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Fly Racing Warpath Shorts Review

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Fly Racing has gone all-in on mountain bike rider wear, providing everything from helmets down to socks, and running the spectrum from trail riding to freeriding. Their lineup is nothing short of vast and, in conjunction with Fly’s Action Elite Jersey, I snagged a pair of do-it-all Warpath Shorts.

Warpath Specs

  • Materials: 98% Polyester, 2% Spandex
  • Integrated chamois
  • External Velcro waist adjustment
  • Belt loops
  • Dual snap and zippered closure
  • Rear mesh vent panels
  • Front zippered leg vents
  • 2 large zippered front pockets, 1 small zippered hip pocket
  • Colors: black, dark teal/black, red/black (reviewed)
  • Sizes: waist 28-38″ (in 2″ increments)
  • MSRP: $109.95

Fit

I typically wear a size medium short and the 32″ Warpath felt spot-on. A one-sided, external waist adjuster simplifies on-the-fly cinching, and belt loops are added to further tune the fit. A non-tapered inseam in the neighborhood of 14-15″ adequately covers knees and knee pads.

The internal chamois is a Coolmax Silver and, while it isn’t the highest quality, matches the purposes for which the Warpath Shorts were intended. The chamois is integrated with a highly-breathable mesh compression short, featuring a very comfortable, seamless leg opening. If the Warpath’s chamois doesn’t meet your standard or you prefer to ride chamois-less, the inner short is attached by two thin nylon strips and can be snipped out without compromising the overall integrity of the outer shell.

Features

As mundane as it sounds, it’s worth noting the quality of the Warpath’s zippers. First off, all six zippers (front closure, three pockets, and two leg vents) are quality YKK and buttery-smooth. In fact, the zipper action was so slick, I was able open and close the pockets without interrupting a single pedal stroke. The front closure, leg vents, and side pocket zippers have an ergonomically-molded rubber handle, and the side pockets employ pull tabs for superior convenience.

Function

The Warpath’s poly/Spandex fabric is lightweight and resilient, backed by durable stitching. A rear stretch panel bridges the waistband and legs to prevent tugging at the waist while the legs are moving. Although the chamois quality doesn’t quite match that of the compression short, it was enough to get along with for a ride up to three hours.

Fly Racing clearly put a little more thought into the Warpath as a breathable unit. Rather than simply being open to air, the forward leg vents channel flow to a set of rear mesh panels, thus cooling by convection, much like vent ports of a helmet. The result is a ventilating system that works even during slower speeds.

While internal waist adjusters provide a cleaner look, the single-sided, external waist tab on the Warpath is more accessible especially when a mid-ride cinch is needed. What’s more, by offering six sizes instead of the standard S-XL, chances are you won’t have to rely on waist adjustments.

The Warpath Shorts from Fly Racing are long, baggy, and flowy. While fit adjustments and zippers may add to overall weight, a clever ventilating system makes the Warpath ride like a much lighter short. The comfort of the inner compression short is enough to outweigh the underwhelming quality of the chamois, but this shouldn’t be a deal breaker due to the the liner’s easy-to-remove feature.

Thanks to Fly Racing for providing the Warpath Short for review.