Alpinestars has given us a glimpse at the future, and for them it means more advancements in body protection and of course clothing. Riding typically involves higher speeds than ever now thanks to better and better bikes, which helps to explain the increase in padding options. While many people still view protection as a ‘downhill thing’, many of us are reaching for that set of knee pads for trail rides and more. That’s partially due to the improvements we’ve seen in the padding department. If the pads are more comfortable to wear, you’re much more likely to actually use it.
That brings us to the newest addition to the Alpinestars line in terms of knee and elbow pads with the new Vento set. Promised to be the lightest they offer, they could mean the difference between an injury or just getting up and dusting yourself off…
Along with the heavily perforated soft foam padding on the front, the Vento pads utilize large portions of mesh backing for the sleeves. Clearly these are not downhill rated pads, but for the trail rider who is looking for a little protection in the case of a crash, these could be just the ticket. Pricing is still TBA, and will likely hit the market with the rest of the 2017 Spring collection in March.
Thanks to the rise of Enduro racing which requires a CE rated back protector, Alpinestars has been releasing a number of under-the-shirt options for various levels of protection. In addition to the Paragon vest and Evolution jacket, there will now be an Evolution Jacket LS which may provide the best of both worlds. On full on DH days you can make use o the full suite of protection with shoulder and elbow padding, but on lighter (or hotter) days, just zip off the sleeves and you’re left with an Evolution vest.
The Evolution line offers more protection than the Paragon thanks to the built in chest protection, but all three options have integrated hydration bladder storage, padded pockets, and CE 2 rated back protection.
There is also a new Evolution Vest which will replace the current Evolution back protector. The vest strips the protection needed for the extreme mountain biker to the bare minimum with a full mesh vest, padded back pockets, and a new CE 2 rated back protector with memory foam and a hard shell along the spine. Offered in S-XL, the vest will retail for $159.95.
The mannequin is also wearing their new DH pant which is completely redesigned with a more contoured, dare I say, aero fit. In addition to more stretch built through the flex points, the pants have abrasion resistant knee and shin areas, a lycra back, new velcro adjust waist band, and will be available in 4 colors. The pants are also part of their new youth collection which includes the full DH kit, elbow and knee pads, and protective jacket, all meant for kids from 6-14.
Along with a ton of new colors and styles of clothing, Alpinestars will be adding a new Sierra jersey with double sided fabric in the same cut as the Mesa Jersey, the Crest jersey will replace the Totem with a more contoured fit, and the Rover 2 will debut with a half zip XC style jersey and matching Rover short with a new mechanical 2-way stretch fabric, new waist adjuster, and an optional liner.
Speaking of liners, Alpinestars will be introducing two new bib shorts, but they are meant to be actual shorts, not liners. You could use them as liners, but as the reflective trim suggests, they are meant to be used as stand alone shorts. To be offered in the Vetta and Marathon levels, the higher end Vetta uses 190g lycra with a laser cut hem and silicone gripper dots. The chamois is a high density 3 layer design with one layer of gel which is considered to be more durable and won’t crush over the length of a long ride. The Marathon still uses a 3D chamois but with a lower density gel pad, and also uses a laser cut hem with silicone dots. Pricing and availability TBA.
Last but not least – colors! If you already have a great product that is one of your best selling products, it makes sense to add additional colors especially with how matchy matchy things are getting. The Paragon Knee Guard is one of our favorites – it’s simple, fits well, and is all day comfortable. Now it will just be available in a few more colors along with the elbow guards at $40 for the knee and $32.95 for the elbows.