Review: Norrona Fjora Flex1 Shorts

Review: Norrona Fjora Flex1 Shorts 

Norrona has a long tradition of making burly gear for the outdoors This year marks their first foray onto the Mountain Bike scene with the Norrona Fjora line. We tested two pairs of their new Fjora Mountain Bike shorts, the Lightweight & Midweight, and found them to be feature-rich, well designed and multi-functional. 

What is Fjora?

Norrona tends to name their lines after distinct regions in Norway, and the Fjora are no exception. At the end of the Sunmore Fjord lies the town of Fjørå. The farmers of Fjørå have been building trails up and down the mountainside for centuries. These trails, according to Norrona, make Fjørå one of the world’s most spectacular mountain bike destinations. It seems quite fitting that Norrona would name their first mountain bike apparel line after this region. 

What is the Flex1?

The Flex1 is Norrona’s proprietary stretchy softshell fabric. It is a single-ply stretchy fabric that provides wind resistance and water repellency. The Flex1 material used in both the Lightweight and Midweight Flex1 shorts is treated with a PFC-free DWR (durable water repellent) that is Bluesign certified. For more info on Bluesign certification, head HERE.


Fjora Flex1 Lightweight Shorts?

The fjørå flex1 Lightweight are the lighter of the two Fjora Flex1 shorts, obviously. Owing to their shorter length, extremely thin and breathable material and ample venting they’re ideal for long hot climbs while still providing some wind protection on the descent. 

Overview

  • Material: flex1
  • Weight: 240 grams
  • Pockets: 3 (2 x hand, 1 x rear)
  • Size Tested: Large
  • Country of Origin: China
  • Features:
    • X-open side vents w. mesh
    • Anti-slip waist
    • Velcro waist adjustment
    • PFC Free DWR

All about the Shorts

The Norrona Fjora Flex1 lightweight shorts feature the airiest Flex1 available. Small ventilation holes allow for cooling and fast-drying while cycling. 

The lightweight fabric is quite porous and so very breathable.

On the sides of the shorts you’ll find a X-open side vents with mesh. Basically long, double-zippered vents. A design that Norrona uses on a variety of garments due to its versatility. With both zips pulled down, the vent is wide open but the shorts retain their shape at the knee. With both zips up, the leg gains extra room for pedaling. Finally, with both zips in the middle, the vent is open above and below retaining most of the normal shape while still benefiting from the added airflow. 

The lightweight shorts feature the Custom-fit waist system. On both sides of the shorts are Velcro wings that can be adjusted to loosen or tighten the waist. 

There are two zippered hand pockets and one back pocket. 

Overview

An ideal pair of shorts for warm weather and long, hot up-tracks the soft and light fabric of the Norrona fjørå flex1 Lightweight feels great to wear and breaths exceptionally well. The fabric is also surprisingly durable given how light it is. After testing them on a couple of unplanned wipeouts the shorts are still in great shape with only a few scuffs to show for it.

Pros: Lightweight, comfortable and amazing durable

Cons: The hand pockets are zippered but not the rear pocket, I would have done the opposite. 


Norrona fjørå flex1 Mid Weight Shorts

The Norrona Fjora flex1 Midweight shorts are the burlier offering of the two shorts. Gone are the aeration holes in exchange for one solid fabric that we’ve proven can take a beating. Not only have they been great on the bike but they’ve also excelled on the hiking trail. 

Overview

  • Material: Flex1
  • Weight: 280 grams
  • Pockets: 3 (2 x hand, 1 x thigh)
  • Size Tested: Large
  • Country of Origin: China
  • Features:
    • X-open side vents w. mesh
    • Anti-slip waist
    • Velcro waist adjustment
    • SPF 30+
    • 50% recycled fibers
    • PFC Free DWR

All About the Norrona Fjora Flex1 Midweight Shorts

The Norrona Fjora Flex1 Midweight shorts are the burlier of the two short siblings reviewed. Gone is the aerated Flex1 fabric in exchange for a thicker and burlier version of the same material. This version retains the PFC-free DWR but adds a 30+ UPF resistance and is made of a recycled synthetic mix. 

Inside the waist is the same silicon gripping tape as the Lightweight version to keep the shorts from sliding down as the temps go up, especially nice if you have a heavy phone in the pocket. They also have a different version of the Custom-fit waist system. This time you cinch the waist with a hook and loop system on both sides of the waist. 

On the front of each leg is a hand-warming pocket and on the right leg is a zippered thigh pocket that does a great job of holding a face mask and my iPhone 8 plus. The shorts have a reinforced seat and gusseted crotch for reduced bulk and chafing against the saddle.

The Midweight shorts share the same side vent system as the lightweight shorts, the X-Open. I find this to be one of the best features of the shorts. I do not have small quads, to the point I have to often buy shorts and pants in a size too large for leg comfort. With the vents wide open and the stretch of the Flex1 material, the shorts are super comfortable. 

Overview

I’ve enjoyed these shorts quite a lot. The contrasting bright green and blue stand out and the custom fit waist system work very well. They stay put while cycling and with the X-Open vent fully open sit over knee pads really well. 

Although these are shorts designed for mountain biking I have found they also excel at being hiking shorts. The material is burly, and with the reinforced seat you can feel free to take a break wherever you want. The massive X-Open vents keep air flowing quite well.

Pros: X-Open, great length, burly material

Cons: A little more Quad room would be appreciated


Which pair is better for you?

The Norrona Fjora Flex1 Lightweight Shorts:

  • Better for the weight-conscious rider or rider in hot environments.
  • If you spend as much time going up as you do down in warm weather then we’d suggest grabbing a pair of the Lightweight shorts. 

The Norrona Fjora Flex1 Midweight Shorts:

  • For the more aggressive rider.
  • Built to take a beating and so are a bit heavier duty.
  • These are the shorts for you if you are into shuttling, enduro, or the bike park or for use on cooler days. 

If you are interested in checking out the Norrona Fjora lightweight shorts head on over to Norrona Fjora Flex1 Lightweight and if you think the Fjora Flex1 Midweight Shorts are your thing head on over to here: Norrona Fjora Flex1 Midweight Shorts.

Black Sheep Adventure sports was provided with a free pair of Norrona Flex1 Lightweight and Midweight shorts to test. This in no way affected our opinion and review of the shorts.