100% Celium Shorts Review
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100% Celium Shorts
|Price||$92.95 at Amazon|
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|Pros||Wide range of use, wind/water-resistant, comfortable||Trim and clean fit, quality chamois, pedal-friendly||Great ventilation, low-pro waist adjustment, welded leg openings||Lightweight, comfortable, great fit, quick-drying||Clean style, reasonable price, pedal-friendly|
|Cons||Boa system limits range of adjustment, busy design||A little heavy, below average ventilation||Small pockets, lightweight material may not be the most durable, asymmetrical waist adjustment||Slightly longer and roomier than previous version||Deep pockets allow contents to flop around while riding|
|Bottom Line||A quality pair of wind and water-resistant all-mountain shorts with some interesting design elements||A trim pair of trail riding shorts that deliver exceptional comfort and pedal-friendliness but don't breathe particularly well||This lightweight, highly breathable trail short is a great choice for cranking out the miles on hot days||Comfortable, lightweight, minimalist shorts for big days in the saddle||Highly functional trail-riding shorts that offer clean styling and a great in-saddle feel|
|Rating Categories||100% Celium Shorts||Troy Lee Designs Sk...||Pearl Izumi Summit...||Patagonia Dirt Roamer||Specialized Trail S...|
|Fit and Pedal Friendliness (20%)|
|Specs||100% Celium Shorts||Troy Lee Designs Sk...||Pearl Izumi Summit...||Patagonia Dirt Roamer||Specialized Trail S...|
|Shell Fabric||Nylon/spandex 4-way stretch woven fabric with DWR||95% Coolmax polyester, 5% Lycra||87% recycled polyester, 13% spandex||4-way stretch 90 denier 86% recycled polyester/14% spandex with a DWR||VaporRize woven fabric|
|Removable Inner Short?||No||Yes||No (can be purchased with liner)||Sold separately||No (can purchase with liner)|
|Lining Main Fabric||None||AIR COMP||None||None||None|
|Chamois||None||TMF 4-hour||None||None, but compatible with Patagonia bibs and liners(sold separately)||None|
|Inseam Measurement (inches)||15||12.5||12.5||12.5||13.5|
|Number of pockets||2||2||2||2||2|
|Weight (grams)||196 grams||244 grams||165 grams||164 grams||224 grams|
|Weight (ounces)||6.9 oz||8.6 oz||5.85 oz||5.8 oz||7.9 oz|
|Weight Liner||N/a||4.3 oz||N/a||N/a||N/a|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Celium Shorts work very well on the trail. They have a handful of interesting and useful features, provide good coverage, and appear to be very well-made. We found them to run a little large in the waist, but beyond that, they proved to be comfortable and functional shorts for trail and all-mountain riding.
The Celium shorts are comfortable in most situations. On cool or damp rides, the DWR-coated fabric does a good job of keeping the wind and rain from penetrating the fabric. On warmer rides, the perforations in the leg allow a little air to pass through and cool things down. The nylon/spandex fabric is a 4-way stretch and it feels good against the skin. All of the seams are sewn and taped, so they lay super flat and don't cause any irritation. Riders who use a hip pack may need to be careful of the hip pack's waistband interfering with the BOA dial. This doesn't cause any real discomfort, but it can be annoying.
Fit and Pedal Friendliness
Overall, we found the Celium shorts to fit pretty well. They have a relatively trim fit that avoids being too baggy or too constrictive in the legs, crotch, or seat. Our primary tester has a 32 waist, so we ordered size 32 shorts, expecting them to be a perfect fit. We found, however, that the waist size runs a little big. Even with the BOA dial cinched down to the tightest position, the waist was just a touch too spacious. While it does allow for some adjustment, the BOA design limits how much you can tighten these shorts. If you are in-between sizes, you may want to consider sizing down. They come in even waist sizes between 28 and 38 inches.
In the saddle, the shorts work well and are comfortable for any length of ride. The 4-way stretch material has plenty of give and doesn't restrict pedaling or movement of any kind. The trim fit of the legs means there isn't any excess material bouncing around on every pedal stroke despite their 15-inch inseam length. The shallower pockets keep your cargo in a more secure, higher position. The taped seams are also nice and smooth and don't irritate or chafe the legs no matter how long you ride.
As we mentioned, the most notable feature of the Celium shorts is the BOA used as the closure system. BOA dials are common in cycling equipment, most notably shoes, but are rarely found on shorts. Generally speaking, we found the BOA dial and cable worked great. It is easy to use and gives the shorts a clean look. That said, we found it to have a limited range of adjustability.
The two hand pockets are dialed and have a nice depth. The opening of the pockets is large enough for any size cell phone or a fat wallet. The zippers felt substantial and sturdy enough to survive years of abuse. The fabric is treated with a DWR to shrug off splashes of water and is quick-drying. This material delivers a nice balance of wind and water resistance without feeling too hot, restrictive, or plastic-y. The taped seams were a nice touch and really give the Celium shorts an all-weather feel. The laser-cut perforations on the leg promote some airflow which is always appreciated on warm days.
The Celium shorts are relatively meaty shorts. The sturdy materials feel substantial and robust. We didn't crash in these shorts but have a reasonable amount of confidence that they could hit the deck and come out the other side looking okay. Throughout testing, we did not observe any areas of premature wear or breakdown.
Details matter and 100% seemed to pay attention to the little stuff. The taped seams and larger-than-average zippers are important details. These are areas that can fail on mountain bike shorts and the fact that they reinforced these areas is notable.
The Celium shorts have a relatively subtle style when compared to some of 100%'s bolder and more moto-inspired options. That said, the text/logos, a BOA dial, and taped seams around the zipper don't really hide the fact that these are technical riding shorts. They strike a nice balance between a baggy gravity look and a more trim trail/cross-country appearance.
Examining the shorts, the waistband is quite broad. On the waistband near the left hip, the word Celium is printed in gray, quasi-reflective, text. In the center of the waistband is a BOA dial that is approximately 1 inch in diameter. The BOA is attached to a white cable that tightens the shorts. There are two zipped pockets, one on each hip. The pocket openings are lined with semi-reflective tape. Just south of the pockets is a gray 100% logo. Moving down the leg, there are perforations on the inside of the mid/lower leg. On the outside of the bottom of the right leg is the text One Hundred Percent.
The Celium shorts don't have any armored or reinforced areas in the name of protection. The overall length of the shorts is slightly longer than average providing additional coverage from the sun and trailside hazards. The material also has a relatively robust feel that should protect well from scrapes with bushes and small branches.
The 100% shorts work well with most knee pads. The leg length is long enough to prevent the dreaded knee pad gap, the unfortunate situation when there is a gap between the bottom of your short leg and the top of your knee pad sleeve. The leg opening is wide enough to work with any trail or enduro-style knee pad. Ultra-beefy downhill knee pads might be a little too bulky.
Should You Buy The 100% Celium Shorts?
The 100% Celium Shorts are a high-quality piece of apparel. They work quite well on the trail and appear to be built to last. They look good, offer a nice and clean shape, play well with knee pads, and work great in damp conditions. The BOA waistband adjustment system is pretty slick, although it does have a limited range of adjustment so ordering the right waist size is important. That said, we were impressed by the comfort and quality of these trail and all-mountain riding shorts.
What Other Mountain Bike Shorts Should You Consider?
If you're trying to save a little money for post-ride refreshments or replacement parts, the Specialized Trail Shorts are the best value we tested. They retail for a fair bit less but still provide a solid all-around performance on the trail. On the other end of the price spectrum, the Rapha Trail Shorts cost a little more than the Celium, but they are made from high-quality materials with excellent craftsmanship. They fit and perform similarly, although they have more pockets, are backed with a free repair service, and come with color-matched patches should you damage them.
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