Troy Lee Designs Moto Shorts

Vital Rating: (Outstanding)
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2018 TLD Moto Shorts Red
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Tested: 2018 Troy Lee Designs Moto Short

Lighter and more breathable, the new Moto short picks up right where the old one left off while adding extra versatility to the mix as well.

Rating: Vital Review
Tested: 2018 Troy Lee Designs Moto Short

The Moto short from Troy Lee Designs has been a staple on the gravity scene for over ten years now, so it was high time for a facelift. Sporting all-new construction and features, the 2018 version looks set to pick up right where its predecessor left off, but with extra versatility added to the mix as well. Now that bike park season is finally upon us again, this might be just the ticket for all you gravity fiends out there - and for anybody who enjoys a good day out in the woods building trails and shredding bikes.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Good cut
  • Strong fabrics
  • Improved ventilation
  • Lots of storage
  • Easy to wash
  • Quick drying
  • Light weight for such a sturdy short
  • Waist adjusters are a bit flimsy
  • Liner not included

TLD Moto Short Highlights

  • 96% nylon/4% spandex construction with

The Moto short from Troy Lee Designs has been a staple on the gravity scene for over ten years now, so it was high time for a facelift. Sporting all-new construction and features, the 2018 version looks set to pick up right where its predecessor left off, but with extra versatility added to the mix as well. Now that bike park season is finally upon us again, this might be just the ticket for all you gravity fiends out there - and for anybody who enjoys a good day out in the woods building trails and shredding bikes.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Good cut
  • Strong fabrics
  • Improved ventilation
  • Lots of storage
  • Easy to wash
  • Quick drying
  • Light weight for such a sturdy short
  • Waist adjusters are a bit flimsy
  • Liner not included

TLD Moto Short Highlights

  • 96% nylon/4% spandex construction with water resistant polyurethane coating
  • Reinforced material covering saddle area for improved durability
  • Loose, relaxed fit, long legs
  • Laser perforated panels in crotch and throughout upper section of shorts in sweat zones
  • Soft waffle mesh at lower back for comfort and ventilation
  • Multiple zippered pockets including left- and right-side cargo pockets, as well as pockets on the left, right and rear of waistband
  • Side waist adjusters
  • Single low-profile snap button enclosure with Velcro backing and zipper fly
  • Styling accents include reflective TLD badge logo on lower left leg and large tone-on-tone TLD signature logo on rear right leg
  • MSRP: $119.00

Initial Impressions

The previous version of the Moto short was completely unapologetic about its bulkiness, but much like modern mountain bikes are becoming ever more capable while slimming down their profile and shedding weight, so too must apparel evolve. Not even the hardiest park rats want to drag around a hot and heavy short anymore, but of course, they still expect their clothes to last a season or two despite the odd encounter with mother nature’s more abrasive side. Enter the Moto 2.0.

Pulling the new short from the bag, its hard-hitting, no-nonsense approach is immediately evident, but so is the reduced weight compared to the old version. The main body is made from a heavy-duty nylon shell with just enough spandex mixed in to make it a bit stretchy. There is a breathable, laser-perforated zone in the crotch area, and a large elastic yoke in the rear to ensure the short can follow your every move while keeping your builder’s bum away from any innocent bystanders. There is also a large breathable mesh panel at the top of the rear waistband to further improve comfort and ventilation. The waist features a zippered fly with a snap closure and there are adjustable Velcro straps on either side.

In terms of storage, the Moto delivers more than enough options to make sure you can carry all the essentials for a day on the lift. There are five zippered pockets in total, two large cargo pockets down the thigh, two on the hips, and one smaller pocket on the rear of the waistband. The cargo pockets feature weather-sealed zippers, and although the pockets are not waterproof per se the main body fabric of the short features a water-resistant polyurethane coating to help keep humidity out even during brief downpours. Zipper garages on the cargo pockets is a nice touch. The overall look and feel of the Moto is subdued, even the large logo running down one leg keeps it subtle with a tone-on-tone theme. There are four different colorways to choose from to ensure you can find a match for the rest of your outfit.

On The Trail

Pulling the new Moto short on for the first time revealed a comfortable fit and a cut that has been much improved. The short is still long overall, but the crotch area has been tightened up a bit and the general bagginess of the short is kept in check. It’s still big and wide enough to accommodate body armor and bulky kneepads, but it does so without feeling unnecessarily flappy. The fabric is also slightly more pliable compared to the old version, which leaves it following the body’s contours more easily.

The Moto runs true to size, perhaps a tiny bit on the big side – we ended up having to dial things in with the waist adjusters (nothing a good burger won’t set straight). The adjusters are small and unobtrusive, and they do a good enough job of keeping the short up when you get rowdy although they can feel a bit “flimsy” in operation. Other than that, the cut is spot on. We especially appreciate being able to move around on the bike without snagging the saddle, so bonus points to TLD for getting this part right.

The new Moto breathes a whole lot better than the previous generation, but it still feels every bit as sturdy and dependable.

The extra breathability and generally lighter weight construction made themselves known on the first really hot days of the year. The new Moto breathes a whole lot better than the previous generation, but it still feels every bit as sturdy and dependable. The heavy fabric still makes a bit of a “swooshing” noise against the kneepads, but not to the point of being a nuisance. The lighter, perforated fabrics sit away from harm in areas where they can add airflow without being exposed much in the case of a fall. All in all, the new short feels just about as reliable as the old one, without being nearly as restrictive.

Things That Could Be Improved

We have very few complaints with the new Moto short. To nitpick, the waist adjusters feel almost a bit too light, and because the Velcro doesn’t reach the very end of the straps, they end up sticking out a bit. In reality, this seems to have little bearing on the functionality, as the grip is secure and we have not had them work themselves loose at all. In terms of pricing, the Moto lands at an acceptable price point given the features.

Long Term Durability

This is only a First Ride type of review, so we won’t be able to offer any real insights regarding long term durability. What we have seen of the new Moto short so far inspires confidence, but we’ll keep an eye on things over the course of the season and we’ll come back to update this article if any issues should arise.

What’s The Bottom Line?

The Moto short owes its name to being among the first moto inspired MTB shorts developed specifically for gravity riding, way back when. The 2018 version carries on that proud legacy of rugged dependability, but in a much more modern and up to date package. Lighter and more breathable, the 2018 Moto still loves lapping the bike park but it will now feel at home during long days out in the woods with your buddies too. Even the styling has finally landed resolutely on the MTB side of the equation, which only seems fitting.

More information at: www.troyleedesigns.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 45 // Years Riding MTB: 13 // Weight: 190-pounds (86kg) // 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 Troy Lee Designs Moto Shorts
Riding Type Dirt Jump / Slopestyle, Downhill, Freeride / Bike Park, Trail
Rider Unisex
Shorts Type Shorts
Material 96% nylon, 4% spandex construction with water resistant polyurethane coating
Pockets Multiple zippered pockets including left- and right-side cargo pockets, as well as pockets on the left, right and rear of waistban
Vents Laser perforated panels in crotch and throughout upper section of shorts in sweat zones for cooling airflow
Size 30-40
Colors Army Green, Black, Gray, Red
Miscellaneous 2018 Model
Reinforced material covering saddle area for improved durability
Overhauled design still retains the loose, relaxed fit and longer length of its popular predecessor
Soft waffle mesh at lower back for comfort and ventilation
New side waist adjusters fold toward the rear, discreetly concealing side waist pockets
Single low-profile snap button enclosure with Velcro backing and zipper fly
Understated styling accents include reflective TLD badge logo on lower left leg and large tone-on-tone TLD signature logo on rear right leg
Price $119
More Info

Troy Lee Designs website

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