Review: Royal Racing Turbulence Shorts & Fragment Ride Jersey
June 17th, 2013
By Olly Forster
Summers finally here and if you’ve been dragging the same old tired kit through the mire of the last years awful weather, now’s the time to get into some fresh technical threads to shred in. In this review we’ll be taking a look at two new pieces of kit from Royal Racing that could well be what your looking for. Blurring the middle ground between traditional trail and gravity specific kit, this could well be the “enduro” kit you’ve been looking for…
The Turbulence short is a lightweight number designed with keeping you comfortable for the duration of your ride and packs a number of design features and task specific fabrics into an attractive looking short. Including a waterproof butt-panel to help keep your rear nice and dry when blasting through puddles, a 4 way stretch fabric and more pockets than you’ll know what to do with… This is Royal Racing’s premium short and from the off, they sure look and feel it.
Available in the summer loving blue below and more “UK sensible” black – I’d choose wisely as the blue option we chose was a pain to keep looking as good as they do, but hey, they look great and the waterproof bum protector? Well, it’s a shame not to use it to its fullest and the blue option would not be our first choice for days when the clouds are spitting at you! Black is boring, but bloody practical in a temperate climate…
Attention to detail is everywhere on the Turbulence short as is the high quality of manufacturing, but then what do you expect on a £100 short? Starting at the top, the designers at Royal have designed these not to fall down and with three closures on the waist as well as velcro waist adjusters on each hip, you can tailor the fit, which for a size medium gave enough room in and round the 32″ department with little extra just in case. Here’s a link to the Sizing and Fit Guide.
Now this is a feature you don’t see much of on MTB gear let alone trail kit – a rear neoprene yolk to offer a little more support when getting wild on your bike and another neat feature that makes these shorts feel premium. Beneath the yolk and out of site is thew waterproof paneling that’s designed to keep your ass dry and while no one likes a wet behind, the general awesomeness of this feature is removing the subsequent chaffing that results from a wet short chamois on a long days trail riding and we all know how much fun trail riding can be on a wet summer day – wild and fun, but just don’t stop for a break!
An internal mesh liner to take care of the all important wicking, which rain or shine is not fun…
Now I don’t about you, but I love these on shorts and still don’t know why they aren’t a more common feature? A removable key lanyard is fixed in to the zipped right hand pocket with clip on a piece of elastic, which can be easily removed if you need to give someone your keys. Why do I like these? Ever lost your keys on the trail? I have…
Pretty standard these days, although I’m still to use one… A waterproof audio pocket with cable routing for your headphones is a neat touch, as is the attention to detail!
I can tell you straight away that I’m not a massive fan of too many pockets - I mean what are you going to put in them? Keys, a phone maybe? The Turbulence’s are pocket mad with 2 hand pockets, 2 reverse hand pockets, 1 audio pocket, 2 upper thigh pockets and they all feature reverse taped zippers for that clean look. Great to have options, but maybe not that many… Less is definitely more when it comes to MTB apparel.
The ventilation of the Turbulence’s is pretty awesome and coupled wit the mesh liner help keep those overly sweaty undercarriage days at bay.
Fragment Ride Jersey
Jerseys are jerseys right? To an extent and they’re only ever not a jersey when they’re about as technical as a t-shirt. The Fragment Ride Jersey popped up as stand out product at Eurobike and following on from what can only be described as some of the comfiest jerseys out there, Royal have once again delivered a great feeling and fitting jersey and ideal for the kind of riding most of us do; the fun kind!
Available in either red or black and with a great graphic on the front – I’ve used the Fragment Ride jersey for everything from trail centre smashing to shuttle days on the DH bike. It’s light, versatile and doesn’t hold you back when from over perspiring. Did I mention it looks great? At £30 it should also stand out as a great alternative to the sweaty t-shirt crowd scarred of technical upper garments.
Overall, both the Turbulence shorts and Fragment Ride jersey didn’t disappoint and while the shorts were annoying to keep looking good during the wet start to the year, it was of no fault to the design or fabrics. In fact, it’s the choice of fabric that truly makes the shorts stand out and punch the £100 asking price on the nose. If I could recommend any short tomorrow to you the discerning rider who knows what’s up, I’d have to say the future is all about 2-way and 4-way stretch material, regardless of brand or model. Yes, it sounds like something your grandfather would have in his pants, but for technical apparel designed around unrestricted movement and increasing comfort… The future’s stretchy!
How and where you ride should be reflected in the gear you choose to wear. XC can be as dull as dishwater, but thanks to today’s trail builders and trail bikes we can get wild and still get the miles in, and that represents a challenge to the apparel designer trying to keep you all happy. It needs to be nonrestrictive, look cool and be made in such a way that it doesn’t fall apart. No mean feat, but the Royal Racing Turbulence Shorts and Fragment jersey hit the nail on the head!
Negatives? Nothing crazy, perhaps all the pockets, which to this day I still can’t think what you’d want to put in them, especially if you’ve ever binned it with your phone in your pocket? I haven’t personally, but I’ve seen a few totaled iPhones pulled out of pockets over the years. The waterproof bum protector is a great feature and works too, but it would sometime slip against a traditional padded short liner when seated and changing position on climbs. No biggy, but it was noticeable – more noticeable than a wet ass and a rubbing liner? I’ll let you decide on that one…
Different jersey, different bike, but the Turbulence shorts wouldn’t know – great shorts what ever the activity!
So, to sum this review up, the shorts are pricey and perhaps £10-20 too pricey considering there’s no liner and that other shorts of a similar ilk on the market right now are that little bit cheaper. That said, they are truly a feature packed, well put together short that ticks the all important dialed aesthetics box looking pretty rad with the Fragment Ride Jersey too. That and Neil Donoghue wears them should be enough for a lot of you! The jersey represents a great casual looking top that should hopefully strike a chord with the t-shirt brigade and at £30 is cheaper than most t-shirts anyway. Rad and recommended stuff from Royal!
Royal Racing products are exclusively distributed in the UK by Decade Europe and for all things Royal, tap the logo below. Happy trails, Olly.