I’ve been wearing THE gear – helmets, armor, and soft goods – for a while and I’m a big fan. So I was stoked recently to get my hands on the F-1 short and Sport Jersey. One thing you can always count on with THE: there’s always more than what meets the eyes. The F-I short and Sport Jersey are certainly no exemption with simple looking graphics at a distance but as you get closer you see the subtle sublimated graphics like something out of a fine tattoo parlor. Not only does the gear look great but it’s functional on the trail as well.
The Sport Jersey comes in sizes from X-small to XX-large to fit the majority of riders out there regardless of physical size or dimensions. With three colors to choose from (red, blue, and black) and a white background you can be sure to find something to match your bike and kit.
My favorite thing about the Sport Jersey is how much this thing breathes. With fully vented arms, lower back, and front, I found the jersey felt cool when riding without the heat build-up that some long sleeve jerseys can cause. The fit is roomy enough to wear your armor underneath while the added padding on the outside of the arm around the forearm is a nice touch for extra durability and minor thorn protection.
The Sport Jersey has a tapered and bent cut on the arms which feels great without feeling like it’s pulling when you’re steering. The built collar opening is adequately sized so that it won’t snag or tug on your neck with gear on, a big plus for sure.
The F-1 bicycle-specific shorts are very similar in cut to the pants but in a short version. The short is cut just below the knee with a seamless crotch and a thin contoured pad. The super durable stretch nylon material in the F-1 shorts is great and there’s even a tailbone pad. For those who drive up to the slopes and park your vehicle, the two vented pockets are adjustable to hold your keys and whatnot. The F-1 shorts also have a bit of bling to them with detailed chrome and carbon logos.
Having worn THE gear for a while I am already familiar with the durability of their products so I didn’t expect anything less from the Sport Jersey and tech pants. Having cased it more than a few times and dragged my clothes through a few mud patches (unfortunate but it happens), the gear is showing little sign of wear. I was even impressed with how easily this stuff cleans up – just be sure to hang dry everything. After one particularly muddy day at the trails I did have to wash my shorts through two cycles but other than that everything is still bright.
Both jersey and pant are true to fit. A 34″ is a 34″ not a loose 33″ for example. So ordering up gear is pretty easy. I did find that the short is a bit stiff (due to its shear toughness) so they would not be my first choice if I was heading out for a long trail ride. These are, however, one of my top choices when I do hit the slopes or know I am hitting the park (durability trumps here). I found that I was reaching for the jersey particularly since it has such a great feel to it. It tends to run cool and kept me pretty dry.
So for $50 MSRP you can get the jersey and another $89 gets you the shorts. These are definitely mid-level prices for some premium features. If you have a chance, take a peek at THE’s gear and try them out for yourself.
Thanks to Toby Henderson and the folks at THE for sending up the gear for a review.