I used to be a spandex guy – after all, I’m pretty cheap when it comes to buying cycling gear, so I figured why not just rock the roadie kits on the trail. But there was just one issue with that. Those of you that know me, know that the only reason I go uphill is to go downhill. It doesn’t matter if it’s on two wheels, two planks, or two feet. I hate uphills. Which is why it was time to make the change. Because I was definitely that jabronie. Picture this: full spandex, slightly overweight, hairy legs, complaining the whole way up every climb, but oddly jumping off of everything. That’s a weird combo, I know.
So it was decided. It was time I get some real mountain bike shorts – after all, everyone knows that 90% of how well you ride is how good you look, and you’re never going to look good with hairy legs in spandex.
I did quite a bit of research and ultimately settled on the Pactimo Apex Shorts. First and foremost, the blue looked like it would match my Santa Cruz 5010 to a T. Jokes aside, after browsing the specs and reading the reviews, I knew that I had found my new pair of mountain bike shorts.
- These bad boys look clean, albeit a bit on the larger, longer side. Perhaps too long?
- They match the 5010. #skrtskrt
- They have four pockets – two open, two zippered. The right leg zipper looks low and the left leg zipper looks too far back – as if I’ll sit on whatever I have in there. We’ll have to see how these ride.
Fit & Performance
The waist in these shorts seems to run a little loose, while everything else is on the tighter side. I ordered the medium (I’m usually concerned about a medium being too small with cycling gear), but was happily surprised by the tighter fit, especially since I’m used to rocking spandex. One complaint, at a size 32 waist, I’ve maxed out the internal waist adjustment and still have the shorts sliding down at times. However, I really only have this happen during long climbs while seated, so perhaps this is more related to me being a hack whilst climbing rather than the shorts being too large. Either way, a stronger waistband adjustment with a broader range would be the perfect addition to these shorts.
The length is long, and this was concerning for me – perhaps it’s being used to the short spandex bibs, or maybe even my preference for short running shorts (sky’s out, thighs out!), but I really don’t like having my knees feel constricted, and as such, started out very much on the fence. After riding everything from fast cross-country rides, to downhill bike parks, I’ve realized that I actually really like the length. These offer great protection, cover pads if you’re wearing them, but still do not constrict range of motion – even with a phone in the right-leg zipper pocket.
The layout of the four pockets works well. The non-zipper pockets are great for before and after a ride, while the zippered pockets offer nice carrying capacity during the ride. I was concerned about the left leg pocket being too far back, but it seems to work well. Especially for holding cash/cards/keys/bike passes.
These shorts clean up nicely. I’ve put them through the wringer, but 5 months in, I’m still not seeing any signs of staining or wear – at least not after washing them ;).
Pro-Tip: Pair them with the Apex Bib Liner for an even more breathable kit with added carrying capacity.
These shorts are awesome – especially for a middle of the road priced short. At $95, you can’t go wrong with the Apex.
Rider Specs: 5’9”, 175lbs.
Shorts: Blue, Medium.
Check out Pactimo’s site for product specs, images, and more reviews – Men’s Apex Mountain Bike Shorts