When it comes to mountain bike shorts, there are quite a few options – some better than others. Without actually spending the money and riding in them, it’s hard to know a good pair from one that barely makes the grade.
For a thorough consumer-friendly comparison of women’s mountain bike shorts, check out our 10 Best Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts. While the Fox Women’s Ranger made the list of Honorable mentions, for the price and their simple made-to-ride design, these shorts are worth considering when you shop.
Fancy features and flashy colours can distract from the purpose of the clothing we are looking for. Sport-specific wear can also be expensive, so take the time to find the best mountain bike shorts for your riding style, budget and needs.
When I’m buying mountain bike shorts, I know I want a fabric that is durable, comfortable and water-resistant. I don’t want to break my wallet, and I want a design and fit for off-bike wear as well.
Easy care for washing is a must and I don’t want finicky buttons that waste time on the trails. Sometimes simple is exactly what I need.
The Fox Women’s Ranger Mountain Bike Shorts are all that and more. They are a no-nonsense, no-fuss, durable choice for women riders who’d rather focus on the trails than be distracted by their gear. Here’s what you’ll get:
Review in a Nutshell
- Comfortable, relaxed fit
- Water-resistant fabric
- Nylon-spandex blend for strength and flexibility
- Easy adjustable waist with one-snap closure
- Moisture-wicking waistband
- Zippered pockets for security
- Easy care instructions
- Option to purchase with liner or without
- Designed for on and off-bike wear
- Good price for the product
- No side or back pockets
- Only 3 color-options (black, bark brown, red clay)
Price & Where to Buy:
Long Lasting Material for Long Rides in the Saddle
Hands down, the most important feature in mountain bike clothing is strength and durability. If your bottoms are going to wear out with frequent riding, or rip easily when you swipe by a branch, then you’ll be buying another pair the next season. You’ll probably spend more money on replacement clothing than on your bike.
Durability is behind the manufacturing of the Fox Women’s Ranger Mountain Bike Shorts. They are made to last in performance and in strength.
Made with TruMotion “Ripstop” fabric, these shorts will withstand the threat of nasty branches, sticks, and normal wear-and-tear from every-ride use. Why so sure? To start, the thicker thread is made of strong nylon fibre.
In addition, the Ripstop weave makes the fabric highly resistant to any rips, tears or damage that might be caused by the narrow trails of singletrack. Ripstop is the same weave technique used for kites, banners, yacht sails and tactical gear so you know you’re getting strong, durable shorts with the Fox Women’s Ranger.
The nylon/spandex blend is perfect for active, adventure wear. 92% nylon makes them durable, and 8% spandex allows flexibility and stretch. Not only does this allow the rider free movement as they ride, the shorts wear perfectly over knee pads and chamois without being stiff or too tight.
Fox Ranger shorts are treated with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating to ensure water stays out and away from your body. Rain rolls off the shorts, allowing for comfort regardless of weather.
You won’t be bothered by a sticky or uncomfortable waistband either. The waistband of the Ranger MTB shorts is lined with TruDri material to wick away sweat as you ride. Moisture stays away from your skin ensuring comfort from start to finish on long, hot rides throughout the season.
Comfort and Fit
Even the most durable fabric needs to be comfortable, especially when you’re on the bike. My number one pet peeve is having stiff and uncomfortable clothing that distracts me from my ride. Shorts that don’t fit right or need constant adjusting won’t do.
I wore the Fox Women’s Ranger shorts on several rides: with knee pads and without, on long, sweaty hill climbs, and quite a few off-bike activities as well. I was really happy with them on all occasions.
The comfortable stretch fabric is terrific. The relaxed fit and “give” in the material allows the shorts to move with me as I ride.
For me, the length of the Ranger shorts was perfect for uphill climbs. They didn’t get caught on my knees or knee pads as I rode and they moved with me on each pedal stroke.
The relaxed fit gives enough room in the bum for wearing them with a chamois. If I’m wearing my knee pads, the leg width allows space without pulling or tightness.
For those riders who prefer to have their chamois built into the shorts, there is an option to purchase the Fox Women’s Ranger shorts with a light 2-layer liner.
When ordering the shorts on-line, make sure to check the sizing chart carefully. You can choose your size (XS, M, L, XL etc) by measuring your waist and hips.
Instead of measuring; however, I’d suggest using the clothing size options (example: 4-6, 8-10 etc). When I used the measurement chart it suggested I order a large, which I did.
I’m usually a medium and likely that size would have been fine. The additional room of the bigger size and adjustable waist, however, made the shorts work for riding with gear and was not confining at all.
The last thing I need on any mountain bike ride is the distraction of clothing that is uncomfortable or doesn’t fit right. With these shorts, I was able to put my focus where it was needed most: on the trail ahead of me.
No Fuss Design Features
One snap for the front closure. One buckle for waistband adjustment. Two zippered pockets. That’s it. The design features are simple and focus on what’s important: the rider.
The adjustable waistband works and holds position without slipping or getting bigger with time. I made the waist wider for riding with my chamois and a tucked-in jersey. Size adjustment was easy and stayed in place throughout the ride.
To add to the simplicity of the shorts, there is a one-snap closure and no front zipper to worry about. This is helpful when you’re out on a ride and need to make a quick pit stop in the woods.
Without trouble, the waist loosens and tightens so you’re not delayed because of fussy zippers or buttons. No finicky front zipper and no buttons means no-fuss on the trails.
Small snacks and car keys fit nicely and will be secure in the front zippered pockets.
But are two pockets really enough? For me, absolutely! The more pockets I have, the more stuff I lug on my ride that I don’t really need.
I usually ride with my backpack anyway. When you wear these shorts, you’ll want to do the same if you are bringing along your tools or a substantial amount of food.
What the Ranger shorts lack in storage space, they make up for in their efficient design, leaving the rider free from the weight and floppiness of carrying heavy objects, like a phone, in our pockets.
This model of shorts only comes in 3 colours: red clay, bark brown and black. If colour is important to you and you want some pop, I’d go with the red.
Easy Care to Wear Again and Again
The Fox Women’s Ranger shorts are made with durable and waterproof material and we want them to stay that way.
Wash in cold, and hang to dry. With these simple care instructions, they are made to last. To keep the fabric from breaking down, and keep the waterproof technology effective, don’t use bleach, and never iron or dry clean.
How we care for our riding gear matters. If these shorts and all your other mountain bike clothing are well treated, you’ll protect their durability and will be riding in them season after season.
Double Duty For Off-Bike Activities
Life is expensive enough without adding the cost of buying separate clothing for each activity we do. That’s why having shorts that function well on the bike is just as important to me as having them look good when I’m off the bike as well. The Fox shorts have enough style for both.
When I’m off the bike without a chamois, I pull the waist strap to fit more snuggly. This is a terrific option to have. The adjustable buckle is easy and stays in place.
The relaxed fit and nylon/spandex blend makes them a comfortable option for wearing throughout the day. The fabric isn’t itchy and I don’t feel like I’m wearing workout clothing all day long.
The length is perfect for going on a hike, playing golf, or just hanging out in my back yard. Even though I wear them on the trails, I don’t feel like I’m showing up in my mountain bike gear to meet friends. The design of these shorts fits many activities and occasions.
When my mountain bike shorts double as my “meeting friends for a drink” outfit, I’m always happy. Why pay twice?
Mountain biking, like other adventure sports, is active. As riders, we’re always moving, shifting, pushing; up and down in the saddle; pedaling up and over roots and rocks; twisting and turning through berms and tight corners. We move with our bikes.
So when we’re choosing our gear we need strong, comfortable clothing that moves with us and won’t wear down after one season.
Fox isn’t a women-specific company, but their Women’s Ranger Mountain Bike shorts are designed specifically for women. I found them to be extremely comfortable and a good fit. I can wear them off the bike, and they do the hard work while I’m on the bike too.
Durability, comfort and a no-fuss design – that’s what you’ll get in the Fox Ranger Mountain Bike shorts for women. It’s as simple as that!
More Stuff You Might Like
- 10 Best Women’s Mountain Bike Shorts
- 9 Best Women’s Cycling Underwear & Chamois To Keep You Comfortable
- 9 Best Women’s Bike Saddles & How To Choose!
About The Reviewer
Jane Gerritsen bought her first mountain bike at age 52 as “retirement prep” and since that time, the mountain bike community has opened up her world to new goals, new adventures and best of all, new friends. She is most grateful for her time at home, where she is learning to renovate her garage, try new recipes, write, and of course, plan her next mountain bike adventure.