Royal Racing Stage Jersey - Review

Apr 3, 2014
by Mike Kazimer  
Pinkbike Product Picks

Royal Racing stage jersey review

Royal Racing's Stage jersey is tailored with a fit that's not as skin-tight as an XC jersey, but not as loose as one meant for DH.


Royal Racing Stage Jersey

Royal Racing's new Stage jersey is billed as being designed for enduro racing, a claim we'd be inclined to poke fun of it it wasn't the truth. With an athlete roster that includes both the Trek World Racing and the Steve Peat Syndicate enduro teams, there's plenty of evidence that this long sleeve polyester jersey is meant for the race track. Highlights include a more form fitting cut than a typical baggy DH jersey, in addition to a ¼ length front zipper and elasticized cuffs to keep the sleeves from sliding back down when they're pushed up. A mesh panel runs along each side of the jersey for extra ventilation, and the back panel is slightly longer than the front to keep it from riding up when you're hunched over the handlebars. Available in blue, red, and grey in sizes S-XXL(XXL in grey only). MSRP: $59.95. www.royalracing.com

Royal Racing stage jersey review

The front zipper cover and the mesh underarm vents are evidence of Royal's attention to detail.


Pinkbike's Take:

bigquotesThe Stage jersey was a constant companion on our late winter and early spring rides, due in no small part to its comfort and well though out fit. Long sleeve jerseys aren't the most exciting product in the tech-heavy world of mountain biking, but the little details that Royal has included on this jersey had us reaching for it over and over again. Things like the small flap of fabric at the top of the zipper that keeps it from scratching against your throat, or the elasticized cuffs to keep the sleeves from sliding down once they're pushed up are simple enough features, but that's what helps make the Stage jersey worth more than a long sleeve polyester shirt from the thrift store.

During our rides temperatures typically hovered around the 40-50 degree Farenheit mark, conditions where rolling up the sleeves and unzipping the front zipper usually provided enough ventilation to keep us at a comfortable operating temperature until we reached the top of a climb, and then it was sleeves down, zipper up for the high speed descents. One addition we would have liked to see is a goggle / sunglasses wipe sewn to the inside lower portion of the jersey. This has proven to be a handy feature on jerseys from other manufacturers, and it would make sense for Royal to include one given the Stage's enduro race intentions. We also found that the blue colored fabric had a tendency to hold dirt stains even after a thorough washing, and a couple months of muddy, sloppy rides has our jersey looking slightly dingier than it originally did. Even though it might not be looking as sparkly clean as when it was new, all of the seams are intact, and there aren't any rips or loose threads to be found, points that matter much more to use than whether or not a jersey has a few mud spots on it. For riders looking for a well made, do-it-all long sleeve jersey, the Stage is definitely worth a look.
- Mike Kazimer





64 Comments

  • + 33
 It has a chest zipper.....I'm not sure how I feel about this....
  • + 9
 easy acces?
  • + 33
 My chest hair should have the same feeling of exhilaration that my face hair does. Don't discriminate.
  • + 45
 What if I buy this and use it for mountain biking instead of Enduro?
  • + 4
 vroomvroompartystarter-Point taken and understood, thank you sir!!
  • + 5
 jervis - too risky. product may fail such a test
  • - 3
 Honestly, don't even buy biking jerseys, such a waste of money, all they are is largr hole polyester shirts, l could go to chinatown and buy a fake hockey jersey for $10 that is also made of large hole polyester and even comes with my favourite player's name on the back
  • + 2
 @mnorris122, exactly... except the real biking jerseys like this one have a couple of fundamental features for, you know, biking. Namely the zipper which can really help thermoregulate when you're pedaling uphill and, most of all, the long tail, which is a really nice addition unless you ride with people who enjoy looking at your butt while pedalling behind you.
  • + 2
 Just keep your pants pulled up, and hardly any AM or DH jerseys come with zippers anyway
  • + 7
 That's just the reason I was complaining in my other comment about having so little choice of real biking jerseys in the all mountain segment. Years of technical clothing evolution completely forgotten because we want to dress like motorcyclers... Fortunately the enduro wave is pushing everyone to reconsider that mountain biking is both uphill *and* downhill and clothes should be optimized for both aspects.
  • + 1
 chest zipper means enduro. and it looks as loose as my "DH' jerseys haha.... thats digging pretty deep there bud.
  • + 1
 you could go to any box athletic store and buy name brand closeout or new exact same wick tech tops @ 1/2 the price. you don't get the marketing so you may not look duro-legit but you do get the tech.
  • + 1
 Love the zipper. I heat up quickly and like to avoid be soaked with sweat on chillier "long-sleeve" XC riding days, but I don't like most of the tight XC gear. Being able to vent on a climb outweighs whatever fashion faux pas may be committed. Unfortunately the graphics are less than desirable though.
  • + 2
 "Years of technical clothing evolution completely forgotten because we want to dress like motorcyclers"

@justgivemeanavailableusername that's EXACTLY why I think it's hilarious when people hate on XC jerseys and other bike training clothing. It's all super functional. Way more so than moto jerseys or flannel shirts.
  • - 1
 thats an extremely biased non-informed opinion. people wear moto style gear for added protection and coverage. If I wore spandex and an xc jersey and crashed going 70kmph into trees and rocks I would be a mess! There is definitely a reason why the pros wear the gear they do. dakine, sombrio, TLD have been making all mountain riding gear for years! get your head out of your A.
  • + 5
 Sorry, don't buy it. No way a TLD jersey magically protects you better than a long sleeve zip-up jersey from Pearl Izumi, Louis Garneau, or Gore. The materials are exactly the same, one is just WAY more comfortable for putting in long days pedaling. Sure, if I was doing lift-serviced DH in the mud I might want one of those full body painters' suits, but I wouldn't feel any safer crashing in a glorified polyester t-shirt just because it's baggier and more moto-looking than other tech layers.
  • + 0
 they really aren't the same at all. wow. pinkbike. wow. have you ever touched tld pants or long sleeve jersies? doesn't sound like you know what you're talking about.
  • + 3
 Yes. Both polyester. Both smooth/stretchy enough to reduce abrasion on your skin in the case of a crash. But again, one has zippers, vents, food/tool/tube pockets, and has a slim fit, and the other is just a baggy shirt with a big ass logo on it. For the same price, I'll take the extra features.

I've taken road crashes in long sleeve jerseys and tech base layers, which is about as abrasive and skin-ripping as it gets. It's plenty of protection.
  • + 3
 Plus I think enduro gear is already going the xc direction anyway. It's already way more form-fitting and feature-rich than most DH stuff. It's like the difference between ski touring clothes and park rat clothes. One is functional, light, and efficient. The other is stylish, baggy, and would be a pain in the ass if you ever had to earn your turns.
  • + 11
 Why can't standard dh jerseys be form fitting as well? If you're wearing TLD jerseys it's unlikely you'll have huge pads underneath... I would like to not be a human sail on rides, then again being skinny kind of contributes to that.
  • + 4
 you've unwittingly stumbled into the thorny 'skin suits or not' argument which will be monitored by the UCI and is a hornets nest that no-one can escape from. proceed with caution Smile
  • + 1
 @finnrambo, they are if you get the right size.My Lavan Jerseys feel perfect, same with my royal racing ones too.
  • + 1
 If it was that simple, WC riders wouldn't be getting their jerseys tailored.
  • + 1
 thats a different story completely @groghunter on tracks like SA you are pedalling so much and it's wide open, they re-fit jersies to save a 1000th of a second per minute. besides, if you really want to, you can get any jersey custom tailored... won't make a difference for us non wc podium finishers though!
  • + 1
 Skin suits or not? I just want a jersey to fit like a t shirt... I'm not digging the idea of wearing a skin suit for downhill, it's just... why?
  • + 2
 Simple, to go faster. Before they were banned by the UCI, every downhiller wore skin suits.
  • + 8
 Are they using "Stage" in the name because they don't want to say "Enduro Specific"? I feel like thats what this jersey is going for haha...
  • + 5
 "As its name suggests the Stage is designed for enduro stage racing." -Royal web site.

Actually there is no beating around the bush. They call it as they see it. It is indeed Enduro specific.
  • + 8
 A review of a shirt? A shirt?!!! Ahahahahaha

An 'ENDURO' shirt?? You mean a shirt to mountain bike in? Fack
  • + 4
 c'mon pinkbike…this guy's right
  • + 18
 He is right, but wouldn't you rather know if a $60 jersey was worth forking over your hard earned dollars for rather than buying one and finding out it had some kind of flaw? We review everything from jerseys to the most complicated suspension products available - if you're not interested in this particular item there are plenty of other reviews on the way.
  • + 5
 You're both right.... Pinkbike does review a lot of products and if the one you are reading about doesn't interest you, stay tuned and another one is going to come along.

However, you're readership is starting to get really REALLY tired of the pandering to the marketing guys. In the last 4 - 6 months, I'll even lump the majority of MTB media in on this and not just PB. I know you guys have jobs to do and your following your passions, but surely you're reading the comment sections lately and you see what's going on. I hope that the bike companies and marketing guys are reading these comments, since they're gathering all their data from all of the different polls and such that happen on here lately. Why can't bike stuff just be bike stuff anymore???

"Enduro" as a term is killing me. "Enduro" racing I actually really like, but the fact that it has to now be tied to this marketing buzzword that's going to kill it because of the pending backlash that's just starting is going to be sad.
  • + 3
 barnz0rz - spot on buddy. can't wait for it to crash 'n burn so we can back to basics, leaving us to just the simple pleasures of "mountain biking" once the novelty has worn off and people sell their $6k Enduro specific bikes to "mountain bikers"
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer but now the question must be asked, how can l justify spending $60 on this large hole polyester shirt when l can go to chinatown and get a large hole polyester fake hockey jersey for $10?
  • + 1
 Firstly, Pinkbike is by far the website I visit most often because of how good it is. I appreciate all the things Pinkbike does for us. Back to the review for a second, I like the ones that talk about something that is "out of reach" in some way. Either my shop doesn't carry it, it's expensive enough that I have to save up and make a risk decision or it has some characteristic I wouldn't otherwise have explained to me. For a $60 shirt that doesn't somehow revolutionize shirts I'll take my chances. For the record I like Royal and thought the article was well written.
  • + 4
 Loving the Royal clothing right now. Fits me just great. I didn't even notice the zipper on mine until i'd taken it off. Much better quality than the TLD and One kit i've been trying.
  • + 1
 Ive had zippers on shirts before and they can be really annoying. Glad to hear this one isnt noticeable.
  • + 3
 $60 for a polyester shirt...Oh it has a zipper....Sold!!!

Thrift store and Charity shops exist so that mountain-bikers can buy $5 shirts to get covered in shit and snag on branches.
  • + 1
 wow, y u so unenduro? U need to tighten up ur fanny pack and jump on the marketing bandwagon!
  • + 1
 You mean the bandwagon that is already overloaded with people who need to be told what to ride and what to wear? You can have my spot.
  • + 3
 Great shirt. Fits slimmer than you'd expect but not XC slim. I'm used to a DH jersey, didnt like the cut when first put on but when on the bike feels like a DH jersey so alls good. Endorsed by Peaty so nuff said.
  • + 4
 I am big fan of this Jersey. It's EnduRAD !! By far the most comfortable and form fitting jersey I own!!
  • + 1
 I laugh at all the "enduro" hating. It's just a word. Just so happens that many trails that most of us love to decend have a climb to get to the top. The equipment that has evolved as a result of enduro suits the need perfectly from the new light 6" 27.5 enduro bikes that climb nearly as well as they decend to the fitted, not tight, not baggy well ventilated enduro kits that perform perfectly. Again, enduro is just a word. Marketing hype..? Sure there's hype around new equipment that works better than it's predassors. Why not put some hype behind it. I use all this new equipment and it's the best I've ever used since I started riding in 1991. It's called evolution. One can't judge until they try... The Royal Racing Stage jersey is a perfect example of the right tool for the job it was designed for. Up and down. I have one so I can actually give you an informed judgment.
  • + 1
 I've been using this Jersey this spring and love it. When the temp is cool while standing around or descending yet hot while climbing the zip and elastic cuffs that keep the sleeves up are great for temperature management. I'm wearing the RR Signature short as well and love these as well. For the people complaining on price, RR is priced very competitively against the competition unless you're buying non-technical, non bike specific gear. If you can afford a decent bike, you can definitely afford this Jersey. I've been riding for a long time and my current RR kit is the best functioning I've ever had. 2 thumbs up.
  • + 1
 People need to chill out about the "enduro" tag, if you've raced enduro you'll know it isn't as similar to a "trail" ride as most would badge it as it's non stop and it's organised competition and racing discipline. Yeah the products work fine for lots of different disciplines, I use the "DH" specific saint cranks. I didn't see people getting all pissy when sram launched their DH specific cassette or when shimano release their saint stuff. The guys that complain about "enduro" specific tag sound like the XC guys who got upset about the new DH category in the mid 90's. Enduro has taken of because people like the avalanche races, the European enduro scene which hsd been going for years, downieville and many other well established races.
A lot of people like to know what products have been designed for. If you don't like the look of the thing that's going to be reviewed don't read it, read something else.
  • + 1
 while I do agree with you, I think the biggest thing is we had a category of bikes for years that was called all mountain (which also took some slack) and now they are slapping on enduro as a buzz word to sell things. Its kind of like the trail category it used to be either xc or all mountain, and now there's this category which people also hated on until they got used to it. Enduro becoming a renamed catagory for all mountain, Ok makes sense don't know why we need to do it but hey what sells, sells, however enduro specific grips well now things are just getting silly
  • + 1
 It looks like all the enduro hype is starting to backfire... It's a bit sad because this seems a really good jersey, I wish there were more like this. You may not believe it but the zipper is the single most important feature a jersey must have if you pedal uphill and enjoy fast descents then. Call it enduro, all mountain or just mountain biking but the choice in this category is really limited, you only get xc tight jerseys, that look terrible with shorts, or baggy and unfeatureful downhill ones that suck for pedaling when it gets warm.
  • + 2
 Hey. I just recieved this jersey in the mail and when I opened it up and read the tag it says not for use when using 559wheels. Sorry guys.
  • + 3
 Does it work for the DHers who push their bike to the top ? Big Grin
  • + 1
 no. the clue is in the name. no Stage, you fail
  • + 1
 It's a Gosh Darn shirt! Does it fit? Score! Do you like the color? Score! Is the material comfortable? Score! Keep it simple guys.
  • + 1
 soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo endurooooooooooooooooooooo! Nice shirt, not sure why everyones getting so worked up on the word enduro, chill out and go ride your bikes
  • + 3
 Nice write up. Plz do a review on stem caps
  • + 1
 Royal make some shite. I've had two pairs of gloves more or less fall off my hands. No more for me thanks.
  • + 2
 I have this jersey...LOVE IT.
  • + 1
 They make good stuff. But fuck the zipper on such a shirt.
  • + 3
 I can think of better things to do with it...
  • + 1
 everyone her would use this Jersey if it was a gift.
  • + 0
 is this shirt compatible with 27.5" wheels? i dont think you mentioned that in the review....
  • + 0
 No sorry, it's 559 specific.

And they should step up their enduro writing game:
Descent is nowadays called a stage!
  • + 1
 Dull !!!!!
  • + 1
 zipper... not cool!!

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