Accessibility Widget: On | Off

Ride in Any Weather | Fox Racing 2018 Winter Gear 3

There is no room for fair-weather friends in mountain biking - but with FOX's new all conditions collection you can keep playtime fun even as the temperatures drop and the heavens open up.

Ride in Any Weather | Fox Racing 2018 Winter Gear

If you are serious about your riding, you probably don’t put your bike away for the season unless you absolutely have to. With the right gear, that could mean never. FOX Racing (FOX Head Inc.) knows this, and they’ve been busy developing a whole line of riding apparel designed to keep you warm and dry in almost any conditions, short of the kind of weather that requires sledding onesies and moon boots just to take a trip to the supermarket. We’ve had the new gear in for a first look, and we’re here to tell you all about it. Cover up and dive in!

Ride All Weather

There are 3 elements in FOX’s All Weather range: Fire, Water, and Wind. As these names would suggest, each family of gear is intended to keep you warm, dry, or protected from the wind. The items can of course also be combined to cover a very broad range of riding conditions, from a light spring drizzle to a full-on autumn monsoon.

Photo


Attack Pro Water Jacket Highlights

Attack Pro Fire Jacket Highlights

Attack Pro Water Short Highlights

  • TruSeal™ advanced weather protection for a wide range of weather conditions, DWR exterior coating and 15k/25k waterproof/breathability rating
  • Teflon™ Fabric Protector stain repellent coating
  • Highly breathable waterproof stretch 3L fabric with knit backer for comfort
  • Cordura™ elbow panels for abrasion resistance
  • Silicone grippers on the shoulders keep your bag stable
  • Rider Attack Position cut specific for MTB
  • Fully seam sealed interior and water resistant zippers
  • Front zip vents with laser perforated back exhaust
  • Draw cord cinching at hem, hook and loop cuff provide customized fit
  • High-visibility reflective logos enhance visibility
  • MSRP: $299.95 USD
  • Advanced hybrid construction for cold weather riding
  • Polartec™ Alpha Direct 90g temperature regulating and highly breathable insulation
  • Lightweight Ripstop stretch nylon main body fabric
  • C6 DWR treated for waterproof performance
  • Softshell stretch side and underarm panels
  • Cordura™ elbow panels for abrasion resistance
  • Rider Attack Position cut specific for MTB
  • High-visibility reflective logos enhance visibility
  • Front mesh lined chest pocket for storage
  • Draw cord cinching at hem provide customized fit
  • MSRP: $249.95 USD
  • TruSeal™ advanced weather protection for a wide range of weather conditions, DWR exterior coating, 10k/10k waterproof/breathability rating
  • Highly breathable waterproof stretch 3L fabric with knit backer for comfort
  • Rider Attack Position cut specific for MTB
  • Fully seam sealed interior and water resistant zippers
  • Race proven ratchet closure for improved fit and performance
  • High-visibility reflective logos enhance visibility
  • Teflon™ Fabric Protector stain repellent coating
  • Inseam: 14"
  • MSRP: $149.95 USD

Indicator Thermo Jersey Highlights

Indicator Long Sleeve Jersey Highlights

Attack Water Glove Highlights

  • Durable Polyester Hollow Core / Wool / Spandex main body with brushed back
  • Quick dry and heat regulating / anti-odor fabric
  • CORDURA® shoulder / forearm panels for abrasion resistance
  • Rider Attack Position cut
  • High-visibility reflective logos 
  • MSRP: $99.95 USD
  • TruDri™ polyester main body fabric (rapid dry time, keeps skin dry when you sweat)
  • Trail Fit
  • Reflective details I ID / Lift Pass stash pocket
  • MSRP: $69.95 USD
  • 100% polyester waterproof top hand fabric
  • AXsuede™ fleece waterproof palm
  • Slip on design
  • Conductive thread
  • Screen printed logos
  • MSRP: $44.95 USD


Fire, Water, Wind

Keeping warm when the temperature drops and the skies open up is tricky enough, but when you add an intensive physical activity like mountain biking to the equation, it becomes even harder to manage. The secret to keeping, warm, dry, and comfortable when exerting yourself in less than ideal conditions is layering. FOX’s All Weather gear takes a systematic approach to dealing with different conditions, ranging from a slightly thicker jersey to all-out thermo jackets. The whole collection fits together nicely, with subdued colors that suit the season’s mood but also help make mud stains less visible.

Photo

Attack Pro Water Jacket

Starting from the outside, the Attack Pro Water jacket is a fully waterproof, breathable rain jacket. It is made from a 3-layer fabric that is rated to 15k (waterproof) / 25k (breathability). Waterproof/breathable gear is generally measured by how much water it will let through and at what pressure (expressed in mms), as well as how much vapor it lets through in the other direction over a 24hr period (expressed in grams). In the case of a 15k/25k fabric such as the one used here, if you put a long tube over it you could fill it with water to a height of 15,000 mm (49.2 feet) before water would begin to leak through. The second number is a measure of how breathable the fabric is, and is expressed in terms of how many grams of water vapor can pass through a square meter (m2) of the fabric from the inside to the outside in a 24 hour period. In the case of a 25k fabric this would be 25,000 grams.

What do these numbers actually mean? A 15k/25k fabric is rated for moderate to heavy rain, moderate to heavy snowfall, and medium pressure. In general, anything above 10k can be considered “fully waterproof”. The 25k breathability rating is also quite high, which bodes well for your sporting endeavors. In summary, you can wear the Attack Pro Water jacket for all your rainy ride days, with the possible exception of a monsoon or a sleet storm that goes on for hours non-stop.

Photo

The Attack name comes from the fact that all the gear in this series was designed to work well in the “attack position” – aka the fun part of mountain biking. The cut of the Attack Pro jacket is “athletic” although it provides enough room underneath for a few well-chosen layers to keep you warm. The quality of the construction is impressive, with waterproof zippers and seams that have been taped off from the inside. The fabric is soft to the touch yet quite sturdy. There are abrasion resistant elbow patches to keep your jacket together even after one of those pesky dirt naps.

Photo
Photo
Photo
Photo

In use, the Attack Pro makes itself completely forgotten. It never feels bulky nor restrictive, and it breathes surprisingly well for a full waterproof rain jacket, to the point that we've gladly used it as a windbreaker/extra layer on cold rides that did not feature rain. We’ve also been able to test it in truly epic winter conditions, with a full day out in a mix of heavy rain, sleet, and snow, and even with minimal layering the jacket did an excellent job of keeping us warm and dry.

Photo
Photo
Photo

Attack Pro Water Short

The Attack Pro Water short is the perfect companion to the jacket, because we all know there’s no faster way to feeling cold and miserable than a soggy short clinging to your bottom. It is made from a slightly lower rated 10k/10k fabric, which is still enough to keep you dry in all but the heaviest of weather. The Attack Pro is constructed with bonded seams, reinforced with stitching in strategic places. 

Photo
Photo
Photo

There are two waterproof pockets, and a ratchet to adjust the waistline. Silicone strips on the inside help keep the short up during your more inspired moves on the trail, while a flap underneath the zippered fly keeps the elements out of this particular area.

Photo
Photo
Photo

In use, we were once again impressed by the cut that seems to work particularly well for mountain biking. The 34 we tested ran true to size, with the short doing an otherwise fine job of not drawing undue attention to itself when being worn. The fabric is soft on the inside, and works well with a chamois liner (not supplied). It will also keep you dry even during a full day out in the worst of conditions - tested and approved!

Photo
Photo

Attack Pro Fire Jacket

Keeping dry is one thing, but as winter closes in, you need to keep warm as well. The Attack Pro Fire jacket is specifically designed for cold weather riding, with a Polartec liner that ups the toastiness factor considerably. This synthetic insulation is said to be able to “work harder the harder you work”, which translates to not having to add or remove layers quite as the work rate changes. The main outer body is made from ripstop nylon, with softshell areas under the arms and down the sides for added flexibility.

Photo

The jacket has been treated with a DWR coating, which means it will repel water but not stay waterproof forever. Much like on the rain jacket, there are Cordura patches on the elbow/forearm area to help avoid ripping it if you fall.

Photo
Photo
Photo
Photo

The Attack Pro Fire jacket is quite thin, but offers impressive performance in cold weather - it will certainly keep you warm even as the mercury plunges and the night closes in. Should it also rain, add the Attack Pro Water jacket on top, and you’ll be ready for pretty much anything. The two items fit together perfectly in terms of size/bulkiness.

Photo
Photo
Photo
Photo

Indicator Thermo Jersey

Stepping down one level in thermal protection, the Indicator Thermo jersey is a riding jersey featuring a polyester/wool/spandex mix with a brushed, terry-like back that is meant to keep you warm on those slightly chillier spring or fall rides. It uses Cordura on the shoulders and forearms to give a little extra protection in these exposed areas, which means for example that it will work great with a riding pack. In terms of features, it stops there as there are no pockets or vents.

Photo

We think this jersey is an awesome addition to the arsenal for those months when it’s still too warm for the actual jacket, but you still want to keep your core protected from the elements. The Cordura top and forearms help regulate the temperature and avoid you feeling to cramped up and clammy in action – then throw the rain jacket on top if the heavens open up mid-ride.

Photo
Photo
Photo
Photo

Indicator Jersey

To round out the tops, the regular Indicator is a long sleeve jersey made from FOX’s TruDri fabric, a polyester weave designed specifically to feel a bit more cotton-like on the skin while retaining excellent wicking capacity. The jersey is a bit heavier than a regular riding jersey, and keeps you feeling a little bit warmer than usual.

Photo

There is a hidden stash pocket for an ID card or a liftpass, other than that the jersey features styling inspired by FOX’s streetwear catalogue. It certainly fits in well with the rest of the gear featured in this article, but it won’t look out of place worn with a pair of jeans to the pub either.

Attack Water Glove

That leaves us with just one last, but certainly not least important piece of gear to look at: gloves. Keeping your extremities warm and dry in nasty weather goes a long, long way towards making your experience that much more enjoyable. In other words, the best foul weather gear in the world is only worth as much as the weakest link in the chain, and if your fingers turn to icicles you won’t have much fun on your bicycles.

Photo

The Attack Water glove is made from a 100% waterproof top and an “AXSuede” fleece waterproof palm. The slip-on design hugs your hands tight to keep any leaks to a minimum, while a conducive thread helps keep you connected to your phone if you absolutely have to be gramming those wet, winter rides too.

Photo

In use, the Attack Water glove is on the tighter fitting side, keep that in mind if you are typically between sizes. It confirms fairly well to your grips, although it does feel quite a lot bulkier and more restrictive than a regular glove in action. Not to the point of being bothersome, but definitely noticeable. When it comes to keeping you warm and dry, it works much better than a regular glove, keeping your fingers dry and toasty as things get chilly. Note that water will eventually work its way in via the palm, and the glove tends to lock humidity inside which means it does not work so well as the thermometer dips well into single-digit territory, but for wet spring or autumn rides it's just the ticket. Big silicone grippers on 3 fingers help keep your hands on the bars and controls even as things get slippery.

Things That Could Be Improved

Starting from the top, here are a few items we think FOX could work on to make this impressive line of products even better:

  • We’d love a hood on the rain jacket. Why should your hair be soaking wet when the rest of you is dry and warm? Sure, it’s potentially bulky and less stylish, but this is a serious piece of riding gear for serious conditions. Worst case, make it removable?
  • The Attack Pro Fire jacket could do with another pocket or two, as it is, you’ll have to store stuff in a pack or in a layer underneath it – not always ideal.
  • The secret stash pocket on the Indicator jersey could be a bit bigger, as it is, there’s barely room for a driver’s license in there.
  • The Indicator Thermo jersey definitely deserves at least one or two pockets, this is a great in-between-seasons jersey that should also provide some storage options.
  • A word on pricing: some of the items discussed here are at the top end of the pricing range in their respective categories, most notably the jackets. In light of the features, materials, workmanship and performance delivered we feel these items are well worthy of their price tags. They are designed specifically for mountain biking and they work exceptionally well. Whether or not they offer enough extra performance over simpler solutions to warrant laying out your cold, hard cash is for everybody to decide for themselves.

Long Term Durability

The material quality and workmanship are absolutely first rate, and extensive testing throughout this past winter has not revealed any weaknesses in any of the items featured here. From long days out in the mud to crashes, the kit has seen it all and has come through the whole ordeal with flying colors.

What’s The Bottom Line?

Keeping dry and warm when nature conspires against you can be difficult at the best of times, now throw a highly physical, technical activity like mountain biking into the mix and you have yourself a perfect storm out to make life miserable for you and your gear. FOX’s new All Weather riding collection is based on a multi-layered approach to solving the problem, providing solutions for anything from mild fall days to full-on, wet winter slopfests. Featuring high-quality materials, great workmanship and a design made for biking, FOX’s new Fire, Water, and Wind lines of gear should certainly have your attention if you intend to keep riding your bike in any season. We do!

More information at: www.foxracing.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by Johan Hjord and Nils Hjord

Create New Tag
3 comments
Show More Comment(s) / Leave a Comment