Here’s a collection of outerwear from THE that’s geared towards the heavier-duty rider who is looking for tough, durable, good-looking trailwear for serious hucking. The F-1 jersey and pant along with the Golf Skinz glove are designed for DH/FR and will even work for trail riding – though depending on conditions you might be a bit on the warm side for longer rides. Take a close look at these items at your LBS if you get the chance – both the pants and jersey are something to admire, with tonnes of subtle detaisl in the fabric that just don’t come through in photos (no matter how I try).
True to the F-1 name (Formula One comes to mind), this jersey ($99.99 MSRP) is truly high tech. Starting at the arms, you get a sleeve that neither bunches up, runs up, or snags no matter what moves you put on the bike. The sleeve is naturally bent and padded at the elbows and forearms (cleverly hidden in the stitching pattern). The arms also feature enough room for armor without requiring you to order one size up. Clearly Toby Henderson and the crew at THE really did their design homework.
The F-1 jersey sports a whopping 34 vents (six per arm, six in each arm pit, 4 front, 4 rear, and 2 side wrap arounds). The jersey material and stitching are heavy-duty and each seam from one panel to the next is double, if not triple, stitched. The back panel is cut so that even when you’re bent over it covers your behind without creeping up and exposing your plumbers crack.
The F-1 Technical Pant ($109.99 MSRP) is surprisingly versatile and I found myself wearing this one a whole bunch. Most of my riding includes rock gardens, log rides, and general stunts with the ever present chance of losing footing on the pedals so rather than wearing bulky armor and shin guards all the time, I found these pants were a suitable stand-in.
These pants feature padding covering the tibialis anterior (that is, your shins) with a highly abrasion proof material on the outside that stands up well to pedal slips. Strategically placed soft, yet durable, stretch fabric is placed where it is needed the most at the knee, back side of the calf, in the crotch, and along the back side of the pant. Besides being functional, these stretch zones really lend themselves to the overall comfort of the pant. An elastic waist and velcro, adjustable side straps keep the pants in position without a hint of drooping. Inside the pant you also get a thin padded area that adds a slight measure of comfort, but if you’re going a longer ride you may want to add a chamois-lined inner short.
Last but not least is the Golf Skinz Glove ($39.99 MSRP). This full-featured and full-fingered glove can best be described as a do-all glove. Heavy duty enough to take the rigors of FR/DH riding yet light enough for those who prefer a full fingered XC glove. The Palm is one piece made from fine suede leather and once broken in it offers good grip and a comfortable feel. The top of the glove features a combination of perforated leather on the outer two fingers for durability and strength with EVA foam padding and Aeroprene. The terrycloth thumb works great for wiping away sweat and stretch nylon at the knuckles gives fingers a full range of motion. The micro-adjust strap secures your hands nicely for a form-fitted glove without any unwanted movement.
On the trail
Wearing the new F-1 Jersey, Pant and Golf Skinz gloves was great, with or without body armor. When I first received these articles I thought they might be a bit impractical but I can happily report I was wrong (don’t judge a book by its cover!). The long-sleeve jersey isn’t as hot as you might think and I found the pants felt so good that I couldn’t help but wear them as often as I could. There were a few instances where I found them a bit too hot, especially when the temps were up there. Other than that, the fit and pre-shaped cuts made riding enjoyable.
The other upside to the pants and jersey is the protection they add without the need for armor. The tough material and light padding makes them perfect for aggressive trail riding or AM riding. The gloves were, as you would say, the cherry on top. They felt great and I really liked the split on the knuckles with the stretch nylon which kept the fabric from pulling on my finger tips.
This trio of equipment from THE showcases Toby Henderson’s commitment to quality equipment at great price points. Heck, at this price I say get two sets! Compared to other brands (some at more than twice the cost) these are a great deal. All items are available in either black or white so check out THE for your sizing.
A quick thanks to the folks at Toby Henderson Enterprise for sending up the products for review.