Alpinestars MTB Tech Underwear: Quick Review- by Grannygear
Alpinestars has all kinds of cycling wear for MTB riders and that includes their Alpinestars MTB Tech Underwear line of base garments or what might be called underwear. If you are going to wear the baggies or even a set of DH pants, or be armored up (like the image above of Mick Hanna getting all sideways), then you might be wise to have an under short/liner with a built in chamois, right? And the MTB Tech Shorts Underwear fills that spot. We were sent a sample of those and a base tank shirt for review and after some trail time, here we are with our findings (maybe it will help me ride like Mick…or not!). First, the shorts.
The fabric, what Alpinestars calls “a specially formulated synthetic fabric blend provides superior moisture wicking potential, body temperature regulation and muscle support to both enhance and extend rider performance”, is nice to the skin, feeling for all the world like a pricy pair of underwear. Nice! The chamois looks well designed with a thought toward body ‘fit’ and feels like a good thickness, etc. Pulling them on reveals a cut that is short in the leg length, surprisingly short, in fact. And the fabric, although it claims “muscle support”, seems like much too relaxed a fit to do much in that regard. Not compression shorts, if there is such a thing (if you would even want that anyway…some things should not be compressed). What they feel like and look like are a nice pair of athletic fit briefs with a chamois in them. Ok, to the trail.
I wore them under a pair of Zoic X shorts, baggies that we are reviewing here, and a short that I have been in a lot with the Zoic short liner. That way I would eliminate the short as a contributor to any issues. The first ride was a 3 hour trail ride on techy single track on a warm day. I had no real issues with the chamois directly and the comfort in that regard was good, but maybe not great. What I did notice was that the legs would creep up till it felt like you were wearing a bikini brief and that was not so fun. The next ride was more of the same. Pedaling out felt fine but after a while, the short liner would ride up and bunch at the crotch, adding to discomfort as the bunched fabric of the short would wrinkle at the chamois edge. I do not want to have to stop and reach up to pull my shorts liner down all the time, so that was enough for me. Now that said, these might be the deal for someone who is looking for a underwear-like fit, maybe for commuting under a garment etc. But if these had more leg length and a rubberized or elastic section to keep them down in place, they would be a very nice short liner. As they are, not so much.
The other piece of kit we have on hand is one of the MTB Tech wear tank shirts, what I would call a ‘base layer’ item. Where the shorts fell short in wowing me, the Tank made it all up by being one of the nicest base layers I have used to date. The feel of the fabric is luxurious against the skin. Pulling it on feels like slipping into a silk cocoon and shows a properly snug, body fitting cut that has enough stretch to accommodate body shape. I have the Lg/XL and I am a slim build with wide shoulders but the cut was just right for me at 6’2″ 190 lbs.
The base tank is cut long too, so it stays tucked into the shorts without pulling and it also is cut to feel better with your arms outstretched, like in a riding position. Once on, it simply disappears and I never gave it another thought when I had it on. You want a base layer to wick away moisture from your skin so that the sweat can get out and evaporate, passing into the outer garment or the air space in between. In this regard, the MTB Tech tank was excellent and I would pull off the outer jersey, which would be damp, and notice that the Alpinestars base tank was only slightly moist and my skin would be nearly dry. Very well handled.
I wear a base nearly all year round if not 100% of the time as I find that, even in hot weather, it functions like a cooler, allowing the skin to better regulate temps, and of course it adds warmth in the winter under multiple layers while still moving moisture away from the skin. This Alpinestars MTB Tech tank shirt will be one of the first items I reach for this season when I get dressed for a ride.
Note: Alpinestars sent the MTB underwear samples to Twenty Nine Inches at no charge. We are not being paid, nor bribed for this review and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.