For the last couple of weeks, the Flexair pieces have been my go-to for trail and e-mtb riding. Being 6’1” tall (6’2” on a good day) with a 32” inseam, I wear a large jersey, size 34 short/pant and large glove.
The long-sleeve Flexair Delta jersey ranks high on my jersey list when it comes to fit, breathability and comfort. The most impressive aspect of the jersey comes from Fox’s integration of Polartec’s Delta fabric in the body of the jersey. I have worn the jersey in temps from high 60’s to low 80’s and have yet to overheat or become too hot in it – the Delta fabric has done a stellar job at keeping me cool on the trail. The bonded cuffs and collar add an extra level of comfort to an already comfortable jersey. I do wish the sleeves were a touch longer, as with my arms near full extension there is about a 1.5-inch gap between sleeve cuff and glove cuff. It is not a deal breaker by any means but does result in an unfortunate tan line that I would rather avoid. The short sleeved, regular fabric Flexair jersey we also tested is similarly comfortable, with the lower portion of the front torso and the entire back made from a nearly see-through light woven fabric, with slightly denser chest, shoulders, and arms. On the trail this led to a very airy feel, though perhaps not quite so actively cooling as the Delta-equipped versions. The Flexair jerseys fit over most torso protection pieces as well thanks to the stretch in the fabric. The jerseys still look new despite having a couple high-speed brushes with some of the trail-side obstacles and vegetation – a testament to the quality of the materials and well considered reinforcements.
Moving down to the lower extremities, we have the Flexair Short and Pant. Both pieces are similar in construction with the difference being obvious. When it comes to riding shorts, I am not too picky so long as they meet the demands of whatever type of riding I am doing. For trail shorts, I want something that is comfortable, lightweight, offers decent ventilation and obviously fits well. The Flexair short meets a lot of these requirements but as we get into the minutia, there are a few things that leave some room for things to be desired. Some of our longer-legged testers noted that the inseam on the shorts seemed a bit short for their liking, wanting a little more knee coverage while pedaling to avoid the dreaded pad-gap. I personally prefer a shorter inseam when it comes to pedaling the trail bike as there is a slight increase in mobility. Another tester also wished for some sort of fly closure as Fox has forgone the zipper for just a flap, but this was not a major issue. The fit is certainly close to the skin, with “baggy” shorts a thing of the past, so thick-thighed riders will want to try them on before buying to make sure they can stomach the skin hugging design. Unlike riding shorts, I am a little pickier when it comes to riding pants, I prefer the look and style of DH pants but there is a time and place for the Fox Flexair pants. While I normally tuck my shirt in when I wear riding pants, these are not meant for that, in fact jersey tucking amplifies the parachute pant look these have. From a fit perspective, the Flexair pant offers a true-to-size fit and the pant leg length is solid, at least for me, but again longer-legged riders may struggle. Pedaling mobility is solid and ventilation is pretty good. I usually opt for the Flexair’s when the temperature is in the mid-60’s and below, anything higher than that and they may get a little warm. The DWR treatment Fox applied to the garments is excellent, they shed light rain/water like it is going out of style, and if they happen to get drenched (ie. Fully sub-merged in a creek), they dry at an incredible rate. Their resistance to wear is also impressive, surviving a lot of saddle time without looking like it.
The Flexair Gloves are one of the best fitting gloves I have ever slid over top my hands, the best analogy I can give is that they fit like latex gloves…but are comfortable. Slip-on gloves are not usually my top choice as I tend to rip the seams trying to slide them on, but Fox has done a great job with the elasticity of the cuff. While I have no issues with the short cuff, I do wish it were just a little bit longer to provide a little more coverage over the wrists. Fox’s TruFeel interior texturing along with the snug fitting glove provide top-notch lever feel as if the gloves were not even on. Though I try to leave my phone in my pocket when out on the trail, sometimes I get forced into Instagramming which is not as much as a nightmare anymore as the Flexair gloves work flawlessly with my touchscreen. Not everything is perfect though, while I really like the ultra-thin backhand material fox used, it is also the gloves curse. On the last outing with the glove, I smoked a tree branch on a descent and completely ripped a finger panel in half, though given how fast we were going it is hard to say if another glove would have faired any better…just another reason to always run handguards, sigh.
Fox’s Flexair collection offers some solid gear options for the trail and enduro crowd. I particularly like the lightweight characteristics of all the pieces and being a fan of a more “tailored” fit, most of the collection is right up my alley. The Flexair Delta jersey variants are the must have item out of the entire kit, whether it is the short-sleeve or long-sleeve versions, they are guaranteed to keep you cool when the temperatures start rising.
The Fox Flexair pants are excellent from a performance perspective as one would expect from the brand. Aesthetically however, the parachute pant look caused by the wide thighs can be a bit off-putting for us twig-legged riders. Inseam length could be a concern for both garments however. For me, the fit and length of the pants were right on the money, however, if your torso-to-leg ratio is anything outside of average, the inseams could provide a less than desirable fit, so be sure to check out Fox’s size chart before buying to get a rough idea on how long the inseams on the pants are according to size. Similarly, the same can be said regarding the Flexair shorts and their 13” inseam, while I never noticed any negative side effects and prefer a short inseam when it comes to riding trail bikes, some of our other testers felt they were too short allowing a noticeable gap between knee pad and short. If you are looking for a short with a slightly longer inseam, check out Fox’s Defend collection. Fashion critiques aside, both the Flexair Pant and Shorts perform well and are extremely comfortable and durable.
Finally, Fox’s Flexair gloves are some of my favorites, yet unfortunately their strength is also their Achilles heel. The thin construction that makes them so comfortable and breathable causes them to be not so durable in the event of a crash or brush past something abrasive. Even though I have essentially sliced a finger off my pair of gloves on the third outing, I would gladly buy another set because I like the way they fit THAT much…I really don’t want to wear any other glove, besides our own sweet Loam Wolf gloves obviously. Guilty plug. Overall Fox has a pretty awesome family of products in their Flexair. Riders who are looking for lightweight, breathable mountain bike clothing will be pleased so long as the fit is right for you.
Flexair Gloves – $32.95
Flexair Jersey – $59.95 – 74.95
Flexair Delta Jersey – $74.95 – 89.95
Flexair Short – $129.95 (with Chamois), $99.95 (w/o Chamaois)
Flexair Pant – $139.95
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