From Dirt Issue 121 – March 2012Words by Steve Jones. Photos by Steve Jones.
The skiers and snowboarders have ‘got it’ for some time but bike riders for the most part seem more ‘Valleys’ than ‘Vail’ in their dress methods in the sense that the style and construction is weighted more towards a Sunday sprint through the malls than an ascent of something more jagged. I say sense whilst being bombarded by the rest of the office as to the wisdom of wearing expensive equipment whilst riding a bike in a pile of tripe. How many riders bust a gut to get the latest bike tech only to clear off out the house in something resembling a county council bin bag?
Where was I? Getting it…yer well it goes back to the Scott team and their kit for practice in shitty World Cup conditions. Well one thing led to another and before you know it I’m pushing it through a murky mid–winter Peak district fog and drizzle – breathing it, feeling it. Not the one–piece stuff of the pro’s but a top and bottom affair with matching gloves from Scott’s all–season performance range of clothing.
Helium Paclite Jacket (£199.00). Simplicity, strength, with relevant features, the Scott range of clothing have made an incredibly positive impression on us, no more so than this piece of equipment. Watertight zippers, the build is tougher than many jackets that feature the lighter Gore Tex Active Shell fabrics. Durable, windproof and breathable the Helium would suit riders who want a lightweight jacket but are prone to giving their kit a bit of a beating. Not cheap, but shaped and prepared for action.
Helium Active Shell Pants (£216.00) are constructed of finer, thinner Active Shell laminates than that featured in the Helium jacket. I’m not quite so sure as to the resilience of this stuff when put against a gnarled chain guide. Still, these are reasonably durable and the pants offer a degree of stretch and light–weight essential for moving legs. What impressed most was the excellent breathability in the most vile situations and freedom of movement. Back pocket and watertight zips are basics, yet the width adjusters on the lower zip make for some pretty snug shaped riding trou’. Like I said, keep them for best – ready for truly horrible weather.
Scott’s Minus (£41.99) long finger glove might be branded as a heavy duty winter glove yet its character is one of lightweight summer. Performance? Probably the best glove we’ve ever had here in the office, the Minus gives great protection against the elements without the burden of overbuild on palm or outer. Great Windstopper protection against, you guessed…wind and rain, and a Pittards leather breathes normally yet retains a natural feel. An altogether brilliant glove. It would suit downhill and trail riders alike on those higher altitude or latitude sky dumps.