ONE Industries Atom ShortONE Industries' history is rooted firmly in motocross, but they've amassed an impressive catalogue of mountain biking gear since launching their bike division in 2012. Though most of their range is pitched at gravity riders, some items will appeal to those who enjoy XC, casual trail rides and all day epics. One such item is the Atom short. The Atom is ONE's most affordable short, though "most casual" would be a more fitting title. Its styling is refreshingly understated—built on a basic polyester chassis that's lightweight enough to negate the need for additional mesh or stretch panels. My test pair was predominantly grey, interrupted only by two black panels, and a neat ONE logo on the left leg. Size-wise, ONE's shorts run large—I ordered the Atom a size smaller than I normally would, and the fit was spot on. My advice would be to try before you buy, or buy from an online retailer with a solid returns policy. As for the cut itself, it's slightly baggy without being oversized, and the length sits just over the knee, pairing well with your favourite knee pads. The Atom's secured at the front with a zippered fly and sturdy double snaps, and the fit can be fine-tuned with elastic hook and loop adjusters inside the pants on either side. I would have preferred the adjusters on the outside for ease of use, but they were pretty much fit-and-forget, and didn't cause any noticeable discomfort while riding. Storage is taken care of by two zippered side pockets, one small cargo pocket, and a zippered stash pocket at the back. The back pocket was very handy, giving me a convenient space to store my phone. The side pockets were deep, but the openings were too narrow for my liking, making it hard to get things out in a pinch. Inside the Atom is a removable lycra chamois liner, fastened by two small loops with tiny press studs. I've had issues with micro-studs on other shorts in the past, but these held up well during a few months of testing. I found the use of lycra puzzling though; a mesh liner would be lighter and more breathable. (Thankfully, ONE agree, and have updated the 2015 Atom with a mesh liner.) That aside, the chamois was adequately comfortable for a pair of shorts at this price point.
Overall, the Atom package works well. The shorts are super comfortable out on the trail, especially on hot days where their light weight and breathable fabrics come into play. And I had hardly any issues with snagging the pant legs or crotch on my saddle (or any other part of my bike)—always a plus with baggies. Another bonus is the Atom's casual design—I found myself still wearing them long after the ride had ended on more than one occasion.My only concern during testing was the strength of the fabric and stitching. Like a fool, I hooked the shorts on my flat pedal pins a couple of times, pulling a stitch each time. To the Atom's credit though, this never resulted in a tear or a run. 2015 Atom Shorts But more reassuring is the fact that ONE has made key changes to the Atom for 2015. I've had a chance to examine the updated shorts in person: in addition to the aforementioned liner upgrade, they're now made from a slightly tougher and more flexible (but still lightweight) fabric. ONE have also ditched the additional panels on the legs, making the shorts even more casual, with less stitching to worry about. The pocket layout's been redesigned too—though the useful rear pocket's given way to a stretch panel. Considering that the Atom never “rode down” at the back, I'm not sure the trade-off is necessary, though I'm looking forward to finding out for myself. Possibly the best upgrade though, is a new motif on the inside label: “Trails to ales”. Which is probably the best way to sum up the Atom. ONE Industries Vapor SS JerseyAlong with the Atom shorts, I was handed ONE's Vapor short sleeve jersey to try out.
The colourway? “Stratum”: a mix of various blues, yellow, orange and green. For a guy that normally likes his gear in any colour (as long as it's black), it was quite a shock the system. ONE's history in MX shines through though: the graphics look (surprisingly) great. And the Vapor's loaded with more technical features than you'd expect to find in a trail jersey.
The long-sleeved version of the Vapor is ONE's premier downhill and enduro jersey, and all of its features have carried through to its short-sleeved sibling. For starters, the Vapor SS has an athletic cut—meaning that it's loose and relaxed in places without being baggy. (Again, be sure to order a size down: I normally wear an XL jersey, and the L fitted me perfectly.)With moisture-wicking materials throughout and a full mesh back panel, it's a gem on hot days (colder mornings will have you reaching for something a little thicker). Adding to the comfort are a dropped back section, and a cutaway collar equipped with a soft front hem. Despite the fact that the Vapor's multi-coloured design doesn't look that great with light grey shorts, I found myself reaching for it on just about every ride. If you're an XC race snake though, this might not be the jersey for you—there's no zip, and there are no stash pockets at the back. Still, it's a cool and comfortable option for anyone wanting to blast trails or race enduro—in style. Thanks to Matthew Maclennan for the photographs.
Availability:ONE Industries clothing is available online at Dial'd Bikes and through your local bike shop. The Hub SA members Get 10% OFF selected ONE Industries and 661 gear from Dial'd Bikes by entering THEHUBSAONE as a voucher code during checkout. Visit dialdbikes.co.za/thehubsa to view all qualifying clothing and gear. This offer is available for a limited time only and while stocks last. Be sure to check out the ONE Industries sizing chart to ensure the best fit.