Product Test: Alpinestars Gravity Gear
Alpinestars seems to deal in all things fastfrom F1, NASCAR and Rally to Supercross, GP racing and everything in between. So, it’s only logical that this knowledge would trickle down to the realm of downhill mountain bike racing. We kitted up and hit the lifts.
As the name implies, the Gravity 3/4 jersey features three-quarter sleeves. The front and back panels are constructed of lightweight microfiber, and the side panels are constructed of “air mesh,” ventilated material. The jersey will work with Alpinestars’ bionic protection jacket underneath, but is designed to fit close to the body.
The Gravity shorts follow in the lightweight, breathable footsteps of the jersey, featuring air mesh and stretch panels that are built into the crotch area. The waistline is low profile and has slim Velcro adjustments to fine-tune the fit. The seat area is reinforced with ballistic nylon.
The A-Line gloves, named after possibly the most famous downhill trail on the planet, are constructed of lightweight mesh on the top of the hand with a raised rubber guard to deflect blows from the occasional boxing match with a pine tree.
Gravity 3/4 Jersey, Shorts and Alps Kevlar Kneepads
Field test results:
The timing for our test of this lightweight gear was perfect, as we faced the middle of a very warm summer. When the top of a 10,000-foot mountain feels comfortably warm, you’re in for a hot day of riding.
The wild colors of the Gravity 3/4 jersey and shorts were the first thing to catch our attention, but, thankfully, were not the only noteworthy attributes. The cut of the jersey is slim- mer than some offerings on the market; we were glad not to feel like we were riding in our big brother’s old hockey jersey. The material is very lightweight, but places the thinner mesh material in the right areas; you won’t be mistaken for somebody on his way to a 1990’s rave.
The Gravity shorts are very low profile, yet retain the tough feel we are accustomed to in downhill shortsalbeit with a bit less thickness. The waistline and Velcro cinch straps don’t protrude against the jersey as we have experienced with many other models. We never had any hang- ups with the shorts, either, on the kneepads or saddle. We were glad to see a product that truly feels built from the ground up for mountain biking as opposed to cutting the lower half off of a set of motocross pants and calling it good.
The A-Line gloves are flexible and fit slightly longer in the fingers. We often find the thumb-to-first-finger area to be a bit restrictive on some models, so we welcomed the extra room.
The Alps kneepads strike a nice balance between the low-profile design that is the cat’s pajamas on the World Cup circuit and providing enough protection for the everyday rider who isn’t making a paycheck from hucking himself down the mountain. We could have been on the border between the S/M and L/XL sizes. We went with the S/M and were glad we did. We were still able to tighten the straps down, and never experienced any dreaded pad droop.
The complete kit makes sense together. Each product is designed for warm weather, is form-fitting and is easy to move around in.