Look back on any 2015 UCI World Cup downhill race and you'll see Troy Brosnan blazing by in photographs and video in a different kit at each round of the series. Some were wild, some were stealthy, some took inspiration from his Aussie roots, and all were based around the new Specialized Demo Pro apparel. Turns out his Team Manager, Benno Willeit, rejected UCI Elite Team status so Troy could have a unique look at every event. It certainly kept things interesting.
Fast forward to Spring 2016 and Specialized is making the apparel available to the world. Not only did Brosnan select a handful of his favorite kits for a limited edition Troy Brosnan Collection, but Specialized also came up with several styles with a slightly more subdued color palette for the everyday rider.
The Demo Pro line was crafted in conjunction with several of Specialized's Pro athletes, including Brosnan, Kyle Norbraten, and the Coastal Crew. Brosnan actually spent several days at Specialized's headquarters working side by side with apparel designers and seamstresses to come up with the perfect fit and features, and the collaboration resulted in some pretty incredible apparel that perfectly address the needs of most gravity riders. We've been riding in the gear for a few months, and it's time to fill you in on why it's some of our favorite apparel to date.
Demo Pro Pant Highlights and Ride Impressions
- VaporRize woven fabric is water repellant, durable, stretchy, and lightweight
- Three zippered pockets
- Laser perforated venting
- Side waist adjustment tabs
- Reinforced panels along the knees
- High volume mountain bike fit designed to retain a loose and open fit while using pads and armor
- Deflect UV 50+ coating protects from ultraviolet rays
- Standard Colors: Red/Black, Black
- Troy Brosnan Collection Colors: Monster Green, Black, Turquoise
- Sizes: 30, 32, 34, 36, 38-inches
- MSRP: $130 USD
All it took was a single ride in the new Demo Pro pant to see part of the reason why Brosnan can spin those cranks so fast. These pants weigh less than half of many competitors, and the four-way stretch provides so much freedom and mobility that once you drop into the steeps and focus on the trail you're likely to think you're riding in shorts.
The fabric is remarkably smooth for a downhill pant, yielding a fit so comfortable it left us wondering how we ever rode in other pants in the first place. We love the soft lining on the inside of the waist and the way the stretchy waist adjusters are positioned so nothing pokes or rubs you the wrong way. The dual snap closure is reinforced with velcro, and we've never had them pop open unexpectedly.
The fit is roomy enough to accommodate large knee pads and protective under-shorts if that's your thing, but snug enough in the lower leg with a nice taper to ensure they don't get snagged in your drivetrain.
Venting is superb thanks to an ample amount of laser perforations in the crotch area and behind the knee, addressing perhaps the biggest drawback in the pants versus shorts debate. A DWR coating adds quite a bit of water repellency which makes them a good bet in poor weather, too.
Finally, pocket design and placement is excellent. The two front pockets are positioned on top of your thighs to prevent contents from bouncing around, are large enough to hold the essentials, and are reinforced with extra fabric at the bottom to ensure you don't lose anything. A pocket along the waistband in the back is perfect for your ID/credit/insurance cards, cash, car key, or anything you don't want to accidentally fall out when accessing the other pockets. All pockets are zippered, as is the fly, and can be opened while wearing gloves without hassle.
If we had to make a few critiques, due to how light the material is there's no counting on them to keep you protected in a fall. Our experience with the Demo Pro shorts has proven that the material is very durable, however, with no cuts, abrasions, or tears after two plus years of use. If Specialized were to tone down the large 'S' logos on the graphics they'd likely be received better by more riders, though we imagine they'll do just fine once word spreads about just how well they work on the bike.
Demo Pro Jersey Highlights and Ride Impressions
- VaporRize knit construction is lightweight, breathable, durable, and moisture-wicking
- One zippered side pocket
- Crew neck collar
- Long sleeves with loose construction to accommodate armor and pads
- Deflect UV 50+ coating on front and sleeves to protect from ultraviolet rays
- Standard Colors: Monster Green/Grey, Black, Navy/Hyper, Navy/Rocket Red, Red/Black
- Troy Brosnan Collection Colors: Monster Green/Camo, Razzle, Black/Red Stripe, Turquoise/Topo
- Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL (Troy Brosnan Collection limited to S, M, L)
- MSRP: $70 USD
Ever since it was introduced back in 2014, the Demo line of jerseys has been a go-to here at Vital thanks to a great fit and silky-smooth fabrics that feel great to the touch. Moving into 2016 the jersey gets even better with additional venting on the back and a revised collar that gives your neck a little more room to breath. The side pocket is large enough to fit a lift pass or other small items.
We dig the minimalist cuffs as they work great with the sleeves pulled up or down. The fabric is very stretchy which is great for mobility and adds to the overall comfort, as does the fact that you can't feel the tag on your neck. This jersey is an excellent choice for a wide range of temperatures and riding conditions. The colors do pretty well at resisting stains following a day in the mud, but we suggest saving the darker jerseys for really mucky days.
What's The Bottom Line?
The gear Brosnan helped design puts an end to an era of bulky, overweight riding pants with excessive layers of fabric, uncomfortable hard rubber decals, and poor buckle systems. It's among the most comfortable we've worn, and is quickly becoming our favorite downhill apparel of all time. We think Specialized nailed it with the fit and features of the new Demo Pro lineup, and there's enough variety in the designs to suit just about anyone's taste.
Feature by Brandon Turman // Photos by Sebastian Schiek, Michal Cerveny, and Brandon Turman