The riders pictured here on BikeRadar are generally decked out in colourful kit, because that's what stands out best in photos. But head out on the trails and most riders are dressed in muted blacks, browns and khakis. Fox are a company who have both bases covered, and a big box of their latest riding kit has just landed on our desks, with a strong black and white theme.
While the company do have some downhill- and freeride-specific gear, much of Fox's 'gravity' racewear is crossover apparel from their core motocross range. But that's not to say you need an engine to get the most out of it. The Blackout jersey is a case in point.
It feels good whether worn next to the skin or over armour, has a mesh back panel for ventilation, and padded elbows to provide a bit of extra protection. We like the subtle look too, with stealthy graphics that show up in sunlight or under a camera flash. RRP is £39.99/US$39.95. Look out for a review on BikeRadar soon.
The 180 Race pants feel a bit odd when you first put them on, but that's just because the legs are pre-bent into the optimal riding position. Stretch panels at the back, knees, crotch and lower legs add to the unrestrictive feel, and there are removable foam hip pads for added crash protection.
As with a lot of moto gear designed to be worn over boots, taller riders may find them a little short in the leg, but they're not a bad length as race pants go. The roomy cut means there's plenty of room for leg armour underneath, and the cam waist closure makes adjustment a cinch. RRP is £80/$99.95. A load of other colours are available – blue, red, black/red and white/green.
We were impressed by the V3R Carbon full-face helmet when it came out last year and Fox's The Main goggles are also old favourites. Both are available in new colour options for 2011. Seen here are the black/white helmet and the Vamplifier goggles.
It's the little details that set them apart, like the V3R's adjustable front air intakes and rear exhaust ports, and the matt black sticker thoughtfully provided to stop glare from the underside of the peak in sunny conditions. RRPs are £290/$379.95 and £30/$40, respectively.
Fox are best known for their 'gravity' gear but they have an ever-expanding range of cross-country/trail/all-mountain kit too. At the heavier-duty end of the scale are the £72/$89.95 Sergeant shorts.
The 2011 version has many of the same features that impressed us last year – good length legs, tough yet stretchy fabric, plentiful pockets, a detachable liner with Fox's Pro-Form M pad – but a less opinion-dividing design, although the red version is still pretty lairy!
If you prefer a more lightweight short, there's the Ranger. This is slightly shorter than the Sergeant (the legs finish on the knee rather than below) but shares many of the same features.
So, there are both hand and cargo pockets, Velcro waist adjusters and a detachable liner. RRP is £52/$69.95. It's available in a choice of four colours – black, graphite and Dark Stone, in addition to the Black Camo seen here.
Jersey wise, Fox do a load of baggy/loose-fit trail/all-mountain styles but they also cater to the competitive crowd with their Aircool Race. As the name suggests, the emphasis here is on a performance fit and good ventilation.
Made from 100 percent Aircool Polyester, it has a full front zip, three rear pockets plus an additional zipped pocket, and a glasses wipe sewn into the hem. RRP is £42/$49.95 and it's available in blue and red as well as the black seen here.
Fox have a load of gloves for 2011, including the cross-country orientated Incline. £18/$21.95 gets you a double layer Clarino palm and stretchy Spandura back panel, grippy silicone prints on the fingertips and a terry snotwipe on the thumb.
However, the glove drawing the most attention at the autumn trade shows was the cuffless Attack, due to its water-repellent Ionmask coating. The unpadded Clarino palm should please those who value trail feedback over comfort. RRP is £30/$34.95.
Fox's new Striker trail lid is due any time now but there's plenty of life left in the Flux, which is again available in a load of new colours for 2011. RRP is £70/$99.95. Also carrying over from last year's range are the Duncan Sport glasses, RRP from £130/$160.
With Oakley-made frames and lenses, and modern yet somehow slightly retro-looking styling, they were a hit when we tested them last year. We just wish Fox Europe would hurry up and get hold of some clear lenses so we can carry on wearing them in winter...
Last but not least, Fox have a small but perfectly formed range of hydration packs. This is the most basic model, the XC Race, which costs £40/$39.95 complete with two-litre bladder. Capacity is just 68oz, so it's definitely one for those who like to pack light.
There's enough space inside to stash a pump, multi-tool and spare tube, and you can strap a jacket on using the bungee cord on the back. It looks like it could be just the thing for those hot summer days when you need to carry plenty of liquid but don't want to lug a big pack around.