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Gear Spotlight: Tia Short

A tested, completely biased review of the women’s Tia Short.

I’m totally biased but hear me out anyway: The Flylow women’s Tia Short is my favorite mountain bike short of all time. And trust me, I’ve ridden in a lot of different shorts over the years.

I’ve ridden in shorts (from other brands that will not be named) that felt hot and stifling on a sun-cooked climb. I’ve ridden in shorts that were so long and baggy they got caught on my saddle; others that were so tight and ill-fitting, they restricted my movement. I’ve sweated like a hot dog in a microwave in fabrics that didn’t breathe. In other words, I’ve really disliked a lot of mountain bike shorts before this one.

Then the Tia entered my life. I’ve been testing the Tia Short for miles now. It’s one of those pieces of gear that you love the moment you put it on, mainly because it implies you’re about to do something fun, like go ride your mountain bike. But also because the fabric feels silky and light, like a robe you’d wear to a Japanese tea garden. And the fit! My goodness, the fit. It’s like they were designed for me. (And it’s not just me, either. I’ve heard other women, with different body shapes, say the same thing.)

The sleek waistband sits just right on your hips and stretches to offer a comfortable fit no matter how big a burrito you ate for lunch. There’s a streamlined pocket just where you need it (just the right size for a Gu pouch or a credit card.) And if your Camelbak hose drips water onto your thighs while you ride like mine does (mental note: get a new hydration pack), the Tia’s quick-drying fabric zaps those droplets away.

The other big upside to the Tia? You can wear them off your bike, too. In a review of the best women’s mountain bike shorts of the season, Outside Magazine writer Kelly Bastone called the Tia Shorts the best shorts for off-bike wear. “With a not-too-baggy cut and jeans-style hand pockets, the Tia looks as good at the farmer’s market as it does on the trails, so our tester wore them while gardening, camping, and even washing the car (the polyester-Spandex fabric dries fast).”

Bastone added: “The partially-elasticized waistband delivers the ideal compromise: it hugs the belly without sacrificing hip pockets, which are made with airy mesh. One sleek, zippered side pocket holds a lip balm and smartphone.” Outside also included the Tia in their summer Buyer’s Guide, so, even if you don’t want to believe my biased opinion, take theirs instead.

And guys, don’t despair: The men’s Goodson Short is cut from the same fabric as the Tia, but designed for men.

Tia Short

These light and fast MTB shorts are still casual enough in style to wear after the ride, too.
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Goodson Short

The sturdy Goodson Short is a light and tough mountain biking short with just the right amount of stretch.
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