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Vitalmtb.com pulled on the Race Face Ambush shorts and jersey from the latest softgoods range and put it to the test to see how it performs. Check out the review here

Initial Impressions,/b>

Clearly designed by people who ride bikes, both the jersey and shorts just felt 'right' as soon as I put them on. Not too tight, not too baggy, just long enough at the knees, and with enough built in features to be different from just another piece of mountain bike clothing. My only real concerns were with the position of the pockets on the shorts and the loose fit cuff on the 3/4 length sleeves. It's not that there was anything immediately wrong with either of them walking around my house, but it's on the trail where flapping sleeves and awkward pocket design can be a real deal breaker.

On The Trail

Fit and cut of both the jersey and shorts are spot on both while riding and casually hanging out before and after a ride. My initial concern with the baggy sleeves flapping around on my arms was all for nothing as I never noticed the lack of an elastic cuff when riding. In fact it probably helped keep my arms a bit cooler on days when a short sleeved jersey might have been a better choice. If you ride with elbow pads you should have no problem fitting them as there is more than enough room in the cut of the sleeves. A feature I overlooked at first but really came to appreciate while covering the Enduro World Series is the built in goggle wipe along the lower seam. I never actually used it on goggles or sunglasses, but it did an exceptionally fine job cleaning off my camera lenses even after heavy and repeated use. This small feature alone has made the Ambush jersey my go-to choice for photo missions.

The Ambush shorts are packed with small features that are often overlooked. Belt loops in addition to Velcro waist band adjustment tabs were an appreciated addition, as were thigh vents that actually worked. But it's the design of the pockets that really stood out. Like most people these days I ride with a phone in my pocket, and there are few things more annoying than having it flap around and smack my leg with every pedal stroke. I was initially sceptical because the rearward placement of the main zippered pockets meant anything stored in them would be hanging under my leg when riding. In real life I never had any issues because the cut of the pockets is quite slim. I've filled them with phones, tools, tubes, keys, lens caps, and stale media room sandwiches and never once was I bothered by the contents of my pockets while riding. Full length zippers assured that nothing fell out either.

The cut and comfort of the Ambush shorts had me reaching for them almost every ride. And their dirt-shedding and fast-drying characteristics had me reaching for them on hot days shooting World Cup DH racing as well. In 2 months on the road in Europe these have easily been the single most worn piece of clothing in my bag.

Things That Could Be Improved

On the jersey I go back and forth with the loose fitting 3/4 length sleeves. While I never found them annoying I'm not entirely sure I understand the reasoning behind them either. Not really something that needs improving per se, but it's a design characteristic worth noting. Race Face points out that the 3/4 sleeve garments are part of their DH style, with ample room for body armour as one of the factors considered in the design, although they concede that the same result might be actually already have been achieved when they chose the fabric - which is quite stretchy.

The internal waist adjustment on the shorts, though a good idea in theory, lasted only a few rides and a couple washes before being totally useless as the hook-and-loop patches quickly lost all their grip. This is where I really appreciated the addition of belt loops so I could keep wearing what has otherwise become my favourite pair of riding shorts.

Long Term Durability

Other than the waist adjustment I have had no durability issues whatsoever. Just recently the Race Face logo on the side of the shorts has peeled off but that is likely my own fault for wearing them while shooting photos rolling around on the ground. Truthfully, I've probably given these shorts more abuse than any I've ever owned and they've stood up to everything.

What's The Bottom Line?

Technical details combined with subtle colours and graphics make the Ambush jersey and shorts a smart choice for anyone looking for gear they can wear both on and off the trail without calling too much attention themselves. Well fitting, sturdy, and highly functional the shorts make a great choice for racers and trail riders alike. Velcro issues aside, these are among the best shorts I've ever owned.

Read the full review over on vitalmtb.com here

Silverfish UK Ltd. Units 3a-3c Woodacre Court, Saltash Parkway Industrial Estate, Burraton Road, Saltash, Cornwall, United Kingdom, PL12 6LY
Silverfish UK Ltd. (Registration No. 4075057).

Technical specifications are for guidance only and cannot be guaranteed accurate. All offers are subject to availability and while stocks last. Errors and omissions excepted. Silverfish UK Limited acts as a credit intermediary and only offers credit products for Close Brothers Retail Finance. Its registered office is: Close Brothers Group plc, 10 Crown Place, London EC2A 4FT. Credit is subject to application and status.

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