I’m a big fan of mountain bike specific shorts for a lot of reasons: they’re comfortable, they look good, they fit well, they protect stuff, and they’re ultra-low maintenance. The Viper shorts from Sugoi are the perfect example of what’s great about mountain bike shorts and if you’re not already a believer, allow me to explain…
Comfort: The Sugoi Viper shorts are designed first and foremost with comfort in mind. From the integrated S.100 chamois with one piece construction and zero seams to the breathable dry wick outer material, these shorts just feel good on the bike and on the trail. Some folks may not care for an integrated liner but for me, it’s a good compromise because the liner material can be much lighter weight and breathable than typical spandex bike shorts. I hardly noticed the padding which is a good thing – not so thick that I feel like I’m wearing a diaper but thick enough that my ass wasn’t hurting after a moderate ride.
Style: The Viper shorts look cool as hell. I know, I know, you’re gonna say buying clothes based on how they look is silly but if that were true you’d be going to work covered in a burlap sack. Nope, style is at least a little important to most of us and the Viper shorts are semi-fitted giving them a sporty profile and just the right leg coverage (down to the kneecaps). Colors are neutral and sleek on the outside while the inside includes some neon details that just might surprise you (I’ve never seen a bright orange chamois before). In terms of fit you may want to consider choosing a smaller size if you’re unsure – the large shorts are a little droopy on my size 33 waist.
Fit: In my mind fit and style go hand in hand but when you’re mountain biking fit is all about managing flapping fabrics. The Sugoi Vipers have a high cut in the rear to keep your shorts from snagging your saddle nose on steep descents and are are virtually unflappable even at high speed. No need to worry about material getting sucked into your wheel or chain either – the length on the Vipers is perfect. One thing the Viper is missing is a drawstring for cinching up toward the end of a dehydrating epic ride (or epic diet).
Protecting stuff: We all have stuff to protect and the liner in the Viper shorts will secure your family jewels comfortably. The outer shorts are made from tough Nylon material that should stand up to all but the gnarliest tree snags and dirt slides. The Vipers also include four velcro-sealed pockets (two front, two back) to keep your gear secure, even on rooty and rocky trails. I actually had a hard time quickly accessing my pockets because the velcro is so tight – must be some extra strength velcro or something…
Low maintenance: Throw the Viper shorts in the wash with all your other clothes – how low maintenance is that? The shorts also include two elastic loops inside which I imagine could be used to hang them to dry after a quick rinse at the campground. Integrated liner means you won’t have to match up your shorts after every load of laundry.
Yep, the Sugoi Viper shorts make a solid foundation for any mountain biker’s trail ensemblé and are a HUGE upgrade for anyone still rocking the tight spandex or Umbro soccer shorts on the trail. Try them out and you’ll see what I mean – no need to thank me.