We’ve practically lived in them for six months
MBR Editor’s Choice 2019: Fox Flexair pant, £85
This is the last year’s Indicator pant renamed – everything else from the four-way stretch fabric to the zip pockets remains the same. While not a full waterproof winter trouser, there’s a durable water repellent coating that shrugs off damp days cursed with constant drizzle and frequent splashing. The tapered fit keeps it tangle-free, while the stretch fabric gives you plenty of freedom to move around the bike. And even though riding pants are the hot ticket right now, the Flexair remains breathable enough to keep you comfortable as well as stylish.
Fox Indicator Pant review
Fox Indicator Pant is a lightweight and breathable everyday trouser. Highly breathable and comfortable, so much so it’s wearable it in multiple conditions.
Mountain bike clothing is as influenced by fashion as any other sartorial seam, and this year’s must-have is the trouser, or pant if you’re anything other than English. The Indicator is neither waterproof nor especially warming — try their Attack Water Pants or Attack Fire Softshell Pants respectively for that.
Made from 4-way stretch fabric, the Indicator has an elasticated waistband but there’s no bunching of the material like you get with the also excellent Endura MT500 pant. Instead there’s a Y fold at the front to take up any excess material and this makes for what is a more comfortable fit. The two side pockets are zipped closed but there’s no zip closure on the fly, it’s unnecessary because of that Y fold. Instead you tighten the waistband to your body with a ratchet closure. There are little laser-cut vent holes at the tops of the legs on the front, elasticated cuffs and fitted legs to prevent any danger of snagging on the bike, and the whole ensemble is DWR coated to make them splashproof.
After a winter’s hard use — I’ve practically lived in them for six months — the Indicator is in great nick, without a rent, loose thread or snag to its name. I’ve crashed hard twice in it and been surprised to find the fabric undamaged, despite its super thin construction. It’s also kept its shape and not succumbed to the baggy seat or stretched leg look so many pants suffer from after months of hard riding and washing. The Indicator also holds its shape in sloppy mud, the weight of which can drag the legs and cuffs of some trousers lower, transforming them into bell bottoms.
The short has always been my default clothing choice for its freedom of movement and breathability, but the Indicator will be taking its place in all but warm conditions or rinsed out riding. They breathe supremely well, without a hint of clammy stickiness, the material is stretchy enough to go unnoticed, and the DWR waterproofing ample for anything but wet conditions. My only nitpicky complaint is that the elasticised cuff is too tight to slip kneepads under so if you’re driving a fair way to the trails you need to remember to don them before the trousers.