Premium trail and adventure wear from an F1 legend
Words: James Raison
Cover Image: Graeme Thiessen (@thestickybidon)
Aussie driving ace Mark Webber is the founder and owner of Aussie Grit apparel. Like so many founders, Mark began Aussie Grit to make the sort of apparel he wanted to wear. It’s a company obsessed with functionality and quality.
They sent a package of wares for me to put to the test. First up; the flint Men’s Bike Shorts and flint Trail Jersey (yep, flint is written lower case).
flint Bike Shorts
I’ve spent a few months crossing genres in MTB shorts. The baggies I’ve tried have all been too… baggy… and I haven’t liked any of the chamois on their inners. Riding in road kit is fine but sometimes I don’t want to hit the trails looking that serious. Casual shorts are ok for short rides but the lack of chamois is a big limit on my hardtail and breathability is a problem on hot days. Surely there’s a light, breathable MTB short with good chamois? Yup. There is.
The flint hits (almost) everything on my wishlist.
Starting at the top is the “Anchor” drawstring adjustment that tightens the shorts around your waist. The outer shorts and inner are attached, meaning you can slide into the shorts and draw in the supple elastic waistband for instantly good and comfortable fit. Separated shorts and inners have always frustrated me with their independent movement so I much prefer this system.
The outer short is loaded with nice design touches. The material is very light and stretchy, with oil and stain repellent properties, and is snag-resistant. There’s laser cut holes on the inside of the leg opening up to groin, and more across your hip. There’s only one pocket on your right leg designed for phones, but like so many phone pockets it’s about a generations too small. My phone is far too large to fit, but I wouldn’t put it in there anyway because it’s right on your outer leg fall zone.
It’s a slim fitted short with a narrow leg opening that thankfully doesn’t ride up thanks to the 4-way stretch fabric. I never saw the inner short peak out from underneath the outers. They’re narrow enough to pick up almost no wind. I hate flappy kit and these bad boys are tight enough so there’s nothing to grab on to.
The chamois is a damn good performer plucked from quite high in the Elastic Interface Range. It’s the MTB Performance 3 to be specific, and it’s designed for very long days in the saddle of over 7 hours. It used variable density foam to support weights from 60kg at the very front and back, 80kg at the nose, and 120kg right under your sit bones. It’s great for long hours parked on the meaty part of the saddle.
I wore the shorts quite a lot of trail riding during winter, with the final punishment coming on a 2-day off-road bikepacking weekend. The flint shorts were an outstanding pair of endurance MTB shorts, staying comfortable for over 10 hours of saddle time across two days. They’re definitely better suited to warm weather though. I rode in some atrociously cold and wet conditions where the lightness and ventilation was a liability. They don’t repel water either but thankfully they’re light enough to dry quickly when they do get wet.
Aussie Grit have cut loose the the flint shorts using very high quality materials. They’re exceptionally comfortable for long hours in the saddle. There’s no escaping the $265 price tag, placing it towards the top of the pile when it comes to MTB shorts. The pocket isn’t particularly useful and they don’t repel water but they just feel oh-so-good to ride in. They’re easily the best MTB shorts I’ve worn.
Those with the cash to splash won’t be disappointed.
flint Trail Jersey
Aussie Grit included a flint Trail Jersey to test alongside the shorts. While I came to love the shorts, I was less enamoured with the jersey.
Testing it was difficult for me because I’m well off the end of the size chart. I get around in mostly XS road kit, so the small flint Trail Jersey is multiple sizes too big on me. My emaciated cyclist torso and arms didn’t fill it out enough. It’s been designed with a long rear panel to protect your lower back from spray and mud, and has quite large pockets for your carrying needs. Those touches meant I couldn’t wear the jersey with anything in the pockets because it all hung low and swung wildly around behind me. Skinny whips like me will need to look elsewhere for their trail jerseys.
Nonetheless, I was able to wear the jersey under the pocketed Aussie Grit flint Thermal Gilet (review coming soon) or when I had my bike loaded up with bags so I could leave the jersey empty. There’s lot I liked about the flint. It’s got a nice skin feel, has a merino blend chest panel for warmth, and the stitching is very beefy. It’s a solid trail jersey that will be able to handle the considerable punishment that MTB and adventure riding can bring.
I was less stoked with the quarter zip. It’s been years since I’ve had a jersey with any less than a full zipper and it feels strange not being able to zip it low when I get hot. It’s a quite breathable jersey but I’d still like the option to open it up when summer swings around again.
It came along on my bikepacking weekend (as did every Aussie Grit item I had) and it was a nice jersey paired with the flint Thermal Gilet. That combo got me through the very cold mornings and evenings.
At $130, the flint Trail Jersey is decent but unspectacular value. It’s well-designed and uses nice materials. The sizing did prevent me from enjoying it to the fullest though.
The flint Trail Shorts have become my go-to MTB shorts and I suspect they’ll have a heavy workload over the coming months. Their comfort is outstanding and their ventilation will be welcome in Summer. These absolutely get my recommendation for those who want the best.
The flint Trail Jersey was a tough item to review because I couldn’t fully enjoy it. There’s plenty of nice design touches and very comfortable material. You just need to get the right size. I’m an outlier, even in cycling kit, so I would only caution similarly greyhound-esque riders to look elsewhere.
Head on over to the Aussie Grit website if you’d like to purchase some of their sweet gear.
Disclosure statement: This was sent by Aussie Grit to review.