There’s a seemingly endless array of cycling clothing companies to choose from, but looking at the mountain bike world, there’s one dominant player, Fox Racing.
Fox Racing’s signature red, yellow and orange have become the standard for the world’s fastest professional riders, whether it be motocross or mountain bike.
Partly because of that, it’s a good bet that at least someone is wearing a piece of kit from Fox Racing on nearly every MTB ride you’ve been on.
The rear has a slight rise to keep things covered when humped over the bars Russell Eich / Immediate Media
Fox Racing Ranger short features
- Midweight two-way stretch fabric
- Adjustable interior waistband
- Hand pockets
- One zip and one Velcro cargo pocket
- Detachable liner with EVO chamois
Works well on a variety of bikes
Fox Racing’s mid-weight fabric short is appropriately named; the Rangers are one short I’d feel okay wearing on both my 100mm travel XC whip on smooth trails and my 170mm travel enduro smasher at the bike park.
Pedaling in the saddle or staying loose on the downhills, the cut of the shorts shows Fox has done this before. The crotch sits at a high, snag-free height, the legs are trim but not tight, the length works well with or without knee armor, and the material is slick so moving about on the bike is pretty carefree.
The hook and loop waist adjuster are found cleanly on the interior of the waistband Russell Eich / Immediate Media
In a surprising twist of the norm, the included liner shorts aren’t awful. In fact, they’re downright comfortable with the EVO chamois providing a little padding right at the sit bones. The key is a little well-placed padding; too often liners have ill-executed lumps of misplaced padding.
Still, Fox also recognizes that nearly every included liner short gets cut out of the baggies, so the liner short’s hangers feature a scissors logo.
I’m a sucker for pockets and the ones on the Rangers don’t disappoint. The thigh pockets are nicely trim with no pleats, thus avoiding making you look like you’re rocking cargo shorts from 1999. That said, there’s plenty of room for even the biggest smartphone.
Could use more ventilation and waist-closure security
The Rangers are very good MTB shorts, but I’m picky. I’d be happy to see some more ventilation. The mid-weight material does strike a fantastic middle ground, but because of its durability and lack of perforations or venting, the Rangers can get toasty on hot days.
I’d also like to see a more secure waist closure. A button or some Velcro in addition to the two snaps would ease my mind from the accidental popping open that can happen when contorting your body on the bike.
Fox Racing Ranger shorts bottom line
With the good fit, color options and versatility — plus the less-than-a-three-digit price tag — the Ranger removes almost all questions on what mountain bike shorts to buy.