POLARIS CHALLENGE NEXUS RIDE SHORT MEN'S 190g (Med) £65.99
Polaris Challenge Nexus Ride Men's Shorts are the classic six panel Lycra staple reworked with some small but extremely practical touches. The challenge range is aimed at longer haul, epic riders and goes back to the brand's own endurance event from some 25 years back. However, the Nexus are definitely bang up to date.
The main fabric is a polyamide/elastane mix. Look carefully and you’ll notice a mesh pocket on the left leg.
This is also made from a stretchy polyester/elastane blend and apparently designed to store energy bars/other small snacks securely, and within easy reach. Around the back, just below their waistline sits a little zippered cubby hole for valuables-think notes and small change, key for a lock etc.
Talking of elastics, Polaris has got these sussed too. The waist band is snug but doesn’t encroach like some can. Generous silicone leg grippers and flat seams continue the tactile but tenacious theme, preventing uncomfortable gathering and that unsightly tell-tale branding when you’ve stripped off for a shower. Sizing is also accurate, our medium were perfect for my 32 inch waist, 33.5 inch inseam.
Inserts are by definition, one of the most personal components. I find most are basically compatible with my own contours, especially at this end of the market.
Polaris has shunned pressure relieving gels in favour of a gender specific medium density Italian TMF pad. This is subtle, though thoughtfully engineered, incorporating a mix of shock absorbing memory foam topped off with polyester surface.
These keep the crotch region cool, while a silver antibacterial wards of whiffs and infection. This doesn’t draw unwelcome/awkward attention to the crotch area when off the bike. I’ve had no hint of discomfort, let alone sores or blistering in the past five hundred miles, riding a variety of machines, not to mention saddles.
Eight panel designs may still have a slight edge when it comes to stretch and comfort. In real terms, the difference has been negligible, whether I’ve been thrashing along on my fixed gear TT bike at 125rpm for 20 miles, or 70 mile day rides.
I was initially sceptical of the mesh thigh pocket but, even when brimming with energy bars and my jailer's bunch of keys, it’s never prompted the wrong sort of glances, or ejected cargo mortar-style across poorly surfaced dirt/roads. Coins and other valuables in the rear pocket didn’t intrude either, which isn’t always the case with this breed.
Colour coordination isn’t usually top of the list when complimenting endurance clothing. However, I’m pleased to report the navy blue; orange and yellow banding not only compliments other challenge garments but coordinated surprisingly well with other jerseys too.
A good dousing from the weather and they're pretty much dry in twenty minutes, with similar line-dry time.
Four weeks, five hundred miles in, there’s scant sign of wear despite being frequently mauled by brambles and other prickly foliage, when weaving through green lane and singletrack.
Summing up, surprisingly sophisticated store branded shorts can be had for £30 these days and would be my choice for everyday riding. However, I’ve found the Polaris challenge nexus ride shorts hard to fault for long haul riding-road or otherwise.