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I've been buying purpose built MTB shorts from brands like Fox, Oakley, Zoic, Pearl iZumi, and more for years. More often than not I've been disappointed in some aspect. Lately the craze in the MTB specific shorts that just don't work for me have included the use of a snap(s) instead of a button and elastic/Velcro adjustment tabs instead of belt loops. What the hell is wrong with putting belt loops on shorts?

These "short"-comings led me to search for something else to do the job that has the features I'd prefer, and I found a pair while searching for active wear (instead of MTB wear) that tick all the check boxes.

prAna Zion Chino Shorts

(the link below will donate to ARR if you purchase from Amazon on the smile.amazon.com site and have selected ARR as the recipient)

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B071G645JD/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02__o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

These are light and flexy in all the right ways thanks to the Zion quick-dry, stretch, abrasion resistant fabric. They have a button, a zipper, and belt loops. They fit nicely and work well when pedaling. They are about half the cost or less of the mainstays among the current choices in the MTB realm.

Three colors available, I bought the Coffee Bean and the Mrs kindly inferred I look like the UPS guy. But hey, they work for me. Here's a stock photo from Amazon.

815HaO+DUSL._SL1500_.jpg

Edited by Ridenfool

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I have standardized on Pearl Izumi shorts. My primary recommendation is that when you find that pair, that short that is so comfortable that you can wear it all day - buy several. Because next year they will change the model and it will never be the same. Spend the money, get a few, it will be cheaper in the long run.

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Same thing with jerseys.
I have had good luck buying "jerseys" that were not specific to mt biking.
REI shirts and MT Hardware .. the material is pretty good and the clearance racks are often ripe with good prices. Tyler's over off North Lamar has alot of options


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8 hours ago, Ridenfool said:

I've been buying purpose build MTB shorts from brands like Fox, Oakley, Zoic, Pearl iZumi, and more for years. More often than not I've been disappointed in some aspect. Lately the craze in the MTB specific shorts that just don't work for me have included the use of a snap(s) instead of a button and elastic/Velcro adjustment tabs instead of belt loops. What the hell is wrong with putting belt loops on shorts?

These "short"-comings led me to search for something else to do the job that has the features I'd prefer, and I found a pair while searching for active wear (instead of MTB wear) that tick all the check boxes.

prAna Zion Chino Shorts

(the link below will donate to ARR if you purchase from Amazon on the smile.amazon.com site and have selected ARR as the recipient)

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B071G6C1SJ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03__o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

These are light and flexy in all the right ways thanks to the Zion quick-dry, stretch, abrasion resistant fabric. They have a button, a zipper, and belt loops. They fit nicely (if you like loose order one size up) and work well when pedaling. They are about half the cost or less of the mainstays among the current choices in the MTB realm.

Three colors available, I bought the Coffee Bean and the Mrs kindly inferred I look like the UPS guy. But hey, they work for me. Here's a stock photo from Amazon.

815HaO+DUSL._SL1500_.jpg

I wear regular roadie bike shorts (easy to find) under regular outdoor shorts (easy to find).  I can wear the regular outdoor shorts without the bike shorts and when I ride they protect the bike shorts from getting torn.

I learned this lesson when I tore a $100 pair of bike shorts the first time I rode.

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5 hours ago, AustinBike said:

I have standardized on Pearl Izumi shorts. My primary recommendation is that when you find that pair, that short that is so comfortable that you can wear it all day - buy several. Because next year they will change the model and it will never be the same. Spend the money, get a few, it will be cheaper in the long run.

A-Fing-men. I fell in love with my Club Ride Phantom shorts a few years ago. I bought four pairs and when one blew a zipper I want to buy another. Turns out they discontinued them and none of the new ones are the same fit. I have actually spent more time.e and effort repairing the pairs I have then it like would cost to replace them.

 

REI actually has a pair on their "used gear" site right now that I'd be all over if they weren't charging more then they did when they sold the new ones on clearance.

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39 minutes ago, crazyt said:

I wear regular roadie bike shorts (easy to find) under regular outdoor shorts (easy to find).  I can wear the regular outdoor shorts without the bike shorts and when I ride they protect the bike shorts from getting torn.

I learned this lesson when I tore a $100 pair of bike shorts the first time I rode.

I have plenty of the padded bike shorts made of Lycra, mesh, and such to wear under the more durable outer layer. Seems like every pair of MTB specific baggies I ever bought came with one of the padded under layer bike short and they never seem to wear out. So, I have lots of those. Like you, I only want to buy the over shorts these days and have found more selection and lower cost from shopping for common outdoor shorts which offer a better fit, belt loops, more practical pockets, and other features like quick-dry, stretch fabric that lend them well to the purpose.

Edited by Ridenfool

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The only pair of MTB shorts I have are Pactimo and I love them and their fit (slight stretch with snaps).  I don't like any of the padded liners that come with MTB shorts, so like @crazyt I just wear regular bibs under them.  I mostly just wear the bibs though. 

I've also worn my favorite shorts.  REI had these khaki shorts made from some material that blocks sun, breathes well, doesn't stain, repels water, etc.  I bought a 2nd years later, then another in black some years after that but they don't feel the same.  I've worn those for riding as well as going to work or just hanging round the house.  They don't make them anymore, my first pair are still good, with a little hole in one spot.  The 2nd has a bad zipper (plan on replacing it).

I'm really interested in these Bronson shorts.  When you said to size up, what's the main reason?  I went to the prAna website to see their size chart.  It asks you for what brand pants you wear and the size, then it recommends a size in their stuff.  It went one size under my regular brand.

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29 minutes ago, AntonioGG said:

I'm really interested in these Bronson shorts.  When you said to size up, what's the main reason?  I went to the prAna website to see their size chart.  It asks you for what brand pants you wear and the size, then it recommends a size in their stuff.  It went one size under my regular brand.

I may have mis-recalled their sizing suggestions, and those of the reviewers. Best to follow those recommendations.

As for the Bronson, I bought a pair of those as well. They are heavier, and cotton IIRC. They will be worn more for daily wear, working around the house and such. I prefer a lighter, highly flexible fabric for riding.

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4 hours ago, Big_papa_nuts said:

REI actually has a pair on their "used gear" site right now that I'd be all over if they weren't charging more then they did when they sold the new ones on clearance.

 

That's creepy.

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Been a Zoic fan for ages, with regular roadie shorts underneath.

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42 minutes ago, AntonioGG said:

I just noticed you were looking at the Zion.  Your link is to the Bronson.

Thanks!

Fixed link to Chino shorts with Zion fabric inserted in original post.

Edited by Ridenfool

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2 hours ago, TheX said:

Been a Zoic fan for ages, with regular roadie shorts underneath.

Stumbled into some Zoics last Christmas and now have three.  Fit great, flexy, and good padding.

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Do a search on Kohl's or Target for "hybrid board shorts". $20-30 for basically board shorts with regular pockets and belt loops. Perfect for wearing over bibs, jumping in to the water, or standing around a grill.

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Speaking of Surfwear, I was also looking at long-sleeve shirts that wick and provide sun protection and found a lot of "rashguard" choices from the surf realm that are quick-dry, SPF rated, and should do the trick for keeping cool and avoiding sunburn in the Summer.

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