Lets just get this out in the open from the beginning. These bike shorts are expensive, and not in most mountain bikers budget. That being said, if you can afford $265 bike shorts, these are the absolute best mountain biking shorts money can buy.
Now that we have addressed the elephant in the room, I’ll explain why I have fallen in love with these shorts, and reach for them any chance I get (on or off the bike). I have been mountain biking for many years and owned 20+ pair of biking shorts. Styles have changed over the years, but there is something to be said about a classic style that can be worn on and off the trail.
The Kitsbow Masterlink (formally the Adjustable Short V4) is one of if not the most expensive stand alone (no chamois included) mountain bike short. In full disclosure we were send the Masterlink short from Kitsbow for our unbiased review.
When you first put the short on you will fumble with the tricky one hand buckle. The you will notice that these shorts feel like no other mountain bike shorts you have ever worn. The stretch material and soft lining complimented by soft breathable pockets make these shorts simply wonderful. They feel durable, yet very comfortable, and breath very well.
Masterlink Bike Short Construction
So how do we get to that price tag!? Kitsbow is know for making premium mountain bike apparel. They source premium materials and construction methods without cutting corners for mass production. There are many stand out details from embrodered logos, soft waist, one handed belt, vented stretch pockets.
It’s worth pointing out that I’ve put these shorts through a good amount of torture from rock climbing, hiking, biking, and a few days at amusement parks and the beach. I’m always disappointed when the material begins to “pill”, especially with soft vented pockets. With many hours and washes, there has been no “pilling”. Swiss Schoeller®-shape fabric provides unmatched fabric toughness with unparalleled feel in the hand and on the leg.
Masterlink Bike Short Fit
As few have commented on Kitsbows website the shorts do run slightly large. I currently weigh about 165lb wear a 31/32ish waist pant and am wearing the size Medium short. The size small was too restrictive, but the Medium offers just the right amount of movement without a lot of added baggy.
Peddling in the Masterlink short was really comfortable. The soft fabric glides over a chamois. They also fit well over knee pads.
It’s hard to say “These are the best shorts I’ve ever ridden”, but the Kitsbow Masterlink are my new favorite riding shorts because they are extremely comfortable, stretchy, and just baggy enough. The fabric is like super soft yet holds up to mud, trees and a few tumbles. They are an extremely expensive short, and don’t include a liner or pad, if you are looking for the best, this is it.
The zipper pockets, fancy belt, comfort(yes, they really are that comfortable) make these a really great option for bike commuting, on the trail or out on the town.
The only complaint I have is that the shorts hold a wrinkle when stuffed in a riding bag. After riding in them for a short time the wrinkles disappear. Other than the wrinkles, these will be my go to shorts for the next few years.
Price: $265 USD
Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL (waist fits true to size)
Colors: Charcoal Grey, Ultra Navy, Black Olive