Hoss Technical Gear’s Stallion Shorts Review

April 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Gear

When I first got on my bike wearing the Hoss produced Stallion shorts, I swore—in both good and bad ways. On one hand, I cussed at myself for all the rides I had been on without a pair of mountain biking shorts; for all the discomfort I endured in the name of fitting in with or paying my dues to the greater mountain biking community (I thought I was enculturating myself…or earning my stripes by appreciating the purity of the ride in the absence of technical gear). On the other hand, I swore as a kind of reflex—a reaction to the astonishing comfort I felt the first time I took the saddle. Bottom line…these are a great product.

But let’s rewind this review. Before I ever took these riding shorts to the trail I had to have some sort of initial reaction to them, right? I must have had an original judgemental moment, a commencement of thought and possibly of opinion. Well, I think that moment went something like this; “Holy good-lookin’ shorts Batman!” Yes, these shorts have style. They have what I call post-ride functionality; they beg you to wear them, not just on the trail, but beyond it, to your favorite post-ride gin mill, a BBQ brisket and ribs lunch, or just around the house for the remainder of the day (I have done all three).

The Particulars

I did have some concerns as I held them out in front of me. I was immediately struck by the fact that yes, these are definitely a multi-function short; especially since the essential riding component—the padded spandex compression piece—is removable. Admittedly, at first glance this feature looked a bit odd. The shorts are essentially a two-in-one combo. The inner piece is attached to the outer shell at the hips by two thin, fragile strips of fabric with two small button-fastened loops. If you’ve ever seen Transformers, the inner piece hangs from the inside of the outer shell’s waistband like the mangled Megatron hangs from helicopter cables just before he’s dropped into the ocean. By prompting such a comparison, this feature immediately raised some durability concerns. “There is just no way these shorts will stay together when I ride,” I thought. It turns out these straps are really more of an organizational feature as they literally keep the two pieces together. Once I figured out that this odd and frail-looking suspension was not permanent—that the pieces were meant to be worn together but not attached at the hip (literally) — I felt much better about their durability. Twenty miles of testing under their belt, they have to this point held up perfectly. 

hoss stallion black plaid 300x249 Hoss Technical Gear’s Stallion Shorts ReviewThe Ride

As far as performance goes, these shorts are all I could ask for. My foremost concern when faced with the prospect of wearing biking shorts is how much spandex is involved. In this case, quite a bit. However, the outer portion of these shorts are easily long enough to cover the spandex underneath at all times. Despite this length, they offer the rider an unrestricted range of motion. Sitting, standing, or cranking hard on the pedals in either position is all accomplished with complete freedom. They are light, breathable, and adjustable in the waist should you find them uncomfortable in that regard. The outer shell which I have already praised for its surprising good looks is made of a micro-suede polyester that is not only waterproof but also incredibly fast drying. Hoss has also endowed these shorts with three zippered pockets on the legs and a tightly velcro-ed pocket in the rear. All of these serve an important performance function: NOT letting keys or anything else fall victim to the random, innumerable (and nearly unsearchable) cracks and crevices of the trail. This is a very nice feature for those of us who instinctively and sometimes regretfully put our keys in our pockets after we lock the car.

Though I have already approved the Stallion’s durability, the one thing I can think to ask for is more of it. These shorts look as though they want to be ridden in an all-mountain kind of way. That is, their aesthetics seem to match the hard charging mentality of the median crowd (those who ride somewhere between the downhill and cross-country styles), yet they are a little thin in the stitching and fabric departments. I do appreciate that these shorts are light and airy but I also just can’t help but wonder how well they will hold up the first time they hit the dirt (I have denied the opportunity to subject them to the voluntary-endo test).

The bottom line is that these shorts offer any rider post-ride functionality, in-ride comfort and freedom of motion, lots of style points, and secure places to stash the stash-ables. The Stallions are light and airy summer time apparel and a multi-functional riding short. Hoss has crafted a solid garment for any rider.

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