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The Matrix short is light and very comfortable, but long enough and loose enough to ease my fears of looking like a XC rider.
I like these more than the Fox Ranger shorts. The Ranger shorts have more convenient pockets, but the Matrix feels much more durable while still being lightweight.
Two complaints, though. I wear 35-36 and the XL fits very well, but the chamois do not. The padding felt HUGE and there was no way I could consider riding in them with the way it folded up in the middle... not a pleasant thought.
Second, the waterproof media pocket is much too small. An iphone with a case does not fit. I only use it for a little cash and IDs, which are still a tight fit.
I enjoy riding in these shorts and they look great, but plan on your usual set of chamois.
(Sidenote- The print on these is similar but does not exactly match my black pinstripe Matrix jacket. Not a huge deal, but worth mentioning.)
If you're a DH, FR, or park rider needing protection from muck and rain while blasting trails and chilling on the lift, The Matrix is durable and will be your friend. If you are predominantly a XC or AM rider, then I'd suggest looking for a more breathable jacket.
The Matrix works best in a shuttle/lift-access situation. Fast airflow is needed to vent inner moisture. The front pocket/vents are extra roomy and work well, but backpacks block the vents on the upper back. If you ride XC and sweat easily, plan to be drenched from the inside of the jacket.
Sizing does run small. For example, Fox Racing's large shirts and jerseys fit me like a glove, but I had to return the Royal Large for a still sporty XL that has a very comfortable and tailored cut.
Keep in mind that the Matrix is not insulated, as well. Cold is felt quickly through the fabric. I'd suggest layering or going for Royal's Alpine jacket if you'll be in a colder climate. It does make an excellent windbreaker over a warm midlayer
The hood is large enough to fit over your helmet to keep rain and wind out on the lift, and it even works well over a normal sized hoodie if you ever need it for, say, a cold fishing trip or kayak outing.
Finally, this is a sharp looking jacket! I wear it to work on blustery days, but it's unique and casual enough to fit in anywhere. I have the black pinstripe and highly recommend.
Pros: Insane grip. Good fit- very comfortable (I've never had blisters even riding cross country all day). Great protection against rock strikes. I cant stress this enough- awesome grip. Stiff soles- great for big jumps, steep descents, and shoveling.
Cons: Heavy on hot and humid days. Do not dry quickly after lots of sweat or a wash.
These shoes inspired so much confidence after switching from years on DC skate shoes. I never realized just how much I shifted my feet before I wore the Impacts. Now I can point my bike down the steepest rough stuff and never worry about my foot slipping. Pair them with a set of Straitlines and you can enjoy the grip of being clipped in while still easily throwing feet out to destroy berms or the jump line.
The rocky advanced downhills at Angel Fire were no match for this shoe.
I highly recommend to anyone on a big bike riding more downhill that up.
(I'd probably go with Freeriders if I did more AM climbs.)
I've used these guards for 2 1/2 years now- over three summer seasons. I've done all day sit and spins and 3 day downhill marathons at the bike park. They practically look the same as they did when I first bought them, but that's not to say they haven't seen their fair share of limbs, rocks, crashes, and washes.
They were perfectly comfortable for about two years. Then, this summer, they've just seen too much dirt and sweat and now they chaffe above the knee. Had I been shuttling with them the whole time, I think they would still be perfectly fine, but I hike and pedal all around and even do some trail maintenance with them on to keep the poison ivy and briars off my leg.
They are pretty hot when it's 100F out, but not suffocating. They do hold a lot of sweat and become weighted as a ride progresses and can shift down. I think other guards could be more comfortable against the skin, but the coverage on these seems hard to beat and I like the open back strap design for heat management and ease of removal. Whether or not I try a different set next, I'll still recommend that others try these guards. I've been impressed and they have saved my shin from many of Straitline shin strikes that can usually ruin your day.
Using the size chart, I ordered XL instead of my usual L. The fingers are a tad bit long while my hands still squeeze to get them on. The knuckle and palm fit has relaxed a bit from stretch and my ridiculous sweating, but they were very comfortable at first and airflow is great- much better than I expected.
The first thing I noticed was how nice the materials are. They feel nice on the hand and have held up so-so- wearing a little better than my previous gloves did where there is most contact. My trails are tight, and the gloves have mostly protected my hands from cuts and scrapes during mid-air tree tags. After about two months of getting soaked with sweat, the leather is stiff and seems prone to tiny holes just below the thumb. I just ripped mine after a harder tree strike with new wider bars. It tore the side of my index finger... and busted that second joint knuckle. The gloves kept me from worse damage surely. So, I'm a little impressed, but I have one big issue.
The suede thumb's black dye stains my hands! It takes a really hot and hard scrub and a day or so to get all of it off. After the ride, though, a 1/4 of my hand is black!
I'll be trying the double layered Fox Bombers next just to see if the staining is lessened and if the wearing will be even less.
I've only ever worn full-face, but I've decided risking an East Texas heat stroke isn't worth it. I wear a Large Fly Racing full-face and I have a Large Giro snowboard helmet. Logically, I ordered a Large Giro Feature, but it was just a little too loose. HucknRoll exchanged for a Medium with no issues and it fits great.
That aside, I've worn it for a few months now and I really like it. It gives me more security than a traditional XC offers and it takes abuse. I dropped it on my headset and it left a tiny dent in the outer shell, BUT there isn't even a scuff from a gnarly steep OTB into a tree where my bike flipped over me and bounced off my head behind my left ear.
Final verdict- I am VERY impressed!