When Wiggle got hold of the latest MTB gear from Fox Racing, we were eager to see if it would tempt Wiggle Business Analyst and mountain biker Dan Jones away from his usual repurposed old BMX, casual and road kit.
My expectations were high - I'd already heard great things about Fox Racing from other riders.
I was excited at the prospect of trying kit that has been designed with input from the top athletes in the UCI World Cup Downhill circuit (guys and girls who can ride a lot better than me). If it works for them then sign me up.
By the time the (very premium) packages landed on my desk, I was itching to get out for a ride. Everything looked better in real life than it did in the webpage images.
I was most surprised by the super lightweight Fox Racing Rampage Pro Carbon MIPS Kustom Helmet. It's so much lighter than my old full-face enduro helmet, and it offers a lot more protection. Weight aside, it’s nicely finished (the on-site images don't do it justice) and seemingly bombproof.
The Flexair Shorts and Flexair Jersey are the most lightweight and comfortable kit I have worn. The fit was generous enough to work with the Launch Enduro Knee Pads and Launch Pro Elbow Guards and there would easily be room for the Pro D30s too.
The back of the Flexair Jersey fits loosely, and is obviously very well ventilated. The back looks to be designed to work well with a back protector, so I’ll test it out with the Titan Race Subframe CE in the future.
The Flexair Shorts feature an ajustable ratchet for a secure fit. Despite my initial apprehension, once I tightened it up it did a fine job of keeping the shorts up and I could forget it was there. Ventillation holes are strategically placed to avoid overheating.
Having a large head, I was relieved that the Rampage Pro Carbon Kustom Helmet offered a comfortable fit and paired well with the Air Space Goggles, although I did need to adjust them to the loosest setting to fit the helmet.
On the Bike
Early spring was surprisingly warm this year; perfect conditions to test the ultralight Flexair fabric. I had a couple of rides to get used to the kit before I headed out to shoot some photos.
The repetitive nature of shooting around 30 images on each section meant I needed to remain cool when pushing up, pedalling down, and jumping at the camera. The Flexair fabric performed flawlessly.
The jersey was comfortable in all the right places. The neckline went unnoticed and the bonded wrist meant the sleeve didn't move around or irritate, without feeling restrivtive. With Flexair, Fox have got that barely-there, breathable feel spot on.
I was already blown away by the lightness of the Rampage Helmet out of the box but it felt even lighter whilst riding. So light it was easy to forget about it.
That's not to say it felt flimsy. In fact, armed with the confidence that Fox have combined EPS and MIPS technology for the ultimate range of protection, I’ve been hitting bigger jumps than I ever have before.
The helmet case was a nice bonus. I could fit my whole outfit in so that everything was easy to carry about and sling in the boot of the car.
I've been riding in this kit for a few months and I am still struck by how easy it is to forget I am wearing it. It’s all seriously light weight and breathable. Being able to finish a ride without being drenched in sweat makes riding a lot more fun!
After years of riding in my trusty old road and BMX kit, I’ve had a taste of the benefits of investing in MTB-specific clothing and protection and I am truely converted. I have even gone on to purchase a few other items from the Fox Racing range since.
The Fox Racing gear looks great, feels amazing and makes you ride more confidently - ultimately smoother and faster.
Photography: Brian Dukes