Two inches longer in the leg and a wider fit would have the 100% Celium short rocket up the rankings. But as it stands it’s expensive and oddly-sized.
The new 100% Celium short has the feel of many of the best mountain bike shorts – the four-way stretch material is made from nylon and elastane, letting it move easily with you on the bike, and there are taped seams to ensure a perfectly flush finish inside. It’s an extremely comfortable short, and really breathable especially in warm conditions. The zippered pockets also hold a phone securely and snug against your thigh so it doesn’t bounce around annoyingly on the descents.
But the DWR coating didn’t prove very effective in our water spray test, with the water pooling quickly and ultimately being absorbed by the fabric.
The Celium uses a BOA fit system – there’s no zip and no button or popper. Simply engage the BOA dial and twiddle it to the appropriate tightness. It does provide a very neat and precise way of holding your shorts up, because there’s no need for additional Velcro tabs to fine tune the fit, and it also means there are no pressure points or areas of bunched material around the waist. It also contributes to the high price.
However, the Celiums were so snug we could have worn them with the BOA dial fully open. We’re not convinced 100% has the sizing and fit right, as the Celium is too short in the leg and leaves an ugly pad gap. We took to wearing it without kneepads, effectively demoting the whole garment to casual rides or family bimbles as a result.