The Five Ten Brand of the Brave short is a casual cut short that uses eco-friendly Primegreen tech. It comes with a host of useful features and a stylish look; however, it fits a little too short to cover knee pads, and the internal drawstring is a little naff.
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A few weeks ago, we reviewed the Five Ten Freerider Primeblue shoes that use recycled ocean plastics. Here, we've got the Brand of the Brave short, but rather than Primeblue, it uses a similar Primegreen tech.
Primegreen is a fabric that uses no virgin plastics in its construction. It's been adopted across Addidas' range in a bid to phase out all non-virgin polyester by 2024 to help end plastic waste.
The shorts are designed to be as comfy off of the bike as they are on, and as such, it gets what Five Ten says is a regular fit. There's a front fly with snap closure, a four-way stretch fabric made from 90% recycled plastic and 10% elastane dobby. Accompanying the zip and snap closure is an internal drawstring. There are two regular hand pockets (one of which is home to a smaller zipped pocket), a single side pocket, and a smaller back pocket.
Here, we've got The Brand of the Brave short in a size medium, my usual size, and it fits really well. There's no awkward tightness around the waistband, or anywhere else for that matter. It's just a bit short, with Five Ten opting for a more casual cut.
Jessica has also been testing the same shorts in a women's size UK 8. There's no difference between the men's and women's shorts aside from sizing.
Liam: On Test
If you ride with pads, the shorts aren't long enough to avoid the dreaded kneepad gap while pedalling, and when in the attack position, it bunches up on top of the pads. However, if you're not one for kneepads or after a riding short with a more casual cut, you shouldn't find an issue here. Also, they're stretchy, and while rather short, manoeuvrability isn't hampered whatsoever. On-bike performance and comfort are top-notch.
On the subject of fit, the waistband is adjustable thanks to an internal drawstring, but in practice, it's not the most ergonomic way around waistband adjustment. Yes, it's well hidden, and it won't stick to your jerseys as some Velcro adjusters can, but it's fiddly to tie and a bit of a nightmare when nature calls.
Generally, it adds some extra faff and it can make doing up the zip and button awkward as you have to stuff the laces in without getting it caught in the zip.
The recycled plastic fabric used on these shorts feels great and high quality. It's durable, too, having crashed in them and washed them multiple times. There are no apparent signs of wear.
FiveTen has littered the Brand of the Brave shorts with a very useful number of pockets, each placed rather well. I've found the zipped side pocket to be ideal for a phone, a car key, and any other valuables. The back pocket has been perfect for securely storing a multitool.
Jessica: On test
I've been wearing the Five Ten Brand of the Brave shorts for a few months, during which they've been through all weather conditions, many washing machine cycles, and they're still going well. Like Liam, I found the shorts to be a little too short in length for knee pads, but I didn't have this issue as I often ride without pads.
The material is light and stretchy, making movement pretty effortless. However, the thin material becomes noticeable with saddle wear beginning to fade the fabric and thus leaving a mark. As for the "drawstring" adjustable waist, it's naff. It looks like FiveTen has robbed some spare laces from their shoes and shoved one in their shorts. There's nothing I like about this feature.
The side pocket is great for my phone and comfortable against my thigh. The top hand pockets are fine for less important items or momentarily stuff your gloves into.
Value & verdict
Length niggles aside, the Brand of the Brave short shows off some pretty good value for its price tag. For an extra tenner at £70, you can bag the Endura Singletrack Lite shorts, which get zipped pockets all around and a 'barely there' feel as found by Jessica. Though, for your extra cash, they're better suited towards mountain biking thanks to their better knee coverage.
Though posing serious competition against the Brand of the Brave shorts is the Royal Racing Heritage. For just £35, the Heritage comes with a similar pocket orientation, only missing the back pocket and a lengthier fit. However, those shorts are missing the quality feel of the Brand of the Braves.
Both of those examples don't come with that eco-friendly Primegreen tech either, so that's definitely worth considering if that's important to you.
Five Ten's catchily named Brand of the Brave shorts look good, feel strong, and come with a useful array of pockets. If you're one for a casual cut short that performs well on the bike but don't mind a bit of kneepad gap, you'll be doing the world and yourself a little favour by picking them. However, if you value coverage and ergonomics, you'll want to look elsewhere.