As a Web-only short, the new Zoic X Shorts have to be purchased sight unseen and without the luxury of a try-on. Luckily, Zoic has a solid reputation for highly-functional MTB shorts and the X Shorts fall right in line.
Zoic X Shorts Features:
- 14″ inseam designed to fall below knees
- Relaxed casual style for adrenaline adventures and post-ride pub crawls
- Nylon webbing belt with buckle offers adjustable sizing
- Fusion inseam gusset for superior range of motion
- 2 front zipper hand pockets, 1 side cargo pocket
- Headphone cord control grommet and loop
- 360 degree flat waistband with velcro and zip fly closure
- Tagless labels eliminate itching and irritation
- Microfiber sunglass wipe secured with elastic strap attached inside of pocket to keep your vision clear
- MSRP: $69 (unlined), $89 (w/Essential Liner), $99 (w/Premium Liner – tested)
Zoic introduced the X Shorts this Spring as a Web-only model. It’s built with lightweight, stretchy fabrics to maximize comfort in the saddle and increase breathability during the heat of the summer. Since they are sold exclusively on Zoic.com, they are offered with your choice of liners (add $30 for the Premium or $20 for the Essential), though only the Essential model is currently available as of this posting.
As tested, I had the top-of-the-line RPL Premium Liner which features a 6-panel construction combined with the upgraded ZO-Tech chamois pad built for extended riding and improved moisture management. The size large shorts fit well overall (5’11”, 33 waist, 175 lbs), but I’d say the large liner felt a little loose — maybe it’s because I’m used to squeezing into my roadie kits? Once on the bike, the liner and shorts felt natural and not oversized.
The combined short and RPL liner package are a great tandem and even features minimal snap loops to hook them together — though not necessary. The grippy leg openings and elastic waist kept the liners in place and the mesh material was awesome at breathability.
My favorite feature of the X Shorts is the lightweight and stretchy outer fabric. It moves with you and never feels cumbersome or inhibiting in any way. They are a little longer than my typical shorts, but you’d never know it once on the trails. All movements are natural and smooth with these on.
The zippered hand pockets are a nice touch and offer secure stowage of items before and after a ride. I actually liked riding with the zipperes opened because it increased the freedom of movement just slightly. The lower leg pocket is also OK for off-the-bike duty, but isn’t placed really well for carrying items, like an iPhone. The Ether Premium features a little better phone storage pocket for Strava tracking.
- Lightweight, stretchy outer fabric
- Excellent breathability
- Freedom-of-movement is as good as it gets
- Premium liner features an excellent chamois for comfort
- Never grabby when moving in/out of the saddle
- Great off-the-bike styling and comfort
- Waistbelt has about 10″ in excess length that needs to be tucked into the loop
- No good pocket for carrying a phone while riding
The Bottom Line
As Zoic’s first Web-only model, the X Shorts are an easy pick. Fit and finish are on par with other Zoic shorts I’ve worn over the years, so buy with confidence and enjoy the ride.
Buy Now: Visit Zoic.com