Bib shorts are great for keeping a chamois in place. Baggy shorts provide abrasion protection. So why not combine the two for mountain biking? Aussie Grit has done just that with the Ignite Shorts.
Starting at the top, the bib straps are made from a soft material and are nearly two inches wide so they don’t dig into shoulder blades. As a tall rider, I can report the straps are plenty long for my torso, with a good bit of stretch.
In the rear, a mesh panel keeps the bib well ventilated and Aussie Grit managed to fit five pockets for snacks, a water bottle, or other small items. The two pockets on the ends are quite narrow, perhaps large enough for chapstick, a gel packet, or small set of keys. Access will be limited with a jersey over the bib suspenders, so some riders might opt to wear a jersey under the straps (makes relieving oneself easier!) or just go topless. The straps are flexible enough that I didn’t find it necessary to remove them to go number one.
The waist is a pretty crucial part of any mountain bike short, and this is where the Ignite shorts shine the brightest. Since the bibs are sewn into the baggies, there’s no need for any buttons, snaps, zippers, or cinchers on the waistband. This means the shorts are super comfortable for riding all day, and work well when paired with a hip pack or hydration pack waist strap.
Inside, Aussie Grit includes a “premium Italian off-road cycling ‘endurance’ chamois which I can report is indeed high quality and quite comfortable. It’s on the medium-to-thick side as far as chamois go so it should offer good support for years to come.
There’s just a single zippered pocket on the shorts that’s just the right size to fit a large smartphone. I would prefer a couple of additional hand-warming pockets for shuffling keys and gloves during transitions, but the upshot seems to be the shorts are quite lightweight and well-ventilated without the extra layers of material. My size large Ignite shorts weigh 330g which is pretty impressive since a pair of lightweight baggies alone will weigh 230g+ by itself.
Moving down the leg, Aussie Grit has pocked the Ignite shorts full of laser-cut holes for ventilation. The long-ish length provides uninterrupted coverage when paired with standard knee pads. Reflective accents make these a safe choice for night riding.
The Aussie Grit Ignite shorts pack all the features mountain bikers need in a comfortable, convenient package. Priced at 150€ (about $165USD), the cost is on par with (or less than) a nice pair of bib shorts, or the cost of an inexpensive bib chamois plus baggy shorts.
Thanks to Aussie Grit for providing the Ignite shorts for review.