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Momentum Mag reviews Club Ride’s Mountain Surf Short.
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Club Ride’s Mountain Surf Short is available in sizes S-XXL, and has a number of technical features including UV protection, abrasion resistance, reflective accents, and a seamless crotch-gusset. It’s made with PowerWeave fabric (woven performance fabric) that is quick-drying, stretches, and is easy to care for. It’s available in either Raven Plaid or Charcoal Plaid.
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These are durable and comfortable mountain biking shorts that could cross to the beach or the park, commuting, or hanging at your friend’s place.
A stand out feature of these shorts is pockets – for commuting or getting around town, I like to have my bike lock keys or office keys in my pockets – something that some “commuter shorts” seem to have precious few of. These shorts don’t lack them. There are two hip pockets, two back pockets, and even two zippered thigh pockets, one with a “media port” (a hole for your headphone cord to snake through).
The fabric appears super durable and moves well and though the manufacturer indicates there is stretch in the fabric, I didn’t notice it. The fit of the shorts is intentionally looser, so stretch fabric is not critical.
The crotch gusset allows for range of motion and avoids discomfort and wear on your saddle.
The quality of the stitching looks really good, with bar tacking in all the right places. There are also “fit adjusting” straps that are like a built-in belt that allow the wearer to adjust the fit of the waist.
More on the pockets. There are so many pockets on these things I honestly don’t know how I could fill them and still feel comfortable riding my bike. More than you would ever use at one time. But there are lots of options.
Sizing “cell phone pockets” must be challenging for manufacturers. Phones come in so many sizes and are constantly changing with every new product release. Case in point – my Galaxy S4 just barely fits in the thigh pocket provided, but without its protective case. With the case, forget about it. I can’t really fault Club Ride for this, but don’t expect your cell phone to fit in every “media pocket” on new gear these days.
The plaid style on these shorts isn’t really to my personal taste, so I’d wish for other patterns or solid colors if I was going to wear these anywhere but on the trails.
Finally, the fit adjustment straps, while allowing you to dial in the tightness of the waist, ended up needing to be re-threaded through their retaining buckles several times while I was testing these shorts. The adjustment is great to have, but I wish the manufacturer would resolve this issue.
These are relaxed fit MTB shorts that I would wear on the trails, or as my backup pair of commuter shorts. Personally, I prefer something slightly shorter and more fitted, and not plaid (see my review last season on the Giro 40M Tech Overshort).
While I didn’t fall in love with these shorts, I think they are very practical for mountain bikers and commuters who like a relaxed surf style short that would be great for weekends off the bike.
Tim Tewsley is a green building strategist with Recollective Consulting in Vancouver BC and a cycling instructor with HUB. Though he rides road and mountain bikes, he most enjoys his morning commute to work.