I have a confession to make, I am a Steve Peat fan boy. I even have a signed poster of Peaty above my computer monitor in my office. When I got the poster signed at Interbike a few years back I was so star-struck that I got as tongue-tied as Ralphie in The Christmas Story when he met Santa Claus. With that admitted bias I stand by my assessment of Royal Racing’s SP 247 Jersey and Signature Shorts as one of my all-time favorite kits.
My body proportions are somewhat outside the norm. I’m 6’2″ tall, 175lbs, have a 31/32″ waist, a 36 1/2″ inseam, and my arms are long enough to resemble those of a primate. The reason I mention this is because the whole medium kit fit me perfectly, which is incredibly rare. Not only was it comfortable, the features are dialed in for my style of riding and didn’t leave me wanting in the slightest.
Jersey: The sleeves on the medium Royal SP 247 Jersey were nice and long, just the way I like them. The fit in the body was generous but not billowy. In short, it was just right. The chest and back fabric is silky, but breathes well with the mesh side vents. The minimalist micro lycra cuffs were very comfortable and look sharp too.
One unique feature on this jersey is the thin padding on the front of the neck for greater comfort when used with a neck brace. When I first saw this feature I was wary that it would make me feel hot or make the jersey drape uncomfortably but my fears were completely unfounded. I never noticed the padding at all, which is the best compliment I can give it. I think we have all had a shirt or jersey with an annoying collar that itches or rubs you the wrong way and this isn’t one of them. The silky neck hem is so comfortable that I didn’t even feel it out on the trail.
Shorts: Right out of the bag I liked the fit of the Royal Signature Shorts. The size medium perfectly fit my 31/32″ waist without having to cinch down the built-in elastic waist adjusters. The length was great for my long legs too with the hem hitting me just below the knee when standing. Speaking of that hem, it didn’t irritate my skin at all while pedaling on 20+ mile rides.
The fabric is thin and light without being fragile. Our sharp, ubiquitous manzanita bushes can really test the snagability (I made that word up) of mountain bike apparel and the Signature shorts passed that test with flying colors. The shorts stay up great too with triple protection at the waist in the form of a hook and two secure snaps. The zippered fly is a feature that has been missing in this category for some time and is something that I wish all shorts had.
The size and location of the zippered pockets was just right. Placed higher up on the thigh than most shorts, they didn’t interfere with pedaling or create a situation where the pockets’ contents would bounce off of my leg with each pedal stroke. The mesh construction of the pockets made them comfortable and breathable. They can also double as vents on hot days if you don’t have anything that needs to go into them. A third small pocket near the waist is available to hold small replacement sunglass lenses or any other small incidentals that you often carry on a ride. There are also non-zippered pockets at the waist that are a great place to keep gloves before the start of a ride.
The only negative thing I have to say about the shorts relates to the liner. Although the outer short fit perfectly, the liner felt like it was one size too big. I had to pull up the liner another inch or two than I normally would to get the chamois in the right place to do its job. The liner also felt quite large in width as well and felt more like a pair of boxer briefs than a cycling short. If you prefer that kind of fit, you will love them, but I prefer something a bit more snug. On the plus side, the chamois is well made and is one of the higher quality offerings you will find for baggy shorts.
Even with this small fault the Royal Signature Shorts are my current go to favorites. Whether you are a casual trail rider or prefer to send it like Fed Ex, you can’t go wrong with these shorts.