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Royal Core 2017 Riding Jersey (discontinued)

Vital Rating: (Excellent)
Royal Racing 2017 Core Short Sleeve Jersey (blue)
 Royal Core 2017 Riding Jersey  Royal Core 2017 Riding Jersey  Royal Core 2017 Riding Jersey  Royal Core 2017 Riding Jersey  Royal Core 2017 Riding Jersey  Royal Core 2017 Riding Jersey
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Tested: Royal Racing Core 2017

Fresh, affordable riding apparel that does not skimp on the features.

Rating: Vital Review
Tested: Royal Racing Core 2017

We’ve been fans of Royal’s collections over the past few years, won over by great quality, features and cuts as well as the company’s distinctive styling. What caught our eye in the 2017 catalog was not the top of the line stuff however but rather the arrival of a budget-friendly option for those looking for a do-it-all kit that will take some abuse without taking you to the cleaners. We’ve put it to the test over these past couple of months, read on to see how we got along.

Royal Racing Core Short Highlights

Royal Racing Core Jersey Highlights

Royal Racing Core Glove Highlights

  • Trail fit
  • 2-way stretch back panel
  • Detachable padded liner (only in North, Central and South America)
  • Screened graphics
  • 2 hand pockets and 2 zip stash pockets
  • Custom non rattle cam lock zippers
  • Double snap waist closures
  • External waist adjusters
  • MSRP: $79.95 USD
  • Trail fit
  • Long sleeve Raglan cut or short sleeve T-shirt cut
  • 2 way stretch cool dry
  • Discharge print graphics
  • MSRP: $29.95 (SS) / $34.95 (LS) USD
  • Polyester/Spandex stretch mesh on back of hand
  • Durable thin palm with full perforation for increased airflow
  • Back of hand screen printed graphic
  • Slip on expanding cuff style
  • Microfiber thumb wipe
  • Ultralight style
  • MSRP: $21.95 USD

Initial Impressions

You can easily pay more for just a single short than the total cost of the Core short, jersey, and gloves together. But don’t let the price tag fool you, Royal has managed to cram a lot of features into their entry-level kit. The short features 4 pockets, 2 of which are zipped and weatherproofed, external waist adjusters, a 2-way stretch panel in the back, and screen printed graphics. If you live in North, South, or Central America you also get a detachable chamois liner. All in all, impressive value for $79.95!

No reason your short shouldn’t be burrito-proof just because you paid a bit less for it.


The “rattle-free” zippers and double snap waist closure buttons are also nice to see on a budget item. No reason your short shouldn’t be burrito-proof just because you paid a bit less for it. Overall, the construction is sturdy and the workmanship on display is faultless.


The jersey is made from “Cool Dry” fabric and is available both in a long-sleeve raglan cut and a short-sleeve t-shirt cut. There are no pockets and no extras like a sunglass wipe, but for around 30 bucks, we wouldn’t be expect much in terms of frills. The jersey is well put together however, with flatlock stitching throughout to prevent any chafing. The colors are vivid and uniform, and the “RR99” moniker (Royal Racing since 1999) is eye-catching without being an eye-sore.


The Core gloves are not new to the line-up, but they have been given a face lift to match the new short and jersey. They are thin, and the slip-on design keeps a very low profile. The pre-shaped palm area helps avoid bunching up on the grip, and a microfiber thumb wipe helps keep your nose clean and hopefully out of trouble. With such thin materials used the Core glove offers little by way of protection for the back of the hand, but you do get overall sturdy construction and silicone grippers on the thumb and index finger.


On The Trail

The Core kit sizing is spot on, with a fairly generous cut on the jersey. As with most Royal shorts, the Core is cut just right. Loose enough to breathe, tight enough to not flap around or get caught on your seat. The 2-way stretch panel in the rear helps avoid the dreaded builder’s bum, while the waist adjusters make sure the short stays on in the heat of battle.


The Core items are all light weight. The fabric of the short is thin but has a durable feel to it. The fabric itself doesn’t stretch, but the cut works really well for biking and the stretch panel in the rear helps keep everything in place when you get acrobatic. The short is also long enough to make sure you avoid those shameful kneepad gaps. The pockets are well placed, and the “rattle guards” in the zippers are a nice touch too.


The jersey offers a loose, comfortable fit that makes it suitable for all kinds of riding. The “Cool Dry” fabric is meant to help pull moisture away from the body while letting fresh air in to keep you feeling cool and dry – it’s all in the name. Whilst we haven’t worn the Core kit in the height of summer, we’ve had some properly sunny days and can confirm everything seems to work as advertised. A nice touch on the long sleeve version of the jersey are the elastic cuffs, which allow you to push the sleeves up over the forearm if you get too hot.


Another particularly nice touch is the inclusion of a media pocket on the short. Whilst it is not 100% waterproof, it is made to repel water and moisture, and it holds your phone in a spot where it does not get in the way of pedaling and other movements. A good addition, and not one we would necessarily demand at this price point.


The Core gloves are old favorites of ours, and the 2017 version does not disappoint. They are comfortable, breathe well and wrap naturally around the grips. We particularly appreciate the large thumb wipe area, which is not very thick but still soaks up a good amount of sweat.


The palm area also is thin, but pretty sturdy nevertheless. We’ve taken a few good diggers with these already, including a full “landing gear deployed” belly flop, and the gloves came out none the worse for wear. We still have a couple of old pairs that have seen lots of abuse to back us up on this point too. Even the silicone grippers seem to hold on for longer than average.


Things That Could Be Improved

The cut of the jersey is maybe just a bit too long – although if you’re between sizes, you should be able to size down which might work out perfect for you. We also noted that the jersey falls a little bit short on the odor control side, notably when compared to more high-end fabrics. We’ve yet to see a jersey that doesn’t stink after a while though, so we’re not holding this against the Core at this price point. As for the shorts, the fabric is both comfortable and durable, but it does tend to pick up dirt quite easily. It’s very easy to clean, and it dries super (!) quickly, so this is really not a big deal either.

Long Term Durability

Our Core kit has seen quite a lot of saddle time over the last two months, and it still comes out of each wash cycle looking pretty much like new. As previously mentioned, we’ve taken a few spills with it too, with no actual damage to report. All the stitching is holding up, and the fabrics are staying true to their shape. Unless you spend most of your time crashing in bike parks, you should be able to get a few good seasons of riding out of the Core kit.

What’s The Bottom Line?

If you’re on the hunt for an affordable set of riding apparel that functions well across most riding disciplines, and looks fresh to boot, Royal’s new Core line is worthy of your attention. It’s well-made, and certainly among the more feature-rich found at this price point. With a choice of colors and sleeve lengths, it’s easily matched to your style and your environment too.

More information at:

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 Tal Rozow


Product Royal Core 2017 Riding Jersey
Riding Type Cross Country, Dirt Jump / Slopestyle, Freeride / Bike Park, Trail
Rider Unisex
Sleeve Style Long Sleeve, Short Sleeve
Material 2-way stretch cool dry Polyester with discharge print graphics
Pockets None
Vents None
Size S-XXL
Colors Blue, Grey, Yellow
Miscellaneous - Available as a short-sleeve T-shirt cut or long-sleeve Raglan cut
- Trail fit
  • $29.95
  • $34.95
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