After a heavy fall that destroyed my helmet, race pants and gloves I had to look to replace my equipment. For many years now I have been using full length race pants, and most of that time it was the Answer Edge pants, that had zip off legs. Because of where the zip was positioned the only time I zipped off the legs was in between races or after an event to keep cool. I'd never actually raced in shorts, until I heard about the THE F-1 shorts and I thought it was about time to give them a try.
The UCI ruling allows for racing with shorts on the proviso that you wear knee/shin guards. I have been wearing the THE Storm Knee Shin guards under my race pants for some time now, so I was quite used to wearing them anyway.
The F-1 shorts look great with the way they are cut and the attention to detail, for example the chrome/carbon logos and the textured panels with the subtle THE logos through them. Available in size 30-38 in either black or white, black was my favourite but the white probably suits my race gear better. They have vented pockets with zips; perfect for your keys, some cash or your wallet, maybe even your ipod while riding/training. The ventilation doesn't stop at the pockets though, these pants are great to allow air to pass through and keep you cool even on the hottest of days.
One of the problems I have had with race pants over the years is the fit. With the shorts I haven't had to worry about the leg being the wrong length. People are all sorts of different shapes and sizes and generally it's the look, brand or the price of the pants that people use to determine what they purchase. If they fit properly, well it's just a bonus. I have had a lot of different pants over the years and some are just plain uncomfortable. I was relieved to discover that the THE shorts were an extremely good fit and amazingly comfortable. On that alone I would highly recommend the THE F-1 Shorts and would be keen to check out the full length pant myself. While not all sizes will be perfect for everyone, there is an adjustable side cinch belt to give you finer adjustment, allowing you to have a baggy fit without the worry of losing your pants while riding around the track
The one thing about shorts though is where it's cut at the knee. Too high and it will ride up if you fall the wrong way exposing your leg to leave it unprotected. Too low and they could restrict movement in the knee and/or possibly get caught up on your bike or in your knee guards. The cut is in just the right spot, slightly below the knee. The F-1 Shorts worked perfectly with the THE Storm Knee/Shin guards.
|Value for money:||5/5|
For more information check out www.the-industries.com.
THE products are distributed in Australia by Elite Cycle Imports (www.eciimports.com)
Reviewed by Shane Jenkins/bmxultra.com October 4 2010
Race photo by Ian McLean (Dugga) - check out more of his photos on the bmxultra.com forum