Royal Racing Java Jersey, MW365 Jersey and Shorts Review

by Brian Mullin on July 9, 2012

I
have been wearing the Royal Racing Java Jersey, MW365 Jersey and Shorts
since this winter, and I found them to be comfortable, durable and
feature laden. The excellent long sleeved Java Jersey has been a
pleasure to wear while riding during the test period, and it’s made with
the innovative S. Café fabric, which utilizes recycled coffee granules.
The MW365 Jersey and Shorts were designed in collaboration with Mark
Weir, hence the MW designation, and they’re a nice cusp between Cross
Country and All Mountain apparel. 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.

Java Jersey L/S
The jersey is made with the innovative S. Café fabric, which utilizes
recycled coffee granules in a polyester blend. The Taiwanese company
Singtex makes the S.Café fabric used in their Java jerseys. Their
process transforms recycled coffee grounds into the S.Café yarn, which
is then woven with polyester to create a technical composite fiber. The
S.Café fabric offers natural UV protection, odor control and
quick-drying properties, and is eco-friendly since the coffee grounds
don’t end up in the dump.

This long-sleeved jersey is an excellent
product, which is comfortable and simple, yet has great functionality
and features. It’s cut baggy and loose with a long cut, and the long
sleeves come down to the wrists for good coverage. You can wear thin
soft armor underneath the jersey, while bulkier types worked fine on the
outside, without too much bunching of the material. It pilled in a few
spots by the hydration packs wear zones and down by the wrists, but it
hasn’t shown any wear spots or holes, and compared to last year’s
material, which frayed and pilled like crazy; this version is much
better. It has an 11 inch front zipper for ventilation, although I would
prefer a 3/4 to full length one for maximum effectiveness, but the 1/3
length does a decent enough job. The jersey is very comfortable, with
excellent stretchiness, and the fabric is soft and plush against the
skin. The SE Cafe material is supposed to be odor-eating, and it does
seem to decrease the smell, albeit when you stink, you stink. 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.

Final Thoughts
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 can be used across all seasons, protecting the
body from the wrath of the sun in the summer, and good covering if used
with a base layer in the cooler season. The material is comfy against
the skin, and air seems to move nicely through the weave, and it wicks
and breathes well, and dry’s quickly. I do wish it had a small side
pocket, and all though it is much improved over last year, it still
pills.

Pros

  • Great breathability and wicking properties
  • Excellent sun protection
  • Loose and relaxed fit, and long cut
  • Comfortable and stretchy
  • Soft material
  • Optical wiping material
  • S.Café fabric – UV protection, quick drying and odor control

Cons

  • Slight pilling
  • No pocket

Java Jersey L/S Specs:

  • MSRP: $69.95
  • S-Café recycled coffee granules / polyester fabric
  • 1/4 length neck zip
  • Taped for comfort rear neck seam
  • Optic wipe
  • Sizes:  X Small, Small, Medium, Large, X Large, XX Large
  • Colors:  Molten Lava Red, Danube Blue, Graphite

MW365 Jersey
The jersey is made with their Royal ‘Kinetic’ Bamboo material on the
main body, and polyester meshed sections on the side, back and shoulder
blades. The materiel offers great stretchiness, ventilation and wicking
capabilities, and open weave on the back and sides (shown above in gray)
offers incredible flow through. All the material used has a rougher
feel to it, and the main bamboo product has a definite robustness and
toughness, which gives the jersey good durability. It has snagged and
pilled in a few spots, especially by the hydration packs wear zones, but
it hasn’t shown any wear spots or holes. The jersey has a loose cross
country cut, meaning it still has a slimmer and conforming style,
instead of  baggy and droopy. The meshed section takes up a lot of real
estate on the jersey, so you get a lot of ventilation and cooling, and
its open weaved pattern doesn’t retain much moisture. Another benefit of
the material is that you can hang it from a tree or your bike when you
take a break, and it dries very quickly. 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 stash pocket on the right side, that is about a deck of cards
in size, which can be used with a pack on, and in addition, it has three
classic back pockets.

Final Thoughts
The jersey has a
very classic cross country design, with a slimmer cut and three back
pockets. I prefer a baggier and looser cut myself, and I found the main
material a tad rough feeling, though it does add more robustness and
durability. The flow-through mesh side and back panels worked incredibly
well, and the large open weave easily passed air through the material,
and in addition, it didn’t hold much perspiration and dried super fast.

Pros

  • Mesh panels dry quick and offer superb ventilation
  • Excellent venting, wicking and drying
  • Lower back pocket
  • Optical wiping material
  • Durable

Cons

  • Pilling by the hydration wear zones
  • Slimmer XC cut than I prefer
  • Main material is a bit stiff and rough

MW365 Jersey Specs:

  • MSRP: $74.95
  • Royal ‘Kinetic’ Bamboo/Polyester mix fabric with flat lock stitch stitching
  • Three classic back pockets including zipped secure stash pocket
  • Double bar tacked at all key stress points
  • Sizes:  X Small, Small, Medium, Large, X Large, XX Large
  • Colors:  Molten Lava Red, Danube Blue, Cloudburst

MW365 shorts
The shorts use a 4-way stretch polyester and spandex blend, and have a
slim and form fit with a knee length cut. The polyester material is
slightly stiff and thick, which helps with durability, but lowers
ventilation and breathability, so they can feel warm on hot days. The
shorts have a small zippered stash pocket by the left hip, perfect for
car remote, small tool or keys. I find that zippered pockets are a
functional necessity on a pair of rugged bike shorts, offering security
for pocketed items, though I wish these shorts had more pockets
(especially hand). The shorts don’t come with an inner chamois liner,
though they do have hooks to hang one from.  The front closure uses two
robust snaps, and it has a well made zipper with an excellent slider.
Unfortunately, due to the slim cut and design of the front snaps, they
would occasionally pop open, which I found very annoying. For the
waistbands size adjustment, it uses an elastic interior strap system
located on the back half of the waist. To tighten, you pull the elastic
strap forward, and then insert a small button into the straps pre-cut
slots, and the rear section scrunches. It isn’t the easiest system to
use, and takes a few tries to figure out, but it works fine, and is
solid once it’s set. The entire waist band uses a soft inner material,
and the rear has a wide padded section, all of which combine for great
comfort.

Final Thoughts
The MW365 is a good pair of
shorts, that are comfortable, stretchy, with a decently long cut, and I
found them to be very durable. I personally found the fit too slim for
my tastes, as I prefer a much baggier design, but I think it will appeal
to someone coming from the cross country spandex world. I wish they had
more than one pocket, and I had issues with the front snap system.

Pros

  • Tough and durable
  • Comfortable and stretchy
  • Waist adjustment system

Cons

  • No chamois liner included
  • Only one pocket
  • Slim cut
  • Front buttons can pop open
  • Can feel warm on hot days

MW365 Shorts Specs:

  • MSRP: $69.95
  • 4 way stretch nylon fabric
  • Internal waist adjustment system with padded back waistband
  • Secure zipped stash pocket
  • Double bar tack stress points
  • Custom hollow pop snap and hook waist closure
  • Sizes: X Small, Small, Medium, Large, X Large, XX Large
  • Colors: Black

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