I may be an old fuddy duddy, but I haven’t once yelled at kids to get off my lawn (but I have told my daughter to turn down her music). I like to think that being a more “experienced” rider does not preclude me from being fashionable. I like the simple things: solid colors, crisp lines, and above all function. If being old means I like my riding gear to fit well first, be durable for many-a-moto second, and lastly look good, then make room for me at the retirement active adult community.
So when I got the call from Alpinestars asking if I would like to try out their Techstar line, I remembered what looked like a Pollock and Picasso painting splashed on the jersey and leathers of Justin Barcia and Eli Tomac. But when I took a look at the 2017 Techstar lineup, the patterns were subdued. The colors more solid. The lines were crisper. This was a look right up my ally! And Alpinestars claims a 30% weight savings to its predecessor. But, will this stuff fit and perform to my standards? Read on to find out.
First impression is that the jersey is light and airy, the pants well made and padding in the right spots, and the gloves not so thick to ball up in my hand and thin enough to maintain feel. Techstar looked good and felt good, but will it perform well enough?
The Techstar jersey is probably one the most comfortable I have ever worn. While the trend in riding jerseys have been more form fitting for that athletic look, the Techstar jersey is light and airy. It feels flowy and the collar rests perfectly around my neck and shoulders. It did not feel like it wanted to crawl up my neck and strangle me. The cuffs are like they are non-existent, and that’s a good thing. If you are the type of rider that does not like any type of constriction around the wrist, the Techstar is the jersey for you. It is very loose around the wrist without the feeling of a lot of fabric flapping about. The mesh inserts are in the right spot to move air and keep you cool. So how does it feel while riding? It doesn’t, and isn’t that really what we want? You want to focus on the track ahead, not the feeling of the back flapping in the wind or the sleeves constricting your arms and wrists, or that core temperature creeping up. You don’t get any of that with the Techstar. You get to focus on your riding.
The Techstar pant is well constructed. The zipper enclosure is heavy duty (and who can’t use a little heavy duty with the holidays coming up?), and Velcro waist adjusters on the sides help dial in the fit. Pulling the pants on it appeared to be very bulky in the knees, i.e. a lot of material. And when putting my Tech 10’s on, the ankle cuffs are loose and bulky when fitting the inner booty on. I wear knee braces and there was plenty of room and wear a ½ size bigger Tech 10 so the bulk in the boot was not an issue. While riding the bulk in the knees were not noticeable nor did the pants hang up on any part of the bike. In fact, movement was very easy and air flow was excellent. However, if you just wear knee cups or have a snug fitting boot, the excess in materials may be an issue. And for you trail riders, there is an inner hip pocket for safe key/coin storage.
Gloves are that fine line of feeling comfortable on the bike or fighting it over every jump and through every corner. And gloves can be a very personal preference from those wanting as much padding as possible to those minimalists that prefer something akin to a thin layer of Elmer’s glue that had dried on your palms. Me, I am a middle man. I do not like bulky gloves that when gripping the bars it feels like material is balling up on the palm of my hands. And the fact I don’t get to ride as much as I would like, my hands are as soft as newborn’s cheek. So, I need some protection there but not so much where I can’t feel what I’m doing. The Techstar glove meets those requirements. The stretchable layer on top conforms well to the back of my hands while the single-piece palm reduced material that protects yet offers good feel on the bars. After a day of riding, my soft hands were none the worse for wear. These are good gloves, but if I did have to pick out one thing that I did not care for was the cuff. Where the Techstar jersey had very loose fitting cuffs, the glove is snug around the wrist. Pulling them on and getting them over the butt of my palm almost made the glove seem too small. But once on, the fit was good as was the feel of the bars during riding.
Overall, the Alpinestars Techstar line of riding gear fit well, felt comfortable while riding, and looks good too. With Alpinestars pedigree in quality, it definitely worth consideration. If you are looking to have that unique look at the track and stand out from the other gear companies, the Techstar line can only be purchased through Alpinstar’s website : www.alpinstars.com
Techstar Venom Jersey: $49.95
Techstar Venom Pants: $179.95
Techstar Gloves: $39.95