Fox Racing Indicator Pants

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First Ride: Fox Racing Indicator Pants

Lightweight, breathable and comfortable enough for all-day pedaling, Fox Racing's new Indicator is here to put pants back on the enduro and trail riding map.

Rating: Vital Review
First Ride: Fox Racing Indicator Pants

Pants are for downhillers and those who only ride park, right? Wrong, says Fox Racing, and they’ve designed the all-new Indicator pants to help prove their point. Instead of super heavy duty ripstop ballistic nylon, the Indicator is made with lightweight, four-way stretch fabrics, and instead of the baggy cuts of days gone by, these are rather more form-hugging and all the more functional for it. Excited at the prospect of a little extra leg protection while still being able to pedal around, we’ve had the Indicator out for a handful of rides so far and we’re here to give you our first impressions.

Fox Racing Indicator Pants Highlights

  • TruMotion 4-way stretch fabric
  • Soft Y-fold elastic waistband for a flat profile and added comfort against the skin
  • Laser cut low profile zipper pockets

Pants are for downhillers and those who only ride park, right? Wrong, says Fox Racing, and they’ve designed the all-new Indicator pants to help prove their point. Instead of super heavy duty ripstop ballistic nylon, the Indicator is made with lightweight, four-way stretch fabrics, and instead of the baggy cuts of days gone by, these are rather more form-hugging and all the more functional for it. Excited at the prospect of a little extra leg protection while still being able to pedal around, we’ve had the Indicator out for a handful of rides so far and we’re here to give you our first impressions.

Fox Racing Indicator Pants Highlights

  • TruMotion 4-way stretch fabric
  • Soft Y-fold elastic waistband for a flat profile and added comfort against the skin
  • Laser cut low profile zipper pockets
  • Ratchet adjustment closure system
  • Rider Attack Position (RAP) for a precise fit on the bike
  • Slim taper fit to reduce wind flap and chain snags
  • C6 DWR treated
  • MSRP: $139.95 USD

Initial Impressions

We’ve been very impressed by the quality on display from Fox Racing for the past couple of seasons, so it came as no surprise to be met by more of the same when we pulled the new Indicator pants from their packaging. Lightweight yet seemingly quite sturdy, the Indicator is made from two different kinds of fabric. The top part features a cotton/nylon/elastane mix, while the lower part of the leg is just nylon and elastane. Both fabrics can be stretch in any direction, and for extra ventilation, there are laser cut holes around the crotch area. The pants have been treated with DWR to repel moisture and light rain, but this is not a rain-specific product (check out the new Attack Water pantsif that is what you need).

The cut of the Indicator is on the slim side, which is especially notable around the lower part of the leg. There’s a large elastic cuff to help really secure the hem and prevent the pants from riding up the leg, and there is also a large elastic waistband to make sure they stay up as you exert yourself. A ratchet-style buckle provides plenty of adjustability, while a couple of fairly bright screen print graphics patches lighten up the overall dark grey look.

For storage, the Indicator offers two fairly generous zippered pockets, each adorned with a small “zipper garage” to help keep the pull tab from flapping around needlessly. Neither pocket is weather or moisture-proof. The Indicator pants do not feature a liner of any kind.

On The Trail

Fox makes a big deal out of their “RAP” or “Rider Attack Position” cuts, and while the acronym may make us sniggle a bit, there is no denying that the concept works. There are real benefits to be unlocked by tailoring a clothing item to function best when the rider is actually on the bike, and this is particularly crucial when it comes to shorts and pants. Nothing worse than pants that bunch up when you pedal, or snag your saddle when you hit a drop. Fox has made sure none of that is ever going to a problem with the Indicator pants (to make extra sure, you can take a page out of the World Cup DHers’ book and run a size too small to get that all-important aero boost while still technically not risking a ban due to a skinsuit ban infraction…isn’t that right Loic and Loris… #tightpantsclub).

The overall fit of the Indicator pants is on the slim side, but they run true to size (this tester is 6’0”, 32.5” inseam, 36” waist, and Fox’s size 34/L is perfect). They hug the lower leg fairly closely to make sure the hems will never get caught in your drivetrain, but they are not tight against the skin. Similarly, they sit fairly close to the crotch area to avoid getting in the way as you move around on the bike, but they are never restrictive in any way. The elastic nature of the fabric helps the pants to keep up with all your acrobatics, while the laser cut holes help provide a little extra ventilation for those hotter days. The ratchet buckle works well and provides plenty of adjustability.

Of course, when it comes to heading back down the hill, there’s just something about riding in pants that makes you feel a little extra gnarly, and that extra bit of protection when the rocks start flying or the thorns are out to get you is always a plus.

Unless you’re going full goon, you’ll be wearing your knee protection under your pants. Once again, the cut of the Indicator pants delivers. We’ve tested them with both smaller, minimalist knee guards as well as full-fledged protectors, and there is plenty of room to run either. We were most surprised to discover that the pants still pedal extremely well even with bulky kneepads underneath them, helped once again by the elastic fabrics but also the consideration given to the cut. In fact, pedaling with the Indicator feels pretty much like pedaling in shorts, and they are also very quiet in action which is something that cannot be said about all pants out there. Of course, when it comes to heading back down the hill, there’s just something about riding in pants that makes you feel a little extra gnarly, and that extra bit of protection when the rocks start flying or the thorns are out to get you is always a plus.

We’ve been able to test the Indicator during some very warm days, and we’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well they deal with sweating. We thought they might get a bit clammy inside, but that has not been the case. Of course, you do feel extra heat buildup around the lower leg, especially if you are used to riding in shorts, but nothing at all like riding in heavy duty DH pants. The cotton mixed into the top part of the pants breathes well and is comfortable on the skin even when it’s very warm outside.

Things That Could Be Improved

It would make a lot of sense to make at least one of the pockets waterproof, to keep your phone safe not just from sudden downpours but also from your sweat. As it stands, the mesh pockets provide little in terms of protection.

Long Term Durability

This is only a First Ride kind of review, so we will hold off final judgement on durability until we’ve put some more miles in. We will say that the Indicator is not meant to take the place of your favorite DH pants, trading off bulletproof protection for extra comfort and breathability instead. However, the fabrics used are far from flimsy and the construction seems top notch, so we have high hopes when it comes to longevity. In particular, we’ve already tested the resistance to branches and thorns, and we’re pleased to report that so far the Indicator is doing its job and not looking much worse for wear. The laser cut ventilation holes are starting to fray a little around the edges, which we think is due to the cotton content in the fabric used here. It does not seem to cause the fabric to rip, so it’s probably more of a cosmetic issue. We will keep an eye on it and report back with future findings. 

What’s The Bottom Line?

The Fox Racing Indicator pants were built for enduro and trail riding, and they might have you rethink what riding in pants can do for you. If you’re looking for a little extra protection against cuts, scrapes, or poisonous plants, without the extra bulk of full downhill pants, the Indicator is just what the doctor ordered. The light weight and MTB-specific cut help them make themselves forgotten in action, and the breathable fabrics let you keep your cool as the mercury rises. There is just something about riding in pants… 

More information at: www.foxracing.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 45 // Years Riding MTB: 13 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by Nils Hjord and Johan Hjord

Specifications

Product Fox Racing Indicator Pants
Riding Type Dirt Jump / Slopestyle, Downhill, Enduro / All-Mountain, Freeride / Bike Park, Trail
Rider Unisex
Material TruMotion 4-way stretch fabric
Pockets 2 zipped
Vents Laser cut holes
Size 28-40
Colors Black
Price $139.95
Miscellaneous TruMotion 4-way stretch fabric for unrestricted movement
Soft Y-fold elastic waistband for a flat profile and added comfort against the skin
Laser cut low profile zipper pockets
Ratchet adjustment closure system
Rider Attack Position (RAP) for a precise fit on the bike
Slim taper fit to reduce wind flap and chain snags
C6 DWR treated
More Info

​www.foxracing.com

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