Bringing a dash of colour and style into the office, we’ve just had some fresh kit arrive courtesy of the crew at Lusty Industries. While the trails outside are getting drier and browner as the heat of summer wears on, we’ll be looking bright and colourful in some new threads courtesy of Troy Lee Designs, who have also provided some of their lightweight ‘Shock Doctor’ body armour. There’s also a new pair of kicks from 5.10, where we’ll be getting our flat-pedal on for an upcoming feature about the merits of ditching the clip-in pedals for XC. While you’ll be seeing all of these items in an upcoming issue of Enduro Magazine, we figured being the nice guys we are, that we’d give you a little sneak peek at what’s to come…
- Trail fit cycling jersey with 10″ front zipper.
- Breathable, moisture wicking 50+ UPF material.
- Lycra shoulder panel for increased comfort.
- 3 rear open pockets and 1 zip stash pocket.
- Reflective detailing on drop tail.
- Screen printed front panel graphic
- Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large
- Colours: Red, White, Black
- RRP: $89.95
For shorter rides without a Camelbak, the Ace jersey features three open pockets on the rear, as well as a neat little zippered pocket for keys or any other valuables you don’t want bouncing down the trail. With its loose fit and lightweight mesh construction, this should be an ideal garment for warm after work rides when you choose a water bottle over a backpack.
Coming as a 2-piece item, the Ace shorts include both an inner liner and the baggy outer short. The liner features a soft padded chamois and a lightweight mesh construction that is very much designed to be paired with an outer short – they’re a little too see-through to go on their own. Unless you’re into that sort of thing?
TLD Ace Short features:
- 4 way stretch, highly durable 90% Polyester / 10% Spandex mix material.
- Full waist and hip height adjustment with branded adjusters.
- Permanent crotch ventilation via welded intake and exit vents.
- Additional thigh and crotch ventilation zippers.
- Removable inner short chamois with Lycra thigh panels.
- High quality ribbed Spandex stretch panel.
- Pedal friendly inner side pockets.
- Padded rear zip media pocket.
- Reflective logo detail.
- YKK brand zippers.
- Sizes: 30, 32, 34, 36, 38
- Colours: Black, Grey, Red
- RRP: $199.95
To match the lightweight jersey, the Ace shorts feature zippered ventilation on the front of the legs, and additional vent holes through the inner leg of the outer short. Instead of a traditional zip, there’s a velcro closure point with a double press-fit stud to lock them down.
The Ace shorts come in 2″ increments from size 30-38, but for fine-tuning the fit, velcro tabs on the waist allow you to get them snug on your waist.
The baggy short uses a part Spandex construction to allow it to flex. Encouraging movement even further is a large 4-way stretch panel around the back of the shorts that mean the short doesn’t tighten down on you during pedalling efforts. Out back, a small zippered pocket provides another little nook for keeping your valuables safe. A great spot to keep spare change for the pub afterwards!
5.10 has long been regarded as the leader when it comes to flat-specific shoes. Their history producing sticky rubber for rock climbers gave them an excellent foundation for bringing out what are without doubt the grippiest mountain bike shoes on the market. In 2014, their range has extended significantly to encompass DH models, clip-in shoes, as well as lighter and more paired-back shoes such as the Freerider VXi we have on review.
“Introducing Five Ten’s new Stealth Contact outsole that allows you to pull, push and adjust, the new Freerider Vxi is designed for casual all-mountain flat pedal riders to the aggressive downhill racer. Riders will instantly understand the advantage of the new Contact outsole that’s treadless under the foot’s ball for float. The new Freerider Vxi has a breathable, abrasion-resistant upper, a new performance-fit, and an asymmetrical welt that provides extra crank-side durability.” – Five Ten
Aside from being slimmer overall compared to 5.10’s downhill range, the Freerider VXi also utilise a different tread pattern on the outer sole. The idea behind this design is to allow for the rider to more easily move their shoe around on top of the pins on a flat pedal, in order to find the optimum pedalling position. Previous 5.10 shoes were almost too grippy in this sense, and meant you would have to physically lift your shoe off the pedal to reposition it. As such, the Freerider VXi shoes are more designed for high-mileage XC and All Mountain riders, where saddle and pedal position are crucial to all-day riding efficiency and comfort.
Thankfully the Freerider VXi’s still come with 5.10’s special blend of ‘Stealth’ rubber, which purportedly provides nearly as much traction during pedalling as a full-blown clip-in system. Given how addicted we’ve been to our SPDs, we’re very keen to put those claims to the test.
5.10 Freerider VXi features:
- Designed for trail riding
- Lace-up closure
- Reinforced toe box and heel cup
- Driveside ‘welt’ for durability against crank rub
- Upper: Action leather
- Outersole: Stealth Contact Sole
- Sizes: 39 – 48 (some half sizes available)
- Colours: Red, Charcoal/Grey, Pumice/Black
- RRP: $129.95
Along with flat pedals and shoes, we’ve also been witnessing a trend around the trails for lightweight body armour. What was once the exclusive domain of maniacs like Josh Bender and Dave Watson, body armour has evolved over recent years to become lighter and more effective than the moto-inspired gear that we all recognise. Along with this evolution, it has also become apparent that with the advent of bigger wheels, even XC riders like us are going harder and faster than ever before. With higher speeds comes additional risk however, and although we might be blasting around on 9kg race weapons, the reality of a crash is arguably higher on something like a Giant XTC, than it is on a 6″ travel Giant Reign. Brands like TLD have recognised this trend, and have since created a new line of protection in their body armour range that is specifically built for XC and trail riders than hardcore downhill racers. Enter the Shock Doctor range.
Shock Doctor armour features:
- Mesh construction provides airflow and lightweight design.
- Internal high-impact knee/elbow cap.
- Lycra® low-compression zones in a strapless, tapered elastic sleeve.
- No-slip internal grip zones.
- Rugged woven aramid material to resist abrasions.
- Styles: Elbow, Elbow/forearm, Knee & Knee/shin
- RRP: $54.95 (elbow), $77.95 (knee)
Protecting your knees and elbows are all well and good, but if you’re going to be pedalling around for 3 hours, any gear you’re wearing better be comfortable. The Shock Doctor range is built from lightweight Lycra materials, and uses a sleeve design to reduce the need for compression straps or velcro adjustment. The idea is to simply slip on the knee or elbow pads, without causing tight spots that would make themselves apparent on long days in the saddle.
Here you can see the heavy use of mesh that’s employed for the Shock Doctor Knee Guards construction. Sure, they’ll still be warmer to wear than wearing no armour at all, but at the end of the day you only have one pair of knees and one pair of elbows, and all it takes is one rock to hit you in the wrong spot.
While you won’t likely see us lining up at a 12 hour with the Shock Doctor armour on, there are plenty of trails we can think of that we’ll be slipping on the knee and elbow pads. Keep an eye out on upcoming issues of Enduro Magazine to see our final reviews on the new TLD and 5.10 range.
Phone: (02) 4964 2227