While Pactimo has mainly focused on road-oriented cycling clothing, as well as custom and made-to-order kits, they clearly know what they’re doing when it comes to designing more casual, baggy, mountain bike clothing as well, as I discovered with the new Apex kit.
The Apex MTB Shorts are new in the Pactimo lineup for 2016 and, as the company states, they are “designed with performance-driven minimalism in mind.” These shorts are meant to be comfortable, functional, and good-looking. I put them to the test this summer to see if they do indeed provide all these attributes.
The Apex women’s mountain bike shorts are constructed from a lightweight, 4-way stretch fabric that is crafted to provide optimum mobility and breathability on and off the bike. The wide waistband is lined with a soft, silky material, and includes an integrated adjustment system that is so subtle and streamlined that I didn’t even know it was there until I sat down and took a close look at all the features of these shorts. It consists of an elastic inside the waistband that has a series of buttonholes in it, and a tiny button on the waistband, so you can make the waist tighter or looser without Velcro or the added weight of a belt.
Another thoughtful and comfort-oriented feature is a contoured hem on the back of the leg to prevent the shorts from rubbing your calf at the top of each pedal stroke. Strategically-placed pockets offer functional storage options for those little things you want to keep on you during a ride or at the bar after.
There are two traditional hand pockets on the front, as well as a zippered pocket on the side of the right leg and in the back.
So, did these shorts prove to be comfortable, functional, and attractive? The answer is “yes!”
The Apex mountain bike shorts surprised me with how non-restrictive and breathable they turned out to be. The material feels soft against the skin, and allows for a lot more air flow than I expected from a knee-length short. I wore them while riding in a downpour, and they retained that lightweight feel even when soaking wet. I really liked the curved hem on the back of the leg, and noticed that it did minimize that annoying feeling of the bottom of the shorts hitting your calves when pedaling. The waistband was comfortable and felt uncluttered by bulky adjustment systems. As I mentioned, I didn’t even notice Pactimo’s minimalistic fit customization method until after I’d worn the shorts a few times (they fit me perfectly the way they came).
While I usually don’t use the pockets on MTB shorts while I am riding, I do like to have them for pre-and-post-ride purposes when I’m away from my hydration pack or frame bag and need a place to put my keys, phone, and money. For this purpose, the traditional front-facing pockets were awesome. The zippered side pocket is big enough to hold a smartphone or similar size item, yet small enough to keep it somewhat securely in place.
Overall, I think that Pactimo hit the nail on the head with their new Apex kit. Check out my review of the Apex Mountain Bike Jersey, and Colton’s video review of the men’s version of this kit for a different perspective.
The Apex Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts are available in three different colors–black (pictured), gray, and teal, and sizes XS-XXL.
Colton Lock’s video review of the men’s Apex kit:
Thank you to Pactimo for providing me with the Apex kit to review.