As a sport, mountain biking combines the benefits of physical activity with the thrill of a fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping ride. You can ride your bike on pavement or trails, but mountain bike shorts will make your journey much more fun.
Finding the ideal pair of mountain biking shorts might be challenging among the wide variety of brands and designs on the market. In this guide, we’ll examine the top options for MTB shorts in 2022 and discuss the pros and cons of each.
Fox Racing Flexair (Best Ventilated Bike Shorts)
When it comes to shorts, Fox Racing has you covered. Historically, their forte has been at the downhill/gravity end of the spectrum. However, unlike the rest of this moto-inspired style, the Flexair shorts are a little more relaxed.
The Flexair provides a very comfortable fit and pedal-friendliness for the casual riding style. Furthermore, those shorts are slender and tidy in design. This reduces the volume of loose items that might cause disruptions while you cycle. In addition, due to their lightweight and large laser-cut holes, these are a great way for cyclists to stay cool in warmer climates.
The Flexair briefs have certain flaws. The ultra-light design and the thin, soft fabric may not fare well in a collision. Also, these shorts feature a tighter leg opening, so they may not work with certain knee protectors.
There’s also the fact that their dirt-colored shorts have a black waistband, which looks a bit odd. The other available hues of these shorts include a more aesthetically pleasing matching waistband.
- Portable and high-quality
- The chamois is very comfortable
- The design gives freedom of movement
- Some people may find the fit to be excessively snug
- The materials are weak to withstand impact
Troy Lee Designs Skyline (Best Bike Shorts for Trail Riders)
Our research and testing have led us to conclude that the Skyline shorts are well-tuned mountain bike shorts, perfect for regularly logging miles on the trail ride.
They are designed to be used with cycling shoes and feature a sleek, performance fit and a shorter inseam. In addition, they are well-made and have convenient details like zippered pockets and easily-adjustable waistbands on the outside.
With Troy Lee’s help, they were given a sleek, laid-back design that works equally well for riding and lounging. We also think they’re a good buy since they come with a high-quality chamois lining and are reasonably priced.
Skyline’s poor ventilation is our primary gripe. There aren’t any true air vents on them, and the polyester fabric is thicker and clammier than that of some rivals which use recycled polyester. However, the other aspects of these top-notch trail riding shorts left us quite satisfied.
- Simple and well-tailored.
- High-Quality Chamois Lining
- Little to no airflow
Read also: Best Mountain Biking Shoes
Fox Racing Ranger (Best Affordable MTB Shorts)
The Fox Ranger shorts are affordable, multipurpose shorts with a chamois lining. These shorts are not only reasonably priced but also offer a simple, stylish design that looks good both on and off the bike with a relaxed, flattering cut.
These baggy shorts have three practical pockets and an articulated waistline for the wearer’s convenience when sitting on a bicycle. The garment is closed using a system resembling the straps on a pair of goggles; this achieves a snug and comfortable fit around the waist.
Despite its sturdiness, the 2-way stretch ripstop fabric is surprisingly comfortable. As if that weren’t enough, these fitting shorts are also equipped with a chamois lining, which is hardly the finest in the business but is unquestionably superior to nothing.
Although the Fox Ranger had few cons, we did notice that it ran a little warm compared to the other shorts we tested because of its poor ventilation. Also, because the zippered hand pockets are lined with mesh that hangs, their contents may shift around freely while you’re on the go.
These shorts provide a lot of bang for your buck in terms of comfort, performance, and style.
- Attractive price
- Safe and adjustable buckle closure
- Chamois liner
- No ventilation
Kitsbow Mescal Ventilated (Best Quality)
The Kitsbow Mescal Ventilated Short replaces the A/M Ventilated and brings back the same high-quality build, careful attention to detail, and effective performance at a more reasonable price.
The price of these shorts has dropped somewhat from the previous edition, although they are still very high. They have an understated and laid-back look that works just as well for a pint at the local brewery as it does for tearing up the single track before it.
The Mescal features a slimmer cut and a shorter inseam, making it ideal for trail and cross-country riders as well as quick rides after work.
The shorts are made from a soft-shell fabric with a 4-way stretch and a strong water-resistant finish. It makes them gentle against the skin and dries out quickly. Stretch mesh ventilation panels provide extra cool-down aid.
Read also: Best Mountain Biking Helmets for Protection
A low-profile zipper and an aluminum slip-hook waist adjustment system allow you to fine-tune the fit while reducing unnecessary weight to a minimum at the waist. Furthermore, ingeniously placed back pockets make it a breeze to store stuff in a location that is convenient for pedaling.
Not everyone will like the Mescal Ventilated’s loose fit, particularly those who often use knee pads, but if you’re in the market for high-performance baggy mountain bike shorts, these are among the best we’ve seen.
You may check them here (they are not available at Amazon)
- An articulated, slim-fit profile
- Built to last
- Intelligent layout details
- Extra protection
- Very expensive
- There is no padded liner
- A shorter inseam
Read also: 15 Best Accessories for Mountain Biking
7Mesh Glidepath (Best Water Resistance Bike Shorts)
If you’re looking for a pair of shorts for trail riding that can withstand the water better than others, go no further than the 7Mesh Glidepath. These are made from a Soma woven fabric that is lightweight and durable, with a 2-way stretch and a water-repellent finish.
Light rain, mist, and puddle splashes have little impact on this material because of its strong water resistance. The Glidepath features a 15-inch inseam and a relaxed, casual cut that we found quite flattering and accommodating.
The roomy cut at the knee and the extended inseam are ideal for knee pads of any design. It’s not the most comfortable, but it flows with you rather well and doesn’t get in the way of your pedaling or your range of motion.
There is a clever and well-implemented waist adjustment mechanism, and the cargo pockets are well-designed and include interior organization sleeves.
The construction looks to be of the highest quality, and despite its lightweight, the durable materials have a startling sense of strength and durability.
Before making a purchase, we recommend that you check the size chart on Amazon since their sizing runs smaller than most other companies. Also, the Glidepath is resistant to the elements, including the wind.
This is a significant plus in certain scenarios but makes them less than ideal for use in hot weather. However, we think they’re fantastic for riding in the shoulder seasons when it’s a little colder or if the weather forecast calls for a chance of rain.
- Durable water repellent
- Durable built using high-quality components
- Slim, well-designed pockets
- They go well with protective knee braces.
- The sizes are different from what you’d find with other companies.
- A bit of noise during pedaling because of the material
POC Infinite All-Mountain Shorts (Best MTB Shorts with Knee Pad Integration)
The POC Infinite All-Mountain Shorts are specially designed to accommodate knee pads and provide more coverage around the knees.
There is a dramatic slant to the hem of the shorts, making the front end much longer than the rear. In addition to being effective when worn without knee pads, its distinctive cut also eliminates the possibility of a padding gap when combined with light to medium-duty pads.
These shorts are streamlined, comfortable, and bike-friendly in every way. Because of its DWR treatment and Cordura content, this stretchy fabric is also water-and wind-resistant.
Nylon ripstop fabric reinforces the seat, and zippered thigh vents let air circulate on hot days. The zipped rear pocket is great for stowing some cash or a card while you ride, and the external Velcro tabs on the waistband let you adjust the fit.
Although the Infinite All-Mountain shorts impressed us in practically every way, we were not fans of the hip pocket design. An overlapping “envelope” closure type does the job, but we found it more cumbersome than necessary when putting things in and taking them out of the pockets.
The unusual design of the knees and the way they bend may also turn off some potential buyers. So, these high-quality shorts are perfect for riding on the path or the whole mountain.
- Superb compatibility with knee protectors
- Nice cut on the knees’ section.
- That’s a killer match.
- The fastening on the hip pockets is not comfortable
After reading this guide, I believe that you now have a better understanding of the different types of mountain bike shorts and what attributes to look for when selecting the perfect pair for your riding style.
Next time you’re out shopping for mountain bike shorts, bib shorts, or outer shorts, don’t forget to take into account your height, weight, riding style, and temperature range – you’ll be sure to find the perfect pair without all the hassle!
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