Royal Racing 2010 Race Jersey & Short Review
At first glance, the overall design of the gear is striking and nice to the touch. Paired together, the jersey and short is an attention getter — whether you’re ripping down a trail or standing on the podium. The large logos placed in visible spots along with the herringbone graphics makes for a very moto feel. You’d no doubt feel like a king while waiting for your race to begin or when you’re ruling the race course. The race kits come in 3 color ways. They’re available in a black/gray/white set. A red/gray/white set. And the purple/gray/white set that was tested. The “Race” kit is aimed at downhill and freeride riders, however, Royal also offers gear for all riding disciplines in a full range of sizes to accommodate most rider types.
FIT, FINISH & PERFORMANCE
The fit is accurate and true to size as well as being very comfortable (see royal sizing guide). The jersey drapes nicely and is not excessively baggy nor form fitting. For a regular build person like myself, I was able to move around freely. The finish is first-class. The race jersey is designed for great looks and performance. I would compare them to horse-racing silks amongst the moto inspired gear that are out there. I especially appreciated the large vents down both sides that run from the arm pit to the bottom hem of the jersey. This comes in handy when the thermostat starts to heat up and air flow is highly prized. The sleeves have sewn in elbow pads that offer a little protection for those occasional spills but you shouldn’t rely on them to save your skin. One thing I noticed was that they made my arms feel warmer compared to the rest of the jersey.
The shorts can be dialed to provide a custom fit by using the velcro tabs on either side. You can adjust them as snug as you like. The shorts have ample amount of room without being droopy, this addresses the issue of them getting snagged on a seat. They never felt too tight or bunched up and were always just right. They are well vented with lots of mesh and vents for airflow. Stretch panels are used in places you’d expect to help with easy movement while pedaling. Although these are race shorts, they do come with 2 functional front mesh pockets with zipper closures. Perfect for carrying an energy bar in one pocket and a Rockstar in the other while cruising the pits. My only dislike was that the leg opening was bigger than I felt it needed to be, it seemed like there was extra fabric there. Overall I really like these shorts, they’re good fitting and feel comfortable on.
CONSTRUCTION & DURABILITY
The Race Jersey is made from a light, high-quality polyester. It feels lighter than a typical short sleeve T-shirt. The thin material is intended to provide better venting as well as suppleness for easy movement. I did not get a chance to test its durability as I did not crash (who wants to?). Looking at the fabric, they wouldn’t hold up too well in a crash. The high sheen finish might also be prone to snagging. All that said, race jerseys are designed to enhance the performance of the rider and offer some protection. No gear is rip-proof though. If you’re going crash during a race, tearing the jersey would be the least of your concerns. Most riders who want to ride with armor under the jersey will find these to work perfectly fine.
Like the jersey, the shorts needs to do the same job… fit comfortably, move easily, keep you cool and most importantly, protect your hide. What’s noticeable about the shorts is the light weight. Compared to my Troy Lee Moto’s, these were significantly lighter and had better airflow while not sacrificing durability or protection. The material was thick and felt like it would hold up well in a crash and take some abuse. The build quality is spot on. Other than the leg opening being a bit big for me, I liked the shorts a lot.
ABOUT ROYAL RACING
Made famous by riding legend Steve Peat, the Royal Racing brand was inspired and designed specifically for downhill racers in 2000. It became an instant success with it’s bold designs and attention to detail that cater to the DH community. For complete product lineup information, visit royalracing.com.
GOOD: Quality Construction. Progressive design/looks. Light weight. Vents well. Good fitting and comfortable. Helps bring photos to life.
BAD: Thin jersey material. Leg opening bigger than it needs to be.
Reviewed by Brian Roark