Getting to Eurobike is a bit of a challenge so we try our best to have Eurobike come to us. And it kind of works, we had the Giant launch the other day, a POC launch and even some sneaky bits and pieces in the Wide Open launch this morning and now we'd like to bring you the latest from Fox: the new Fox Attack Q4 CW. Whoa, that's a whole lotta stuff after the name of the short. Well, the Q4 is a reference to Fox's pretty funky four way stretch fabric, in fact I reviewed the Attack Q4s in the magazine last issue (I'll post it below) but the C4 is new for 2015 and it stands for Cold Weather. Now timing wise this is where Northern Hemisphere shit plays havoc with New Zealand distributors, because coming out of winter here means there isn't going to be a whole bunch of use for this short, but over in the USA and the UK, well things are just about to get wet.
The shorts have the two contrasting panels like in the standard Attack Q4s and some cool reversed out logos.
But on the inside the 2 layer membrane backed fabric is welded and seamed sealed for maximum protection from icy cold water. Technically speaking the shorts are 10,000/10,000 waterproof/breathable, those are pretty damn good numbers. If those numbers don't mean jack to you, here's a little breakdown: if you put a square tube with inner dimensions of 25mm x 25mm over a section of this jacket, you could fill it with water to a height of 10,000mm before water would begin to leak through. The higher the number, the more waterproof the fabric and 10,000 is pretty good. It’s breathable; 10,000. Breathability is the measure of how many grams (g) of water vapour can pass through a square metre (m2) of the fabric from the inside to the outside in a 24 hour period. In the case of a 10k (10,000g) fabric, this would be 10,000 grams. The larger the number, the more breathable the fabric. Typically good jackets are going to have a higher number than this, but these are shorts and they have giant holes where your legs go so they don't need to be as breathable as a jacket. What is rad about his fabric though is even with the membrane and taped seams the fabric is still super stretchy which is very rad!
The flagship of the Attack line is Attack Ultra and it seems to have gone unaltered for 2015. Unlike the Attack Q4 CW it comes with Fox's top 3D moulded EVO Race chamois and has laser cut holes for increased venting on the front and rear inseams. It features the same interior waistband as the Q4 CW. The Attack Ultra is available now, and as soon as we have availability on the CW model we'll let you know. I've had them out on a couple of crap weather rides already and they perform pretty darn well but we will let you know in nine months' time how they cope with an entire winter's riding!
FOX ATTACK Q4 SHORT REVIEW foxhead.com
I’d passed the Attack Q4 shorts over on the Fox website recently. I had my heart set on a new pair of the Demo FR model, but when I discovered they were temporarily out of stock I had to make a decision quick and that’s when the two-tone grey and orange caught my eye. They’re a little less tech than their fancier Attack Ultra namesake, with stitched seams and not quite as much venting, but feature a slightly longer inseam which is good for eliminating unsightly twat gap.
Like the two-tone nature of the shorts, it seems everything with the Q4 is perfectly balanced. They’re baggy but not so much that they snag on seat collars, they’re long but not too long and the crotch is at the perfect height so it never droops, even when soaking wet (thanks in part to the internal adjustable waistband). After a good four months riding in them, the fabric is just the perfect balance of lightness and durability while still maintaining a bit of shape; they look like shorts on and off the bike. The built-in venting works well and keeps you cool, and I must admit to being pleasantly surprised by the included liners as well. I pretty much only wear Ground Effect liners with all my shorts regardless of brand, they’re that good, but I’ve been wearing these with their own Evo liners and they’re fantastic.
Given how impressed I am with the performance and durability of these shorts (so far) I’ve got to be a little thankful that my first pick was denied. For me, these bad boys are one happy accident.