Fox sent us their Ranger gear in the bold Chili red color, which is eye-catching and certainly not the most casual. But red has been proven to be fast, so I was more than happy to try to embody my inner Ferrari and attack the trails.
The fit on the large Ranger SS jersey tested strikes a bit of a middle ground. It’s by no means a form-fitting, ultra-racy garment, but manages to avoid being overly baggy too. The length is generous, especially on the tail, ensuring you get limited ride-up when on the trail. The short sleeves are reasonably lengthy also, extending down the majority of my bicep, but they’re a touch looser than some which allows them to slide up when in a riding position, but they do so comfortably. The fabric is quite light and airy on the skin, which combined with the regular fit meant that it took a reasonable amount of sweating before it felt “wetted out”. It certainly didn’t fend off multi-ride levels of stink build up, but equally didn’t retain a smell once washed as some do. Considering the fabric is quite thin and soft to the touch, it still looks impressively fresh and damage free after a spring testing period contending with harshly overgrown ferns and brambles lining the trails. All in all it’s a solid no-frills jersey, if not insanely good value.
The Ranger Cushion socks were my favorite item of the three. I’m a huge fan of a cushy sock, but also quite sensitive to a buildup of foot heat, and the Ranger cushions manage to blend the best of both worlds between a thicker sock and a thinner sports sock. The fit of the L/XL sock on my chunky US11 feet was good, with plenty of give left to likely accommodate a size or two bigger, yet a definite level of stretch to stay firmly put on a smaller foot too. The rib-knit upper does a solid job of keeping them in place when pedaling, and so far, they have fended off the abuse of shoe wear and trailside debris. A welcome addition to my ridewear collection for sure.
The Ranger gloves continue on the no-frills, solid performance notion of the aforementioned items. The fit on the Large is solid as always – I wouldn’t be surprised if they were used as the benchmark for sizing in the industry. The strongly elasticated cuff combined with the hook and loop closure allows for a good level of adjustment and a firmly put glove in use, though it’s not as elegant and streamlined as a slip-on alternative. The palm is on the slightly thinner side of average, with a good level of bar feel and only a small amount of bunching that presented no comfort issues. The conductive threads weren’t particularly effective initially, but after some ride time they began to function as you would expect, preventing the need to pull the gloves off to post the insta bangers. The silicone grippers are quite useful in the dry to give slightly more “stick” on the brake levers, but I found they actually flipped the other way and reduced grip a touch when conditions got wet. That said, the Ranger is not targeted to be an adverse-conditions glove. The material on the back doesn’t let them breathe quite as well as some more airy gloves but wasn’t unbearably hot in temperatures into the 80’s (25C). After the initial few rides, the palm material began to show signs of bobbling as they often do, leaving me concerned that they would rapidly deteriorate, however this didn’t manifest into a problem. The stretchy backing on the glove proved to be durable through a load of abuse too, with only a few “nicks” in the fabric to show for it.
Based on our small sample size, Fox Racing’s 2021 Ranger kit has once again managed to set a benchmark of sorts for the budget performance riding apparel, like it has done for so long. There are limited features to get overly excited about, but you can count on the Ranger gear to perform solidly for a long time whilst looking good.
Ranger SS Jersey: £40 //$54.95
Ranger Cushion Socks: £18 //$24.95
Ranger Gloves: £25 //$25.95
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