The Best Mountain Bike Shorts for Men

Mountain biking includes many risks because of the unpredictable nature of the sport. You’ll never know what lies ahead even if you’ve already ridden the trail many times. There could be a new rut, some rock formations, or maybe an animal on the other side of the trail.

This is why it’s important to wear the right gear and have proper equipment when mountain biking. And one of the most important gears to have that many forget to consider is mountain bike shorts.

Mountain biking can get rowdy and very physical, which is why you need to wear the right clothing that will protect you upon impact and lower the chances of you getting scrapes or scratches if you happen to pass through some bushes.

So, what are the best mountain bike shorts for men? And what are the things to consider when planning to buy one?

Those are the things we’ll talk about in this article. We’ll also show you the top brands to choose from, as well as the pros, cons, and design options available.

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Fox Flexair

Fox Racing has three mountain biking clothing lines. These are the Flexair, Ranger, and Defend. The Defend line is focused on protection, while Ranger is more on comfort and protection.

Flexair on the other hand is all about breathability and comfort because of its stretchable and cool fabric. The Fox Flexair is what you need if you’re into long cross-country rides or if you want to stay as comfortable as possible on the trails.

These are designed to provide better pedal efficiency because of their shorter length. It also has a water-repellent coating that makes it weather resistant.

You will also find a ratchet closure system that lets you easily adjust it for the perfect fit. You can even place your phone or wallet in its zip pocket.

The Flexair is made from super-light fabric that is stretchable and ideal for all-day comfort, whether it be for trail riding or casual wear.

It also has a removable liner that features a dual-density chamois for saddle comfort. It’s very effective in wicking off sweat if you ride in hot weather.

Pros

  • It is lightweight and doesn’t restrict your pedaling motion.
  • The fabric is cool and comfortable. You won’t feel warm when you ride on a hot summer’s day.
  • It looks nice thanks to its simple and minimalist design.

Cons

  • The price tag is a bit too high.

Endura Hummvee

The Endura Hummvee is another choice you might want to consider. These are mountain biking shorts are designed for rugged trail riding.

It’s a nice choice if you prefer functionality and protection over style and aesthetics. It features a nylon fabric that lowers the chances of ripping. This goes perfectly well for mountain bikers with its water-repellent finish that keeps you dry and cool.

The pockets feature a cargo-style design with zippers that provides large and secure storage. The seat panels are also seamless so that you will stay comfortable even if you ride your bike for hours on end.

You’ll find an adjustable belt and a detachable padded liner made from elastic mesh with silicone grippers. It even has a seat pad made from Endura’s 200 series pad that wicks out moisture.

Pros

  • It has large leg coverage which protects you against bushes and shrubs.
  • This bike short is made from a high-quality fabric material that is smooth and cool to the touch. It’s a liner short great choice if you want a good trail ride

Cons

  • The design is a bit too off for cycling shorts as it looks like baggy shorts for trekking.

Troy Lee Designs Skyline Liner

Troy Lee Designs is one of the most recognizable brands in the realm of mountain biking gears and outfits.

Introducing the Troy Lee Designs Skyline that is specifically made for maximum versatility, whether you be wearing it on the trails or casual occasions.

This is the perfect choice if you want to wear stylish mountain biking shorts that have a slim fit, but are still comfortable for pedaling, especially that it has its own premium liners.

It can also be worn as casual wear because of its design. Its material is made from 2-way stretch fabric on its backside that is coupled with premium TMF chamois pad liners.

The fabric is made from 95% Coolmax and 5% polyester that goes well with the warp and weft stretch material for unhindered movement on the trails.

You will also find a TLD low-profile snap button along with the Velcro backing. This ensures a secure fit and solid closure that provides added protection against impacts.

Pros

  • It is one of the best-looking mountain biking shorts. 
  • The fit is pretty nice because it isn’t too loose or too fit.

Cons

  • This liner short, which can also be called bib shorts, isn’t ideal for racing because of its thin fabric.
  • The material is not built for a hyper-aggressive mountain biking ride.

Fox Racing Defend

The Fox Defend is the go-to mountain biking shorts for aggressive downhill riding because it is made for maximum protection and durability.

It might not be a good idea if you want something light and easy on the pedal. But it sure will protect you against impact or trail abrasions.

But despite these minor cons, Fox says that this still promotes easy movement on your bike thanks to its stretchable fabric and laser-cut seams for maximum cooling.

It is made from 100% polyester that features Fox’s TruMotion 4-way stretch fabric. It is water-resistant as it stops any moisture from beading on its outer surface. The vented areas are even body-mapped. It has a ratchet closure for a tight and secure fit, as well as two zip hand hip pockets.

Pros

  • It is very durable and won’t easily get scratched or ripped even if you caught yourself in a branch or fall to the ground.
  • It protects your hips and legs because of its long length and measurement.
  • The design of these cycling shorts is also pretty cool and in a trend that goes with an aggressive riding style.

Cons

  • These are expensive mountain biking shorts.
  • It is a bit too warm especially if you wear it all day long. It’s also a bit harder to pedal on this one.

100% R Core X

The 100% R Core X might be what you are looking for if you want something that can take a lot of beating at the trails, and at the same time, look stylish for casual wear. It provides the right flex and fit that lets you easily move on your bike without compromising protection.

It is made from a four-way stretch ripstop fabric that is built for durability and all-day comfort. Your sweat can easily dry out when you’re here.

Its back portion is paired with Cordura material to fight against abrasion. It also has mesh ventilation that gives an airy comfort on long rides.

There’s even Coheasive’s adjustable shock cord technology that lowers the chances of any slips when you’re shredding downhills at high speeds. Plus, there’s a zippered cargo pocket for secure storage of an energy bar or other essentials made with accessibility in mind.

Pros

  • It is very durable because it won’t easily get scratched or scraped even if you hit the ground hard.
  • Protection is great as it covers most of your upper legs.

Cons

  • You’ll find it a bit heavy and difficult to pedal. This will surely affect the riding experience
  • The design is a bit too baggy. It might not be what you want if you want to wear it for casual occasions.

Troy Lee Designs Skyline Air

Then comes another one of Troy Lee Designs’ elite mountain biking shorts, the Troy Lee Designs Skyline Air. It is the ideal choice for riders and mountain bikers who always ride in areas with warm climates as this is one of the most breathable shorts in the market.

It is very breathable and ensures a cool feeling when you’re out riding on a hot summer’s day. But don’t worry about the protection because this one’s made from Bluesign fabric with durable mesh panels that ensures it can take a lot of trail beating.

It’s made from 95% Coolmax polyester and 5% lycra Bluesign. It has a woven open mesh on the front area that allows airflow without compromising abrasion resistance. It also has a single TLD low-profile snap button, waist closure, Velcro adjustment, and ripstop nylon backings that create a solid enclosure.

Pros

  • It is very lightweight and breathable. You can wear this all day long.
  • Riders won’t easily feel too warm because it has openings that provide airflow.
  • It looks sleek and cool. It’s a must-have for any mountain biker who wants to stay trendy on your bike.

Cons

  • The material is so thin that it might give you second thoughts of riding as hard as you want.

Endura Hummvee Lite

Endura Humvee Lite is another noteworthy option if you are looking for the best mountain bike shorts for men. It is made for warm climate riding because of its thin fabric. It is very comfortable cycling shorts to wear because it has padded liners.

You will find two side pockets on the front hips and thigh cargo zippered pockets. This is made from lightweight four-way stretch nylon fabric that has an elastic waistband that creates a comfortable feeling.

Although the design options aren’t that great, riders still fare well with the azure blue, olive green, and black color choices of these MTB shorts.

Pros

  • It is lightweight and makes it easy for you to pedal on your bike.
  • This is one of the most breathable choices because of its vented design style.
  • The fabric of the shorts in general as well as the hand pockets is smooth and cool. You won’t mind wearing these shell shorts with padded liner all day long thanks to its inseam length.

Cons

  • The design is in no way trendy, even the other options.

POC Essential Enduro

POC is another staple brand in the mountain biking world, thanks to its elegance and quality. But it isn’t all looks for the brand. Take for example the POC Essential Enduro, a mountain bike shorts made for hot day riding.

It is one of the best mountain bike shorts because it is a great choice for those who want breathability and comfort in their riding position above anything else. These are water-repellent shorts that undergone durable water repellent treatment reinforced with two hand cargo pockets with zippers and a waist adjustment system that is flexible and elastic. It provides seamless integration when you wear knee pads, especially if you get their POC VPD knee pads.

These bike shorts are trail shorts that have a pre-shaped fit for maximum pedal comfort and breathable material that wicks off moisture and dries fast. These are also made from stretchable and durable nylon fabric.

Pros

  • It is very flexible and stretchable. You won’t feel that it limits your movement.
  • Its leg openings and chamois liner fit pretty nicely along with its belt loops. It doesn’t have any loose ends.
  • This pair of shorts is one classy-looking mountain bike shorts deserving of a star rating. Its water repellency feature is also a big plus

Cons

  • POC is an expensive brand. The Essential Enduro shorts as well.

Conclusion

Mountain biking is not for the faint-hearted. It might sound easy to ride a bike on the trails. But unknown to many, there lie many risks. This is why it’s important to wear proper gear and equipment, with mountain bike shorts being one of the most important considerations.

Choose any of the best mountain biking shorts for men above, and you’ll surely have a safer time out on the trails. They’re also flexible and breathable so you don’t have to worry about wearing those weird-looking lycra shorts that roadies wear.

You will undoubtedly look cool, safe, and go faster if you wear the best mountain bike shorts.

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AUTHOR
Jomar Teves
A writer by day, a tech enthusiast by night, and a mountain biker at the weekends. After four years in business school and working for multinational clients, Jomar believes he can improve the world through his writings. Jomar has six years of experience as a writer and has a degree in entrepreneurial marketing. Some of his works have been published on Blokt, Clutch Points, and iTech.