NZO Dobies and Sifter Shorts Review

Reviewed by: Essex Herts MTB -
NZO Sifter and Dobie
We're testing the NZO Dobies and Sifter Shorts from NZO.


For a series of reviews of Nzo products Essex Herts MTB headed to their headquarters in Rotorua, NZ. The company is run by a husband and wife team who have respectively graphic design and fabric production backgrounds. They now run Nzo from their specially built office/bike cave in the heartland of NZ mountain biking. All designs are done in house then samples are sourced from China and ridden to destruction through the local forests. Talking to the couple really shows their passion for biking and for getting the details of every design just right.

Nzo works on a direct sales only basis but given all the interest from the UK Nzo now has a locally owned and operated service centre in Hungerford. Britons Arabella Tancred and Ian Nesbit are ready to send Nzo products straight to you.

Nzo Sifter Shorts - What NZO Say

  • Sifters are our all-day every day street / trail shorts.
  • A seamless crotch gusset allows freedom of movement for pedalling.
  • Hand pockets are positioned to fold flat when you are riding.
  • A side zip pocket on the right leg is big enough for a phone, keys, a shuttle or lift pass and a bar or two.
  • Generous stretch woven into our NzoFlex fabric. Side pull tabs have a capacity of about 8cm total adjustment For women we make the Sifters sister short the Scuffer.
  • UK price £68.30

NZO Sifter
"A seamless crotch gusset allows freedom of movement for pedalling"

Nzo Sifter Shorts - Fit and fabric

  • These are the perfect trail short fit - not too tight and not too baggy (no flapping knees when putting the miles in here).
  • The length is perfect for knee pads and doesn't show too much milky white thigh when riding without.
  • These are made from a truly stretchy fabric which means they have a nice "give" when pedaling.
  • The fabric is tough, seriously tough - I crash at least once a week and have been riding these for 6 months yet have no rips or tears, in fact they still look new after a quick wash.
  • For such tough fabric is dries pretty darn fast.
  • The fabric is pretty thick, so its durable but it can get a bit warm when you get up to those 30 degree summer days.
  • The sizing is a little small so check your measurements against the sizing chart and email to confirm the best size for you. (Nzo say this was an issue with one batch so check with them they are very happy to help).

NZO Sifter
"For such tough fabric is dries pretty darn fast."

Nzo Sifter Shorts - Features and Styling

  • Zip and popper closure is secure
  • Side pull tabs on the waist use hook and pull with nice plastic ends to keep things looking good and get the best fit.
  • Hand pockets on the diagonal are easy to use and don't bunch when riding One zip pocket big enough for a pair of sunglasses or keys etc. This is the best positioned pocket I have ever used. I did 30km with my glasses in here and it was so comfortable I forgot they were there.
  • Reinforced stitching everywhere to keep things going strong.
  • These come in black or grey (called carbon by Nzo) with classy contrast stitching. However no matching with your lime green jersey here
  • They are not obviously bike shorts
  • No clip in liner here but you can choose whatever undershort you like.

Nzo Sifter Shorts - Final Thoughts

These are the best trail riding shorts I have ever ridden. The fit is spot on, the fabric is tough yet soft, the construction is excellent, and the features are really well thought out. I really think perfection has been reached for anyone who doesn't ride in scorching temperatures everyday.

Find out more about the Nzo Sifter Shorts here.

NZO Dobie Shorts - What NZO Say

  • The centre section and back yoke are made of Nzoium - a stretchy material.
  • The side panels are NzoFlex, a quick dry blend of nylon and polyester Open pockets are positioned so they are folded closed when you are riding.
  • A secure zip pocket positions any freight low and to the back of the right leg.
  • Drawstring elastic waist is simple but good when it comes to riding functionality.
  • A fleece pad makes them work “commando style”.
  • Dobies are a unisex short.
  • UK price £71.40

NZO Dobie
"The side panels are the same fabric as the Nzo Sifters and have the same toughness"

NZO Dobie Shorts - Fit, fabric and features

  • The fit is very similar to the Nzo Sifters we have already reviewed. The Dobies are a little longer and a little bit baggier making them still a trail short but with more of a DH/Enduro than an XC feel.
  • The elastic waist is very very comfortable - especially if you are heading down the pub after the ride!
  • The pockets are all the same as the Nzo Sifters and are just as brilliant.
  • The side panels are the same fabric as the Nzo Sifters and have the same toughness, The centre panel is like a silky type material which makes these cooler than the Nzo Sifters but doesn't dry as quickly.
  • The liner also soaks up any water coming its way.
  • The stitched in lining sits well and doesn't feel uncomfortable but is very thin so offers little actual benefit.

NZO Dobie
"These look more relaxed than the Nzo Sifters but not as baggy as say a TLD moto short."

NZO Dobie Shorts - Styling

  • As with the Nzo Sifters the Dobies are simple and understated.
  • Available in black with orange contrast stitching or grey (carbon) with black contrast stitching.
  • These look more relaxed than the Nzo Sifters but not as baggy as say a TLD moto short.
  • The elastic waist band and silky central panel gives them a slight jogging pant look.
  • The stitching for the lining looks a bit odd and means they are not so easy to get away with in the pub.

Nzo Dobie Shorts - Final Thoughts

The Dobies are most definitely comfortable with their elastic and ride great with a lighter feel than the Nzo Sifters, but I cant help wishing they didnt have the sewn in liner. For this reviewer the liner doesn't add anything to the short (although I am not a normal "commando style" rider as Nzo put it) and gives them a less classy look compared to the Nzo Sifters.

Find out more about the Nzo Dobie Shorts here.