Review: Intrepid Apparel Campaign Shorts and Classic Race Jersey
July 2nd, 2012
Today, the cycle market is segmented into many many genres so it’s refreshing to deal with a company with a simple ethos; to ‘celebrate the adventure of mountain biking’. Intrepid Apparel, headed up by Jason Corbett, is a relatively young company whose unique approach to cycling specific clothing is taking the market by storm. Offering a technically designed range of apparel with outstanding attention to detail, Intrepid have a full range of clothing to cater for ‘the most discerning mountain bike rider’ covering a multitude of disciplines from all day trail riding to full on downhill.
The kit on test from Intrepid consisted of their Campaign shorts in green and the Classic Race jersey in white. On first impressions the kit felt high quality and comfortable with nice attention to detail, even the tags – it’s the small things after all. The link with Rapha (top-end road cycling apparel) is also something that raises the eyebrows and pricks the ears. Here is how we got on…
Words: Nathan Carvell
Photos: Olly Forster
Aimed at the freeride and downhill market the three-way stretch material offers unrestricted movement when on or off the bike and unlike other shorts of this nature there were times where you have to remind yourself you have them on. Naturally modeled on the much-loved ‘baggy’ style of short, the Campaign’s are well cut and sized accurately, hanging just on the knee with adjustable waist ratchet straps for a perfect fit.
Technically the Campaign’s are very well thought-out indeed with pockets in all the right places; a count of five in total. Starting with the two hip pockets these are lined with a fleece-like material for comfort whilst magnets in the pocket hems keep them closed. These are by no means strong magnets but they certainly do the trick. For a safer haven for your belongings the two thigh pockets are more than accommodating with a small carabiner in the left for your keys and a fleecey elasticated inner pocket in the right for your phone. Personally I wouldn’t put anything of value in these pockets. Although they are very secure with chunky zips, having a crash would most likely damage you and your valuables, but like anything it’s your call. The final pocket is on the back of the shorts just below the waist and small enough for a single car key fob or an energy gel. The zips on all of the aforementioned pockets are of an exceptional quality, very chunky and certainly up to the challenge of gravity based riding. Using these zips in muddy conditions with gloves on is easy due to their size and the direction they move in; the addition of a rubber ‘Intrepid tree’ further increases usability and adds to the short overall aesthetic.
Further technical details add to the quality of these shorts such as the Velcro poppers on the fly keeping the zip concealed and the fleece-lined waist further adds comfort. Subtle zipped meshed vents in the front of the shorts help keep things cool as well. The only thing that would be an improvement from a technical point of view would be a removable liner purely from a point that these shorts are so comfortable that to pigeon-hole them into the freeride/downhill market would be a shame as they are so much more versatile. We used these shorts for a huge amount of riding. They have been through mucky downhill, all day trail adventures, BMX tracks and even commuting on the road. The lightweight feel of the shorts and the stretchy material make these some of the comfiest ‘downhill’ shorts I have personally tried giving me the impression they were actually a trail short… I would say they are a good all rounder and for £85 you would expect nothing less. You may think you need deep pockets for these, but they may well be all things to all men, so actually they are good value. Although the green may not be to everyone’s taste, along with the logo, they are also available in black for a subtle look.
Classic Race Jersey
Again, technical features are the order of the day here. This is one of most well thought-out jerseys out there and although it is named ‘Classic Race Jersey’ it isn’t the most ideal choice if you’re racing downhill. The fit and cut is unlike most motocross styled jerseys suggesting you may be more inclined to use this for trail riding or general hacking around as apposed to racing.
But in saying that, the Classic Race jersey is packed full of technical features and most importantly is made from a fast-wicking and breathable material. It’s extremely comfortable and if the heavens open it dries exceptionally fast, keeping you at the right temperature to continue your ride. The jersey has just enough stretch to allow for unrestricted movement and its unique cut further aids this. The cut itself is unique in the fact that it is tighter on the arms and arm pits, which my sound restrictive, but in fact it’s quite the opposite. A slightly longer length on the arms and the body accommodates your position on the bike keeping you fully covered.
Thinking of what the rider wants, Intrepid have added two strategically placed pockets; one on the left arm for small items such as energy products or food, and one on the rear which contains a small carabiner for keys and an elasticated pocket for a phone. Love it or hate it, the Intrepid logo adorns the whole chest, which might not being to everyone’s taste, but the print is good quality and has so far held up well in the wash, further reinforcing the quality of the produce from Intrepid.
All in, the Classic Race jersey is a very well designed piece of kit and although it’s not strictly suitable for purely gravity based racing like the name suggests, it is excellent for a long day on the bike, whatever the discipline. At £59 it is rather pricey but as with the shorts you can literally use this for anything much like we have here, so it might not be as expensive as you think particularly if you’re into everything and anything on a bicycle, just like Intrepid!
Go check out the website for the full range of apparel: www.intrepidapparel.co.uk