XC Race Clothing on the "Looser / Baggy" side

Not bike related, but I feel like you are my people and starting a new thread is sort of silly.

Can we talk about apparel? When racing I obviously wear lycra. But just regular trail rides I wear baggies. But im in that weird no mans land of XC racer / Trail bro but dont want to wear enduro bro baggy baggies. If that makes sense.

I prefer “tighter” fitting baggy gear. So far I’ve found that the Fox Flexair shorts have a more fitted cut and sit above the knee. The Fox Defend jerseys are really nice as well, tighter fitting and have a longer arm cut so they dont ride way up when in attack position.

If you arent a full time lycra wearer what gear have you found that has been working for you?


I know you didn’t want a separate thread, but it’s not appropriate to mix discussion buried in a 700+ post topic that is dedicated to bikes (especially one for a given model year).


Zoic shorts with either 7-protection padded undershorts / chamois if there will be technical areas and crashing or for faster rides with less chance of crashing, SWAT bib undershorts with chamois.

Usually wear an old road jersey up top as have a closet full of them.

(Chad - assume you’ll move the post as you created the new topic while I was typing. OR just delete to keep things clean. Good work as always)


I am a big fan of Pearl Izumi overall. Their “Summit” line for MTB riding gear. It is still “baggy”, but more of a close fit than their baggy “Elevate” line that is for trail, enduro and such.


I like the Zoic Ether line. They’re pretty cheap and come in multiple leg lengths.



Handup shorts are very light, cut short, and a good value. They generally disappear while riding and have zippered pockets if you want to throw a phone/wallet/keys/snack in the pockets. I’ll also wear them anywhere off the bike as normal shorts.

Though most of the time I just ride in Lycra, it is less laundry at the end of the day.


Those are the ones. I like the “shorter” version. They are price reduced to $45 right now on the Zoic site.


I have two pairs of those shorts and its is the most “baggy” mtb shorts I own by a considerable margin. For super slim Ketl MTN v1 shorts and then a bit baggier is gore wear

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Those Ketl shorts look nice.

They are nice but version 2 & 3 got a lot more baggy.

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I appreciate this topic! My favorite baggies are now the Gore Explore, which are marketed at gravel riders but they’re the best form fitting baggy short I’ve tried so far. I had an older pair of Fox XC baggies but they disintegrated after a couple of seasons and are discontinued. I have some other pairs of baggies but they feel more “bro” for sure. I save them for very casual rides, or when the weather gets cooler.

For a jersey I go two routes:

  • a more casual top (I have a few that I like that breath well, the matching Gore explore jersey to match the shorts, and I have a 7 mesh shirt I really like, Gore jersey has a small zip pocket I trust with my car key) then I use my Zoic bib shorts that have a nice Swat style storage in back or I’ve really just been using my RaceFace hip pack (only hip pack I’ve ever really liked).
  • Or I go full on road style tight fitting jersey which is what I use for harder training rides or racing. I’ll still wear baggies even during certain races depending on temp, or just go full lycra.

I forgot my baggy shorts the other day and it turns out you can still shred, enjoy, and not give-a-f what other people think with your full lycra kit. :slight_smile:


Totally OT, but can’t help seeing the tangent with this new “Racer-Casual” look… Are 2-4 days stubble legs the right look? Must be OK vs needing that perfectly smooth look we need on race day in the tight gear :wink:



Full length leg hair for mountain bike racing is still OK. I think.


Do baggy shorts have a pad/chamois? Or do you guys wear something with a pad under the baggy shorts? I’ve not spend a whole lot of time shopping around but, the ones I’ve seen up close look like they would be painful w/o wearing bibs under. So far I just wear board shorts (Oiwi Hawaii) over my bibs.

  • Some do, some don’t. The common term I see is “liner” when they include a sewn in pair of shorts with a chamois. “Shell” is the other one I see that is the opposite of that and essentially a pure exterior short with no pad, like other casual shorts. All that is via Pearl Izumi, but I expect something along those lines for other brands. When in doubt, check all the finer details in the Description and Features section of the shorts.

  • Personal preference, but I tend to dislike the integrated “liner”. Washing and handling is a bit more of a faff, and I also dislike that I have to wash the outer portion anytime I wear them. With my pure shell baggies, I sometimes double-ride them since I use a clean pair of regular shorts for my chamois. Both work, but typical pros/cons exist.


Like Chad, I prefer separates. That way I can use my favorite liner with my favorite shell.

There is a downside to that though in that it can lead to the shell slipping down because it’s not attached to the liner.


I’ve recently returned to just wearing my bibs as the exterior layer with a trail Jersey instead of aero/road jersey.

I’ve worn holes in all my baggies from pedaling :man_facepalming:.

Only time I’m really out of place is if we’re stopping for a chat at the bottom of the bike park with the Endur-bro’s.

I have one pair of “cargo bibs” nothing flash, just Monton brand, and they seem like the ducks proverbials. I wish I could find some to match my race kit.

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I’ve done the same… bibs with a trail jersey. I had the slipping issue that @Pbase referred to and I’m accustom to wearing only bibs on my other bikes.


This is exactly the thread I need - I only own lycra since I am a recovering ex roadie but now with it getting a little sloppier I am trying to figure out what to wear. I can’t imagine not using a road style jersey as I can’t live without the pockets but am thinking of finding a pair of tight baggies that I still feel comfortable doing TR intervals before a quick shred. Also I might use them to commute on wet days also. So keeping an eye on this thread. Was going to go for the Assos trail as noticed a lot of the good trail/fast guys in the area wear these.

Dry fit t-shirt works well when out on the MTB. ]

But if you must wear a kit out there be sure to say what’s up when people say hi. It is amazing to me how many kit guys ignore you out there. We are a bit more friendly out on the trails and might even have a beer for you if you catch us back at the parking lot. :+1: