I like posting reviews of gear I’ve used for a year or better yet a few years. You don’t really get to know the ins and outs of something in a handful of uses. The downside of course is that given the short product cycles in the bike world if I tell you item X is amazing after 2yrs of use you probably can’t buy it any more.
I am a connoisseur of mountain bike shorts since I spend a lot of time in them and figure that time might as well be spent in the best shorts I can find. Recently I tried some Race Face Stage Shorts and love them. Race Face nailed most of my shorts wishlist when they designed these bad boys.
- Light durable material that dries quick
- No vents [particularly ones you can’t close]
- Long inseam so they cover the tops of my knee pads
- Baggy fit without getting ridiculous
- Belt loops
- High waist at rear
- Reinforced at high wear areas
- Easy to pee
- Looks good
- Colours don’t suck
In fact the only criticism I have of these shorts is I prefer deep front pockets without a zip, but that’s not a deal breaker at all.
On Vancouver Island we go from hot and dusty to moist and cool in a few weeks each year and it’s nice to have shorts that can transition between seasons. The key to that is no vents that you can’t close, light/breathable material and an inseam that’s long enough to reach your knee pads. Give me these design features and I can wear the same shorts in December as I do in July.
A bonus with the Stage shorts is they look nice off the bike and sufficiently normal in a couple of the colours that you can wear them around town without screaming “Enduro Bro!”
I liked them enough I bought a second pair because if history has taught me anything as soon as I find something I like it must be discontinued and a new and “improved” version released that I like far less. I’m taking no chances! I may even buy a third pair. 😉
The material and construction of the Stage shorts gives me some hope for long-term durability, but I’ll report back after a year or more use to confirm that.