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Kitbag – Fly Racing

Trail and DH gear with a strong moto pedigree - as worn by Pivot rider Bernard Kerr

Fly Racing has been around for nearly twenty years and although a strong brand within MX has only recently started to gain momentum here in the UK mountainbike world. Dirt takes a look at what’s on offer.

Words: Sean White  Images: Ieuan Williams and Elliot Spencer

We met up with the Fly crew at Bike Park Wales for an introduction to the range and a first ride in the latest kit. With Bernard Kerr (check the vid of him destroying Whistler HERE) riding in clothing, pads and helmets from Fly and giving plenty of feedback and help with product development this gear should prove up to the job.

With established brands such as Fox, Troy Lee Designs and Alpinestars (amongst many others) already favourites with gravity and trail riders here in the UK what does Fly Racing offer apart from a fresh brand and a different take on the moto look?

With years of experience producing MX kit, we can see an influence both in visuals but more importantly fabric choice when it comes to this bike range. Fly seem to have hit on fabrics that blend durability with low weight, keeping kit DH tough yet light enough for trail riding or enduro racing. The cut of the clothing has a ‘performance’ edge to it – not too loose and baggy but working well with pads and armour.

The Fly range is not huge but well considered and covers a broad range of prices. With the Rockstar gloves at £17.99 and the Default full-face helmet at £79.99 Fly has plenty of options if you’re dipping you toes in the world of DH riding. At the premium end of the market the Radium outfit (featured below) is both robust and well cut; we’ve rarely been out of it since getting the test samples. Fly’s Rival MIPS DH lid is a stunning helmet and weighs in at only 930g (in a size M) – the lightest on the market?

With the full range being distributed here in the UK by Race FX (who are very established in the MX and motocycle world) we should see this brand growing over here. The strong link with Pivot Cycles will help too.

Here’s a run down of the Fly Racing kit that we’ve been testing:

Radium Jersey

This long sleeve jersey uses Fly’s ‘Standard fit’ cut and is a closer fit than may DH tops. We’ve been using it both for trail riding and at the bike park and for the price it’s a versatile addition to your kitbag. The Radium jersey is fuss free in design but has some neat details such as a stretch ‘V’ panel in the cuff allowing you to pull the sleeves up easily and a Polygiene anti-bacterial finish to the polyester fabric. We’ve seen this treatment before – on jerseys from POC – but at much higher price points. It’s available in four colours and we found the fit to be spot on – so buy your usual size.

PRICE: £39.99


RADIUM SHORTS

We may have been wearing the Radium jersey loads but these shorts have seen the most action. They’ve arrived at a time when the trails and tracks are turning wet and muddy and it’s here where a heavier duty and more robust short is the right choice. They should keep you drier, warmer and stand up to heavy abuse too. But you don’t just want a pair of cut-off moto pants and although Fly use fabrics proven on their MX legwear here, they have chosen a lighter weight option. In fact Fly has opted for three different materials on the Radium shorts with a durable 600D seat and back panel and a ribbed stretch material to work well with the mid weight main fabric. The panels that make up the short give an excellent fit and the combination of an internal belt adjuster and a grippy silicone waistband keep them in place.

Two zip pockets, a chunky fly zip and double press-stud waist closure are all standard fare. Laser-cut vent holes aid cooling and a full lightweight mesh liner not only helps wick sweat away but allows the shorts to slide on impact. For such a feature packed short the Radium is pleasingly low in weight and as such we can recommend it for trail through to DH use without compromising comfort or performance. Available in four colours.

PRICE: £89.99

PRIZM KNEEPADS

These are the top of the range knee pads from Fly Racing and at just shy of £100 need to be up there with the best. How will they perform long-term when compared to Dirt favourites such as the Scott Grenade knee pads?

Fly Racing has developed their own CE Approved protection which they call Reaktiv Prizm Foam. It’s a high density memory foam that has been sliced with a prismatic pattern to allow the pad to take to the shape of the user. The foam is also body temperature sensitive – when you first put these pads on they feel stiff but soon become more supple with the heat from your body. Once riding the Prizms stay in place and for a pair of pads that offer protection from hard impacts they are very comfortable on longer rides.

An anti-bacterial Lycra liner sits comfortably against the skin and a floating neoprene patella cup with a silicon gripper keeps the pad in place on the knee and in a central position. Tough Kevlar material covers the outer pad so this should provide good long term durability. The pads have a full silicone gripper at the top and an adjustable lacing system on the upper calf to get the fit right.

These kneepads use an asymmetric (so are left and right specific) with an open area behind the knee joint. There’s no bunching of fabric – pedalling performance is not compromised and we found there was no rubbing or aggravation.

PRICE: £99.99

WERX MIPS RIVAL DH helmet

The top spec Rival full-face helmet has been in development for 24 months and has had plenty of input from team riders such as Bernard Kerr. At well under the 1KG mark (for a medium sized lid) this is not only a helmet that’s packed with tech but one that is very light.

Two shell sizes with four specific EPS liners should offer a perfect fit throughout the size range. The shell is bang up to date – a carbon/Kevlar weave gives a good strength/weight ratio and airflow is kept high with 18 intake and 6 exhaust vents. Channels in the EPS liner aid the movement of air through and out the rear of the helmet. Fully removable, washable and replaceable comfort liner includes quick-release cheek pads which will help emergency helmet removal. Details such as the ratcheting visor and titanium plated rivets are great to see and are typical of the attention Fly racing put into the products.

This helmet meets and exceeds CPSC1203, CE EN1078:2012 + A1:2012, AS/NZ2063.2008 ASTM F1952-15 and has MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) as standard.

PRICE: £319.99

flyracing.co.uk

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