Reviewed: 10 Plus-Sized Men’s & Women’s MTB Shorts

Oct 12, 2022 at 12:05
by Nikki Rohan  

Review: Nikki Rohan, Michael Shelton, Krystal Pope
Photos: Nikki Rohan



Most of us everyday riders are not built like Loic Bruni, Yoann Barreli, Jolanda Neff, or Camille Balanche. In fact, we have ample statistics that show that the average male and female in the United States would not fit into most XL-sized riding shorts from any of the major bike brands. While we like to think we are working toward a more inclusive industry, there is still a major gap between the media perception of all cyclists being lean greyhounds and the down-to-earth reality that most of us don’t fit that mold.

Robert testing on the Xanadu Trail
Robert testing on the Xanadu Trail

Movement for inclusivity in sizing in the mountain bike industry is happening, though. While some brands are offering a wider range of sizing, there is still a significant disparity of mountain bike apparel for “plus-sized” cyclists. To take a closer look at some of the brands that are working to expand their offerings, we reviewed five men’s riding shorts and liners and five women’s riding shorts and liners for the non-greyhounds among us riding dirt. It is important to note that there are very few women’s-specific shorts that are available beyond a size US 12-14, so we have tapped into some of the only options on the market specific to mountain biking.

We also tapped into some riding talent around the Hood River, Oregon, area to do the actual testing. Michael Shelton covered the men’s options, and he stands 6 feet-6 inches tall, weighs 260 pounds and is a size 38 -40, which adds up to an XXL in most brands. Krystal Pope tested the women’s offerings. She’s 6-feet tall, weighs 250 pounds, and has a 45-inch waist and 52-inch hips.

Robert testing on the Xanadu Trail
Michael Shelton covered the men’s options.
Robert testing on the Xanadu Trail
Krystal Pope tested the women’s offerings.


WOMEN’S SHORTS & LINERS

Machines For Freedom Key Shorts and Essential Cycling Short

• MSRP: $108 USD / $148 USD
• Sizes: US 24 – 38 ( tested 38 ) / XS – 3XL (tested XXL)



Machines for Freedom (MFF) has been at the forefront of making plus-size apparel for women. While they are more known for their lycra, MFF does offer the Key shorts for a trail-riding-specific option. They feature a four-way stretch fabric, slide-locking snap closure, front scoop pockets, rear zipper pockets, and a 5.5-inch or 11-inch inseam. The size chart was accurate on the hip and butt measurements for our tester but she found the waist on the size 38 to be a little tight. Despite the overly snug fit, she noted that the shorts did not cut into her stomach during the initial fitting, and once out on the trails the shorts felt solid. The stretchy material and contoured design around the hips and butt made for a comfortable fit and feel with no zero constriction and offered good breathability. She noted that the 5.5-inch inseam version was a no-go for anyone with strong, full-figured legs.

The Essential Cycling short is MFF’s go-to riding chamois. It features a unique, yoga-inspired waistband, seamless leg bands and an 8.5-inch inseam for a mid-thigh fit. Pope tested an XXL version of this chamois, which she noted were a bit tight on her, fitting “more like Spanx than a compression chamois.” Consequently, the waistband would sometimes fold over at the waist, but she felt the next size up would have been too big. As for the padding, it was different from any of the other liners tested, but was super comfortable, stayed in place, offered a perfect fit for a woman’s body (vs. unisex) and had just the right amount of padding to prevent chafing on longer rides.

Zoic Naveah Bliss Shorts w/ Essential Liner

• MSRP: $90 USD
• Sizes: US XS – 3XL (tested XXL)



The most notable feature of the Navaeh Bliss shorts is the super-stretch “Blissband” waist, which provided a secure, comfortable fit with zero pinching and with no buttons or snaps to deal with (or unexpectedly pop open). The shorts also use a nice, lightweight fabric, feature zippered pockets, and an 11-inch inseam. Per the size chart, Pope tested these shorts in XXL and reported that they offered a pretty perfect fit given the added stretch in the waist. The yoga band is very supportive on larger frames and stays in place without cutting into one’s belly. It also tends to sit higher than most cycling short waistbands and performed well to keep them from slipping down. Consequently, these were by far her favorite shorts. She noted they were extremely flattering, with no muffin top or slippage, and the leg opening was wide enough that they didn’t bunch up or band above the knee when moving into a descending position. Overall, they handled a variety of hot and cold temperatures during testing, and she highly recommends them for anyone looking for function and extreme comfort.

The Zoic Essential Liner that comes with the shorts was tested in a size XXL. This liner is a good basic chamois. It doesn’t offer the bells and whistles that some brands do, but they fit our tester well and the padding was comfortable for one- to two-hour rides, while offering good breathability and ample padding in all the right places. For the price, it is definitely worth purchasing the shorts with the included liner.

Wild Rye Freel Shorts w/ Alice Chamois

• MSRP: $119 USD, $109 for the Chamois
• Sizes: US 0-18



The Freel is Wild Rye’s flagship cycling short. It features a 12-inch inseam, three pockets, four-way stretch fabric and belt loops for waist adjustments. Pope tested the size 18 Freel which was supposedly too small for her hips according to the size chart, but fit surprisingly well. The legs were wide enough to fit her Athena build while still offering a tapered and stylish look. The waistband was a bit snug, but overall the shorts were comfortable and allowed for easy movement throughout the hips and thighs without bunching. It made them super comfortable regardless of whether she was climbing, descending or relaxing on the lift. Overall, they’re a solid riding short that gets points for coming in cool colors and designs.

The Alice Chamois had a true-to-size fit, if not a bit generous. Our tester noted that the chamois fit like her favorite running tights, offering “compression without constriction.” They include a high-waisted front and back design which keeps the midsection contained and svelte looking. Aside from her preferring that the chamois leg length could have been an inch or two longer, the padding was great for longer rides. Overall the liner offered excellent protection and padding without feeling bulky or toasty.

Shredly MTB Curvy Short w/ YogaCham liner

• MSRP: $110 USD / $78
• Sizes: US 00 – 24 (tested 20)/ US 00 – 24 (tested 20)



Shredly is another company that has been successful with its expanded sizes for their women’s-specific mountain biking apparel. The MTB Curvy is often at the top of the list for a lot of shredders when it comes to comfort and fit and it’s no surprise why: It’s a stylish short crafted from a durable four-way stretch fabric with a relaxed fit for curvy bodies, a mid-rise yoga waistband, and zipper thigh vents. Shredly provided our tester with a range of sizes due to some confusion with the size chart and she settled on the size 20 for this piece. It was a little big in the waist, but the size 18s were too tight in the legs and lower tummy area. Per the size chart, she would have been a size 24, so she highly recommends finding a shop if possible to dial in fit. Despite the slightly generous size, the yoga-style high waistband allowed a confident enough fit to get some good testing done. However, at the end of the day these were not our tester’s favorite shorts; they just didn’t fit her frame phenomenally and she ended up having some issue with them slipping down or folding over at the tummy. She also wasn’t a fan of the thigh vent which she noted, “looks like an oddly placed seam when closed and gills of a fish when opened… no curvy girl is going to open those things!”

The YogaCham was true to size and offered a superb fit. The chamois’ waistband has a nice grip on the back to help keep it in place, and the leg openings also include grippy texture to prevent them from riding up on the thighs (details like that are a big plus for curvy girls). The padding itself was a bit of an odd shape that extended towards her leg/thigh crease, which felt a little odd to Pope. Overall she liked the fit and breathability of this liner but felt the padding was a little thin, and that the shape of the pad was maybe not the best for her.

Pearl Izumi Women's Pro Bib Short

• MSRP: $210 USD
• Sizes: US XS – XXL (tested XXL)



The Pro Bib Short is technically not a liner; rather, it is a premium bib that can be worn out on the pavement or under a pair of mountain bike shorts. We wanted to get both our testers in some higher-end pieces to see how they compare to the lower price point liners that come with many of the shorts.


This particular bib is crafted for long ride comfort. It includes minimal seaming, silicone leg grippers, a unique v-strap drop-tail design for nature breaks, and a three-layer, fancy-pancy chamois. Krystal tested the bib in size XXL and it was a perfectly snug yet comfortable fit. While she noted that she is an XXXL per the size chart, she opted to size down based on user reviews. She was also quite stoked on the padding, which worked exceptionally well for longer distance rides. The fabric felt breathable and versatile and the little bit of compression was perfect. Cheers to Pearl Izumi for making a premium product across a broad range of sizes.

Patagonia Women's Dirt Roamer Bike Shorts (no liner)

• MSRP: $99 USD
• Sizes: US 0 – 18 (tested 18 )



The Dirt Roamer shorts are Patagonia’s premium contoured-fit mountain bike short. The shorts feature a lightweight fabric, an adjustable waist cinch system, zippered pockets and an 11 ¾-inch inseam. While word was that the Patagonia shorts tend to run on the “slimmer” side, we went ahead and requested a size 18 (the largest size available in the women’s Dirt Roamer) to see how they might fit in comparison to other brands’ size 18. Sure enough, per Patagonia’s size chart, the size 18 would max out at a 37.5-inch waist, making them too small for our tester’s 45-inch waist. So, unfortunately, we don’t have any ride impressions on the Dirt Roamer short, but she liked the stretchy fabric and was intrigued as to whether or not Patagonia’s “OppoSet” adjustable waist technology would work well on larger frames. Kudos to Patagonia for offering sizes beyond the standard 12, but hopefully we see more options in the future.



MENS SHORTS & LINERS


Patagonia Men's Dirt Craft Shorts w/Liner

• MSRP: $159 USD
• Sizes: US 28 – 40 (tested 40)



The Dirt Craft shorts are a lightweight stretchy riding short that feature an adjustable waist with a curved waistband, three pockets and an 11 ½-inch inseam that hit our tester right above the knee. The size 40 shorts fit Shelton true to size as expected–not too tight in the waist or legs. The shorts were very lightweight and offered a cool, breezy feeling, perfect for the shorter XC loops near his house. The tester felt that the material was more at home on the less burly trails, as the fabric is thin and may not hold up to a hard crash or long days in the bike park. The curved waistband kept the shorts securely in place, and Shelton never felt the urge to pull them up.

The liner that comes with the size 40 Dirt Craft shorts was size XXL. It had a regular fit and a very comfortable chamois padding. The multi-panel construction easily kept the liner in place without offering any constriction. The liner was on the lighter-weight side, but offered such a high degree of comfort that it ended up being the tester’s favorite for longer rides.

Troy Lee Designs Skyline Shorts w/Liner

• MSRP: $109 USD
• Sizes: US 28 – 40 (tested 40)



The TLD Skyline shorts are a regular-fitting “roomy” short that feature an adjustable waist, ventilation panels and two zip pockets. The tested size 40 was on the larger side of 40, and Michael indicated a size 38 would have been a better fit for him. But that roomier fit also allowed for a pair of crash pad shorts to readily slip under them. The shorts have a medium-weight fabric but still felt light and stretchy. While they had Velcro waist adjusters, the Skyline Shorts still rode a little low. Overall, the Skylines were very comfortable and breathable, and the fabric felt more durable than the Patagonia offering.

The TLD “TMF” liner that comes with the Skyline shorts offered an ideal fit for our tester. The liner was stretchy and breathable, but he noted that chamois padding was a little on the thinner side which created some discomfort after about an hour of riding.

Race Face Ruxton Shorts w/Stash Bib Liners

• MSRP: $121 USD/ $83 USD
• Sizes: US S – XXL (tested XXL)



The Race Face Ruxton shorts have an adjustable ratchet front closure, a raised back panel, laser-vented front thighs, a 14.5-inch inseam, and zippered outside thigh pockets. The shorts were tested in size XXL and they fit Shelton true to the size chart. These were his favorite shorts, hands down. They offered a great fit, with the high waist and gripper panels ensuring they stayed in place all day without any chance of a full moon incident. And while the shorts are a heavier fabric, and are designed for more all-mountain enduro style riding or light-duty lift service, the breathability was ideal for summer riding conditions.

Race Face also sent along their Stash bib liner for testing. The XXL sized bib fit our 6-foot-6 tester surprisingly well. The bibs feature two “stash” pockets for snacks or your phone, a nice stretchy breathable fabric, and gripper leg panels to keep the liner shorts from riding up. The liners breathed well on hotter days and the chamois pad was comfortable. Shelton’s only gripe with the Stash was that the seam where the shoulder straps attach to the front of the bib was on the wider side, causing the dreaded nipple chafe on longer rides if worn without a base layer.

Fox Defend Shorts (no liner)

• MSRP: $119.95 USD
• Sizes: US 28 – 40 (tested 40)



The Fox Defend shorts utilize an adjustable ratchet front for both closure and dialing in the waist fit. They have zippered hand pockets, all-way stretch fabric, laser-perforated ventilation, and a 14.5-inch inseam. Shelton tested the size 40, which offered a true-to-size fit. The shorts, like the Race Face, use a heavier-weight fabric, and they held up well to some minor crashes during testing with no visible signs of wear. The shorts tended to ride high on the waist, thanks to the secure fit of the ratchet. The DWR coating is a plus and easily handled some unexpected rain. And thanks to the rear and front ventilation on the leg panels, there was no overheating during climbs. Shelton was super happy with these shorts and definitely will include them in his go-to riding collection.

Dharco Gravity Shorts w/Men's Padded Party Pants Liner

• MSRP: $107 USD / $73 USD
• Sizes: US S – XXL (tested XXL)



The Dharco Gravity shorts feature a four-way stretch fabric, Velcro waist adjusters, two pockets, and a DWR finish. Dharco sent the size XXL shorts (the largest size available in the Gravity Short), which are supposedly the equivalent of a US 38. Unfortunately they were too small for our tester, so we don’t have any ride impressions . While I know from my experience that these are a functional and stylish riding short, note that they do tend to run on the smaller side.

While the riding shorts were too small to be tested, the Men’s Padded Party Pants Liner did fit Shelton and they were also his favorite chamois liner of the group. Dharco sent the size XL liner, which was stretchy, comfortable, and “never felt too tight.” Shelton appreciated how the plush chamois pad made his longer rides exceptionally comfortable and that he had zero issues with overheating or sweat pooling in the wrong places.

Rapha Trail Bib Cargo Liner Shorts

• MSRP: $135
• Sizes: US XS – XXL (tested XXL)



If you’re wondering how well a “premium” brand lines up against the tried and true “go-to’s” or how they actually work for larger people, enter the Rapha Trail Bib Cargo Liner, Rapha’s “supremely comfortable” liner bib for all-mountain shredding. Shelton tested this bib in size XXL. The bib fit like a glove (comfortably snug without being constricting), was super comfortable, and offered good breathability. The chamois is thick, comfortable, and did great on longer rides. There were no internal seams and the bib straps didn’t rub him the wrong way like the Stash Bibs did. Overall he was super impressed with the Rapha bib; the only additional feature he would like to see would be a fly for trail side pit stops.


Robert testing on the Xanadu Trail



176 Comments

  • 52 4
 Appreciate the coverage of larger options!

Most cycling shorts max out at a 38 or 40 waist which is a joke - have to mention fatladattheback.com for wider people
  • 43 4
 Thank you for this. Its true not all of us are XC whippets, and it feels good to have someone acknowledge it at least.

It does feel pretty terrible having to try the largest size available only to have it not remotely fit even when you're 'only' a size 38, or have bike set up guides max out at 105kgs!

A "big" issue I've run into lately is trying to find a coil spring that works, especially with burlier rigs and e-bikes, I could use a spring at least 100lbs+ stronger than what's available. Makes me sad to know that I can't ride some of the bikes I want to because of the lack of springs, or because you have to exceed the max air pressure for a shock even for someone who's on the right side of 100kg.

I know the obvious answer is to lose weight, if it was that easy or quick everyone would do it. There's often lots of physical, mental, financial and logistic issues at play and its a long, not-always-direct journey, and we need something to ride to get us there!

It's already stressful enough to try to join rides with 'regular' sized people, it'd be great to see more options to help get everyone out on trails on bikes that work well and clothes that don't make us feel like human bratwurst.

Cheers,
Your local big boi
  • 9 0
 DW suspension equipped bikes tend to run lower shock pressures than some other designs if that helps.

My starting pressure just to get the right sag is usually around 240lbs - 250lbs and I don’t even bother with coil shocks anymore as getting custom springs is ££.

On the upside I don’t have to worry about stiction as any suspension I’m using will be moving whether it wants to or not
  • 5 0
 I'm currently about 115kgs - I previously switched to coil thinking it would be the better solution. I was running 500 or 550lb/in springs. But in the end couldn't get happy on it. Switched to fox X2 and actually loving life, running about 250psi when it says start with your weight in lbs. I've found shock pressures are generally a bit lower than recommended when you get into the upper echelons of being a fat b____d.
I'm all about strong frames and lifetime warranties.
  • 5 0
 Totally agree. I like to call myself "Full Size" (6' 3" / 255ish lbs).
For the shock/coil, the Push is far & away the best I've ever ridden. Like I didn't know bike suspension could work that well good. It's expensive but I'd say it's definitely worth it if you plan to keep your frame for a while.
  • 2 0
 Have you checked out custom or "semi-custom" manufacturers? Super alloy racing are coming out with up to 750 lbs springs
  • 5 0
 Springs ( coil ) are generally available for most everyone's rear suspension. I ordered, a few years ago, a coil spring from Ohlins for a gentlemen who was 450 lbs. His doctor told him that he _had_ to start riding soon. We ordered an 1100lbs/ in coil for him on his alloy Specialized Enduro. Heard from him just before the pandemic started (Nov 2019?) and he needs a new spring because he lost 130lbs or so. I work in a bike shop to help people. I'll help everyone who rolls, walks or crawls in if I can! I know that a custom spring isn't cheap but they are available.

Coil Spring Calculators online:
TF Tuned
S4 Suspension
The Suspension Lab
  • 1 0
 @eddieantifreeze: I'm 200lbs and 6'2" and I'm on a 525lbs/in spring.... I would have you on a 575 at _minimum_ and ideally a 600lbs/in spring... but it also depends on where and how you ride!!
  • 3 0
 I understand your struggle because as a very small rider many bikes offer sub-optimal suspension performance due to my low weight.
  • 43 6
 What a sickening set of comments I've been reading. Yes I understand obese is a health issue and we shouldn't glorify it. However I'm sure these big people just want to ride their bikes, enjoy nature and give friends high fives in the forest and wear the cool clothes while doing it. Imagine being one of these models, loving the sport, feeling good about getting active and then coming on here to read all these comments about being fat and sick. It might be enough to make me never want to ride my bike again. Is that really the message we want to send?
  • 1 0
 Well.
  • 3 2
 totally agree with you. However, I think there is very clearly a growing cultural movement that would call you "fatphobic" and "misinformed" for your second sentence... and while not justified, I believe that many of negative comments are reactionary to that (and then some people just enjoy being mean.) We should not be mean to people for being overweight, especially when they are trying to get out and do something positive for their well being. We should welcome and encourage people of all shapes and sizes to get outside, move their bodies and join us in these wonderful activities. Having clothing to fit them as they start their journey is certainly part of that (plus, let's be honest, companies are trying to make more money and have a vested interest in more people participating in the market.) Plus, some people are just straight up big people, excess body fat or not. That's not the case for 98% of people needing a 38"+ waist, but it does happen.

That being said, it is utterly shameful and wrong to promote the "healthy at any size" idea. Being obese always, no matter the other factors, boils down to running a caloric excess. (before anyone shrieks: every 50lbs of body fat is about 110 days of fuel for the average person; excess calories.)
  • 32 1
 Did you know that Rapha will replace your kit at a significant discount if you trade it in for a smaller size after losing weight? As a husky individual I thought that was awesome.
  • 5 0
 They also do repairs if you crash. Their mountain bike stuff comes with a repair kit, and their road kit can be sent in for free repair. It almost… makes the cost worth it.
  • 4 0
 I know it's expensive, but hands down the best trail riding stuff I've worn.
  • 5 0
 Thats a pretty cool policy. Rapha is easy to make jokes at but they do some pretty good stuff.
  • 1 0
 this is precisely the kind of attitude that should be promoted. That's positive and encourages people to be healthy. Honestly I'm shocked that there's a company doing that, makes me want to buy something from them. Props to them
  • 25 0
 No snark, this is a good thing.
  • 11 6
 Respectfully withholding all my immature smartass not very funny remarks.
  • 61 38
 Ummmm… is this because of E bikes??
  • 17 10
 Yup
  • 2 10
flag cypher74 (Oct 13, 2022 at 13:55) (Below Threshold)
 Is what because of ebikes?
  • 11 3
 @wyorider: Double yup.
  • 4 0
 Came here for ebike comment content.
  • 8 20
flag westcoastatheart (Oct 14, 2022 at 11:42) (Below Threshold)
 I'd really encourage you to delete that comment. Not only is it wildly ignorant, but it's insulting to those of us who directly benefit from articles and testing like this; and the authors/testers themselves. Some of us are born with bigger bodies; and no, that has nothing to do with e-bikes.
  • 20 0
 One of my sisters friends just got into cycling, she's triple XXXL and found some pearl izumi stuff that fit her well, pretty awesome to see her on a bike and experiencing what we all love.
  • 19 1
 "Cycling specific" clothing prices are stupid. Buy a few tech tees for $20 a piece, some Wrangler ATG shorts for $25 a piece, and some non-cotton underwear and ride your bike. Some of these options are 6 to 7 times pricier than what I listed above. I find it hard to believe the performance is 2 times better.
  • 5 2
 I’ll spend money on shorts/trousers, the cut is different to account for riding position. Totally agree on the shirts, and definitely on the underwear. Personally with 2.5 inches of tyre squish and 5 to 7 inches of suspension squish, I don’t feel the need to add a few millimetres of gel or whatever inside my shorts.
  • 6 0
 @AyJayDoubleyou:

The chamois pad isn’t for shock absorption, it’s for pressure relief from the saddle itself. If someone is sitting on the seat for several hours it starts becoming a need. Most people though can avoid using them if they just find the right saddle to begin with when it comes to mountain biking. An 8 hour road ride is a different story.

If you don’t need one then your seat actually fits you properly. That being said you mentioned “gel”. In 20 years of riding I have never found a gel liner worth a damn, they also rupture at some point. Multi density foam is a much better option if you find that you need one.
  • 2 0
 I agree with the tech tee and chones..but the Specialized shorts that I have been using without a single issue since 2015 aren’t getting replaced with non riding specific shorts. Why? They are cut and sewn for sitting on a saddle, they stretch for the type of movement needed on a bike, and the pockets are located in areas that are designed for riding a bike. Just makes sense to me, but to each their own. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • 1 0
 I can almost get on board with the t-shirts. But I bought a super light Fox shirt this year that breathes like no other and is a blessing for me who typically sweats like a pig. Bike specific shorts have no real alternatives. Getting a sore etched into your thigh because of a shitty seam isn't fun and snagging the crotch on the saddle during park laps is a killer. I'll easily take the chamois if I'm I'm going to be cranking the bike uphill for 2+hours. Park days however, I'm fine with regular non-cotton underwear.
  • 1 0
 @dpars63: chamoises do a good job of mitigating unexpected high-speed testicle compressions
  • 1 0
 Personally for me, cheap board shorts are what I go with. Only bike specific clothes (other then protection) I buy anymore are Pearl Izumu chamois.
  • 2 0
 Wrangler ATG's might as well be cycling specific. Support your local Walmart, they'll build some more trails in Bentonville lol
  • 18 0
 This is awesome. Y'all might not recognize the photo of me from right before when I started riding again after my intestinal issues and spinal problems compared to now. Biking has enabled me to regain my health, and through that realign my career and community. Big folks are folks too. If any of y'all's health made you get big, I sure hope you could find, and afford to buy whatever equipment you needed to regain your health.
  • 18 2
 " In fact, we have ample statistics that show that the average male and female in the United States would not fit into most XL-sized riding shorts from any of the major bike brands. "

Would you mind sharing those statistics. A quick (and probably superficial) internet search found an average weight for a US male of 90kg (199 pounds). At that weight, a US size XL should fit easily. Italian road kit might be a different story, though....
  • 4 0
 I weigh 230 and wear a size large for shorts and pants
  • 1 0
 190lbs (and short...) and I wear a 36 waist (large) and large shirts.
  • 2 0
 I'm +200lb, 36 waist and use size large mtb gear and XL road gear.
  • 19 4
 Wow, finally a topic that I can actually speak with authority on as being the big/fat guy out of the trail for a better part of a decade. MTB clothes sizing is a joke for bigger size people, from shorts to liners to jerseys and don't even get me started on body armor. The sport is made by and for skinny people--not whining just stating a fact, as even bike leverage ratios point to this. I've obviously made it work since I'm still riding and so have a lot of other people I bet.

As far as clothing, I've tried clothes from Fox, Pearl Izumi, Zoic, Race Face, Troy Lee, Endura, Alpinestars,Yeti, etc, etc and If you're looking for more than a 36 and XL to fit you well then good luck. 38 and 2xl is where most brands max out and even then you have to be a specific shape in those sizes to have a fighting chance at them fitting well. And if I'm a male having trouble finding clothing for a male-dominated sport, I can't imagine what a female rider has to go through to find mtb-specific clothing that fits them in a larger size.
  • 14 0
 Still waiting for knee pad brands to release bigger sizes ... Leatt or IXS or TLD, your XXL options aren't an XXL and are no larger than other brands' XL ...
  • 2 1
 What would be good to see is different sizes of pads/chamois as the size increases. Often not the case for a lot of brands
  • 3 0
 Look at the Oakley RZ knee pads, they do a trail type and a DH type they fitted my huge knees and saved quite a bike of skin n my first ride with them.

They didn’t move or get damaged in the crash, which is always a bonus
  • 1 0
 I have gforms and they fit fine. Little loose even at the end of longer rides when they start to stretch out a bit. And my legs are definitely on the larger size of what you'll see on the trails. In my prime I could leg press over 1000 pounds. My legs aren't in that kind of shape anymore but they're not that much smaller than they were then.
  • 1 0
 Gform here, too
  • 1 0
 Alpinestars fit me and I leg press 1600lbs.
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: Jesus Christ my dude! You must be that guy in the article with the green Scott I think it was. LOL!
  • 17 4
 Finally! Clothes that finally fit the average Pinkbike keyboard warrior
  • 8 0
 Its hilarious that so many of you talk like you are an expert on complex topics with complete ignorance to the actual complexity of the issue. Opinions are like butt holes, everyone's got one, and no one really wants to look at yours.
  • 10 2
 I guess I shouldn't be surprised but a lot of the comments on here are pretty gross. Why making it easier for more people to get on bikes riles up the trolls so much is beyond me. Live and let live people, you will feel better for it. More people on bikes always a good thing in my book regardless of shape, colour or economic background. The woods and trails are for everyone and exercising outdoors is the best medicine I know for the trials of modern life.
  • 10 3
 The 'judgement free' side of cycling isn't feeling very judgement free today...

6'2, 270lb big fat fella, never ridden an E-bike, competed in a few enduro's etc. Kit is a genuine struggle.

A whole load of people getting very eager to judge based upon zero information - I guess that's what the internet is for?

Genuinely triggered and ashamed to be a mountain biker today.
  • 2 8
flag rzicc (Oct 15, 2022 at 21:52) (Below Threshold)
 when anyone says "triggered"... ypure pretty much a pussy... just saying
  • 10 3
 I'm a bit overweight, I eat like an absolute dickhead frequently and wish I wouldn't but its really hard not to, so I get what it's like. That said, normalising being fat isn't helpful. A bit of peer pressure might be a good thing.

"us everyday riders are not built like Loic Bruni" but it might be a good idea to aspire to be and work towards that rather than accept that being obese is the way it is.
  • 5 4
 Much respect! At least you own your struggles and know that the way you are and how society seems to have normalized being obese is wrong. @brianpark Thanks for being part of the problem and deleting my comment. My comment had the most props so obviously the PB community agrees that normalizing obesity is an issue. You guys are part of the problem.
  • 3 2
 @stitch1013: It wasn't long ago that PB were allowing people to state that others deserved to die of covid and not removing those comments, but now they're disappearing comments that don't meet their agenda. The double standards are mind blowing.
There are forum threads still running where people are calling each other paedophiles and that's allowed, but when someone says being obese is a poor health choice it gets taken down. I hope you're proud @brianpark. I'm sure you'll remove this comment too if it goes against your sensibilities.
Or are you hoping if you curb comments sufficiently that Elon Musk might take an interest in buying the site?
  • 10 1
 They look like they are having fun and at the end of things, isn't that why we do this? If not, honestly what is the point?
  • 6 0
 My impression is that most women's mtb clothing runs on the small/slim fit size to begin with, not even considering plus sizes. So I imagine people are bigger have an even harder time! I'm 5'9,150lb, so BMI 22, with a small waist, muscular thighs, wide shoulders from a lifetime of working out. In normal clothes, I would be a medium or size 8...but for mtb, I always buy a large, and am pretty selective in short buying. I even bought a size xl for pants recently from dharco, in order to fit chamois underneath! And that's as big as their sizing goes . Some shorts are cut with zero room for any muscle! And then you size up, and the waist is massive... Unless you're a stick with no curves, you won't fit... Shorts I think are pretty good are those from sombrio, they have a useful waist adjustable thing, fox flexair Lite (they have really nice fabric with a bit of stretch), dharco enduro, but need to size up even more... Troylee skyline pants are the best pants I've found, they are cut really well and have room in the thighs...
  • 3 0
 I agree that even compared to other sports clothing, finding nice fitting MTB stuff has always been hard for me. I'm 181 cm tall (5'11-6'), not at all petite and with wide hips and even when normal weight and usually M-L in "normal clothes", I was always buying the XL in women's bike clothes - sometimes even that was way too small. After some health issues and having gained weight it's become pretty hopeless. I can still fit in some of the old shorts with more stretch, but they definitely don't fit the way they're supposed to. And I'm still nowhere near the measurements of the tester here - currently about size EU46, which would be US14-16 (depending on the source). Of the tested brands you can't get most (easily) in Europe, besides Pearl Izumi and Patagonia (whose measurements are indeed on the smaller size although I like their bibs - and I still don't see larger sizes than 16 for the Dirt Roamers and 14 for their other shell shorts on their website, even though the article claims they had a pair in 18 ). Apparently being a "fat" cyclist is still even more rare in Europe, I'm glad to see some companies in the US have seen their market opportunity here. With shirts its easier to just buy something comfortable to wear on the bike, but with shorts many non-bike versions just don't cut it.
  • 12 6
 Hmmm. I've been on both sides of the mtb clothing fit thing. A soft 235 lbs. when I discovered the sport 12 years ago, down to a slim 160-165 during race season (add 10 pounds during the offseason) ever since. Never had any problems finding mtb-specific clothing to fit me, whether I was big or little, and even at 235 I wasn't even hitting XL in most brands. "Inclusivity of sizing in the mountain bike industry" is a stupid thing to be harping on. Most brands make sizes for just about every rider, and the few that actually don't lose out on a few sales along the way. Not everything is a righteous struggle.
  • 16 8
 Holy fuck...even by Pinkbike standards, way too many of the commentariat is off their trolley when it comes to inclusiveness in this sport....
  • 8 0
 I went 285#/3XL to 190#/L, riding mostly dirt over the last two years.

I found 7mesh and Velocio to have excellent larger sizing with very high quality.
  • 2 0
 I don’t know if this was your intent, but good for you. That had to be a fair amount of riding.
  • 1 0
 Congrats man!
  • 1 0
 that is awesome!
  • 5 0
 Bikes are the great equalizer. Everyone can benefit from it. Personal challenges can all be looked through the eye of a tough climb, And life’s enjoyment is the downhill. It’s way more suffering than fun. Bikes are freedom.
  • 14 8
 Mods probably should've turned off comments on this one. What a cesspool it has become.
  • 4 11
flag westcoastatheart (Oct 14, 2022 at 11:46) (Below Threshold)
 Agreed. @mikelevy @brianpark @mikekazimer letting this type of content go unmonitored only hurts people.
  • 3 1
 I feel like road riding clothes are especially bad about sizing. I'm 5'9 and about 190 lbs and wear ~34" waist pants and I'm borderline an XL in many brands' bib sizing. It seems like you'd want to align your sizing to more traditional sizing guides to help take some of the guesswork and confusion out.
  • 4 0
 It could be that the road kit is sized correctly and like most people you might not like the way it is intended to fit. It is supposed to be tight and unflattering, modern road kit is designed for efficiency while riding. A 34” waist for rapha and Pearl Izumi should be in between a medium and large.
  • 1 0
 @dpars63: an "average sized" road racer is not a big dude. The sizing is a result of them being an M. If I do a sportive I have to order XXL sometimes - I'm 180cm
  • 1 0
 @blackpudding: what brand? None of the body stats you listed put you in a XXL in most brands. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you are wearing modern road kit and lift your hands above your head your jersey is going to ride up above your belly button, if it doesn’t your wearing too big of a size. Mtb clothes are meant to be comfortable, road clothes are often meant to be fast. I have a gut myself, and my road set up shows it off, and that is they way road clothing is designed.
  • 1 0
 The sizing for some European road brands, e. g. Castelli or Assos, is quite a bit smaller than normal US sizing. Simply because people in their countries of origin are smaller (or at least lighter) than in North America.
  • 4 0
 Fox Racing makes the Ranger Short w/ chamois liner up to size 44 for those in this comment section who need something a little bigger than the 40’s tested.
  • 15 9
 Are these ebike specific
  • 4 0
 I salute the bravery of the testers. Beeing bikers they must have known what was going to happen in the comments.
  • 3 2
 What about clothing for tall guys? Just think about it. Plus size people have at least the option to loose weight if they really want to have a short or shirt that fits. But me as a nearly 6,6 feet tall guy can not just simply "shrink" to have a short which isn't so short that it is impossible to not have a massive gap between the knee protectors and the short. I buy jackets with too short sleeves or fluttering "tents" under my armpits! I have to buy XL or XXL with a weight of just 185 pounds because otherwise everything ist too short. My only possible way out of this misery is to just get fat so that XXL things kinda fit?!?!
  • 1 0
 This is great, but can we also start focusing on taller riders? Especially the "lankier" side of things, it feels like if you use pants longer than 30 or maybe 32, then you are out of luck, even the "long" models of pants are at best like a 32.5-33 length wise. I am very tired of having 1/3rd-1/4th of my shin showing when riding with long pants.
  • 1 0
 It's a travesty that Abit Gear shorts aren't mentioned here! I have a physique not unlike a gorilla, and their athletic fit shorts are the best and most comfortable shorts I've owned in 25+ years of biking. They have stretch built in (no more pinched nutsack), an integrated minimalist belt, the best phone pocket I've seen in mtb shorts (located in the only safe place to keep a phone while riding), and plenty of optional vents when the pockets are opened up. The waistband doesn't pinch either.
  • 1 0
 Seriously put now! Sombrio, RaceFace & TLD that I know of by experience have offered massive xl & xxl sizes over a decade already.

Fox were usually bit tighter per size though by no means tight tight plus they would be a well fitted cut for me at least.

I have had to take my shorts "in" by inches on xl sizes and xxl sizes as refuse to pay £90 + for a set of correctly fitting baggy sets.

It's a good thing mind to bring inclusivity to this dept. It's alll good.
  • 5 0
 Thanks for this.
  • 2 0
 Cognitive MTB make an excellent liner up to 3x for something like $40.00, and the quality is excellent. I pair them with some Zoic Ethers 3x, and it's an awesome combo.
  • 5 1
 Zoic Ether. Fat or small. Short or tall. They fit all.
  • 1 0
 Because they have an elastic section that makes you look like a toddler...
  • 3 0
 Assos liners are so superior to everything else. Do your butt a favor and try one.
  • 3 3
 I’m a 34 waist and I purchased a pair of medium Dharco shorts and couldn’t get them above my thighs so I reordered a size large and couldn’t get them past my crotch, I was trying to help support them for their efforts in supporting PB racing but I protested at buying an XL. I do like the gloves I purchased from them however.
  • 4 1
 I wear a large to xl shirt, i have to wear xxl raceface and dakine jerseys. Its bullshit,
  • 8 4
 Is this being driven the the surge in Ebikes.
  • 6 7
 serious question - are fat people riding the same frames? Or are there specific brands that lean towards overbuilding stuff? I am looking at these photos and cannot stop wondering - are heavy people just not able to ride hard enough that the frame would snap or frame in general much stronger than it looks?

P.S. I understand that fat heavy riders are running burlier components, much more air and bigger springs, and prob destroy parts much faster, but what about the frames itself?
  • 11 0
 I have a 2020 RM Slayer (XL, aluminum, 29" wheels), am 6'4 and was about 300lbs when I bought it (now down to about 250). Other than rear wheels, I haven't broken anything and neglect servicing far more than I should. I upgraded to a 650lb coil right off the bat (probably a bit undersprung, but I also wasn't going huge). Frame has held up without any issues.
  • 1 0
 Frames are strong enough, not all of them, but there are some solid options. Many has 100-120kg max limit as well as many rims on the other hand.
  • 4 0
 Many carbon frames and wheel sets have weigth limit. Other than that the real deal are wheels and tyres. E-bikes rims and tyre inserts helped a lot.

I have busted several rear hubs til i moved to dt swiss ebike specific (I ride non ebike, btw)
  • 1 1
 @OnTheRivet: I´d say safety is a big theme for makers. There is quite a progress the bikes have seen and the abusement they have to handle nowadays. We are using trail bikes for what we rode on DH few years ago.

With 150lbs there is quite a lot options how to shave the weight somewhere else than on the frame. Or you can follow Dangerholms steps and shave down the paint. Or just grow up.

80kg is an average weight in EU, US, 60Kg in Asia and Africa, do the math.
  • 1 0
 I have those Dharco shorts. They are great shorts, except for ONE thing.

Why on earth did they make them with only one (small) pocket???
  • 1 0
 Where are the Aerotech products? Half the cost, better quality, and actually sized for every body from puny pony boys to us Clydesdales.
  • 2 0
 If the Asian XL is M in Europe, than XXL in Europe is M in USA, LOL
  • 3 0
 Inflation
  • 26 27
 pinkbike needs to hire NRML MTBR for bigboy product review:

www.youtube.com/channel/UCo_sCO2CnxerFBIXCtdWi8A
  • 5 6
 How can you not love C-Bass?!
  • 32 3
 I'm glad he's doing well for himself, but I find his content insufferable and click-baity
  • 9 3
 @ScreamingNarwhal: his content is typical for TikTok - stupid and degrading for the corresponding audience. BUT I have to give him huge props for making fat asses feel like they CAN DO THIS... which will inevitably improve their health... maybe just a little, but still. Besides even if a fat person just stays fat we all know that MENTAL gain from MTBing is a huge no matter what. So I personally for existence of something like this rather than non-existance of it.
  • 12 5
 That dudes content is cringe.
  • 5 8
 Dudes pretty funny. I'd give him my endorsement for some honest gear reviews.
  • 9 9
 @valrock: people hating and down voting cause a 350 lb man can whip better than they can
  • 2 4
 @moroj82: This is such a reddit response.
  • 1 0
 Nice
  • 12 13
 Those riders look fantastic!
  • 2 5
 @Skaiwawker: I have zero tolerance or empathy for professionals who bully or verbally humiliate or degrade their coworkers. They were removed for cause and the rehires are better proving to be better humans. Specific and the worst example, one man (who likely belongs in this thread) flat out told another man in our working group he should "get his fat ass outside more". I walked him out myself. ZERO tolerance. If that's narcissism, then I'm fine with that.
  • 2 4
 @nyhc00: Zero tolerance for bullying or intimidation of any sort in a workplace I can control. Zero.

Leave my wife out of it please.
  • 3 4
 @darkstar66: I do. Zero tolerance for bullying or intimidation of any kind. The world hard enough for some these days without coworkers making things worse.
Below threshold threads are hidden





You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2023. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.039428
Mobile Version of Website