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Hands-on Gear Review
POC Resistance Enduro Light Review
Cons: Expensive, not comfortable, poor pedaling performance, liner not included
Bottom line: The Enduro Light shorts are durable, but lack comfort and are not a good choice for long days in the saddle.
The POC Resistance Enduro Light shorts are a durable simple looking pair of mountain bike shorts with good leg coverage. They fit the bill of a minimalist enduro short, proving to be durable and abrasion resistant during testing. Unfortunately, the heavy fabric and lack of ventilation hampered comfort and pedaling performance, bringing the overall score down.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
POC is a Swedish company that produces an expansive line of cycling clothing, helmets, and protective gear and our experience with their products over the years has left us with a favorable impression of the brand. The Resistance shorts are well made, but the fabric proved to be a bit harsh against the skin and left us a bit disappointed in pedaling performance and comfort. We expected the "Light" version of this model to be a better short than it proved to be.
The Resistance shorts have a rather plain jane look when compared to shorts like the 100% Airmatic. Most of the mountain bike shorts that POC produces are only available in black, except for a few models that they offer in green for 2017. Our test shorts are black, with minimal branding, just an embroidered brand logo on the right leg, and the model of the shorts on the left leg. The fabric is technical enough that the shorts are not likely to be mistaken for a casual short when cruising around in town, but these shorts fly under the radar when compared to other shorts we tested. Black might not be the most exciting color, but it goes with virtually any jersey, and it doesn't stain. Overall, we like the look of the Resistance, as they are straightforward and classy.
The Resistance Light is the slimmed down most basic version of the Resistance short line up. Two zippered thigh pockets are the only onboard storage. We found the pockets to be adequate for holding a smartphone or some gels, but they are certainly not massive, and they are not ideally placed for pedaling when stuffed with accessories.
The waist is adjustable, with an external system for easy mid-ride adjustments. A Velcro tab attached to the main body of the shorts with a short piece of elastic material provides adjustment on each side. The design is functional, but not nearly as nice as the Velcro strap system on the 100% Airmatic which has a change of direction that is more secure than the elastic band. Two snaps backed up by a Velcro tab will keep the shorts on your waist. We like the Velcro tab as a backup to the snaps; the Zoic Ether shorts use the same system. A zipper completes the package.
This model is not heavy on features, and the pocket layout is not as well thought out as other shorts we have tested. While these shorts are still decent, nothing stands out as exceptional.
We have had excellent luck with durability on other POC products over the years, and the Resistance further bolstered our opinion of POC gear. The fabric is tough and abrasion resistant, and we had no issues with seams or hardware during testing. This model also held up to lots of bike park and shuttle use. We rate the Troy Lee Ruckus slightly higher due to its thicker ripstop fabric and more substantial construction, but for a more minimalist short, the Resistance displayed impressive toughness during testing. The lack of mesh vents increases durability but detracts from the ventilation of the short. These shorts are a solid choice for the rider who is hard on gear.
The 13" inseam on the Resistance shorts provides good leg coverage. These shorts sit just below the knee, slightly shorter than the Pearl Izumi Elevate but just about the same length as the Troy Lee Ruckus. The fabric is not quite as thick as the Ruckus or Elevate but is substantial enough to provide decent protection from contact with bushes and branches on the trail. Knee pad compatibility is also good with adequate length and a sufficiently broad leg opening, which allows pads to sit comfortably under the shorts. These are a solid choice for protection and a favorite for shuttle run use with our testers.
Fit and Pedal Friendliness
The Resistance shorts have a more articulated fit than other shorts geared towards descending and are slimmer through the thigh than the Ruckus. The fabric is quite stretchy, but it has a stiffer feel than the 100% Airmatic and does not offer the smoothness of the skin or the freedom of motion that our highest scoring shorts provide. The pocket placement also detracts from pedaling efficiency. Anything placed in the pockets is directly at the point of articulation. If you spend a lot of time pedaling for your descending fun, there are better shorts available.
Despite the stretchy fabric, this model felt stiff and crinkly on the bike. The inside of the shorts is not soft against the skin like the 100% Airmatic, and the stitching on the leg cuff openings feels abrasive when we didn't use the shorts with kneepads. This pair does not have any vents, and our testers found them to be hot with (generally) poor ventilation. The fabric also tends to absorb moisture from sweat, further decreasing comfort on long rides. These shorts do not come with a chamois liner.
The Resistance shorts are best suited to gravity oriented riding. They are not the best shorts for pedaling, and poor ventilation limits their effectiveness for long pedaling missions.
The POC Resistance Enduro Light shorts retail for $110 and we do not feel that they are a good value. The Pearl Izumi Elevate shorts are $10 cheaper and are quite frankly a better pair of shorts, for an extra $25 you can buy the Troy Lee Ruckus short which score higher in our comparative testing and come with a liner.
The POC Resistance shorts are best suited to shuttle and park riding. We were a bit disappointed in the comfort and pedaling performance of the shorts. The overall construction of the shorts is solid, but the design execution leaves much to be desired. The relatively high price of these shorts is also a deterrent, considering that there are much better shorts available at a better price.
— Curtis Smith
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