Mudhunny got me my first pair of real mountain bike shorts for my birthday this year – a pair of Fox Mid Ranger Shorts. I’ve always worn straight spandex on the trail and recently (the last year or so) I started wearing a pair of nylon board shorts over my spandex to fit in with the 2008 MTB crowd. But after rocking my new Fox shorts just once on the trail I felt like a new man – and I’ll never go back to my old ways.
First off, the Mid Ranger shorts are long – down to my knees – which is pretty rare since I’m tall (6’3″) and thin. I don’t know that there are any advantages to wearing a longer short on the trail but in this case, longer = cooler (in a fashion sense, anyway). The inner liner consists of a fine mesh which seems to breathe well, even after riding through a Florida downpour in 85 degree temps. The elastic bands around the legs felt tight but not too tight – only time will tell if they stay that way.
The dual density chamois in the Mid Ranger shorts is a huge upgrade from the worn out gel chamois in my old spandex shorts so I don’t really have a good basis for comparison. On my first outing in the new shorts I did ride 40 miles of singletrack with no complaints – a good sign no doubt.
Finally, one of my favorite things about the Fox Mid Ranger shorts is the number of pockets – 6 in all! I’m a big fan of using my jersey pockets to carry all kinds of junk – pump, spare tube, tire levers, Clif bars, keys, camera, etc. – but sometimes this gets to be a bit much. And some things – like sunglasses – just won’t stay put in a jersey pocket no matter how far down you cram them. Fortunately the Fox shorts have deep pockets with velcro closures that seem to hold gallons of junk without feeling bulky.
The Mid Rangers also include many nice touches (discovery details as they call them in the industry) that have me convinced that real mountain bikers designed these shorts. If you’re still rockin’ the spandex or worse, jean cutoffs, on the trail, consider upgrading to a pair of Fox Mid Ranger shorts – they won’t disappoint!