In the past few years The North Face has been tiptoeing into the mountain bike clothing market to cater to the off-season whims of their pro ski athletes, such as Sage Cattabriga-Alosa. Then, at last year’s Interbike Show in Las Vegas, the company jumped in with both feet by announcing a partnership with Pro-Tec and unveiling a new line of padded apparel. The centerpiece is the rugged Downieville Colab Short which incorporates a padded inner chamois featuring Pro-Tec’s proprietary flex panels. The whole concept behind this short is to withstand as much abuse as you can throw at it, which is exactly what I did on a recent rainy ride in Rossland, BC. The area had been experiencing record-breaking rainfall and the trails were slick, fast and water-logged. More than once my tires slipped out around a corner and I landed on my hips. And in one memorable instant I naively rode through a creek with water levels up past my knees and endo-ed onto the far bank. In every instance I was happy to have the added protection of the Downieville Short.
To read the entire review, log on to Backcountry Skiing Canada.