ROYAL RACING HERITAGE KIT REVIEW
Review by Sourpatch | Photos by Dusten Ryen
Royal Racing is a mountain bike clothing brand with a history of legendary riders and style. Over the decades they’ve sponsored some of the fastest racers to the most stylish of shredders. Unlike brands like Troy Lee Designs who think louder and brighter is better, Royal Racing offer clothing for mountain bikers that isn’t over the top or screaming for attention. Their graphics and art stand out in a bold yet simple way and we’ve been fans of their toned-down style for quite some time. This summer we’ve spent a ton of time riding in plenty of Royal’s clothing, but we wanted to review the Royal Racing Heritage Kit first, as its subtle, understated look will certainly appeal to lots of riders. Let’s see if the kit performs as well as it looks.
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Royal Racing’s Heritage collection is about as simple as kit can get. The Heritage Jersey uses a tri-blend wicking fabric with an antibacterial treatment, designed to minimize funk and stink for those road trips where you can’t wash your jersey after every ride. Both the long-sleeve and short-sleeve share a raglan cut and compliment the casual graphics. This particular cut is perfect for the “technical T-shirt” look that Royal Racing was aiming for.
Branding on both the short sleeve and long sleeve jersey, as well as the shorts, is almost non-existent, perfect for riders who aren’t trying to give off that “I’m a factory racer” vibe. On the short sleeve, there is a small logo hit on the left chest pocket area, while the long sleeve has no logos on the torso, but instead has a small hit on the left bicep. Royal offers the long sleeve Heritage Jersey’s in 3 colorways, Grey/Black, Blue/Jade and Red/Black, whereas the short sleeve takes those same color options and inverts them.
The Heritage shorts share the same minimalistic approach as the jerseys. Utilizing 4-way stretch material, the shorts offer a vast amount of comfort and maneuverability. Getting a proper fit is easy with the Heritage shorts thanks to a pair of internal hook and loop tabs. These shorts have two hand pockets with an internal pocket to secure your phone as well as a zippered lower leg pocket to stow other valuables. The Heritage shorts are available in either black or midnight blue-grey.
Royal gave us all the options to pick out a couple of pieces to wear for season two of our North American Bike Park Review Tour, and since Sourpatch is into super subtle gear, the Heritage Collection was right up his alley. Being 6’1”, I went with a size large for both the long-sleeve and short sleeve jerseys. For his slim build, both jerseys have a near-perfect fit. The length of the long sleeves is just right, being able to cover the cuff on the gloves while the short sleeves stop right above the elbow. When it comes to the sleeves on the L/S Heritage Jersey, I do wish they were a little more fitted from shoulder to elbow, I am not the biggest fan of loose/baggy sleeves but understand many riders like to wear elbow pads, or have arms bigger than my pipe cleaners.
Where we began to have some issue with the Royal Heritage jersey however, is the tri-blend fabric. Although it’s extremely comfortable, soft and feels great on the skin, we found the material didn’t breathe well. On hot or humid days there just isn’t a ton of airflow that helps push hot air and sweat out of the jersey. Our testers found themselves sweating quite a bit while we were standing around waiting for the camera guys to get set-up at the next location or while hiking back up the trail for more shots. Once on the chairlift with a slight breeze we still couldn’t quite get enough relief and wished the jerseys were a bit more breathable.
While the breathability wasn’t our favorite part of the jersey, Sourpatch wore the long sleeve jersey for a vast majority of the first leg of our bike park tour, without washing it. Aside from the smell of all the accumulated dust over the days, the jersey presented no other undesired odors, which I must say is pretty impressive. It seems Royal has got the anti-microbial and anti-stink treatment game sorted!
The shorts got an even worse beating than the jerseys. I wore those things for six to eight hours everyday while we were in Idaho and it started to show. Even though the shorts looked a bit dirty on the outside, they too have held up incredibly well to the neglect, crashes and tree brushes. I wear a size 32, so I opted to go with a size medium and felt they were a perfect fit. The inner adjustable waist straps were easy to adjust and cinch down providing a great fit. I also really liked that the adjustment straps didn’t make the waist bunch up like I have experienced with some other shorts. The pockets on the shorts from the Royal Racing Heritage Kit are fairly deep, I kept my S10+ in my right pocket all day during aggressive park riding and never had a scare of it falling out while riding. I used the long zippered lower pocket to stash my room key, credit card, COVID-19 mask and other light items and it did the job just fine. The pocket is backed with mesh, however, so the contents did get covered with a nice layer of dust so be sure you’re aware of that before putting anything too sensitive in that pocket.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Overall, the Royal Racing Heritage Kit and collection is a solid gear offering and one I’ll continue to wear as long as it’s not super hot or humid out. Royal really knocked it out of the park with the simple colorways and subtle branding. The cut on the jersey is near perfect in every way, though I would be fonder of a slimmer cut in the sleeves of the L/S jersey as I’m not a fan of elbow pads. The jersey does a decent job of wicking sweat but isn’t super breathable so we’d like to see a bit more air flow in the future. As long as you don’t live in a super humid area without any breeze on the trail, the jersey shouldn’t be too big of an issue. The antibacterial treatment does a great job dissolving any unwanted odor, however, and is probably one of the best jerseys we’ve worn in terms of stink management. Just like the jersey, the Heritage shorts are also an excellent piece of kit living up the old saying of “less is more.” The shorts offer a great fit, withstood ten days of unwashed, bike park abuse and look good doing it. Since coming home we’ve washed and ridden in the shorts several more times and are pleased with their build and function very much. Overall, the Royal Racing Heritage kit is a stealthy, understated offering that blends style and function pretty well. If you’re looking for a worthwhile option that doesn’t scream for attention Royal has a few options worth checking out.
Jerseys – $49.95 S/S, $54.95 L/S
Shorts – $79.95
Disclosure: Our team selects all of the products we review and do so with honesty and objectivity in mind. Some of the products we receive come directly from Competitive Cyclist, who also value our readers and have offered them a 15% discount (exclusions apply) on their first purchase by using LOAMWOLF15. Through this program we may also receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for your support, TLW.