So how does it perform?
There’s two colors, beige (aka stone) and black. The beige doesn’t look quite right especially with the big, black panels running down the front of each leg. We opted for the black one which looked more stealth. It wasn’t a cool fashion statement like the latest crop of all mountain shorts but it looked good enough.
Hooking the shorts on to the bib is easy enough but can be a pain when one is in a hurry. It’s not a simple button snap like with other brands. You have to thread the hook through the right hole and snap a micro button. I wish these two units would just stay together all the time, but they seem to get all tangled together in the laundry.
The good news is it works. These shorts are as fast as Lycra and are as efficient as Lycra. There’s no binding, drooping, and dragging that’s common with most baggy shorts. When the temperature goes up, these keep you cool. In fact, some say that it keeps you even cooler than most Lycra. The DirtBaggies bib is so thin and aerated that it lets the heat from your quads escape. The shell can usually channel airflow in the bib area for some cooling effect. It works rather well.
The side hip pockets are pretty useless since they seem shallow and it feels like what you put in there might pop out. There’s no side panel pocket like most baggies, since those will affect the pedaling/cooling performance of these shorts. The two pocket panels on the bib straps actually work pretty well for keys and gel packs. But if it’s a hot day, those areas get drenched with sweat.
So in summary, these are awesome XC baggy shorts. They’re very comfortable and they have the ability to disappear in a long, hot, 4 hour ride or race. I would do an endurance ride or race with these with no reservations whatsoever. For XC and marathon conditions, these are ideal.
For freeride and all mountain rides, it’s not quite a slam dunk. They just don’t look as good as most shorts in terms of style, graphics and length. Utility wise, you won’t have all the leg pockets that you’ll find in other shorts, and if you hit some rocks and some dirt, these shorts won’t protect you as much. The lightweight material is tough but it’s not as burly as most shells.
And finally, there’s the price issue. It’s $180 for the bib and $70 for the shell, so $250 for the set. That’s just a lot of benjamins for most mountain bikers. Some roadies are totally comfortable at this price point but we might go out on the limb and admit that mountain bikers are cheap(er). There’s ways to justify the high price but we’ll leave that between you and your spouse. It’s not perfect and quite pricey, but we’ll keep taking out our DirtBaggies on those long, hot XC rides.
Overall rating: 4.5 stars
Value rating: 3.5 stars
For more information visit dirtbaggies.com