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Fly Racing Super D Short (discontinued)

Vital Rating: (Outstanding)
Fly Racing Super D Short (black/grey)
 Fly Racing Super D Short  Fly Racing Super D Short  Fly Racing Super D Short
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Tested: Fly Racing Super D Short and Ripa Convert Jersey

Rating: Vital Review

by Nick Zuzelski

If you are into motocross, then you know Fly Racing is a staple on the apparel and gear front on the track. Fly has recently entered the MTB market, bringing their knowledge and experience to the pedal-heads, and they have brought a plethora of new products to the table, including the Super D shorts and Ripa Convert jersey put to the test here. How did they manage the crossover?


Ripa Convert Jersey Highlights

  • Convertible 3/4 sleeve arms w/ cut line under cuff
  • Mesh panels in the upper back and lower arms to help improve air flow
  • Drop tail for coverage and raglan sleeve cut for comfort while riding
  • Sublimated graphics
  • MSRP: $44.95 USD

Super D Short Highlights

  • Poly stretch construction, with reinforced 600d back panel for extra protection
  • Length cut for DH and All Mountain riding.
  • FLY RACING patented 2-D Buckle System, with TPR insert for waist adjustability
  • Quick snap front closure
  • Two zippered front hand pockets, one rear zippered pocket and one side leg pocket
  • Zipper pulls on front pockets for easy access
  • Internal loops for attaching liner/chamois (not supplied)
  • Belt loops
  • Screen printed graphics
  • MSRP: $99.95 USD

Initial Impressions

Our gear showed up in a loud black/hi-viz color combo, the kit looked fast already on the hangers. The initial test fit of the shorts and jersey showed them to be spot on. Using Fly's adjustable 2-D buckle system, I was able to dial in the perfect fit around the waist. The buckle system is located on the left hip, and has turned out to be a set and forget system - no Velcro to wear out, have come undone and leave you with annoyingly saggy shorts.


Fly has also added belt loops if you decide to hold up your shorts that way. The waist itself is secured with two large button snaps above the zippered fly that offer a very secure and snug closure. The overall cut of the short is on the slightly longer side, which sat well with me as I am taller and can use the slightly longer inseam when I can get it.


Using Poly stretch material, Fly has produced an extremely comfortable short that might be the best mix of breathability, lightness, and protection I have ever come across - thin and light enough for the hot trail rides and burly enough for the DH days. The material used for most areas of the short is slightly stretchy, and can be felt flexing when you need that extra movement. Four zippered pockets provide you with plenty of options for carrying items while riding and chilling, a nice option as I find myself leaving the riding pack in the truck more and more often these days.


The Ripa Convert jersey keeps things ventilated with a mesh panel in the upper part of the back. It is also designed with lower sleeves that can be cut off if desired to give a 3/4 sleeve option. I am a huge fan of 3/4 jerseys and after trying on the jersey on I immediately had plans to cut off the lower sleeve portion. There is a hemmed cuff located at the mid forearm that the additional mesh sleeve material attaches to and Fly even prints a "cut here line" to make it idiotproof. Cut it I did.


On The Trail

Just like in the livingroom, the Super D shorts and Ripa Convert jersey offered a great cut and fit while on the bike. After removing the lower forearm mesh material from the jersey (which looked and felt awkward right off the bat) the sleeves fall at a comfortable length on the forearm, offering some protection for the elbows if you go down. Sufficient room is also available in the sleeves if you opt to run elbow pads. The vented upper back panel breathes reasonably well, and it was pretty effective on rides without a pack or during DH laps.


The longer DH/all mountain fit of the short worked well while riding both with and without knee pads. Riders looking for a pair of shorts that fit above the knee caps should probably search elsewhere, but if you want that looser and longer fit, you are definitely in luck here. I never experienced any issues with rubbing/binding on the knees on any of my more pedally trail rides.

After owning a few shorts from other manufacturers that fell extremely short on pocket placement and design, I really appreciate the Super D's pocket layout. If you ride with a phone and/or multi-tool, the front two pockets are perfect locations for those items since they are fully zippered, large and located over a spot on the thigh that doesn't cause binding or smash the pocket's contents into your leg. The rear pocket is nice for your wallet if you are wearing the short during race registrations, travel to and from the trails and/or just chilling after riding.

Things That Could Be Improved

While Fly has included chamois attachment loops to integrate with their liner in the Super D short (who ever hooks in their chamois into their riding shorts anyway?), no liner is actually provided. It would be nice to have a pair included, as is often the case with shorts in this price category

The Ripa Convert's removable lower sleeve material seems like a needless option for a biking jersey. While there might be riders out there opting to keep the lower sleeve, the fit and cuff opening of the lower portion was quite large and awkward looking. No problem for me, a pair of scissors fixed this issue quickly and I was at 3/4 status and happy.

Long Term Durability

Both the Super D short and Ripa Convert jersey have been holding up just fine. After countless rides and wash cycles, they look no worse for wear and show no signs of giving up the ghost. All seams are intact and all zippers, buttons and pockets are as good as new. Unlike some other riding shorts I've owned, Fly's adjustable waist 2-D buckle continues to give me a good snug waist fit for the all the riding I can throw at them. This kit will be around for a while!

What's the Bottom Line?

Fly isn't just for the motocross track anymore. Applying their many years of experience of making gear for the moto crowd, us mountain bikers can now reap the benefits of well designed and thought out product on the singletrack. The Super D short and Ripa Convert jersey is now one of my favorite and most comfortable riding outfits. If you are in the market for fresh looking kit that performs and holds up to seasons of riding, give it a look too!

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About The Reviewer

Nick Zuzelski began riding motocross at a young age, a sport that would eventually lead him to the world of downhill. As a Colorado native, racing downhill, dual slalom, or a chill dirt jump session was never far away, and he eventually worked his way up the ranks to the Pro level. Now residing in Eastern Pennsylvania, he recently changed it up from the Rocky Mountain dust to East Coast loam, world class dirt jumps, and rocks... lots of rocks. If a trail has fast flow and some fun gaps, he is grinning ear to ear and getting after it. Living by the assumption that basically everything feels better with a short stem and wide bars, you can count on him keeping it real with a laid back attitude and flat pedals most of the time. Mechanical Engineer by trade, rider by heart, he enjoys riding it, finding out how it works, and making it better.


Product Fly Racing Super D Short
Riding Type Trail, Freeride / Bike Park, Downhill
Rider Unisex
Shorts Type Shorts
Material Poly Stretch Construction, Reinforced 600d Back Panel, 2-D Buckle System, TPR Insert for Waist Adjustability
Pockets Two Zippered Front Hand Pockets, One Rear Zippered Pocket, and One Side Leg Pocket
Vents None
Size 28-38
Colors Black/Grey, Black/Hi-Viz, Black/Red
Miscellaneous Does Not Include Liner with Chamois
Price $99.95
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