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Disappearing duds, mudbutt and awkward hand moments…Club Ride Mountain Short & Johnson InnerWear long term review

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The Club Ride Mountain Surf short, designed for serious competition. East Orlando Cross Fest Singlespeed Eliminator, Dec. ’17. Photo by Hector Santiago

Have you ever had something so good that you forgot about it? Something that simply disappears because it functions so incredibly well? Shorts seem simple enough, I can’t really remember a bad pair (well, maybe those ragged cutoffs when Pops  “hung out” at family BBQ’s that left no mystery). But when you get a great pair of shorts, you appreciate it…. then it vanishes……

As cliché as it sounds, the Club Ride Mountain Surf Short and Johnson InnerWear liner seem to float away.

Resplendent in top shelf craftsmanship and intelligent details, the Mountain Surf short and Johnson padded liner are the sweet combo for all types of riding… AND you can go directly from the trail into public without fear of the searing  eye of spandex scrutiny.

There will be mud. As expected, Swamp Cross '17 delivered the good stuff. Club Ride Mountain Surf short, Billy Bob shirt and homemade busted collarbone retention device sloggin' through the goop. Photo: Cathy Bester.
The notorious Spruce Creek MTB Trailhog HMFICs trying to sell me on Leadville. The Club Ride shorts and Vibe shirt trying to act sociable. Photo: JEK

With lightweight yet durable fabrics, the super comfy Mountain Surf short and Johnson InnerWear liner have been my go-to getup all season. No billboard kits for me adrift in a spandex sea. *Note to self, update site header from ’16 lycra leotard.

A vital yet often overlooked detail is pocket angle and placement. Club Ride nailed them both by having vertical stash pocket on both sides that’s perfect for snacks, keys etc.
They also sew the top edge of the upper pocket at more of a horizontal angle than your typical shorts. This minimizes the chance of stuff falling out when you’re ridin’.

Primo pocket placement for snackage.

The Mountain Surf short is obviously primarily designed for ridin’ your bike better than anything else out there. A semi-snug fit around your giblets ensure they won’t get caught on the seat and the legs are tapered to allow ease of pedaling without flappin’ about.

Dive.Bomb. The Mountain Surf short has enough stretch to not flap around yet is able to comfortably conform to most contortions. Mud spine at Orlando Cross Fest, Dec. '17. Photos by Jon Simpkins & Hector Santiago

Another detail I dig is the multi-use, discreet waist retention device. Club Ride have the adjusters on the inside of the waistband that double as an anchor for the Johnson undies. Also notice the breathable, quick dry fabric, tough as nails yet way comfy in the 90°+ Florida steambath.

Super slick waist adjuster and undies retainer.

It’s pretty much a year-round sauna here in the armpit of Florida. Most of the races boiled down to heat management and raw stubbornness. The Mountain Surf short dries quick, and doesn’t get all soggy bottom.

Not proud of the tank top but it was blazin' hot at the Hailes Trails season opener. The vessel? The oh so ironic '94 Cannondale Cockroach singlespeed steed. (see blog archives) photo: J. Reed

The Johnson InnerWear padded short is designed as a one hour liner, however, I’ve worn it on all day scrub slogs through the palmetto prairies without any discomfort.

Oh, my apologies, you can’t unsee this, during one of the monthly (night) time trial races put on by Orlando Runners and Riders. I left my (outer) shorts at home and just rode in the Johnson liner. No prob and the unnerving site may have distracted the other competitors. Marginal gains y’all. 

Overexposure in the local TT series. Photo: John Will Tenney
Details abound. Proper reflectivity in the subtle tags.....so much goodness.

Available in Raven or Storm Grey to match everything (even questionable sweaters), the Mountain Surf material also shrugs off all forms of  detritus that may sling up on your backside.

No mudbutt here, the Mountain Surf short shrugs off the crud and dries quick. photo: Hector Santiago.

With as much respect and humility possible, the shorts look mighty swank for pretentious podium posturing as well. Florida Legends Scott Atkins (left) and Keith Legg (right)  are confirmed, consistent crushers who never, ever, ease up the pressure. The new Florida WAR CX series old man champ in awkward hand moment.

Excessive baggage display. Just say no to spandex. photo: Hawkdancer

No matter what you ride, the Club Ride goods will not disappoint.

Sweet steed indeed. photo: Patrick Thomsen

At the end of the day, I couldn’t be happier with the Club Ride line….comfy, functional,  perfect length, non-billboard and public eye approved. As with most great things, they just disappear in use. For further details check the Johnson liner here and the oh so rad Mountain Surf short here.

Florida chair lift.. closing time at the First Friday Downtown Soiree. Photo JEK

Many thanks to Club Ride for providing the swanky goodness this season, I’m definately not missing the billboard spandex, neither is anyone who had to see me in it.

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