I have this blue box in my wardrobe that’s full of shorts. So many of them are Ground Effect Juggernauts that you can chart this short’s evolution. When the latest pair turned up I was eager to see the latest developments; thankfully, they’ve taken another big step in the right direction. The biggest change is the fact that they’re no longer available in shades of grey; they now come in brown, a very cool shade of brown mind you, and so you look less like a mountain biker, they’re not two-tone.
The leg vents have moved from the side of the shorts to the front, making them far more effective when it gets hot. The front pockets have lost their zips and are now a little more jean styled, as is the dome closure. I’ve ridden with stuff in the pockets and nothing has gone astray so far, but if you need security the new rear pocket features a secure zip closure. Finally, these bad boys no longer come with a removable liner, although this is still available separately. My older Juggernauts have always been my go-to shorts, but these are even better. I don’t even want to wash them, just so I can get a few more days’ wear out of them. The length is perfect and the durable fabric is light enough to ride in for hours.
It’s not all roses—I find the leg openings are a little loose, and I’ve caught them on my shifter a couple of times while climbing. I don’t want to see cinch straps again on any Ground Effect shorts but a tiny bit of taper towards the knee would make these faultless. If you’re looking for a short that matches your 6 inch all-mountain rig, the Juggernauts are to all-mountain riding what Chazz Michael Michaels is to figure skating. CALEB SMITH

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