I know my particular problems with biking shorts aren’t everyones. I’m a big guy, 6’4″, and even though I’m told I’m not fat, I’m still pretty thick, especially in the legs. So finding a good pair shorts that are loose fitting, long, and my size (36, 38 depending on the brand) has been challenging. Royal, TLD, Sambrio, have all been worn and now just take up space in my closet. I got so sick of looking for riding shorts I ended up just going to Ross and getting some hip hop style plaid cotton shorts for $5 and pretty much called it a day.
When the Task Shorts from Mace arrived I was very happy to find them large, loose, and long. These are the cargo, utilitarian, do it all shorts, of the five styles in the Mace line up.
The Task shorts lean heavily on the utilitarian side of style. With 7 pockets, thick fabric, strong stitching, belt loops and Velcro waist tabs. They look pretty much like normal cargo shorts from the Gap or some place similar, so you can wear them on the trail and then at the pub. I’ve worn them on hot days to the office, out biking in a variety of weather conditions, and to go climbing at the gym. They are great all around shorts and only if someone knows what the stretchy black panel in the back is for will they know these are really biking shorts.
What I like most about them is that they are loose around my thighs and they reach to the mid point of my knee. It has been some trouble to find shorts that just do those two simple things.
There are almost more pockets in these shorts than I can count. Seven is a pretty large number for this reviewer. And I have yet to actually fill them up with more than a couple things. Normally a cellphone goes in the zipper pocket and a energy bar in the other. The snap and Velcro work well and have kept in a variety of objects. But even with that there are still more pockets. The down side of filling the pockets with a lot of heavy things is that those things will slap around when you pedal or walk.
The air vents on the thighs do their job nicely and let a good amount of air in when you are standing up. Seated they do tend to close on themselves and don’t do much for air flow. Good thing you aren’t supposed to sit riding DH.
The inner liner is nice and smooth and hasn’t developed the funk smell as some other shorts have but I have had some static cling days.
The waist adjustment tabs are nice and actually work well. If you forget your belt they will hold up your short perfectly fine. But I prefer a belt most of the time. Making the belt loops a bit larger and improving their placement would correct my only complaint with these shorts. Maybe add two more loops right at the front near the zipper.
Mace Foundation Jersey
It is hard to say much about a jersey, until you get a good one that does something you’ve not experienced before. I’ve had a lot of jerseys and most of them wick sweat a bit better than a cotton t-shirt, but nothing special.
This Mace Foundation jersey on the other hand is special. It wicks sweat faster than any jersey I’ve yet to wear. When I sweat I go from Death Valley dry to Niagara Falls wet within minutes. On a warm day, under eucalyptus trees with a gentile breeze, I went from wet to dry in 20 minutes. While resting under those trees, instead of getting cold with the sweat staying near my skin, it was quickly wicked away and I warmed up, keeping my back and arms relaxed. This had never happened before. I even commented on it to the people I was riding with. They gave me that ‘what the hell are you talking about look’?
Now you are going to think me insane, but in cold weather the jersey actually kept me a bit warm. And in warm weather it vents well and keeps me cool. I don’t want to geek out but I think it might be made by Elves from Middle Earth. Cold days it is warm, hot days it is cool. I asked Mace about this. I asked where they kept the Elves…not being an expert in fabric myself. They said the reason for this is because of the top quality material and dyes they use. I have to say, I do my wash more often now to make sure I have a clean Mace jersey for my next ride.
I like the Mace Task Short and Foundation Jersey a lot. They totally work in a variety of climates and they look good. They are now my go-to gear for riding.
Task Shorts Rating:
4.5 out of 5 Stars
Foundation Jersey Rating:
5 out of 5 Stars
A word from Mace:
Mace is a rider-driven company. You’ve probably heard or seen this before and wondered, “What does that mean?” Well, our gear is designed, tested and then redesigned by riders who care – touching, I know. It’s not race gear, it’s stuff that looks splendid, works spectacularly and won’t give up. We strive to bring you gear that is environmentally and socially responsible and innovative. So, enjoy it as much as you like because that is what riding is all about: enjoyment, you know, when you’re having so much fun you just can’t help but smile.
Why we care:
The world is in a fragile state and we need to take care of what we have. We think it is our duty to do all we can to ensure that we have as little impact as possible with the products we make. That’s why you’ll see that our products are free of heavy metals, use water-based silk-screens and incorporate bamboo-charcoal wicking agents where possible. Not only is our gear good for the environment; it’s good for you. But our responsibilities don’t stop there. We are also passionate about making sure that the employees who make Mace gear are treated with care and respect. So feel good about the gear you wear; we do.