You want a tough pair of shorts for all seasons that will last a long time
The ION Scrub Amp Bikeshortsare a surf inspired but trail ready, tough pair of shorts for any trail adventure. Reaching over the knees and with a good deal of stretch, these are the ultimate women’s short, but that performance does come at a lofty price.
The Scrub Amp Bikeshorts are aimed at ‘enduro’ or all mountain riders, longer in the leg than the ‘Traze’ trail line and more fitted than the brands freeride gear ‘ Seek’. The Scrub Amp short are designed to be a lightweight short but they are actually not the lightest I’ve tested being made of a slightly heavier material than say, the Scott Trail 10 shorts. That said, I like the material used in these shorts, it’s as suitable for summer shreds as it is dryer Autumn and Winter miles. The fabric is super stretchy and treated with Repellen_SI which is ION’s version of DWR to keep trail splash at bay. On warmer days there are tiny laser cut ventilation holes down the inner leg which is a neat touch but I’m not sure I felt the benefit.
Aside from a quality stretchy fabric used for the ION shorts the piece de la resistance is the bonded hems and waistband meaning these places are glued together rather than stitched leaving the material free to lie flat against the skin or lycra without any extra bulk. In real world terms this means there are no seams to wear away at the knees, to get caught on kneepads when pedalling or to chafe the skin.
The waist is done up via a big sturdy popper and Velcro fly with wide waist adjusters that lie neatly on the hips too, never getting snagged on the jersey material, in fact, these are the best example of a good design of waist adjusters I’ve found on a pair of shorts yet.
There are two zip pockets on the front of each leg which, due to the angle of the zip and the hooded zipper coverings, are a little awkward to get into. They are deep though and you soon get the hang of opening them. I’m pleased to see ION have got rid of the neoprene phone pouch which used to occupy one of the pocked on previous versions of the short, this was tricky to get your phone into and out of and just added bulk to the pocket unnecessarily.
Riding in the ION Scrub Amp Bikeshorts is a treat, they are flexible and easy to move in, never rucking up even when the going gets hot and sweaty. They tread the fine line of being fitted yet baggy well, I found they were fitted on hips but were loose enough around the thigh too. They are long enough in the leg cover the knees and knee pads meaning there won’t be any unnecessary flesh on show when descending either. I’m a dress size 8/10 and wore a size small, the shorts come up pretty true to size.
At £105 the Scrub Amp’s aren’t cheap but I’ve got 3 pairs now from various years of production and each look as if they have just been unpackaged despite a lot of use. These 2018 model comes in three colours - Black as seen here (although this looks like a dark navy to me), Sleet and Blue Nights. If you like a matching short and jersey combo then ION is a good bet as the pairing of a Scrub Amp Tee and these shorts doesn't look too matchy matchy! For a well-fitting, tough short for use in all seasons, take a look at the ION range, you won’t be disappointed.
Deputy Editor here ar off-road.cc, Rachael is happiest on two wheels. She's been riding bikes for a good few years now after horses got too expensive! Partial to a race or two Rachael also likes getting out into the hills with a big bunch of mates. She's been writing for publications such as, Enduro Mountain Bike Magazine, Mountain Biking UK, Bike Radar, New Zealand Mountain Biker and was also the online editor for Spoke magazine in New Zealand too. For as long as she's been riding and is equally happy getting stuck into a kit review as she is creating stories, she also coaches mountain biking and when she's not busy with all the above she's serving coffee from a horse trailer!