Breathable, stretchy, lightweight impact shorts with high density shock absorbent EVA padding.
Originally specialising in motorbike protection, over the last decade, IXS has grown to offer a full range of protection for mountain bikers. The products I’ve tested have performed well, and they are one of the few companies to offer women’s specific impact protection. That said, a quick glance at their website reveals no women on their roster of athletes at the moment; let’s get that changed!
The rather unfortunately named ‘Skid Pants Evo-I Lady’ from IXS are a super comfortable pair of shorts designed to be worn under your regular mountain bike attire to give you hip and coccyx protection in the event of a crash.
The pants are made of a very lightweight material called Aeromesh that offers plenty of ventilation and stretch thanks to its honeycomb structure. The fabric is treated with an antibacterial that in theory prevents skin irritations and body odours. Personally I just preferred to wash them so I was unable to test this feature!
The fabric felt very soft, cool and comfortable on the skin, even with an extra pair of shorts over the top, and the pads themselves are pleasantly slim so you feel neither restricted, nor enormous. Multiple panels ensured a good fit.
The waist and legs bands are adequate and do the job – elasticated webbing ensures the pants stay put. Though the pants fitted nicely around my hips and waist, I found the leg cuff slightly narrow for my thighs and they dug in a bit.
The Skid Pants that I road tested were labeled size 40, which according to most European conversion tables equates to a UK size 12, but I’m a size eight to ten and these pants were snug. I was also sent a pair of IXS Jasper shorts in size 40 – these were so enormous that they wouldn’t stay up, so take care when ordering as sizing across the range seems a little off.
The pants are equipped with high density, shock absorbent EVA padding around the hips and coccyx and therefore offer some protection should you take a tumble. I found the padding itself very comfortable as it was so slim and felt really soft and flexible. The padding is also ventilated which makes a real difference in the summer – some padded shorts can be terribly hot.
I prefer to ride in undershorts that offer some padding under the seat area, and these don’t, however you can get the same model with the added comfort of a seat pad.
The Skid Pants performed well as comfortable, lightweight protection over the summer. They don’t offer the most protection for a full-on, heavy duty crash but work well to absorb the odd tumble and feel pleasant to wear.
– Lightweight and comfortable to wear
– Perform well in hot weather
– Sizing is little off.
What IXS say about the Skid Pants Evo-I lady impact shorts;
Inner pants without cycling pad. “NockOutTM” shock absorbant padding at all vital zones. “VentMeshTM” high ventilation. Lady cut. Ergonomic cut.