Mt. Borah Beartooth Shorts
By James Sharp
There is a big comfort difference between riding for an hour or so and riding for 3 hours or more. Small annoyances you can put up with for the short term, but they quickly make life miserable once that hour mark is past. This can be characteristic of some shorts, seams that are noticeable in the short term will chafe and rub raw in the long term.
Mt. Borah is a small clothing company in Wisconsin that makes high quality apparel for all types of cycling, be it road biking, mountain biking or even recumbent riding. They cover men and women, spring, summer and fall. What they lack in flash and showiness, they more than make up for in quality construction and durability.
The Beartooth, reviewed here, is Mt. Borah's top of the line baggy. It features a drawstring waist, elastic draw corded leg openings, a Coolmax mesh liner with a seamless antibacterial Italian pad and stretch panels along each leg and across the back. The draw cords on the legs are one hand adjustable.
Baggy shorts have come a long way in the past few years. They are more comfortable, more durable and made of better materials than ever before. The Beartooth is no exception. The outer shell is 4-ply nylon. I did manage to tear my pair, but it was during a crash on sharp granite and the rock didn't get all the way through. I am amazed at how well it held up. Other than the tear, the shorts don't show any sign of wear at all. The drawstrings still draw, and the elastic is still, well, elastic.
I found the shorts to be very comfortable, they didn't bind or have seams that chafe. They are a no-nonsense, get-what-you-pay-for type of short, which is good because, at $80, they aren't the cheapest shorts around.
If it were my money what would I change? To be honest, not much. (Warning nit-pick ahead) Cargo pockets would be nice. I always worry about stuff falling out of normal pockets on a ride. I would also attach the liner leg to the shell leg, that's not to say that the draw cords on the leg openings don't work, they do, but I prefer the liner and shell to act in a more connected manner. I never got hung up on the saddle or anything, it just felt more like I was wearing two shorts, lycra riding shorts and something over the top, instead of one integrated garment.
Summary: The Mt. Borah Beartooth shorts are well built, comfortable and have a reserved style. They are shorts that will last for years to come and not look outdated. I can easily recommend these to anyone looking for a no-nonsense baggy.
James Sharp is a contributing editor for GearReview.com specializing in mountain biking.
For more information, contact:
Mt. Borah Designs
P.O. Box 518
Coon Valley, WI 54623