Royal Racing Apparel Review

by Brian Mullin on May 16, 2011

I have been riding with the Royal Racing Blast jersey, Blast gloves, Epic jersey and Esquire shorts since this winter, and I found them to be comfortable, durable and feature laden. The excellent Blast jersey and superb Blast gloves have been the highlight of the test period, followed closely by the others. Royal Racing was started in 2000 by riding legend Steve Peat and designer Nick Bayliss, and they offer no compromise gear for downhill, freeride and trail riding.

Blast Jersey
The Blast Jersey is an excellent product, that is comfortable, and simple but useful in its functionality and features. It’s cut baggy (loose) with a drop tail, and is long and oversized, since it was  meant to be used over armor. I predominantly wore it with elbow/forearm  guards underneath the jersey, and always had plenty of room. One extremely nice feature is a short section of padding that is sewn along  the outer portion of the forearm. It gave additional protection and  durability in a high wear area, and I appreciated it every time I got  whacked in the arm by the branches of the local scrub oak. It is a pull  on jersey, without any zippers, and although I would have liked a full  length front zipper for ventilation and functionality, the lack of one keeps the price down and the durability up. The jersey was very  comfortable, and I really liked the open collar, as it was never binding or  bothersome, and it just felt right. The jersey has been very durable, and hasn’t shown any signs of wear in the full time usage over the multiple months it was abused, and the typical wear spots by the  shoulders from a hydration pack were minimal.

This has been one of my favorite jerseys this past year, as it’s very comfortable, offers excellent sun protection, dissipates sweat well and vents nicely for a full sleeved jersey. It was just plain uber comfy!

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Padded forearm
  • Loose fit, excellent with under armor
  • Durable

Cons

  • No zipper (full length)
  • No optical wiping material

Blast Jersey Specs:

  • MSRP $59.95
  • Sizes – X Small, Small, Medium, Large, X Large, XX Large
  • Colors – Red, Blue, Green, Graphite
  • Description – The latest evolution of our race line – the 11th descendant of the jersey that started it all. Sublimated graphics, hi def logos, great venting and a drop tail make the 2011 Blast jersey a worthy successor to its predecessors.

Esquire Shorts
The two piece Esquire, are comprised of an outer short made from 4-way stretch polyester and spandex that has a long cut, and a removable inner chamois liner. I really like the Esquire shorts, as the extra length works well and extends to the top of my knee guards, so I never have a bare leg poking out when I am spinning. The shorts have two hand pockets, a small zippered stash pocket by the right hip (perfect for car remote or small tool), and two zippered mesh vents on the lower front leg. I find that zippered pockets are a functional necessity on a pair of rugged bike shorts, offering security for pocketed items. The polyester material is comfortable and durable, and stretchy enough to allow contortional movements while maneuvering around on the bike. It has two mesh panels on the sides by the lower legs, and then another by the upper back, which work in synergy for additional stretchiness. The front closure uses a metal hook, and two robust snaps, and a nice long zipper for natures calls. The inner chamois is comfortable and well padded, but the hooking system that hangs the liner is too delicate and hard to use, so I usually just skip clasping it. The zippers on the shorts functioned adequately, but their pull tabs would catch sideways on the sliders, and would have to be extracted before pulling on them (very annoying). The shorts have a nice waist adjustment system, that uses two simple Velcro hook-and-loop fasteners located at the hip that allow several inches of alteration, making for easy changes.

The Esquire is a great pair of shorts, that are comfortable, stretchy, with a long cut, and offers lots of useful features.

Pros

  • Zippered hip pocket
  • Comfortable and stretchy
  • Waist adjustment system

Cons

  • Fragile inner liner hanging system
  • Zipper pull tabs catch on sliders
  • Expensive
  • MSRP $119.95
  • Sizes – X Small, Small, Medium, Large, X Large, XX Large
  • Colors – Graphite, Steel Gray
  • Description – This is our primo trail ride short – and comes with high performance detachable short liner and perforated performance liner pad. The Esquire’s utilization of 4-way stretch polyester for maneuverability and comfort, Spandex lower back panels and front and rear mesh vents are key to its performance credentials. Hook and loop waist adjusters, non-rattle snap down zippers, bar tacked stress points, open hand pockets plus a zipped stash pocket complete the detail.

Blast Gloves
The Blast Gloves have turned out to be a surprise for me, since they have been impressively durable and long lived, and very comfortable. I am usually a destroyer of gloves, especially on the finger tips, but so far the gloves have been pretty tough, and I have yet to tear them. The inside of the middle and trigger fingers have some splotches of a sticky material (Silicon) to help adhere to the brakes and grips. The gloves use a .8mm thick Clarino, with very little padding, which helps immensely with the tactile feel on the grips, brakes and shifting, almost like you weren’t wearing any gloves. I have taken a few good tumbles, and landed directly on the gloves, and it did nothing to them. On some long rides additional padding would be nice, but it’s always a compromise for either tactile feel or comfort. The backside of the glove uses a mesh material, which is flexible and comfortable, and is porous enough to provide ventilation, but still be warm on colder days. The outside of the thumb has a soft microfiber section, which was extremely functional for wiping up sweat, and other bodily fluids.

“A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual. Certainly, without any choice. That’s the way your hard-core Commie works.”

When putting the gloves on, there is an extremely useful rubbery tab by the palm for pulling, and then for wrist closure, it has a Velcro strap to tighten them down, which is easy to use with gloved fingers. The Blast Gloves are pretty sweet, offering amazing durability and robustness for a thin glove, with excellent tactile feel, comfort and ease of use. Primo!

Pros

  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • Pull on tab
  • Velcro closure
  • Well made

Cons

  • Light colored material shows stains easily – not much of a issue, but I had to put something!

Blast Glove Specs:

  • MSRP $34.95
  • Sizes -X Small, Small, Medium, Large, X Large, XX Large
  • Colors – White, Red, Blue, Black
  • Description: Blast by name – Blast by nature – this glove is racked with performance features. Check out the palm – no unnecessary padding – just .8mm perforated Clarino with embossed Silicon fingertips and roll-over fingertip detail. The back of the hand features 3D primo mesh for maximum flexibility and comfort. A microfiber thumb-wipe is a great added touch, as are the direct-inject logos which provide great flexibility without compromising comfort. A TPR wrist closure and low profile hook and loop closure complete the profile.

Epic Jersey
The Epic jersey is made with an light open weaved Polyester, and has long meshed side panels, which combine for great stretchiness, ventilation and wicking capabilities. It’s a pretty simple unit, but looks are deceiving, as it has quite a few highly functional features. The jersey is nice and loose, and drapes pleasantly down your torso with a drop tail, and offers excellent comfort and maneuverability. It has a short 1/4 zipped front, which helps with temperature adjustment, and a decently high collar, that snugs up on the neck for inclement weather. On the inside of the jersey’s hem, by the right hip is a small section (5×6 inches) of optical wiping material, which is great to clean sunglasses or a camera lens. It has a zippered rear pocket that sits down low enough not to get in the way of a pack, so it is highly functional and can actually be used. The Polyester material wicks pretty well, and even when you get soaked on your back, it dries very quickly. I liked the graphics, since they were sort of interesting, without calling out that you are a walking advertisement board. The lightly weaved material did show some slight fraying and pilling by the hydration wear zones, but it appeared to be a cosmetic issue?

The Epic is a great jersey, that is comfortable and stretchy, with excellent ventilation and wicking properties, and a useful rear pocket and a optical wiping pad.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Excellent venting, wicking and drying
  • Lower back pocket
  • Optical wiping material,

Cons

  • Fraying and pilling by the hydration wear zones
  • Long term durability of the light material?

Epic Jersey Specs:

  • MSRP $54.95
  • Sizes – Small, Small, Medium, Large, X Large, XX Large
  • Colors – Red, Blue, Green
  • Description – Made from 100% moisture wicking Polyester and featuring sublimated no fade graphics, a rear zipped pocket, ΒΌ zip front, inside hem optic wipe and mesh side panels along with our signature drop tail design make the Epic Jersey… Epic!

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