While we love to make jokes about how everything in mountain biking is now being marketed as “enduro,” the racing discipline has helped revolutionize safety standards. The EWS requirement that riders wear a helmet at all times, a full face when descending, and certified back protection, has lead to an influx of new protective gear.
The new Evolution line from Alpinestars was designed with this style of riding in mind. It’s well ventilated and light enough to be worn under a jersey, but the additional padding and storage integration help make it ideal for high consequence descents.
The back incorporates a dual density Level 1 CE-certified back protector, which can also accommodate a hydration bladder. There are routing ports for the hose on front of the jersey, and the entire ensemble is compatible with the AlpineStar BNS Neck Brace.
The front of the short sleeve jacket has soft chest and side padding to protect the ribs and removable shoulder pads. The short sleeve design allows it to be worn with or without elbow guards, and a full length zipper makes the whole thing easy to slide in and out of.
The Evolution Jacket will be available in sizes XS-2XL and retail is a very reasonable $159.95.
The Evolution Back Protector is similar to the jacket, but ditches the front and shoulder protection, while retaining the CE Level 1 back protection and hydration compatibility.
The system uses shoulder and kidney straps for personalized fit and will be available in the same array of sizes as the Evolution Jacket. MSRP is $99.95.
To compliment the torso protection, the new Evolution Shorts pair impact protection and tech fabrics for a high quality compression short. The shorts have an integrated Noosfera multi-density Chamois, compression mesh to reduce muscle fatigue, and EVA memory foam for protection in high impact areas.
The shorts will be available in sizes S-2XL. Price is $69.95.
Alpinestar is also launching two new hydration packs. The larger of the two is the 18L Faster. The back integrates a Level 2 CE certified back protector, and features a dedicated hydration bag sleeve (available separately), large main compartment, and a front pocket for tools.
The bottom of the back has mesh pockets for snacks or extra waterbottles, and an additional pocket unzips to reveal armor carrying straps, and a full face helmet strap. Retail is $139.95.
The smaller 8 L Spinter pack is designed for shorter rides. It’s built from durable rip-stop nylon and has a hydration sleeve, main compartment, and smaller front pocket. The bottom unzips to reveal a full face helmet carrier.
The pack also has removable waist and sternum straps. The sternum strap includes a whistle, which can help draw attention when necessary. MSRP is $89.95.