ADIDAS FIVE TEN RIDING APPAREL REVIEW
Words by Robert Johnston
Photos by Adam Lievesley
Adidas FiveTen needs no introduction in the mountain bike world, with their shoes setting the standard for grip for many years. Not content with only offering footwear, they developed a range of clothing for both cycling and climbing, utilising durable recycled materials throughout to lessen their environmental impact. We were sent their Brand of the Brave shorts and TrailX tee to put to the test coming into Summer in the UK.
The items we were sent to test by adidas Five Ten were both designed to offer good performance but crucially maintain a clean and relatively casual aesthetic to serve as dual duty when off the bike.
FIVE TEN BRAND OF THE BRAVE SHORTS: The Adidas Five Ten Brand of the Brave short is a regular fit, mid-weight short constructed from four-way stretch Primegreen material. This is a 90% recycled polyester blended with 10% elastane, with the classic dobby textured pattern. Keeping the shorts firmly put on your waist is an internal draw cord, and there are loops in place to use a belt if that is the preference. The inside of the waistband also features a silicon band sporting the “Brand of the Brave” logo to help keep them up. There’s a zipped fly for easy access…on the fly… paired with two snap closures. There’s a pair of deep side pockets on each hip, one of which features a hidden zipped pocket perfect for key storage, as well as a sturdy zipped pocket lower down on the outside of the left thigh. The Brand of the Brave shorts are available in sizes 28” to 40”, with a Women’s version also offered. You have the choice of black or mesa (tan) and they retail for £60/$70.
FIVE TEN BIKE TRAILX T-SHIRT: The Adidas Five Ten Bike TrailX t-shirt is a regular fit tee designed to keep riders cool on a hot day. Manufactured from the Primeblue, 100% recycled polyester interlock fabric featuring AEROREADY tech to absorb moisture from your skin and aid cooling. This Primeblue fabric is partially sourced from Parley Ocean Plastic, helping the jersey to be a feel-good purchase with your contribution towards recovering the state of our oceans. The TrailX tee features a crewneck and a slightly dropped hem at the rear, tailoring the cut to time on the bike without disturbing a reasonably casual aesthetic overall. The seams are interlocked to keep them stuck fast and withstand the abuse of mountain biking. The Trail X tee is available in sizes S-XXL in Yellow/Black or Black, and retails for £35/$40.
When I first opened the box and pulled out the shorts, I was a little concerned – I’d been sent a size 36” waist. Sure, I’m not as trim as I could be, but this still seemed a touch insulting for my 33” waist. As it turns out, somewhere along the line of the design and manufacture of the Brand of the Brave short, adidas Five Ten made a slight error in their sizing. Sizing up is a necessity, with the waist coming up very small for its claimed size. The 36” was a touch too large on the waist, but certainly within the right ballpark for me. The leg in this size provided a regular cut, finding a happy balance of performance and casual looks. The length is reasonable, falling a touch above my kneecap and avoiding any dreaded pad gap issues. The shorts have multiple methods of waist closure, with a “stealth” draw cord, the snap closures and belt loops. Opting to go for the draw cord method provided enough “cinch” to keep them firmly in place, including during a mid-ride swim, so I see no need to run a belt, but the loops don’t produce a significant drawback, nonetheless. The TrailX tee doesn’t suffer from the same downfalls, being a spot-on relaxed fit for the size Large. The pairing form a sporty but relatively clean and casual aesthetic that avoids too many “biker dude” glares in the pub post-ride.
On the trail during the relatively hot UK Summer, seeing conditions in the mid 20’s (80F), the pairing did a reasonable job at keeping things comfortable and airy. Although there’s no venting in the shorts, the mid-weight material feels quite cool in use, with the slightly relaxed cut still giving some room for air flow. The TrailX tee manages heat in a similarly reasonable fashion, though does feel a little “sticky” on the skin once things get a bit sweaty and doesn’t dry quite as fast as some other fabrics. Nonetheless, I wasn’t left avoiding the Five Ten apparel on the hotter days. Similarly reasonable, if not mind-blowing, was the anti-bacterial performance, with the TrailX tees avoiding any nasty buildups of smell, even after a couple of days in the laundry basket after a sweaty ride.
The test was conducted through jungle-like conditions after a wet and warm early summer, leaving the trails lined with thorns and ferns. Save for a few tiny nicks, the tee and shorts have fended off this abuse nicely, as has the short material in the saddle area, indicating they’re in it for the long run. For their reasonable prices, and with recycled materials, it’s great to see that Five Ten has produced some well-performing gear with no notable drawbacks.
The adidas Five Ten Brand of the Brave shorts and Trail X tee provide an eco-conscious and well-performing offering at reasonable prices, that can serve as comfortable sports-casual attire when off the bike. Buyers should be aware of the sizing issues of the shorts, but otherwise there’s little not to like about Five Ten’s first foray into the riding apparel world.
Brand of the Brave Shorts: £60/$70
TrailX T-shirt: £35/$40
Disclosure: Our team selects all of the products we review and do so with honesty and objectivity in mind. Some of the products we receive come directly from Competitive Cyclist, who also value our readers and have offered them a 15% discount (exclusions apply) on their first purchase by using LOAMWOLF15. Through this program we may also receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for your support, TLW.