Denver, CO's Pactimo is new to the mountain bike side of the cycling industry, having made their name in road gear — both custom and off-the-shelf. After riding the Apex shorts, it's pretty obvious that that knowledge and expertise came in handy when forging into the high-end mountain bike apparel world.
Apex shorts specs:
- Lightweight, breathable 4-way stretch body fabric
- YKK hidden zipper rear and side entry pockets for pedal-friendly storage
- Double offset button opening
- YKK front fly
- Contoured on the bike fit
- Front entry hand pockets for off-the bike comfort
- Elastic interior micro-adjust retention system
- Tall rear waist panel
- Shaped rear leg opening
- 13in/34cm inseam (size medium)
The fit on the Apex shorts would definitely fall into the slim category. "It's an enduro/XC fit," says Pactimo's retail brand manager Josh Cook. Even though pretty trim, Pactimo's lightweight 4-way stretch fabric features "unhindered mobility and quick-drying breath-ability." That seems to be a pretty spot-on description as the material is definitely on the lighter, and thinner, side of MTB baggies.
Every movement on or off the bike is met with reassuring give, with nary a hint of binding or restriction. The material is also lightweight, making it a definite go-to piece when the temperatures hit the larger numbers of the thermometer. The thin material looks to be a standout in the hot summer months, while layering underneath (shorts plus tights in the winter, for example) could likely pose some issues.
Breathability is good, remaining comfortable on long, hot climbs yet not too cool or airy when bombing down. Durability so far has been spot on, shrugging off a couple of minor crashes, including one that sent me in for stitches.
It's clear that the Pactimo team put some thought into the Apex's layout. The pockets are close to perfect, with two front hand pockets, one rear zipped pocket, and a right thigh zipped pocket big enough for an iPhone 6. The right thigh pocket is offset, so when in the saddle, and while pedaling, your cargo stays put just as it should.
The shorts have a noticeable contour to their shape. The leg openings are higher in the rear for ease of pedaling, as is the rear of the shorts to prevent the infamous plumber's crack phenomenon that shows up on lesser shorts.
The waist closure, a potential pet peeve of mine (I hate it when buttons or snaps pop open when moving around the bike), consists of two offset snaps, which thankfully fall on the happy side of my personal waistband battle.
Speaking of the waistband, the two size adjustments are located on the inside, which does keep the appearance clean, but makes dialing in the fit while wearing the shorts a tad cumbersome. The stretch of the actual adjusters made the fit a bit tricky to get right. Static, non-stretchable adjustments would be better in my opinion.
- Apex shorts: £65 / US$90. Pactimo does not ship to Australia currently.