Fox's World Cup racer's choice, the Flexair Race Pants are functional and fast, but come at a high price
Fox has a bewildering array of riding pants in its line-up, but these Flexair Race pants are the ones worn by all of the World Cup shredders, which probably explains why they’re so popular with gravity riders. This says a lot, given the competition for the best mountain bike trousers. Just ignore the colourway shown here, as the latest versions come in either Black/Citadel Blue, or Black/Day glo orange.
The fabric is a polyester/nylon with 7% elastane and a four-way stretch, although other pants here have more give. The cut is one of the most tailored and fitted on test, giving a streamlined, aero, look. Inside, the fabric is soft and brushed, so it feels good next to bare skin, and on the outside it’s shiny; almost slippery against the saddle. A DWR coating beads water off the fabric in wet conditions, but we found that the TruDri material didn’t breathe as well as some rivals in hot conditions.
Fox has cut the waist low at the front and high at the back, which feels a bit weird when you pull them on, but completely natural when riding around. With some of the tightest cuffs on test, the Flexairs are quite difficult to take off. At 311g they’re pretty light, helped by the lack of a fly or waist adjusters, even if the the reliable MX-style ratchet closure gives some level of regulation. Two zipped hip pockets are decently sized, but the tight nature of the pants means that a phone tends to bulge out from your thigh, making it more noticeable when riding.
Functionally the Fox Flexair Race pants are good, and definitely make you look and feel racy. But that speed and style comes at a premium, and at £160 they are among the most expensive pants we’ve tested, which has a bearing on the rating.
Functional performance that comes at a high price. The Flexair Race pants are chosen by World Cup riders for a reason, but for the average rider £160 might be too much to ask.