Qloom's motto is 'Surf the trail', and the brand aims to bring surfing's bright, bold colors and graphics to mountain bike wear, as well as the laidback surf vibe to both singletrack and the pre- and post-ride hangout.
Qloom offers mountain bike clothing for men, women, and kids, and has been sold through dealers in Europe since being founded in Switzerland in 2007. The brand has jumped into the US market in the fall of 2015 going direct-to-consumer, and plans are in place to join Australia soon.
Qloom touts the Avalon shorts as an enduro offering. With that, they feature a slightly looser fit and more durable materials.
According to Qloom's Stephen Downey, "We've noticed a shift in what a lot of riders desire in their mountain bike products. From bike geos to helmet designs, consumers expect products that deliver performance on the climbs, but really come to life and excel on the descents. We feel the Avalon fits the bill with its features and fit. They rock the uphill, but are really made to rally the downhills."
Fit and details equal function
I have a good handful of rides in the Avalons, and am impressed. The fit is spot on, with a performance cut that strikes a very nice middle ground between tight and loose. The rise through the crotch features a stretchy, slicker material, allowing for easy movement around the saddle, and most importantly not snagging on the seat when wiggling your way off the back on steep, fully committed descents.
The upper rear incorporates additional stretch material for the ideal coverage when hunkered over the bars. A soft microfleece waistband keeps contact points soft and chafe-free. Two large, zippered thigh vents let the air roll through, dual waist adjusters keep the fit dialed, and the 13in leg length works well with or without knee pads.
Some nice details have been integrated into the Avalons. The zippered fly and two button closure is welcomingly secure. Since mountain biking is such a dynamic sport, requiring lots of movement, I've found it's not uncommon for shorts with a single front snap to come undone. Gladly this is not the case here. Adding to the rock-solid closure, the waist adjusters (Velcro on each side) lay flat and offer plenty of size range.
There's a glasses wipe tethered in the thigh pocket. The well thought-out detail is that the tether actually has enough length that you don't need to bend over to clean your glasses, and it can't be dropped on the ground.
So are the Avalons a perfect short? Not quite – a couple little nitpicks are present. The thigh pocket button rattles if not snapped shut (this was obviously user error, but I've never noticed it on any other short), and I've wished for additional front pockets as I often start riding without gloves, and love stashing them in my short's front pockets. I've noticed a couple of loose threads in the stitching, but again, this has had absolutely zero impact on the shorts. Finally, since I have long legs, I would be okay with a touch more inseam length. These are minor niggles though.
Hey Dude! That's a good liner short
It's worth mentioning that the Avalons don't come with a liner short. "We found that a lot of DH/enduro/gravity guys weren't wearing a chamois, so we left it out of the Avalon," Downey said.
I've been riding the Avalons with Qloom's blue Hey Dude liner shorts, and they're quickly becoming my go-to chamois. As is sadly common knowledge, most liner shorts that come with mountain bike shorts are so poor, they fall into the throw-away category. The Hey Dudes are refreshingly different, bordering on outstanding. The simple four-panel construction fits me perfectly, and the Qloom endurance chamois buffers me from the saddle quite nicely on extended climbs.
Simply put, other manufacturers need to take note – this is how an inner short should be. As mentioned earlier, the Avalons are Qloom's gravity/enduro shorts, so liners are optional.
- Avalon shorts: $139.95 / €139.95 (UK and Australian pricing not available)
- Hey Dude inner shorts $54.95 / €54.95 (UK and Australian pricing not available)