Troy Lee Designs gear has always stood out in a crowd, but following a cry for less flashy colors and subtle branding has been answered with their new Drift line of lightweight riding apparel. Aimed at the category some might call downcountry, the kit is breathable and robust with minimal pockets and features in the name of comfort with less bulk. Blue Sign is a label applied to certified apparel and clothing manufactured in safer, more sustainable environments, which both jerseys and the shorts earn a pass for.Drift Short and Long Sleeve Jerseys
The Drift series has short and long sleeve jersey options in carbon and marine tones - a color palette spread across all the latest bits of TLD apparel for this season.
The logo on the chest is small, rubberized, and color-matched, plus, on the back of the waist hem is a grippy silicone word mark to keep the jersey from riding up, should you choose to wear a pack. The jersey cut is a race fit without any rear pockets, zippers, or eyewear wiper.
Drift SS and LS Jersey Details
• Blue Sign Certified nylon shoulders and chest
• Feather Knit mesh lower body and back panel
• Short and long sleeve options
• Sizes: SM - XXL
• Colors: light marine, carbon
• MSRP: SS - $75, LS - $85 USD
At $75 USD for the short sleeve and the longer option coming in at $85, the tops are quite different from any other jersey I've tried due to the dual material. Both tops have a tough, but light nylon material on the upper chest and shoulders to guard against tears from trail encroaching branches. The lower chest and back are highly breathable, featuring a material TLD calls "Feather Knit". As for the sewing, the cuffs and hem are stitch free and use a tidy fabric weld for less weight and skin contact. Review
These short and long sleeve jerseys make for a great adventure jersey choice, which work in a few different climates thanks to its wind stopping qualities on the majority of the front panel and venting on the back. That unique nylon feels a little firmer than what you might be used to, but it doesn't stick to your skin when sweaty and hasn't pilled from the shoulder straps of a pack. It also lends to quick drying characteristics, on and off the bike. After a spin cycle in the washing machine, the jersey was basically dry and remained odor-free, something that can't be said for some other moisture wicking materials I've tried in the past.
The shape is also trimmed tightly at the bottom hem and arm cuffs with an overall athletic fit, as you would expect for the target market. Standing at 73 kg and 178 cm, the medium jerseys fit me well with enough room in the shoulders such that the collar area didn't feel restricting around my neck.
Pricing is in line with other technical jerseys and the hard wearing material makes it a worthwhile investment, if you can get along with the feel. As much as I enjoyed the two purposeful fabrics, the seam across the chest can also be a little ticklish, but is something easily forgotten about when the real riding begins.
Windproofing helps increase versatility
The feel of the windproof fabric won't be for everyone-
Seam across chest can be distracting
If you've ever wanted the slim weight of board shorts tailored for mountain biking without excessive pockets and features, then the Drift shorts should do the trick. Available in two colors; marine blue and carbon, the shell style short does not include a liner or have any snap buttons to attach such equipment. There is a zipper and single button on the waist closure with an adjustable velcro cinch on each side of the hips. The usual hand pockets are foregone for a small zipper on the lower left leg and another above the yoke panel on the back. There's no chance to fit a phone in the rear yoke pocket, but most devices shouldn't have trouble fitting in the side leg pocket.
• Lower Leg & Center Back Waistband Zippered Pockets
• Self-Fabric Waist Adjusters
• Blue Sign Certified 4-Way Stretch Woven
• Zipper Fly with Snap Closure
• Sizes: 30 - 38
• Colors: light marine, carbon
• MSRP: $109 USD
The Drift shorts also have a weld at the leg hem and are a slim fit, but are long enough that they shouldn't show thigh gaps if you choose to wear pads with this type of kit. On the inside of the waist is a sticky silicone to keep the shorts from riding up or sagging down.Review
One step up from full lycra, the weight and fit of the Drift are perfect for casual XC or trail riding. They are the lightest weight MTB shorts I have tried, similar to Dainese's HGL Aokighara shorts, and are best saved for the warmer months. Dry time is quick, like the jerseys, but they are not meant to be cooler weather apparel.
The Drift shorts lack of storage shouldn't be an issue if you ride with cargo bibs or rock a fanny pack because the rear zipper pocket is not large enough for a mobile device. Yes, the leg pocket has ample room for this, but the nature of the lightweight fabric doesn't keep objects in place while pedalling or descending. I'm also not a fan of riding with anything sitting against my tailbone, like a multi-tool or keys, so this pocket is best left for snacks or identification cards.
Recently, I've seen more shorts lack anything closing the fly area, even a velcro strip. The return of the zipper is welcomed to keep the fly area from becoming an intake vent. The snap button seems to have an extra bit of grip and never came undone while riding, plus the velcro adjusters are simple and keep things soft in the event of a lie down.
I can't speak to their proper durability just yet, but the 4-way stretch never developed any runs or tears in the fabric through bushwhacking and regular riding. The stitching between the legs held up through some muddy rides and washing, but I haven't had enough saddle time to give a true statement on longevity.
Very lightweight and quick drying+
Long enough for knee pads without being overly baggy
Leg pocket isn't that useful due to the short's lightweight construction