Words and photos: Julia Revitt
I wasn’t sure what to think when I heard I was going to receive the Royal Racing Cruiser jersey and shorts to test. I’ve never worn Royal Racing gear before or even considered them for a women’s kit. To me, Royal Racing is what Steve Peat wears when hurtling down a World Cup course covered in sponsors logos and not something that is relevant to me.
I checked out their women’s page and was amazed to see they had some really cool looking women’s gear. Both the Concept kit and the Cruiser kit looked seriously stylish - no frilly lace frivolity here.
I waited for a warm day through a long cold winter and finally got out a couple of weekends ago to put it through its paces.
The Cruiser short is a great looking short. Quite light material (two-way stretch polyester), which has a snappy green design running over the hip. It comes with a detachable liner, which attaches to the short and grips the thigh. On my short, the clip where the liner attaches to the short has almost come away but it’s not a problem as the liner doesn’t really need to be attached as it fits so well - the only time I’d use the clip is when storing them so they stay together. I went for a small, which fits perfectly (I’m size UK 8) so go with your normal sizing.
The short is vented with a mesh section above the bum. I found them comfortable with and without the lining. I’d opt for the lining for XC rides but leave it at home for a bit of the lift assisted stuff. The fit is casual, not full on baggy but not lycra tight either. In my opinion, the shorts are not designed to be worn with knee pads as they’d leave a flash of flesh between pad and short - not a particularly attractive look.
Practical zipped pockets allow you to safely stow away your car keys and nibbles. I love the double button fastener - really good quality and looks fab too - a bit of bling! These are billed by Royal as an XC short and that’s what they are. Comfortable, airy and feel invisible - just perfect.
The Cruiser jersey matches the Cruiser shorts perfectly - the green design runs down the jersey and joins with the design on the shorts - classy.
The ¾ length sleeves and light airy fabric make this a great XC top for warm weather. In temperatures below 15 degrees I’d team with an undershirt to keep warm (I like to be warm). The seams are very comfortable, don’t scratch and the material is soft. Good length arms and the body complete the fit and like the shorts - I don’t notice it at all when riding.
There are no pockets or sunglasses wipe but what there is, is well made and stylish from the graphics to the fit. Top quality.
Both bits of kit wash up great and are quick drying - the liner dries quicker than any other liner I’ve owned. I tested the grey/green combo but there is also a rather nice looking black and white version too.
I judge kit by how noticeable it is during the ride. For example, if the shorts keep grabbing the saddle, the waistband digs or the neck is too tight. I had none of this with the Royal Racing Cruiser kit - in fact I hardly noticed it at all. I had to stop mid ride to evaluate the fit etc. ‘cos I was too busy having fun riding. And that’s what it’s all about after all - fun in the dirt!
Price: Cruiser Short £69.99 / Cruiser Jersey £26.99