Dakine Syncline MTB Short Review

The Dakine Syncline features an “all-mountain fit” with a 14.5″ inseam. It has a conveniently removable Italian-made Comp chamois, ventilated mesh lining, zippered hand pockets and leg vents, a heavyweight rib knit back stretch panel, side waist tab adjustments, polyester birdseye waistband, and a crotch gusset for an increased range of motion.

But what does all of that even mean? Nothing if it doesn’t translate into a comfortable ride out on the trail.

Out on the Trail in the Syncline

I first tested the Syncline shorts during a long day of shredding the Evolution Bike Park at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. The baggy fit easily accommodated some beefy knee pads without any catching or binding. Thanks to the removable chamois, I think you could easily wear a hip and tail bone protector under these shorts and still feel very comfortable (although I haven’t tried them with one yet). The exterior of the Syncline short is much heavier and tougher than a cross-country short (as you’d expect) since it’s built to survive a few tumbles off the bike now and again without getting shredded to pieces. I’ll admit I took a couple of spills, and the Syncline shorts thought nothing of them.

When is a pair of downhill shorts just another pair of shorts… and when is it something more?

Obviously, the Syncline is designed for the downhill aficionado, and with all of these DH-specific features and its durable build, it excels in this category.

I was surprised to discover that the Syncline performs well in a number of other applications, too.


Despite the fact that these shorts hit below the knee, they ride very well even on cross country rides. I guess the “all-mountain fit” lives up to its name, by keeping them from catching on the knee or saddle. There were several chilly, early-morning rides in Crested Butte when I threw the Syncline on for a little extra warmth, and they were both comfortable and toasty! Obviously, because of the heavy, durable exterior they wouldn’t be ideal for hot summertime rides, but as the temps continue to cool here in North Georgia I am looking forward to many fall rides in the Synclines,


The cooler fall temperatures have also convinced me to start commuting to school again. As a result, my Syncline shorts have been seeing significant use as a pair of commuter shorts. They’re the perfect mix between bicycle comfort and classroom style. I don’t have to destroy my taint on the uphill slog to campus, and I don’t have to pack an extra pair of shorts to change into before class. Dakine’s Phantom pattern (tested) is low-key enough to not draw any weird stares from my fellow English students. Want to sport a different style? The Synclines are available in 5 different colors.

Bottom Line

From the big hit bike to the carbon hardtail to the commuter, the Syncline shorts provide stellar performance and classy style!

MSRP: $135.

Many thanks to Dakine for providing the Syncline shorts for review.