Review: Alpinestars Manual MTB short

So, I’m not really a fan of spandex. At least not on a mountainbike. Strange how that works. Recently I tested an extremely tight fit with Asics running legging and shirt, and that felt great, but on my bike I don’t really like the fit nor, if I am brutally honest, the look. Mountainbiking to me is not about speed, or being faster than the other, but just ripping te trail as hard as I can, trying to improve my bike riding skills and feeling relaxed and loose while doing it. So I generally wear loose sitting shirts and shorts on my bike.

Conditions

Post foto's.015So when I decided to buy a dedicated bike short, I was looking for a combination between a short with  a more or less loose fit and look, durable fabric, and integrated shorts with crotch lining. My eye quickly fell on the Alpinestars Manual Shorts. AlpineStars is primary know as a premier “manufacturer of technical, high performance protective gear for motorcycle and auto racing” but also offers a wide range of mountain bike gear. Including these shorts. I’ve been testing it for the past few months, riding trails in the Netherlands in different weather types, ranging from cold and wet, to warm and dry.

Review

Post foto's.016I bought the shorts online through Bikester.nl, a good online retailer for everything bike related. Unfortunately I had to send back the first three shorts I ordered. Getting to the right size was quite difficult. They do have an online size chart, and having taken my measurements, basing it on that chart, I ordered a size 28. So that was no good, tighter than spandex ever could be. The shorts I have now are actually size 34. So the size chart was nowhere near correct.

The fit is particular too, at my waist it is a bit loose, but sitting on the bike, the fit at the thighs is quite tight. So the cut of the pants don’ really fit me all that well. That is a drawback.

{added 16 august 2015} After wearing it some more, the fit has gotten worse. The waist seems to have gotten even looser, and I can’t wear the shorts without a seperate belt anymore.

What I do like about the shorts is the fabric, s mix of polyester, mesh and spandex which seems to be very sturdy. The feel of the fabric is great, it doesn’t absorb too much moisture and “the vented inserts across the thighs” really “enhance airflow within the shorts while riding”. Word of warning though, in colder weather it can get quite chilly however.

The cargo side pockets are quite handy, you can drop your phone into them and not worry about it falling out on a bumpy section. There is a seperate dedicated zipper pocket with an internal headphone conduit you could use as well. I don’t generally wear headphones while biking so I hardly use it. But it can be useful, obviously.

Last but not least, the integrated shorts with crotch lining works well you can snap it fast to the inside of the waist belt making sure everything stays really well in place.

Pro’s:Post foto's.014

  • Durable fabric
  • Confortable feel
  • Mesh on thighs
  • Look
  • Pockets

Cons:

  • Fit

Price: online $ 124,95

I would suggest this product to my friends.

Review overzicht

Fit
Comfort
Durability (fabric)
Ease of use
Bang for your buck

Samenvatting

The Alpinestars Manual shorts are good shorts, great fabric, well constructed. The fit is too tight on the upper thighs and because of that the shorts don't feel baggy. But they do stay in place quite well.
Mark Stokmans
Since I can remember I have been very active in many different sports: started with baseball, tennis and riding later hockey, football, running and aikido. In addition, since twelve years old I've been into actionports: at first windsurfing, later climbing, inline skating, snowboarding, mountain biking. With the first action cams coming onto the market I've been making action sports videos. Furthermore, I've worked in the sports industry since 1990, sports marketing, media and live TV and until the end of 2016 at the Dutch Olympic Committee. Besides being partner in GearLimits I work as a digital freelancer. Based in the Netherlands, Married with Children (11 and 13 years old)

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