We test the 100 Percent Airmatic and R-Core X DH gear.
Words: Will Shaw
Photos: Tim Bardsley-Smith
There’s no doubt 100% are a ‘cool’ brand in the mountain bike world. With exciting riders on the World Cup circuit such as Thomas Estaque, Hugo Frixtalon, and World Champ Reece Wilson wearing their threads, 100% is a brand I see local groms wearing all the time.
Despite the aesthetic appeal of the brand, it’s the performance of the products I’m most interested in, so I was excited to get my hands on a range of 100% kit for our Snowies Roadie, including the R-Core X DH Shorts, R-Core long sleeve jersey, Airmatic jersey and Airmatic 3/4 jersey.
100 Percent R-Core X DH Shorts
The R-Core X DH Shorts are 100%’s premium short offering for gravity riding, and they feature an array of features that reflect this. Firstly, there’s the BOA waist closure. I’ve got to admit, when I first saw this I was sceptical about the need for a BOA dial on the waist, but after the first use I was sold. As opposed to Velcro waist straps or the fiddly belts some shorts come with, the BOA dial offers fantastic micro adjustment that tightens evenly around your whole waist. Using the right to tighten, pop up to open configuration, the shorts are easy to get on and off.
Another nod to keeping your shorts in place while riding is the silicone grippers on the inside of the waistband. Combined with the BOA dials, the R-Cores aren’t going anywhere.
There are two zippered pockets on the front of the shorts, and common items like phones and keys fit well and aren’t obtrusive while pedalling. On the topic of pedalling, the 4 way stretch material gives nicely, and these shorts feel the goods when you’re spinning your way up a climb. Your essentials aren’t getting wet in the R-Cores either, as the material is remarkably waterproof.
Lastly, the dreaded ‘squid gap’ is a thing of the past in the R-Cores. The length of the short was just about perfect for me, straddling that line between too short and riding up my quads, but also not looking like ankle swingers and catching my knees with every pedal stroke.
Are there any downsides to these shorts? If you’re willing to pay the price, then not really! At $189.99 they’re definitely not cheap, particularly when you consider that something like DHaRCO’s Gravity Shorts come in at $125. That being said, the little touches on these shorts really do warrant their premium price tag, and they’ve become a wardrobe favourite for me!