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  1. #1
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    High-End Baggy Shorts

    Expensive MTB shorts ... worth it? Favorites? Advice?

    I don't claim to be the world's expert, but here are my thoughts:

    Don't buy one pair of high-end shorts if you already own a bunch of middle-of-the-road baggies that you're happy with. The expensive ones will probably just make you unhappy with the others. If you've got no complaints with the shorts you have, stick with them. Seriously.

    Differences in quality matter a LOT more for the inner shorts and chamois vs. the baggies. IMO, an inferior liner is very noticeable on a ride, but I never think about my outer shorts during a ride. To me, the outer shorts on a $100+ pair of shorts are only a little nicer than the the outer shorts on a $40 pair, but the inner shorts are way nicer in some cases. That makes it hard to decide if you really like a pair of shorts until you've worn them on a few rides. So shorts are something I'd especially look to buy from a retailer with a good return policy. YMMV.

    I haven't tried bib yet shorts. If I wore bib shorts instead of liners, I wouldn't bother buying high-end baggies.

    My favorite shorts are Troy Lee Ace. They're $130 a pop. Stupid expensive. But the liners are by far the most comfortable I've ever worn. And the outer shorts are durable, comfortable, and not too ugly IMO. If TLD sold the liners separately, I'd buy a few and wear them with all my other shorts.

    When I bought the Aces, I also tried on Royal's Esquire short. The outer short seemed lower quality. Hard to compare the liner short without actual riding.

    My distant second-favorite are Jett Raptor shorts. Good chamois but it's less form-fitting; good liner but I don't like the grippy rubber leg-openings. Nice outer shorts, softer and lighter fabric than the TLDs, less ventilated. My third favorite are Fox Altitude. Mediocre chamois and less-wicking fabric so I never use the liner that came with them. Light and well-ventilated baggies. Those are the only 3 $100+ MSRP shorts I've owned.

    I'm intrigued/horrified by the $160 Fox Ultimatum shorts. Wonder if the liner measures up to TLD.
    Last edited by OldManBike; 05-07-2012 at 07:18 AM. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    SamIAm
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    sombrio roam shorts. hard(ish)shell with 4+1 deep pockets and inside vents. mesh liner inside. wearing them hard going on 4 years and they still kick ass. only minor abrasions basically. when zipped up stay very warm especially with kylestraits etc. hard to wear in daytime in summer.

    fox demo shorts. heavy duty nylon fabric with lasercut mesh thruout. jersey like fabric for liner. only 2 little thigh pockets.. keeps very cool at speed. very tight race cut. nice to not have any extra pockets or extra bulk compared to big baggy sombrios.

    i like shorts w/out liners built in so i can mix/match depending on how much pedaling etc.

    wont pay retail for most stuff. always grab them up on sale. but "expensive" is paying for fabric, cut, small batches(sometimes), and of course the name/logo, color etc.

    can just ride in a tshirt but so far i basically havnt put my bum in shorts less than 90retail since i got a real bike. once you pedal with some extra nice shorts you wont ever go back.
    <(*-*<) Go Ride (>*-*)>

    05 SxT: totemcoil, dhxair, juicycarbons, LXcranks, X9kit, halo freedomdisc, deity compound pedals

  3. #3
    informant
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    I love the Jett stuff. I've tried a bunch of baggies, and it can be tough to find some that move well, are soft enough to prevent chafing, but still look normal enough to wear around events and stuff when I'm not on the bike. I think you're right about the liner being more important than the shorts, though. I've found Louis Garneau's chamois to be the most comfortable for me, so I'll wear my LG bibs under the Jett shorts from time to time.
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  4. #4
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    My money is on the Oakley Retro Vert shorts. They retailed for $160.00 but you can get them for $90.00 on the Oakley Vault website. I have never tried on another short that fits as well or is as comfortable. The chamois is a high end brand separate from Oakley and the outer short fits great not too baggy and not too tight. My 1st pair of Oakley shorts that I purchased in 2000 are still in use today by my little brother.

  5. #5
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    A friend loves those Oakley shorts. Actually $99.99 on the oakley vault site.

  6. #6
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    Checking out the Oakley shorts.

  7. #7
    GAME ON!
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    i just bought some fox high voltage shorts and the shorts are awesome but the liner is worse than the lower fox models. kinda disappointing.
    RIP Adam Yauch

    "M.C. for what I AM and do, the A is for Adam and the lyrics; true"

  8. #8
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    Anyone tried Oakly Retro Vert shorts, are they good? I'm thinking between them and Mavic Red Rocks...can't decide.

  9. #9
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    I have the Oakley Retro Vert shorts and they are great!! I bought them in January from Huck-N-Roll. I wear a 33 in jeans and ended up keeping the 34 in the Oakley's. I still have to return the 33's to Chain Reaction Cycles (they are the only ones that still carry the 33's). The 33 outer shorts were fine but the inner shorts were a little tight on the quads, so I kept the 34.

    You can adjust the waist with velcro tabs and there are two sets of buttons above the zipper that allow adjustment. The chamois is CyTech E.I.T. so it is not some cheap knockoff no name brand. On me the outer shorts cover about half my knee cap. The material quality is great. There are two small zipper pockets one on each side. The outer short is lightweight and has a baggy yet narrow leg opening and the crotch is higher up than normal shorts, so your shorts don't get caught on the nose of the seat when it is time to let gravity to the work. The fit is spot on for me, but I have never had any Oakley stuff that did not fit great. The inner short is mesh and very breathable. The seams of the inner short are heavy duty and there are strips of rubber around the leg openings and waist to keep the shorts in place.

    If you get them just make sure to never put them in the dryer because it will destroy the Chamois and the rubber strips. I am thinking about grabbing a second pair just for backup. Also the inner and outer shorts are separate and can be joined together with two hook and loop snap tabs. Plus the shorts in black just look sick!

    Elastic Interface Cytech E.I.T.

    Cytech originated and patented the "Elastic Interface Technology" cycling shorts platform in co-operation with the Swiss cycling clothing manufacturer Assos.
    Cytech’s patented Elastic Interface Technology offers complete comfort and performance pads for cycling shorts. Cytech's "Elastic Interface Technology" cycling shorts platform has set the standard in the worldwide cycling apparel.

    Elastic Interface Technology provides the most innovative and exclusive fabrics and is only certified to carry the E.I.T. name after extensive wear testing and stringent quality controls that meet our high standards at Cytech. Once E.I.T. is inside your cycling wear, you can be certain that the rider will enjoy maximum comfort, freedom of movement on the saddle, protection for sensitive areas and optimum breathability to transport moisture.







    Last edited by Blk02; 05-17-2012 at 07:03 AM.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for a thorough review! They look great. Do you find them breathable enough? Where I live temperatures stay around 100 in summer...

  11. #11
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    I live in Houston and our temps can get as high as 115 with 90% humidity. They breath fine. The inner is all mesh and the outer is thin and light but still really durable.

  12. #12
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    What do you think about Endura Shorts ?
    I like the Singletrack II Short

    MEN'S BAGGIES

  13. #13
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    I use fox shorts. liner isnt that good. but you cant always be comfortable. haha

  14. #14
    Tactical Nightmare
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    I am about 4 rides into a pair of the Humvee shorts from Endura, and I really like them a lot. Way durable, vented for cooling (haven't had them in the real heat yet...I'm in Oregon), they look great, removable and replaceable inner short, and they have a ton of pockets. But you have to be careful with sizing. I have an XL (only 170lbs!) and the inner is a tad big, but the outer short is perfect. Endura is from the UK, so they aren't used to us fat-ass Americans I guess.....or our increased johnson size. I got mine at the LBS so I was able to try them on first, which really helped. For $79.99, they were the best shorts for the money, as far as my research showed. I can post pics if wanted/needed.
    - "The true object of all human life is play" - GK Chesterton
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  15. #15
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    The Endura's look nice. Could you post some pictures similar to the Oakley pics?

  16. #16
    Tactical Nightmare
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blk02 View Post
    The Endura's look nice. Could you post some pictures similar to the Oakley pics?
    I sure can, but it may be later on before I can get to it, as I have this weird thing called work today, dag nabit! But yeah, I'll get some for you soon.
    - "The true object of all human life is play" - GK Chesterton
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by OLEAJE View Post
    What do you think about Endura Shorts ?
    I like the Singletrack II Short

    MEN'S BAGGIES
    I just received a pair of these from Huck N Roll. Up-sized to a size large like most have suggested (I'm usually a 33 waist) and they fit great. Really nice shorts and I like everything about them except.....the 2 top snap buttons are terrible. They just don't hold tight at all. Moving around or bending over they pop open way to easily (and I'm no fatty @ 170lbs and 6' tall). My single button Fox shorts are great in this regard and hold nice and tight. How could Endura screw up these simple snaps I don't know. Very disappointing as otherwise the shorts are really nice. Going back to HNR.
    2013 Banshee Spitfire V2 650b

  18. #18
    EDR
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    If anyone is interested in the fugly yellow/blue Oakley Vert Retro shorts you can get them for $44 at 6pm.com right now (part of the Zappos family).

    Oakley Retro Vert Short Aqua - 6pm.com

  19. #19
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    Why not buy a nice Chamois, and wear whatever baggies are comfortable? Buy a $90 chamois, and a $20 sale baggy short at Kohl's or something.

  20. #20
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    I have these Zoic baggies that I got for $30. They are tough and fit me well. I cut the cheap liner out and run normal bike (road) shorts underneath. Great chamois all the time.
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  21. #21
    EDR
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbiexor View Post
    Why not buy a nice Chamois, and wear whatever baggies are comfortable? Buy a $90 chamois, and a $20 sale baggy short at Kohl's or something.
    Yes, always an option. I've ridden board shorts over chamois for years. The Ethers I have are just better fitting for mtb'ing. The crotch is shorter than many non-mtbr shorts so the fit over the saddle is better. I could still ride with board shorts, no problem.

  22. #22
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    http://www.columbia.com/on/demandwar...M4085&start=12

    I bought these shorts at REI. they sit above the knee and are thin material.

    and I wear boxer briefs under.

    meow.

  23. #23
    Michigan Wolverine
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    I'll always be a lycra shorts under cheap baggies guy. I'd just rather know that my chamois is going to be nice and be able to choose whatever I want to wear as a shell. Plus on super hot days I can forgo the baggies and keep cool in just the lycra shorts.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post
    If anyone is interested in the fugly yellow/blue Oakley Vert Retro shorts you can get them for $44 at 6pm.com right now (part of the Zappos family).

    Oakley Retro Vert Short Aqua - 6pm.com
    Just wanted to thank you, I ordered these shorts when you posted, they came today (I'm in Europe, it took them a while) and they're just awesome, really.
    They had the last size 36 and I'm 38 by all their size charts. I thought they would be too small, but they're just right. I even have to tighten the shorts a bit! So, if anyone is interested in Oakley Retro Vert, bear in mind they come larger than suggested in their size chart.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post
    If anyone is interested in the fugly yellow/blue Oakley Vert Retro shorts you can get them for $44 at 6pm.com right now (part of the Zappos family).

    Oakley Retro Vert Short Aqua - 6pm.com
    Nice! I just saw this and ordered the size 28 for my 13 year old, $14.99.
    This was the only size they had or I would have orderd a 32 and a 38.
    Oh well, the boy will be happy.

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