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Flylow Gear Eleanor Shorts Review

A very protective short that works well with knee pads for more technical rides
Flylow Gear Eleanor Shorts
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Price:  $90 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Long inseam, durable, zippered pockets, lightweight
Cons:  Sizing runs a bit large, unflattering waist adjustment system, not the best pockets
Manufacturer:   Flylow Gear
By Laurel Hunter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 12, 2021
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70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 15
  • Fit and Comfort - 30% 6
  • Pedal Friendliness - 30% 7
  • Protection - 20% 9
  • Pockets - 10% 6
  • Style - 10% 7

Our Verdict

Made of lightweight yet durable fabric, these shorts are quite comfortable for riding and will protect against encounters with branches and other trailside hazards. The 12 1/2 inch inseam is long enough to work well with knee pads, as well. Two small zippered pockets are functional but somewhat small, while the side pocket is larger but can be more difficult to retrieve items from. We found the sizing of these shorts to run quite big, and the waist adjustment system is bulky, but if you can get the right fit, we feel these are a great option for more technical riding where their coverage and protection will be most appreciated.

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$88.00 at Backcountry$110 List
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Check Price at REI
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$56.21 at Backcountry
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Star Rating
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Pros Long inseam, durable, zippered pockets, lightweightFeminine fit, burly material, glide patches for smooth pedaling, easy cinching at the waist, zippered pocketsGreat fit, smart waist adjustment, usable pockets, lightweight, comfortableLightweight, four-way stretch, excellent fit, breathable, super comfortableLightweight, breathable, many pockets, affordable
Cons Sizing runs a bit large, unflattering waist adjustment system, not the best pocketsNot the lightest weightNot waterproof, slim fit may not work for all ridersNot as protective for burly terrainNot water resistant, runs large, velcro waist adjusters
Bottom Line A very protective short that works well with knee pads for more technical ridesA flattering and durable short built with an emphasis on downhill funReally comfortable and lightweight shorts that fit well, have great pockets, and look good on and off the bikeOne of the best fitting shorts we have ever tested, with a minimalist design, lightweight, and a high level of comfortA very functional pair of mountain bike shorts that are lightweight and super affordable
Rating Categories Flylow Gear Eleanor... Yeti Cycles Norrie 2.0 Specialized Trail C... Patagonia Dirt Roamer Zoic Navaeh
Fit And Comfort (30%)
6.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
8.0
Pedal Friendliness (30%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
10.0
8.0
Protection (20%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Pockets (10%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Style (10%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
Specs Flylow Gear Eleanor... Yeti Cycles Norrie 2.0 Specialized Trail C... Patagonia Dirt Roamer Zoic Navaeh
Shell Fabric Intuitive IQ MTB fabric Stretch polyester with DWR Vaporize woven fabric 90-denier 87% recycled polyester/13% spandex 86% polyester, 14% spandex
Lining Main Fabric None None None Sold seperately None
Chamois None None None Sold seperately None
Inseam Measurement 12.5 in 12 in 11.5 in 11.75 in 11 in
Number of pockets 2 4 4 1 4

Our Analysis and Test Results

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.

Performance Comparison


A fairly long short that offers great protection for more technical...
A fairly long short that offers great protection for more technical trails.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

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.

Velcro tabs are used for waist adjustment. There are also very large...
Velcro tabs are used for waist adjustment. There are also very large belt loops.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

Protection


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.

A 12 1/2" inseam makes these shorts compatible with knee pads.
A 12 1/2" inseam makes these shorts compatible with knee pads.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

Pedal Friendliness


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.

Two-way stretch material allows for great movement while climbing.
Two-way stretch material allows for great movement while climbing.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

Pockets


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.

There are two zippered pockets that are big enough to hold snacks...
There are two zippered pockets that are big enough to hold snacks, lip balm, or keys.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

Style


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.

The Fly Low Eleanor Short is durable and long enough to offer...
The Fly Low Eleanor Short is durable and long enough to offer excellent protection.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

Value


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.

Conclusion


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.

Laurel Hunter