The Shorts.

I really don’t mean to make this about fashion, but this post is definitely about clothes.  It seems like such a silly thing but I have the absolute worst time finding mountain bike shorts!  I started with a pair of Race Face DIY shorts.


I loved this shorts, but they very unfortunately stretched and ended up trying to fall down a lot.  The nail in the coffin for these shorts was a ride up in Smithers, BC where a rock was kicked up by my back tire and landed squarely in my butt crack.  It passed the shorts, passed the undies, and went straight down there.  That rock had the precision of the world’s best sniper and my butt was the target.  Of course, this led me to start giggling and laughing so hard I actually had to stop riding to catch my breath.  Ryan stood there, confused, asking what happened and through the tears and my laughter I managed to get out the words, “my butt” before reaching back into my shorts and producing the offending mineral.  I wish I had taken a picture of this, it was huge.  Anywho, it was then that I decided to get some new shorts with better crack protection.

This started a series of frustrating trips to bike shops.  I wasn’t overly picky.  I was happy to try on different colours and different styles, male or female, it didn’t matter.  But I ran into a couple of the same problems.  Firstly, it was hard to find my size.  In a lot of brands I’m an XL.  In others I’m a size 12.  When I found something I’d like, they either didn’t have my size in the store, didn’t fit well (gaping around the lower back area being really common), or the brand doesn’t make bigger than a size 10.  I definitely don’t begrudge the companies for only making certain sizes, after all, this is a line of fitness clothing and usually people are not my size.  Same with the stores.  They can’t possibly have every size for every person at all times.  It was still irritating when I would try on many shorts and walk away empty handed.

The other issue that came up fairly often (and is an issue with a pair of shorts I bought and still use) is the tightness around the butt factor.  Not only are they snug around the rump, but they’re quite keen on wedging themselves into certain personal places and it feels like I’ll need to head to the ER afterwards to have them extracted.  Either that or I spend all day fussing with them.  Not ideal, but it was the best I could find at the time.

The last pair I ended up with is much better.  They don’t let in stray rocks, and don’t try to examine me internally, but they’re still not 100% ideal.  I got some rockin’ orange Race Face Ambush shorts in XL.  I love the colour and the style.  I love the pockets and the vents.  I love that my butt looks good and the fabric is thick enough to leave some mystery.  The only drawback I currently see is the textured vents on the sides are a bit scratchy and my thighs sometimes end up with a bit of abrasion or a rash on them.  They also don’t fit QUITE right and gap a bit in the lower back while being a touch tight in the upper thigh.  Honestly?  I still really like them and wear them 90% of the time when I’m riding.


I’m wondering if others are having these kinds of issues with fit.  Did you all just find your right fit easily?  Did you try on a million things to get there?  Am I being too picky?  Leave a comment and let me know!  As for me, I know the perfect shorts must be out there somewhere, on a rack, just waiting for me to find them.

4 Replies to “The Shorts.”

  1. I have 0 experience with MTB shorts. How do you think road cycling shorts would work underneath regular shorts? They’re pretty high-rise so I don’t see how a rock of any size could find its way into your buttcrack!


    1. Your orange shorts make you easy to follow in a group, too!

      They’re not trendy but my ZOIC Nevaeh shorts with removable chamois inners are super comfy.


      1. I LOVE that you wrote about being easy to see and follow. It’s a definite perk of the awesome orange shorts. I will look into your shorts for sure! Thanks!


    2. That sounds like a good idea. The issue with regular shorts is the gusset Sean being quite uncomfortable on a saddle (found that out the hard way on a long road ride in jeans). I’ve thought about getting some loose-fitting cycling shorts – spandex is not my friend – but I love there extra pockets and vents on mountain-specific shorts. Also they tend to be a touch longer and sometimes are thicker in case of a tumble.


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