and has been supporting World Cup racers for quite some time now, and if they can crash hard and still ride out of it, why can't we? However, no one over at Pinkbike.com is World Cup material(talking about the staff here), but we sure tested the crash protection rating of the products at hand. How much abuse can 1 product take?
Let's see.Most riders nowadays ride in, what to them is, protective clothing. Sometimes protective clothing consists of your old roller blading hand guards, some knee pads from 1967 with purple plastic cups on them, and your school shoes. This, mixed with your slip stream XC helmet, and you're ready to go kill it. To me, my protective gear consists of 4 things; I feel comfortable riding in my full face helmet, a jersey or t-shirt, a pair of gloves, and something that covers all, or most of my legs.
We got our paws on some wicked Royal Racing riding gear; a SP247 jersey, and a pair of the Sub Shorts. After strapping up with the SP247 Jersey, and the Sub Shorts, I went out for a bike ride. The initial feeling of these products was awesome. The SP247 Jersey, which is made from 100% polyester, fit perfect out of the box on my skinny ass frame. Super comfortable fitting, with vertical top and bottom vents keeping you cool on even the hottest days. Along with being a very comfortable, breathable jersey, the SP247 is made with contrasting flat lock stitching to help eliminate seam rub. Something else that definitely adds to the SP247's comfort factor is its loose cuffs and extended back which helps to keep the debris out off your butt crack when your shorts ride slow. Seeing as the SP247 Jersey was combined with the Sub Short, I've been rocking out in full Royal Racing kit. The Sub Short is made from durable micro-fiber, with a sublimated lower back spandex section to keep the shorts from tightening up on you. With a double-layered seating area (chamois) to reduce chafing, and a fancy "stud-and-eye" waist closure system, the Sub Shorts were ready to rock, just like the jersey.
Now that I was all suited up and ready to ride, I set out to test the Royal Racing products to their full capabilities. After a very nice ride up at the local shredding hill, I was pleased with my first ride with the Royal gear strapped to my back. Not only was I comfortable in the gear, but it performed how it was supposed to. After a few rides I was still pleased with the way they performed. The Royal Racing Sub Short features a handy finger loop along the back seam, so if they become loose or move a bit, you can adjust them with your gloves still on. This was a HUGE help. There is nothing more frustrating than stopping mid trail because your shorts are hanging down under your bum (remember I am skinny). They also feature over sized belt loops, incase you would like you can ride with them strapped up. A number of rides went by while I was rocking the Royal Racing gear, and they endured it all extremely well. Then, I made the mistake of going to Whistler Mountain bike park for a weekend. Here comes the pain
As some of you may know the Whistler bike park likes eating people alive. After a few very comfortable rides down the trails, I decided to get a little bit "faster". Well, after hitting the shale and dust covered ground going 50 km/h. breaking my collar bone, and enduring a very uncomfortable ride to the bottom of the trail, I was pleased to see that my Sub Shorts had just 1 little tear in them from what I believed to be a sharp rock. The jersey, besides from being stuck to my body from all the gross'ness that your body leaks out once it has had an encounter with basically sandpaper going 50km/h, was still in tack and ready for more trail riding. So, as the story goes, Royal Racing has created a group of riding clothing that is way more durable to rocks and shale than my skin is. Take my word for it.
Lots of Royal Decals
Well, as anticipated, the Royal Racing gear was a huge success. I was super stoked on wearing the SP247 Jersey, and the Sub Short, and they performed to my highest expectations. The Sub Shorts held up very well throughout my rides, with limited amounts of slippage. The pockets are very nice, not only on the hips, but the lower leg pocket with the key ring attachment in them. The Velcro they used is super strong, and never once did I run into an issue with it coming undone. The jersey, along with being very breathable, and comfortable, held up great to the worst conditions I could throw at it in the middle of summer, and anything that can beat a 155lbs object's breaking surface against rock's going 50km/h and survive it is a well built piece of material.
Riding Dirty Straight on Steeps
Not only did they feel great, perform amazingly, but they endured one hell of a crash (and a few minor ones too). All in all the SP247 Jersey and the Sub Short performed extremely well. Super solid set up and I would definitely suggest to anyone who is in the market for riding gear to check out Royal Racing, or talk to your Local Bike Shop about getting a hold of some of their gear. In Canada you can have your local shop bring in the goods through www.norco.com