It’s rare that I go a full ride without futzing with my shorts. I can often be seen adjusting and re-adjusting waistbands, emptying and refilling pockets in order to get the items inside situated just so, or re-aligning the shorts themselves after they inexplicably twist relative to my waist and leave me looking like my upper and lower halves are pointing in different directions.
Not so with the Airmatics. The key feature here is the hook-and-loop waist adjusters, which provide a solid hold–and don’t rely on elasticity to do so. This means that the Airmatics don’t slip down or twist while riding. The fit is slim cut and true to size. They’re and just wide and long enough to be worn with a low-profile pair of knee pads, with the cut ending above the knee for interference-free pedaling.
These four-way stretch polyester and elastane shorts are flat-locked at the seams, so there are no irritating pieces of fabric inside.The two zippered pockets–one on the hip and one on the thigh–ensure that you won’t arrive back at the trailhead only to realize that your keys are somewhere back on that last descent. In a nod to 100%’s motocross background, the zippered fly is hidden by a snap closure.
I’ve ridden in these shorts non-stop for somewhere in the ballpark of 9 months now. Part of the seam on the bit that holds the plastic loop on one of the waist adjusters popped about 7 months in. This allowed the loop to slip, but must have only been vaguely annoying, since I ignored it for a month and a half. I finally put a few haphazard threads through it a few days ago.
Given how much time I’ve spent in them, and how tight I typically run my waistbands, I’m not inclined to knock 100% too hard for this. Besides, I could repair the Airmatics three more times and still have spent less time with a needle and thread than I would have spent futzing around on the trail with different shorts.