DH riding, they make a few pieces aimed squarely at the aggressive, all day trail riding masses.

Tyler at play in Post Canyon with the Sugoi RSX Suspension Short and RSX Jersey.
Tyler in Post Canyon with the Sugoi RSX Suspension short and RSX jersey.


Men’s RSX Suspension Short $210

This is Sugoi’s premiere MTB short. It is a “Fully height adjustable mountain biking short with integrated bib that includes storage features. Designed for the high performance XC or Enduro rider looking to travel light and fast through the forest.” Gotcha. First off, this is more than a simple short with a chamois liner. Rather, it’s an integrated system that features both a detachable bib chamois short and an outer short. Similar to the SWAT bib by Specialized, the liner bib has a back pocket for stashing whatever gear you want, as well as a stash pocket on the thigh. It also features a fly for nature calls. The pad used in the liner is one of Sugoi's best offerings: the Formula FX chamois pad (this is the same pad that is offered in Sugoi’s $160 RS Pro bibs). This bib liner chamois snaps into the RSX outer short via a ladder system of straps on the back of the bibs to allow height adjustment for the baggy short. Okay… that’s a lot going on. And that’s just the liner short.

Tyler modeling Sugoi s RSX Suspension Short MSRP 210 and the RSX Jersey MSRP 100 USD . Tyler is also wearing Kali Protectives Maya helmet Kali Protectives Hasta Gloves Smith VO2 Max Pivlock Shades Giro Terraduro shoes and Fox Evolution Launch Knee Pads.
Tyler with Sugoi's RSX Suspension short $210 and the RSX jersey $100.


Moving onto the outer short… At first glance, the outer short is your standard affair: a black baggy with a 13-inch inseam and mesh panels for breathability. But closer inspection reveals that right thigh has a pass through zip on it for quick access to the thigh stash pocket of the liner chamois short. And rather than Velcro tabs or belt loops, the waist fit is dialed in via a boa system, with adjusters on either side of the waist. The RSX Short comes in black and is available in sizes S, M (tested), L, XL, and XXL.

Given the design time and price, I was not particularly shocked that the system fit and worked exceptionally well. The bib liner was supportive without being restricting, and the chamois itself generated zero hot spots or chaffing on the two test rides I gave it. The RSX outer short was exceptionally lightweight, moved well, and was highly breathable. The fit on the size medium was a bit generous, but that was easily snugged down via the boa system. The stash pocket was easily accessed via the zipper pocket on the thigh, and the fly worked the way a fly should: functional but forgettable until needed. The short has almost an XC fit but there’s room for knee guards and there’s no gaper gap when pedaling. I didn’t crash test this short but the fabric feels reasonably burly despite the light, breathable material of the body. I initially ridiculed the stash thigh pocket on the liner short and the zipper access for it on the outer short as overly complicated, but quickly came to appreciate how that snug stash pocket keeps whatever’s stashed inside it from bouncing around on my thigh and distracting me. And without the access zipper, I would have had to wrestle to get to my keys or my multi tool.

This is a pretty complex system, to be honest. And, most riders won’t want anything with this much bling, despite its stealthy, well-thought-out design. But, discerning riders with the money to throw down will genuinely appreciate the fit and function of the RSX short.

Detail shots of Sugoi s RSX Suspension Short and the RSX Jersey.
Details: Sugoi RSX Suspension short and RSX jersey.


Men’s RSX Jersey $100

This jersey is another top-shelf offering from Sugoi meant to compliment the RSX short as a hard-core trail riding jersey. Like the outer RSX short, at first glance it’s just a jersey. A nice jersey with mesh panels in addition to two zip pockets placed over your kidneys. However, just like the RSX short, there is more going on than meets the eye: IceFil fabric panels are strategically placed on the jersey to wick away moisture while actively reducing your temperature by both blocking thermal radiation and by utilizing Xylotil yarn, a fabric that actively absorbs heat. I did some digging and the Xylotil yarn is purported to help reduce temperatures by two degrees F. Pretty trick in my book. It comes in size S, M, L, XL, and XXL.

The fit is great - loose, but not too loose, and I have no idea if it was the Icefil fabric panels or not, but I remained cool and comfortable pedaling in full sun in temperatures in the mid-80’s F (28-30C). Would I have been just as comfortable without the Xylotil yarn in the IceFil panels? No idea. Design wise, the pockets were easy to reach and the collar was a good fit. From a fashion perspective, the “Directoire Blue” jersey I tested is a bit more “notice me” than I’d normally go for, but if you’re looking for fit and function in an all-day trail jersey, and like me, the retro colorway isn’t doing it for you, the RSX jersey is also available in a black body with red highlight panels. Overall, it’s a well-designed piece with some pretty cool tech features.

Details of Sugoi s RSX Suspension short bib liner. Note the ladder back for adjusting the height of the short relative to the liner short the single large rear pocket for the base of the spine and the stash pocket on the thigh of the liner short. The bib also features a stealth flap fly for trailside pitstops.
Details: Sugoi RSX Suspension short bib liner (from right): ladder-back for adjusting the height of the outer short; single, large rear pocket for the base of the spine; and the stash pocket on the thigh of the liner short.


Women’s RPM Lined Short $80

“An entry level baggy short with a sewn in liner for anyone looking for a price point baggy to start MTB riding, cruising the seawall, or commuting to work.” RPM shorts feature two front hand pockets, durable, four-way stretch fabric on the outer shell and an integrated RC100 chamois. The shorts have an 11” inseam and integrate Sugoi’s Micro Shield technology into the fabric for a lightweight, water repellent breathable design. The short is available in black; and sizes XS, S, M, L, and XL.

Nikki Hollatz testing Sugoi s RPM Jeresy and shorts for Pinkbike in Post Canyon just outside of Hood River OR.
Nikki wearing Sugoi's RPM jersey and shorts in Post Canyon.


I tested the size medium RPM short. It was a bit big in the waist on me and in looking closer at the size chart after-the-fact, I should have gone with a small. Of course, I prefer to blame Colin, who was ultimately responsible for requesting all the samples for this review. Regardless, the short stayed in place, and I was able to venture into the woods and get lots of pedaling in with this kit.

The first thing I noticed about the RPM short was the weight. It is significantly heavier the other shorts in this review, but also one of the more affordable options that has an integrated chamois. Weight isn’t a huge factor in shorts; I have spent long days in the heavy duty Race Face Khyber short, and it has never bothered me. Two things I really liked about the RPM are the breathability and stretch that is designed into the short. Each hip panel has a stretchy material that runs the length of the short. Given that, I would say this short might be ideal for someone who has some added curve in the hips and needs a bit of extra stretch around the hip and bum. The chamois pad was thick but comfortable. Ultimately, Sugoi has done a fantastic job of creating an entry-level baggy short that integrates usable design features into an affordable and attractive short.

Nikki Hollatz modeling Sugoi s RPM Lined Short MSRP 80 USD and Sugoi s RPM Jersey MSRP 60 USD . Nikki is also wearing the Smith Forefront helmet Smith Asana Pivlock shades Giro DND gloves Alpinestars Paragon Knee Guards Giro Seasonal Merino Socks and Giro Sica VR70 shoes.
Nikki modeling Sugoi RPM lined shorts $80 and RPM jersey $60.


Women’s RPM Jersey $60

“A relaxed fit and soft melange fabric make this cleanly styled jersey perfect for more casual rides.” The RPM comes with a quarter-length zip front, active melange fabric (fabric that has been made with more than one color), and three back pockets with a secure zippered pouch. The jersey is a nylon polyester blend with a dash of spandex for a bit of stretch, and uses the Sugoi Fino tech material, which is a breathable, odor-resistant, moisture-wicking fabric with UV ray protection. The company noted that there is also an XO Dry panel across the lower back that adds extra cooling and ventilation to this particular piece. The jersey is available in Raspberry Sorbet, Light Jade, Coal Blue, and Black; and sizes XS, S, M, L, XL.

I tested the size medium RPM jersey in Raspberry Sorbet. The jersey is designed as a “semi fit” piece. Like many companies, Sugoi has a fit philosophy that breaks their clothing into three sizing fit categories: Pro-Fit, anatomically form fitted to the body for optimal performance and low wind drag; Semi-Fit, designed to fit close to the body but not so tight that you’ll feel self-conscious at the coffee shop when you’re picking up a post ride or run drink; and Relaxed-Fit, designed to fit looser on your body – similar to how a T-shirt or board shorts would fit.

This particular jersey, had a nice comfortable, not-to-tight, not-to-loose feel, and I liked the extra ventilation the quarter-zip offered on hot days. The RPM also comes in four different color patterns and the Raspberry Sorbet was a very feminine, yet not an obnoxious color. While this jersey is not one of Sugoi’s high-end pieces, it is a good entry-level jersey for women interested in investing in a quality piece of apparel from a company that is known for making well-designed cycling products.

Details of Sugoi s women s Padded RPM Shorts and Jersey.
Details: Sugoi women's padded RPM shorts and RPM jersey.





FOX

Fox has been consistently nailing it with their MTB line of clothing since back when they first brought on Chris Gagan as a product manager over a decade and a half ago. Gagan has long since moved on, and Mike Redding, previously of Troy Lee Designs, has been driving the brand for the past few years. Redding's influence shows, as does the feedback the design group has received from the likes of Kirt Voreis, Cam McCaul, Claire Buchar, and Chris Kovarik, and the Giant Off Road Team.

Tyler putting the Fox Attack Pro Gear through it s paces on the Syncline Trails and in Post Canyon.
Tyler puts Fox's Attack Pro Gear through its paces in Post Canyon.


Men’s Fox Attack Pro Short $189.95

“Sometimes you can’t take a lift to get to the best trails, that’s when you need gear that moves and breathes as you pedal your way up, and keeps you protected as you shred your way down,” is the Fox mantra. The Attack Pro Short comes with a detachable chamois liner short that features Fox’s “Pro” chamois. The shorts are constructed from Trumotion, a four way stretch fabric (90% polyester, 10% spandex) that is lightweight, breathable, and highly abrasion resistant. There are also strategically placed laser cut holes for ventilation. It features two side zip pockets for storage of keys, phone, etc. The fly is interesting; it’s more of a half fly with no zipper or Velcro, rather with the waist snaps undone the short has just enough give to allow for trail side-relief. Waist adjustment is managed via utilizing two of three snap positions on the fly. There are no belt loops or other internal waist adjustments, just the snaps on the fly, which allow about a half inch or so of adjustability Try before you buy. It comes in size 30, 32, 34, 36, and 38.

Tyler modeling the Fox Attack Pro short MSRP 189.95 and the Attack Pro sleeve Jersey MSRP 89.95 . Tyler is also wearing the Launch Evolution Knee Pads MSRP 59.95 the Metah Helmet 149.95 and Fox s Digit Gloves MSRP 32.95 . Under all that gear is the Fox Evolution Attack Pro Bib Liner MSRP 149.95 . Tyler is also wearing the Smith Pivlock Arena shades and Giro Terraduro shoes.
Tyler with Fox's Attack Pro short $189.95, Attack Pro 3/4-sleeve jersey $89.95. Launch Evolution knee pads $59.95, Metah Helmet $149.95, and Digit Gloves $32.95.


This is an A grade offering. On the trail, Pro Attack shorts are pretty damn good. The fabric moves well and breathes well. The fitted nature of the short means no hooking the saddle or any other binding issues. The leg openings easily accommodated knee guards without being binding or flapping in the wind. The half fly is just enough for trail side pit stops, so I wasn’t crying over the loss of a full zip fly. The "detachable" chamois detaches with a knife or scissors, not snaps, so there’s no going back if you opt to detach it. But the short doesn’t creep with the liner detached - which is good, because I detached the chamois in order to test-drive Fox’s Evolution Attack Pro Bib Liner (more on that below).

I tried two rides on the stock chamois: one with it still attached to the short and one with it cut free and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the chamois pad: it’s definitely A grade. No hot spots, chaffing, etc. Nor did the short creep with the chamois detached. I never crash tested this short, so I can’t attest to the abrasion resistance touted by Fox, but the fabric feels pretty damn bullet proof despite how easily if moves with the body. My only dis on the shorts is the sizing: It's generous enough with the size 32 short that even with the adjustable snaps at the smallest setting, I needed to size down to a size 30 short. That size was was spot on for my 32"-33" waist. As stated above, try before you buy to make certain you are getting the correct size.

Details on Fox s Attack Pro Shorts and the Attack Pro 3 4 sleeve Jersey.
Details: Fox Attack Pro shorts and Attack Pro 3/4-sleeve jersey..


Men’s Evolution Attack Pro Bib Liner $149.95

I prefer bib chamois shorts when riding, and this offering by Fox ticks all the boxes: breathable mesh, variable density chamois pad for moisture management and vibration damping, stash pockets on the back of the bib for rides without a pack, and silicon grippers on the cuffs to keep the shorts in place. Oh, and a tighty-whitey-style fly, nicely outlined in lime green for the pit stops. It’s available in size S, M (tested), L, and XL.

The fit of Evolution Attack bibs is perfect, and the variable density chamois in these bib liner shorts is top notch, too; Italian design and function at its best. The cargo pockets are placed just right: not too low on the back to interfere with the fit of the outer short and not so high as to make accessing your essentials difficult. The mesh liner breathes well, and it’s supportive at the same time. The fly for pit stops is awesome. All in all, a solid home run from Fox. If you are considering stepping up to a bib short, this should be on your list. Yes, it’s expensive, but you get what you pay for. And, unlike the Sugoi RSX system, Fox’s Attack Pro bib can be used with any riding short in your closet.

Details of the Fox Evolution Pro Attack Liner Bib Short and the Attack Pro Shorts. Note the pockets across the small of the back on the bib liner short the flap fly on the liner for trail side relief and the 3 snap closure adjuster for the Attack Pro Shorts.
Details: Fox Evolution Pro Attack Liner bib short and Attack Pro outer short. Note the pockets across the small of the back on the bib liner, the flap fly on the liner, and three-snap closure/adjuster for the Attack Pro short.



Men’s Attack Pro Jersey $89.95

This three-quarter-sleeve jersey is extolled by Fox as striking “the ideal balance of moisture wicking, breathability, and stretch,” It’s constructed of Fox’s Trudri fabric, a wicking material designed to keep you dry and comfortable. The fabric features four-way stretch material, and the jersey itself has strategically placed mesh as well as laser cut holes to increase breathability. There are two easily accessed side zip pockets placed just over half way around the torso. It comes in size S, M, and L.

This is another home run for Fox; the Attack Pro jersey again ticks all the boxes for a quality jersey: The fit was spot on, it moved well, it breathed well, and it features excellent design execution. The pockets were thoughtfully placed and didn’t interfere with the back pockets of my bib liner or my hydration pack. Yeah, it’s spendier than some other jerseys out there and no, there’s no powdered unicorn horn woven into the fabric as there is with the Sugoi RSX Jersey. Rather, it’s just a straight up polyester weave, but it performs flawlessly just the same.


Women’s Ripley Short $79.95

“The Ripley Short is arguably the best combination of performance and value in a women’s specific MTB short today. Built with all day comfort in mind from the inside out.” The Ripley short comes with a detachable liner with women’s specific EVO chamois (not tested), an interior adjustable waist, one zipper pocket at back waist, and a two-way polyester mechanical stretch main body. The short is available in Flo Yellow, Plum or Black; and sizes S, M, L, XL.

I tested the size medium Black Ripley short. The sizing chart is a bit buried on their website, but it’s there. I fell between a size small and medium on the Fox chart, but given my preference of a slightly loose fit in my waist and hips, size medium was a good choice for the Ripley, but if you are on the upper end of medium, you may want to size up to a Large.

Nikki Hollatz testing Fox s Ripley Gear on the Syncline Trails near Hood River OR.
Nikki testing Fox's Ripley Gear on the Syncline Trails near Hood River.


I rode in the Ripley short throughout the spring, in hot and cold weather, on long and short rides, and with or without knee guards. I literally put them through the wringer and they held up. The short has a light comfortable feel and a nice form fitting design. I felt that the design and fit of the short was similar to the Giro Truant short but with a little less stretch. Both have a shorter, 11” inseam, and both fit more snugly around my lower leg than the 7Mesh or Alpinestars shorts. I did have a small gap between the bottom of the short and certain knee pads, but the Fox Launch Enduro knee pads came up high enough on my thigh to overlap with the bottom hem of the short and keep a seamless look without the dreaded “gaper gap.”

The one drawback of this short is the lack of pockets. Although the website states that the short has hand pockets, the Ripley did not. There is one small zipper pocket along the back waistband that will fit keys or a bar, but it was too small to fit my phone. Despite that drawback, most of my lady shredder friends would like the look and feel of the Ripley short. Combine it with the jersey and the multiple color options available, and you get a very functional and attractive kit that comes with a comfortable chamois, for a reasonable price. I would say the Ripley is an excellent everyday short for trail riding.

Nikki Hollatz modeling the Fox Ripley Short MSRP 79.95 USD and the Fox Ripley SS Jersey MSRP 59.95 USD . Nikki is also wearing Fox s Metah Black helmet MSRP 149.95 Launch Enduro Knee Pads MSRP 59.95 Fox s Trail 4 inch Socks MSRP 9.95 the Womens Ripley Glove MSRP 24.95 the Smtih Asana Pivlock shades and the Giro Sica VR70 shoe.
Nikki with Fox's Ripley short $79.95, Ripley SS jersey $59.95, Metah helmet $149.95, Launch Enduro knee pads $59.95, Trail 4-inch socks $9.95, and Ripley gloves $24.95.


Women’s Ripley Jersey $59.95

The Ripley Jersey is an incredible value for the level of quality it offers. The jersey features a moisture wicking polyester Fox Aircool main body, a rear pocket with a zipper stash pocket, an optics wipe inside the hem, a zipper stash pocket on the side, and a tailored women’s specific fit. The jersey is available blue, neon red, Miami green, light gray, and sizes S. M, L, and XL.

I tested the size medium Ripley jersey in Miami Green. It has a nice tailored women’s-specific fit, exactly as described on their site. It was a bit snugger than the Giro or Dakine Jersey, but still the correct sizing for my build.

The jersey is light and breathable and perfect for riding in warmer temperatures. The small zipper stash pocket on the side is a nice place to put a gel or your ID, if you are riding and want easy access without getting into a pack. While it's hard not to notice the Fox branding right across the chest on this jersey – “look at me, look at me” – the color scheme, tailored fit, and lightweight feel place the Ripley a notch above its competitors, at a competitive price.

Detail shots of Fox s Ripley Jersey the Ripley Shorts the Ripley Gloves the Metah helmet and the Launch Enduro Knee Pads.
Details: Fox Ripley jersey, Ripley shorts, Ripley gloves, Metah helmet, and Launch Enduro knee pads.




Summer Clothing Guide 2016






182 Comments

  • + 58
 What do you think will happen when you crash on your multitool stashed in your bib short? Its good for stashing the soft stuff like some foods or gells bud i will never stash anny multitool in there.
  • + 15
 Ouch…
The Giro and Dekine gear looks great to me. Take some notes FoX.
  • + 24
 You will get impaled and bleed out in a gory spectacle on the side of the trail. Lets be realistic. Trailside rocks and roots are going to do much more damage to you in a fall than a small streamline multitool.
  • + 26
 For the guys just stuffing the packs and pockets without tinking, read this: http://www.bicycling.com/training/health-injuries/pack-wisely-to-save-your-spine
  • + 12
 A few years ago a guy posted up some pics and a story of how his shock pump fractured his spine during a crash because of where he positioned it in his pack. When you fall, a rock might hit you directly on the spine, key word being might, but you increase that risk by positioning a multitool in that area. Im not doom mongering, and its the riders responsibility to load their gear, but i think its a matter of time before someone with one of these lower back stashs gets seriously injured because they want to be the rad dude with no pack.
  • + 8
 @bluumax: Thats exactly the story i linked above.
A buddy got cripled crashing with his back into a three. Took him 3 years and a load of surgery to recover. I barely ride without a back protector annymore. Just for some extra protection.
  • + 3
 @ColinD: Just read that. Great advice. Thanks
  • + 1
 I keep my multi tool, co2, levers and spare link all in a old point and shoot camera case. Perfect size for one of the pockets and keeps everything in one place.
  • + 3
 @ColinD: Or buy a backpack with built-in back protector. Protects your spine and works as additional isolation between your body and water bladder.

(Necessary for me, because I often ride with my camera with extra lens and filters, which means there's more than 1 kg of magnesium alloy and glass hanging on my back.)
  • + 5
 yup. id rather crash on rocks and roots without a tool smashing into my spine.
  • + 3
 @richierocket: Don't give Fox hell their a great brand, and their stuff lasts for ever.
  • + 1
 @Extremmist: I use a Dainese Pro pack. Perfect pack for me. Mostly use it in the small setup with multitool and tyre strapped to my frame. Just ordered a alpine stars paragon vest to. Hopefully I will like it.
  • + 1
 @Nobble: disagree, except in the case of more serious falls
  • + 3
 @ColinD: Damn!

I went to the kitchen store and bought two EVA foam mats of 0.38" depth. I then took them home and measured and cut one to fit snug behind my bladder, next to my back. Cut it in a way that allowed it to easily form to my back. I have a second mat just in case I want to make another for another pack I don't have yet!
  • + 1
 Supposedly ,years ago at Galbraith, a trailbuilder fell on his pack that had a hatchet in it. The impact severed his spinal cord and it was lights out. Of course, that was a hatchet, not a multi-tool...
  • + 0
 Yeah, you have to pack them smart... but these and the Stash line from RF are probably the best clothing innovations in recent years for those of us who feel restricted riding with packs.
  • - 3
 Or you could, you know, just put the multitool in the left or right pocket so it's not over your spine.... even @ColinD 's article says that. There's really nothing to doom monger about.

People have been racing and riding with tools, co2, and all kinds of crap in jersey pockets for decades. You will not sever your spine on a little folded up lump of metal that's smaller than your wallet.
  • + 0
 @north-shore-king: oh the irony. Fox isn't the most durable.
  • + 0
 Fashonistas can finally get the color corrected "kits" for riding xc trails. Please forgive my non matching kit and the loud flatulants while passing you.
  • + 0
 When i got back to MTB i always carried my multitool in front pocket untill i had crash and falled on it (and praise the light it missed my balls by few mm).Hurt like damn and had a bruise but at least it looked funny because was a perfect square.
  • + 44
 Ok, there is no way I'm going to read a whole article about clothing.
  • + 40
 yea. I kinda lost interest halfway through. I always scroll down to read all the complaining in the comments anyway!
  • + 3
 you heard of 8mesh clothing right? I got some thing that will blow them out of the water.
  • + 3
 @dtax: what if someone comes out with 6mesh clothing?
  • + 0
 Read.....no.....Look at pictures! Yes!
  • + 0
 10Mesh. Mine is first to double digits.
  • + 3
 @chrishei1: NOT 6, 7 MAN!!
  • + 1
 Exactly. In the captions I see words like riding, drifting, and testing... How about POSING?
  • + 27
 $210 shorts. Let that sink in for a little.
  • + 6
 OR just wait until next season and pick up a pair of $120 shorts for $70.
  • + 6
 Lawyers and dentists need shorts too
  • + 16
 A lot of people are barking about the price on the items reviewed without bothering to read into the design or the tech that went into each piece. Yes, a lot of this gear is expensive, make no mistake; but when you factor in the design time, the tech used in the fabrics, etc; it boils down to you get what you pay for, and the manufacturers will stand behind their gear. Check, for example, Giro's return policy on their clothing and gear.
  • + 5
 Even fabrics like cordura will cost like $10 a metre or much less in bulk. As far as development adjusting a pattern especially when you have years of previous experience isn't a huge deal especially when you are using digital design software there are testing costs too. The actual cost of manufacture in Asia is tiny, you are paying a lot for marketing and branding which are and you are paying for the fact that it is a product made for a niche market. The actual manufacture cost is bugger all but mountain biking is a niche activity carried out by generally more affluent (on average) people so brands price in line with their market which involves an element of gouging
  • + 20
 Damn, our sport is fucking expensive.
  • + 5
 I paid top dollar for this outfit and you're telling me that I need to spend more to look good:

s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/8c/f4/cf/8cf4cf0f98e1fce7e52674c1130123dc.jpg
  • + 1
 @aoneal: LOOLZ
  • + 3
 More like fucking stupid. I am still having a good ride in free t-shirts, free shorts I got in a whistler race, and a chammy my ex-girl bought me for a bike tour.
  • + 14
 killer photos and write up. awesome job PB
  • + 13
 Most of the time, I could give Zero Shits on what you wear but that Damn fox helmet makes me want to throat punch people.
  • + 4
 Helmet looks like a big plastic hair do.
  • + 10
 Women shorts lenght is too short. Gorby gap alert, not covering the pads enough IMO.

(Men shorts are longer, why can't we get this length ?)
  • + 2
 Go have a look flareclothingco.com, they have very cool and good clothing for women, inspired by girl rider Wink
  • + 1
 I really can't stand the gorby gap. I'm not sure if you can get Sombrio where you live, but they have the best womens line IMO. The shorts are longer cut, the fit is relaxed so you don't feel clothing hugging and tugging at your body when you ride. Check them out if you can.
  • + 1
 I agree Rideuse67! I often wear men's shorts for the same reason. Tried the Race Face Khyber, but even they were a bit on the short side and the seams came apart after one season.
  • + 1
 @srh2 : men short are just so bad on the hips. I hate that. I've tried many. I use to have a Dakine one (women fit) that was perfect (but a collection from 3 years ago) and since they have followed the gorbygap fashion and the slim fashion ! Damn it.

@sebevoltage : I saw them at crankworx. Will defo have a look. But I ride for Local Outerwear -their enduro short are quite fairly long. They don't have a "freeride" inseam lenght yet, but I'm working on that !! :p

@lalena : Sombrio is so hard to find in Europe. Hope they will be back. I saw Jill with those at crankworx, seems pretty nasty clothes !
  • + 2
 @Rideuse67: You're right! The mens shorts definitely aren't great on the hips/bum. Unfortunately I haven't found anything else that is comparable for length and construction. I'm fed up with all the flimsy short shorts.

You, @lalena and I should start our own clothing company! I'm sure we aren't the only women who want proper biking clothes that fit correctly, can handle abuse and aren't teal or pink.
  • + 1
 @srh2: Problem is on a financial wise A women clothing company without pink is not viable nowadays.

Society norms & standard.

Got to make it change !!
  • + 1
 @srh2: That would be awesome! Would love to make some skinnies too that are great for riding/dirt jumping. Smile
  • + 8
 Mountain bike clothing manufacturer board meeting goes something like this. So we have kindergarteners in a third world country sewing or garments for $0.18 a. Our total cost to produce them is $0.31. Do you think we can get mountain bikers to pay $149 for them. Well I think so let's try.
  • + 2
 I'm glad someone sees the inequity in all this. It's BS ~ $100 + dollars for shorts / jersey is crap. I'm hoping that these people are reading responses like this as in any free market economy pricing is based on what the market will bear. If they don't move the product at these craptastic prices then they have the choice of folding or adjusting to meet a more reasonable threshold.

I can afford to spend that money ~ I choose not to for the very reasons properp stated.

For the record I shop the hell out of all my gear, I figure the money I earn deserves to stay in my pocket as long as possible and I never pay full retail for anything that isn't a necessity ~ want -vs- need principle aka I'm Scottish and tight as bark on a tree with my money.
  • + 1
 First, enough light has been shined on cheap child labor practices in India, Malaysia, Mexico, China, etc that it's pretty much a thing of the past for reputable companies to engage in. All the companies who's clothing was reviewed here don't subscribe to that kind of labor practice. 7Mesh, for example, discloses their manufacturing process in detail here www.7meshinc.com/manufacturing

Secondly, even if the sewing is cheap, the tech involved in the fabrics is not. And there's a LOT of tech that goes into making quality textiles, like the Icefil and Xylotil fabrics in the Sugoi RSX jersey. I mean a fabric that works to lower one's skin temp by up to 2 degrees F by absorbing heat? That's star trek stuff. And it's not inexpensive for Sugoi to purchase.
  • + 7
 @meagerdude: the problem with hand-waving the cost of MTB clothing away under the guise of 'tech is expensive' is that it's not a transparent way to illustrate cost (and value added as a result of that cost). It's easy to demonstrate that the square area of a fabric in a jersey costs $5 or $10 or $X, and that the labor cost to assemble that jersey is $Y, but after that it gets pretty difficult to understand where the remaining cost $Z comes from. That cost, manufacturers will tell you, is a combination of 'research', 'marketing', and other 'overhead costs', but is it really appropriate for them to expect us to blindly trust them when they tell us all of that is worth $20? $30? $100? How do we know they're not just playing loose and fast with those numbers in order to pad their profits when sales are strong or pay their staff when sales are weak?

These $Z costs are huge in the MTB clothing industry (and to a limited extent the MTB industry in general) compared to others. Of course that's partially justified, given relatively small companies and small volumes of sales.

But I think a lot of us wonder if this model is fundamentally broken, and dream about what would happen if someone came onto the scene offering no-frills products at a drastically cheaper price. I have a hunch that, given the opportunity to gain momentum, such an approach could blow the existing companies out of the water.
  • + 8
 @meagerdude: A.Yes a lot of light has been shed on shitty manufacturing practices but we still have no bloody clue how 99% of clothing is made. Respectable companies? not sure what's that. The fact is that 99% of clothing, including sports clothing in large stores is too cheap to be fair. Which brings me to:

B. I want to slap people who complain on prices... or give them psychodelic drugs

Fkng pricks... Want to be paid 50$ an hour but complain on 200$ shorts, thus expecting someone to be paid 1$ an hour or less. Free Market... Jesus Christ...
  • - 1
 @meagerdude: My birthday was a couple weeks back as was fathers day ~ how's about you spring for some gear as it's no big deal apparently on the price Smile I mean, what's $350.00 for shorts and a jersey among friends old buddy! I'd like a couple pair of shorts and at least three jersey's what do ya say?
  • + 4
 May I know something that is completely out of my business? What are you guys saving on?! Mountain Biking is expensive, it bloody is, just as it is a quite fkng unnecessary activity for a human being to get involved with. And it gets me sick to realize how many complain about prices but would be super cool with owning 5 different bikes, a truck of likes of Monster Energy one, fantastic home workshop in a huge garage of a house with iwn pump track in the back yard - and BTW a nice Moto never hurt anyone, along with a small ranch you share with your buddies. You know, the sponsored rider lifestyle.

Because I ain't buying any bigger ideals standing behind those "too expensive" arguments. At least statistically. You just want it all, or rather you just want more, and you want it now. What kind of pitiful split personality that is to become someone, get a trade and then decide to steal a personality from a dude you admire (compund effect of your own impression and your peers getting pumped, wanna be a part of the movement isn't it?). And you do it by buying items appearing in promo vids, and ones that are coming supposedly from riders themselves are the best hooks your brain can catch. And considering your circumstance of being a mtn biker (instead of Ferrari owner) the low price is the best ticket for you to get some taste of pro rider's life.

Why do you complain about the price of these pants?! Have yours just got torn, are they worn out? Throw me a fricking bone here, where is your need of purchasing something and price standing in your way? Or is it the anxiety of seeing an obtainable object and not getting it, regardless of your current needs. A fundamental, almost premodrial reflex of target identification and acquisition. Because I don't believe there is anything more to that whining on price. The discomfort of feeling greedy for wanting it, which you then must project on someone to temporarily unload the distress.

Why does it cost so much? None of your fricking business, how would you like to answer that question about whatever you do? Hey Colin Meagher even my mom can point that expensive camera and press a button on it, why would you get paid SO much for your work?! And you are having fun riding bikes while doing it, what the hell man?! So no it's no one's business why those clothes cost so much, you may ask questions just leave ideals and deeper cost analysis out of it.

It is there, you want it, just deal with not having it. What is wrong with not having or not affording something you see on the screen? What the hell is wrong with that?!
  • + 2
 Because if you would be perfectly fine with not having something you see on that screen, why would you honestly care how much it costs. I don't care about dog food prices. Because I ain't got a damn dog. I could if I wanted to, but I don't so a bag of dog food can cost 2000$, I don't give a sht. And so won't a dog breeder whine on price of freeride pants. Because children in Beirut might want to ride bikes too? Get the fk out of here...
  • + 3
 The fact that we all write this crap on computers, iPads etc that are known to be produced by "cheap labor" contradicts your concern about the ethical standards of mtb clothing production.
  • + 0
 @tipsword: happy to help you out, chum! Not.

But seriously: sure, I'll hunt for a deal first, but if I absolutely gotta have it, I'll pay full price for it if I trust that quality of what I'm purchasing. In my collection of personal gear are 2 pr of bib shorts from 2002 that are finally on their way out--gotta love the quality of a good Italian chamois. I paid full retail for them: $110 ea. And I've also got 2 sombrio jerseys from 2012 that I also paid full price for: $80 ea. And I've screwed up and had to buy a tech t or a pr of shorts, etc at the last minute and gone rock bottom cheap whenever I've done that and you know what? None of that stuff lasted a season. Shoot, I had one pr of $20 gloves not even last the ride before the palm blew apart. Bottom line? You get what you pay for.
  • + 6
 @WAKIdesigns: Nice rant Waki, now take your meds and go for a ride. It's just knee jerk man, totally natural and ok for any rational human's first response to $200+ shorts designed for all mtn abuse to be arse puckering and complaining.
  • + 0
 @Royal28: someone did make that approach a few years ago in the ski industry: check out Beyond Clothing. It's changed hands since it was founded but the principles of the company remain the same.

And I do stand by the principle that you get what you pay for. Quality apparel should and (typically) does last for years. Fashion, on the other hand, can live and die in a single season. There are warehouses filled with neon crap from the 80s ski industry proving that.
  • + 1
 Check the german brand Local Outerwear you guys. Made in Europe. (Prices are a bit higher due to the manufacturing in Europe but you got the garantee that it is no chinese workfactory).

Problem is nothern and western country just lack of people qualified for sewing technical stuff. So where do we produce ? Where people know how to do it ! :p
  • + 11
 Really detailed reviews! Great job!
  • + 7
 All this crap is insanely expensive. $200+ shorts and $100+ jerseys? I guess it's a drop in the bucket compared to the $6K bikes that are labeled as "affordable" nowadays. If any of these pieces of clothing had some actual armor built in or something like that I'd understand the price tag.
  • + 3
 My paintball Jerseys are about half the price, same materials and stretch-where-needed construction. They have padding built into the forearms, shoulders and down the back of the neck to in-between the shoulder blades. Paintball gear has to take just as much abuse, if not more abuse than MTB gear. Because of this, I will never touch a Jersey that cost more than $45-$55 without built in padding.

My experience is 7 years in the Extreme Paintball League from 2002 till 2009. Where you could buy a Padded Dakine or Empire(top name gear)jersey around $55. Cost are still the same today. Speedball-Paintball in a league environment is far more costly to play than MTB.

I see more Alpinestar and Dakine on the trails than anything else. Probably because they make durable and affordable MTB clothing!
  • + 3
 @XCMark: I have Alpinestars jerseys that I got from Steep and Cheap and Amazon, and yes they're well made and the material looks and feels top quality, but paying retail for them would have still been crazy. I mostly year One Industries stuff because they're affordable and have several Zoic shorts that I picked up on clearance.
  • + 7
 Why does it cost 200+ dollars from most companies to get a pair of shorts and a branded jersey? Especially the ones that don't come with a Chamois which IMO is the most critical quality part of any pair of shorts. Sadly you know your getting old when you buy Chamois' separately and just wear golf shorts (yes, they are awesome for mtbing) and a dryfit shirt for your every day rides. Slap on the team kit for those days your riding with the group or team..
  • + 3
 Just did the same... UA golf shorts are absolutely amazing!
  • + 5
 You're not getting old, you're getting smart!
  • + 2
 Ben Davis Loose Fit tailored to shorts. Durable, very durable!
  • + 1
 Sale dry fits from kohls.... same thing.. few chamois and some cool base... errrr breathable poly and esther or even cotton shorts.... good to go.... i'll spend money on tires, a good lid and brake pads....
  • + 10
 Sorry but that new Metah helmet just looks stupid.
  • + 20
 Just grow a mullet to balance it out.
  • + 2
 @Trailsoup:

Hahaha I'm not sure that would even make up for it
  • + 1
 ULTIMATE SUN PROTECTION!!!!
  • + 2
 It's super comfortable and the airflow is great...to each their own. I love the pink and lime green colored one.
  • + 1
 @XCMark:

Haha aye your right enough, maybe takes a special breed of person to pull it off then.
  • + 6
 Maybe we could get some clothing to look at to buy that does not have the manufactures name in large letters spread across the person(s)?

One of the reasons I really like Dakine and Sombrio, the printed names are generally as long and wide as my middle finger. Showing the design of the clothing, not the design of the manufacturers logo!
  • + 3
 Like the Truant shirt. It's basically a Russell shirt with a twist and an $80 price tag.
  • + 8
 I want long sleeves, and suitable for the pub, i.e. no big logos or lairy colours. Dakine Dropout LS is the best I've found, but that's about it!
  • + 1
 I agree...giro has been leading here as well. Troy lee has a cool flannel-looking LS shirt but it needs some venting. His hybrid line is getn close. Need more sk8/dj steez mixed w/tech.
  • + 10
 You lost me at 'long days in the sun'
  • + 7
 whydoes Alpinestars think its ok to turn the male crotch into a giant butterfly?
  • + 24
 Yeah where my new 2017 pajamas at?
  • + 0
 Slacking on the bib game
  • + 2
 Too bad Fox clothing are starting to price their clothing like Fox Suspension now days. Anyway, Demo shorts are the best I have ever used. They last forever, even when sliding down a hill with them or rubbing your ass to a muddy seat for days.
  • + 2
 "The "detachable" chamois detaches with a knife or scissors, not snaps, so there’s no going back if you opt to detach it."
Wait what? People actually opt to keep that thing hanging on to their shorts? Fox "attaches" their chamois by a thread, and it would probably come out on it's own if you didn't cut the attachment tab.
  • + 2
 I'm not reading all that but I'm going for a ride now and the ony MTB 'kit' I'm wearing is the $25 Deity windbreaker I got in their clearance bin. Because it's foggy and cold right now. I'd rather invest in quality protection products under my work shorts an t shirts. The last pair or Fox Demo shorts I had got Demo'd in a month and cost 120$ If this stuff is going to be this expensive at least make it strong if you expect me to be a billboard out there.
  • + 1
 As mountain bikers, we have a responsibility to help keep the dirt healthy. Plastic clothing (Nylon, lycra, etc.) actually does not support that.

Plastic is not the most breathable for our skin, and the fibers that fall off are not good for the mountains and streams we enjoy.

Wool and organic cotton are so good now, that the choice to ride in them is easy (and apparently cheaper too).

See:
SmartWool shirt- 100% soft merino, $90 USD.
Patagonia pant- 100% cotton, $90 USD
DarnTough socks- hard workin' merino, $20 USD


Every textile has it's issues, sure, but until the MTB industry realizes that it's not exactly setting a high bar for sustainability or style.. I'll keep shoping elsewhere.
  • + 1
 Good points, but cotton does not really work for riding in the Pacific Northwest because it takes too long to dry. Wool shirts are the best though, way nicer to wear on long rides.
  • + 4
 C'mon Fox, It's nearly July and you're still going with the April fools joke helmet?
  • + 1
 Yes, those were long but indepth reviews and it is nice to see actual action and obtainable shots of real looking people instead of the 10% (or less) population of riders that are stick thin followed by them modelling the items in a normal stance or highlighting the important things one would want to see like the palms of the gloves.
  • + 3
 Pretty in depth! While I'm a total fox guy with my MX gear. I have to say TLD MTB stuff is on point. Granted fox is function over form with their gear
  • + 1
 @troyleedesigns: what's the deal with the fast house stuff??
  • + 1
 @NormanPerez: They are a so-cal moto brand, with absolutely nothing to do with TLD.
  • + 1
 When I saw those yellow fox bibs I thought for a second that it was one of those Pikachu backpacks --> www.polyvore.com/cgi/img-thing?.out=jpg&size=l&tid=62623802. All I thought was "yep... fox is going in the wrong direction for sure"
  • + 5
 the real question is, can the reviewers turn left on the cat walk?
  • + 6
 We are both ambi turners.
  • + 1
 Skillz!
  • + 4
 it's funny reading all the complaints about the pricing - how many of you are on $5000+ bikes or ever bought ski gear?!
  • + 1
 Didnt even read it, get an under armour dry fit shirt when they are 50 percent off then order some CUBE shorts from aliexpress for 25CDN, some bibs for 18 bucks from ali and grab a pair of ICE Breaker socks when they are on sale cause you can justify spending 30cdn on one pair of socks due to all the money you saved on the rest of your stuff...
  • + 5
 Ohhhh. This totally appealed to my inner clothing ho. Nice job.
  • + 1
 Ride It Clothing make high quality kit that looks fresh and doesn't use up half your wage on pay day. Our ladies jersey got rated 2nd in Bike Radar recently. Not bad for a wee Scottish company :-)
  • + 4
 Bib shorts , yeah rigghhtt..
  • + 4
 phff 100 bucks for a jersey
  • + 14
 Can get high end nike shirts on discount for 20-30$ with fabric of same or better quality
  • + 3
 Costco performance shirts 3pack/golf shirts/discount mtb sales
  • + 2
 @jrocksdh: salvation army/goodwill
  • + 3
 Maybe Alpinestar should rethink the name "Drop 2" for shorts haha. Or, its the best name ever.
  • + 4
 The cost on a lot of these products is getting stupid...
  • + 1
 mtb biking is getting studier by the year
  • + 1
 aliexpress, bibs 20cdn, cube shorts 25cdn, good socks, 5 bucks, gloves 10 bucks, dry fit ish shirt 15 bucks, done and done
  • + 1
 It really is. The El Dorado jersey is the worst offender. $60 for a synthetic t-shirt. And the only real cycling-specific feature is a longer back hem. These go for, what, $10-15 at your local factory store?
  • + 1
 Go to a regular department store and buy the no-name "active wear/performance" shirts. Less that $20 and you don't have to be a friggin billboard for these companies. Unreal.
  • + 2
 I'll stick to my usual summer kit,sealskinz socks,waterproof shorts and goretex coat.Never let me down during a UK summer
  • + 2
 Holy crap. This stuff is expensive. I need to go rob a mtbin' dentist to afford this gear.
  • + 2
 Nice to see these rippers actually riding technical features in these locations. Two of the best spots in the NW!
  • + 1
 Maybe I could, don't know. Been using the padded shorts for so long it feels unnatural without 'em. Maybe just getting old and soft.
  • + 2
 Sugoi translates into “awesome” or “incredible” in JAPANESE, not Korean
  • + 1
 Corectamente.
  • + 2
 When I googled that word writing up this article 3 weeks ago, the definition came up as both Korean and Japanese; but it's not showing as only Japanese; I'll correct that.
  • + 3
 But which is best?

I want my decision made for me!!!
  • + 0
 Does anyone have a preference for a cheap durable solid color short good for mtb?
I don't care about the brand.
I don't care if it has technical features.
I don't care if its marketed for bird watching..
  • + 2
 After seeing these prices I now know why I wear cut Ben Davis work pants and a Wally World baseball jersey...
  • + 2
 I just like that they are riding my local flavor (the trails not my.....well never mind)
  • + 1
 I ride a pair of Oakley shorts that I bought at an Oakley outlet like 6 years ago for like $25 or sum shit. Not spending $210 to stay trendy.
  • + 2
 Nice work guys! great info
  • + 2
 man, the photos of them posing on the bike are super awkward.
  • + 1
 I'm just amused that he changed shoes, gloves, and helmet based on the gear color he was wearing. ????
  • + 2
 I'm all about having last years best at clearance prices
  • + 1
 Where is the Race Face gear?!!!! Canada represent.....
www.raceface.com
  • + 2
 Sombrio!?!?! Where's the north shore love?
  • + 1
 Sombrio has a review coming out later this summer.
  • + 1
 I'm finding for most of these clothing lines a xxl waist = 38cm if your larger than that forget it
  • + 1
 I know that both Fox and Dakine do offer a short that will fit into the 40-42" range as our local shop stocks them.
  • + 3
 TLD Skyline comes in 38 and 40!
  • + 1
 @brule: thanks, maybe let me know when they get to 44
  • + 1
 @troyleedesigns: thanks, maybe let me know when you get to 44
  • + 1
 Good Will shopping for me. I buy a size up, stitch the waist a bit. $3.00 and roomy enough for pads.
  • + 2
 Take notes on Dakine Pricing guys ffs...
  • + 1
 Dakine + Alpine Stars looked good to me (sorted mainly by price, then looks).
  • + 1
 I ride in my pajamas. Never bought "riding clotrhes"
  • + 1
 Just wear some sunscreen.
  • + 1
 Alright lets just wear boxers with free Ts
  • + 1
 Summer? It hasn't happened Scotland.
  • + 2
 Summer?
  • + 2
 clothing review without a bikini?
  • + 1
 cool, now i know what to look for at all the end of season sales.
  • + 1
 Great! Just let me know when summer starts... :-/
  • + 0
 Mountain biking became a fashion show when, exactly?
  • + 1
 Why no race face?
  • + 1
 From what I heard, their samples were not ready in time for this piece. That being said we did include them in the fall/winter review that published last november.
  • + 1
 As @nkrohan stated, clothing from RF was not ready in time for the review process which began in late April/ early May.
  • + 1
 Because They are Models; Pun intended.
  • + 0
 And a special thanks to Maxxis tires for sponsering this article
  • + 0
 who eats a gel on a bike ride (not race)?
  • + 0
 I'm fine with my autumn/winter clothes and gear. Thx

????
  • - 1
 Who the f@ck rides in black clothing? Am I missing something here?wear our black kit or look like a friggin easter egg
  • + 16
 I wear blacks and greys. More stealth less clown.
  • + 4
 black is the new black
  • + 1
 I'm with you on black. It's typically over 90 degrees where I ride. Need all the heat protection I can get.
  • + 1
 is Nikki a robot?
  • + 6
 No... I'm human. At least on most days. But I could use to smile a bit more Wink
  • + 1
 I guess we're done.
  • - 1
 When did shorts become $100?
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