Flylow Gear Eleanor Shorts Review
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Flylow Gear Eleanor Shorts
|Price||$35.83 at REI|
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|$110 List||$24.96 at Backcountry|
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|$15.95 at Backcountry|
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|$29.99 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Long inseam, durable, zippered pockets, lightweight||Great fit, smart waist adjustment, usable pockets, lightweight, comfortable||Lightweight, comfortable, large functional pockets||Durable material, 13-inch inseam works well with kneepads, comfortable||Lightweight, breathable, many pockets, affordable|
|Cons||Sizing runs a bit large, unflattering waist adjustment system, not the best pockets||Not waterproof, slim fit may not work for all riders||Plain style, might be too long for some riders||Not the most breathable, a little heavy||Not water resistant, runs large, velcro waist adjusters|
|Bottom Line||A very protective short that works well with knee pads for more technical rides||Really comfortable and lightweight shorts that fit well, have great pockets, and look good on and off the bike||A comfortable and functional pair of shorts with useful pockets and a long enough inseam to work well with knee pads||For all day, big rides in technical terrain the Airmatic is protective, comfortable, and durable||A very functional pair of mountain bike shorts that are lightweight and super affordable|
|Rating Categories||Flylow Gear Eleanor...||Specialized Trail C...||Yeti Cycles Norrie||100% Airmatic - Wom...||Zoic Navaeh|
|Fit and Comfort (30%)|
|Pedal Friendliness (30%)|
|Specs||Flylow Gear Eleanor...||Specialized Trail C...||Yeti Cycles Norrie||100% Airmatic - Wom...||Zoic Navaeh|
|Shell Fabric||Intuitive IQ MTB fabric||Vaporize woven fabric||2-way stretch polyester with PFC-free DWR finish||Polyester, elastane||86% polyester, 14% spandex|
|Lining Main Fabric||None||None||None||None||None|
|Inseam Measurement||12.5 in||11.5 in||13 in||13 in||11 in|
|Number of pockets||2||4||4||3||4|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Flylow still makes the Eleanor Short although they are no longer offered in the color we tested. They now come in Black only. Flylow has been expanding their mountain bike apparel line, and they now have several other models to choose from. -May 2022
Not the most stylish short, but the length and fabric offer excellent protection against branches and UV rays. The inseam length also works well with knee pads, and we feel these are a good option for riders who frequent more aggressive terrain.
Fit and comfort
Made of 2-way stretch Intuitive IQ fabric, the Eleanor Short is both lightweight and durable. We found that this model runs quite large. Our main tester has measurements right at the top end of XS on the Flylow sizing chart, but she felt like they were roughly a full size too big. To make them fit, she had to cinch the waist to its very smallest, which created a very unflattering bunching of material at the back of the shorts. Waist adjustment is done with velcro tabs attached to stretchy nylon that runs inside the back of the waistline. The trouble with stretchy nylon is that shorts can ride down, especially when doing strenuous uphill climbing. Online reviews state trouble with sizing, as well, especially in the waist. There are very large belt loops, which could be used as a way to help the fit, but we have found that wearing a belt on mountain bike shorts ensures that you will have a very sweaty waistline at the end of the ride.
That said, the waist is lined with soft fabric that feels nice against the skin and also did a good job of wicking sweat away along with the Intuitive IQ fabric.
With a 12 1/2 inch inseam, the Eleanor offers excellent coverage to protect from UV rays, as well as trailside bushes and branches. This length works very well with knee pads for those days when you need extra protection. The fabric is heavy-duty enough to feel durable without being stiff and held up well in an unexpected encounter with some sharp lava rocks.
The stretchy nylon waist adjustment means that these shorts didn't stay put as well as we would like. When we were cranking up steep hills, we could feel the shorts pulling down. Otherwise, the fabric is two-way stretch polyester that moves well without feeling sloppy and it glides over the top of the thighs nice and easy.
The Eleanor is equipped with a zippered pocket on each hip, each big enough to hold keys, lip balm, or snacks. The zippers are on the front of the shorts and the pocket is behind, making it somewhat awkward to reach in for items. Also, the pockets are vertical, so small items will fall out if you forget to close them. However, the placement ensures that items are held close to the body and not flopping around while you pedal.
There is also a long pocket on the outside of the right leg, which secures with a velcro tab. It is a tight squeeze for an iPhone 11 in a case but will fit one out of the case. However, because it is a long and narrow pocket, it is nearly impossible to pull anything small out of it. We preferred to use it for easy access to snacks.
Contrasting zippers add some flair to the otherwise fairly neutral-looking shorts (in the color that we tested). Because we found it hard to get a good fit, the look of these shorts was decidedly frumpy. There are a lot of clever waist adjustment systems in mountain bike shorts these days, and we prefer those that don't gather material in the back, where it tends to balloon out, even if the sizing is closer to correct. Velcro also has the unfortunate habit of attaching itself to other things in the wash, so make sure you close all the tabs fully before washing.
The shorts have clean lines and durable materials, and the waist lays flat in the fully open position. If you can find the right size, the style is sporty and functional. The Eleanor is also offered in black and a bold-patterned mauve.
Falling in the middle of the price range of shorts in our test, and considering the durability and comfort, we feel these are a good value.
Flylow's Eleanor short is durable and protective for those days on the trail when you need to be ready for all kinds of conditions. They use fairly old-school tab and velcro for sizing adjustment, and are not overly stylish, but are comfortable enough for long days on the bike.
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