Specs and Claims

  • Material: Lightweight, durable matte nylon/lycra woven shell
  • Chamois: Descente’s Stealth, Removable
  • Fit: athletic
  • Pockets: 2 front hand, 2 thigh zip
  • Recommended Use: all mountain, freeride
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 1 year
  • ASIN: B0049P316M
  • Item model number: 10061
  • Price: $89.95 (MSRP), $36 (Sale)

First Impression

First impression is positive: well made sharp looking short for all around mountain biking. The stitching is neat and materials are of high quality. The short is available in several conservative colors (black, charcoal and earth) with few graphical accents.

In the description the manufacturer claims the balance between technical performance and laid-back style, and indeed they do not draw unusual attention in grocery store, but it’s unmistakably a cycling short so consider something else for a traditional date.

Technology and Materials

The outer shell of Ridge short is made of synthetic material Descente calls matte nylon/lycra. It is stretchy, breathable and it dries instantly. Also unlike one of my other shorts these do not produce a lot of rubbing noise while pedaling. On the sides the short features panels made of even stretchier material. According to manufacturer their purpose is to relieve tension in critical stress points.

Speaking of managing stress: another thing I noticed is that the shell repels water – you can just shake droplets off. This may not be the most important feature until somebody spills beer.

The Ridge’s removable chamois liner is made of synthetic mesh with a padding that looks quite typical however Descente seems to be very proud of it. On their website they go into long details about molding process, anatomical shape, comfort and protection, anti-microbial properties etc. For what it’s worth the pad can be made out of unicorn hide, all I know is that during my last ride none of that was on my mind so the butt pillow quietly did its “glamorous” job and I enjoyed the ride.

Features

What 2 front hand pockets? Apparently there are different variations of Ridge Short. The specification mentions front pockets, but they were non-existent on my pair. Same can be confirmed with the product pictures online: Descente’s Internet catalog displays shorts with front pockets while Amazon and other retailers show same item as mine. I suppose earlier version was designed more like race short, then somebody complained and they added pockets making it more orthodox mountain biking short. There’s also difference in position of remaining two pockets and location of the graphics.

Another thing: on the back of the short there’s a loop not unlike one you would find on the back of the running shoe. It’s purpose mystifies me. Must be something to do with storage. I’ll see if it comes in handy one day, but please post a comment if I’m missing the obvious.

Size and Fit

There’s seems to be some inconsistency with the waist size of liner and shell. For Large size the chart shows waist range or 34 to 36 inches. It feels like the liner is on the lower end of that spectrum while shell is on the upper. Both are very stretchy so this should not be a problem for somebody with 35-36 inch waist. With 34 inch waist I had to deal with the slack in the outer shell. The two Velcro adjustments although helped with the size, also created unsightly bulges. Belt it is.

Otherwise the short is nicely cut for athletic fit and not at all baggy. The crotch is all the way up so it’s not in the way when you get back from behind the seat.

Conclusion

Descente Ridge Short is very solid mountain biking short. Despite the sizing issue it is one of the better ones that I had. The sale price makes it a great deal too. I’ll go with 5 out of 5.

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