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Fox Flexair 2016 Kit

New lightweight race kit from the specialists

New for this spring is the much anticipated Flexair range of race kit from Fox. It looks impressive, but how does it fit? and just what is it like when out on the hill charging hard?

Fox are specialists in this sort of kit, having many seasons of experience, fine tuning the cut, testing fabrics and getting the features spot on.

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There’s plenty of Fox kit here at the Dirt office and you know what? Not only does it hit the spot when it comes to fit, but most of their designs have an enduring style that still look fresh a good few seasons later. A popular brand, and for good reason.

So what’s all the fuss about? With this Flexair clothing, Fox are taking the latest tech from their MX race kit and use it on their premium DH range. Let’s check out what’s on offer with the Flexair jersey, shorts and gloves.

JERSEY

Pick up this long sleeve jersey and the first thing you’ll notice is how light it is. Fox have used a very light but tough 94% Polyester/ 6% Spandex mix fabric for the main body, called TruDri. This incredibly breathable fabric has been used on Fox’s Flexair lightweight motocross jerseys and is the result of years of research and feedback. TruDri’s pedigree in motocross is reassuring, meaning the fabric is not only tried and tested but the material technology is bang-on for enduro racing as well as hard DH action.

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The front and rear fabric panels taper down towards the waist, to give a good fit without needless bunching of fabric and mesh side panels give further ventilation. This mesh fabric in no ordinary material; a very soft stretch weave, with a smooth finish and almost see-through. This jersey will keep you cool on the warmest days and dry very quicky.

“One stage away from Lycra?”

The cut of this jersey is very much aimed with performance in mind. The arms are slim with no surplus fabric to snag. The fabric stretches with you and as it fits closely it lifts moisture from your body and dries quickly. Kind of like a base layer, but in a DH Race jersey cut.

The finishing details have not been missed either. The fabric edges have been laser cut, with a smooth coated finish, again to move smoothly against other clothing. A neatly finished collar and externally smooth seams finish off a very well detailed piece of kit.

A very well designed, close fitting race jersey with the latest in fabric tech.

PRICE: £60/€70

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SHORTS

Just like the Flexair jersey, the shorts take tech and design cues from Fox’s Flexair MX kit which was new last year. The cut and style of these shorts doesn’t differ much from your usual DH offering, so there’s no surprise when we first tried them on. The inner leg length measures approx 13.5” (34cm) and the shorts are not overly bulky around the thighs. Experience pays off here, and we feel this is a cut that will suit most riders out there.

The fabric is a Polyester/Elastane mix with a four way stretch, giving great mobility. Fox have put an emphasis on getting a mid weight fabric which has the highest abrasion resistance, giving long-term durability without weighing you down. Fox’s TruMotion fabric from their Flexair MX range has been fully proven and this tech works here in this DH short. The seams are double stitched with triple stitching in the higher wear area on the seat, great if you’re riding all year round.

‘MX durability but in a midweight DH short’

Breathability has not been compromised either and the Flexair short has carefully placed ‘laser cut’ perforations in both the leg and below the rear waist to help.

Fox Small

There is little to mess with the clean lines of this Fox short. No clutter to get in the way. The side hand pockets have reversed zips for a smooth finish and the inner liner has been bonded in to reduce friction when pedaling. The lower leg hems have a smooth rolled and bonded finish to glide over kneepads with as little snagging as possible. All these are small details but add up to better performance.
The fit is adjusted with a regular ratchet buckle, a common sight on DH shorts or pants. The slight drop to the front of the waist gives a better fit when in a more aggressive riding position, or when hanging off the rear of the bike. The rear is raised to give better coverage, and has silicone grippers on the inner waistband to help keep the shorts in place.

A very well designed short for DH or heavier duty enduro riding.

PRICE: £100/€125

GLOVES

Here at Dirt we love a simple, light glove with an unpadded palm and a good fit. All of our favourites follow this formula and this Demoair from Fox takes similar design cues and adds just a touch more protection.
These gloves start with a Clarino palm, a high quality synthetic suede designed to dry quickly, retain its shape and give good control. It is a fabric that has been used on quality gloves for years and a favourite with Fox. Instead of adding extra reinforcement layers in high wear areas, Fox go for a simple single skin palm, reducing the number of seams.

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The back of the glove has very lightweight, highly breathable fabric, lighter in weight than many similar gloves with the thumb having a slightly tougher, closer weave fabric on the upper. A long term test will prove this glove’s durability, but Fox have added rubber armour strips over the finger knuckles and the ‘FoxHead’ logo on the front of the hand. These strips should fend off knocks just a touch more than a typical trail glove yet not compromise movement, and will also protect the lightweight fabric.

A light, thin glove but built to stand up to some abuse’

The Demoair is a pull-on glove with no adjustment at the wrist. A neoprene fabric is used which stretches just enough and is shaped to sit well around the wrist when in the riding position, with a silicone patch helping when pulling on the gloves. This coating is also added on the main three fingers helping with control and grip of the brake lever blades. As with the Flexair jersey and shorts, these gloves take design cues and fabric tech from Fox’s MX range and roll them out in a complete outfit for the DH and gravity rider.

PRICE: £30/€40

High performance fabrics, with a great fit and all details covered has resulted in some highly desirable DH kit. The Fox Flexair and Demoair range looks a winner to us!

Foxhead UK, France, Germany and Spain.

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