Race Face Stage Shorts and Jersey
Size Tested: Medium
- Cool Touch moisture wicking technology combined with small-hole mesh.
- Flatlock stitching throughout.
Size Tested: Medium
- Inner waistband adjustment system.
- Raised back panel with hanger hook for additional coverage while in riding position.
- Double reinforced seams throughout.
- Extended cordura crotch and seat area.
Reviewer: 5’9” 155 lbs
Test Duration: ~10 days
Test Locations: British Columbia, Montana
Raceface makes an assortment of outerwear kits, some of which are more oriented toward DH laps in the bike park, while other kits are squarely aimed at trail riding. The Raceface Stage Shorts and Jersey, however, fall somewhere in between. The Stage kit has a cut that looks at home on a DH bike and some reinforcements for durability, but it is still light enough and breathable enough to work for rides that include plenty of uphill.
Race Face Stage Shorts
The Stage shorts are made out of a pretty light fabric that makes them quite breathable even though the shorts don’t have any vents. And since the light fabric would likely wear out a bit quicker, Raceface has incorporated a cordura panel in the crotch to combat any premature wear. This is actually a pretty awesome feature; I don’t notice it at all while I’m riding, but it should keep the shorts from going threadbare in the saddle area.
In keeping with Raceface’s general design for gear that works well in foul weather, the Stage shorts are DWR-coated. After several washings, the DWR coating is still going strong. Like most DWR-coated shorts I’ve tried, I wouldn’t call them fully waterproof, but they keep me a bit drier when splashing through puddles, dealing with tire spray, or riding through a quick mid-ride rain shower.
The Stage shorts have a velcro / elastic adjustment similar to many other shorts out there, but the adjustment is on the inside of the waistband, which makes for a slightly cleaner look. My size Medium shorts fit just a bit larger than average, but not so large that I’d consider sizing down.
The shorts are a bit taller across the back than most other shorts I’ve used, in an effort to combat plumber’s butt. While this worked well for keeping me covered, the extra material was kind of loose on me and felt floppy.
Lengthwise, the inseam on my Mediums measures 15 inches, which puts them just below my knee (I usually wear a 32×32 pant). And the opening at the bottom is large enough to accommodate knee pads without any issue.
The Stage short has two zippered pockets on the hips, and two zippered pockets on the butt. The zippers all have nice pulls and work fine with gloves on.
The front pockets are big enough to handle my smartphone comfortably, and the pockets are placed such that my somewhat bulky Samsung doesn’t impede my pedaling motion.
The rear pockets are set a bit lower down, so if you have stuff in your pockets, it doesn’t interfere with the saddle or pedaling. This actually works pretty well — I stuck my wallet in there, then completely forgot it was back there while I went for a ride.
The Stage shorts don’t include a liner, so if you want one, you’ll have to buy that separately. Raceface offers the Stash liner and the Stash bib, but I haven’t spent time in either of those.
The Stage shorts hit a nice combination of functionality and comfort in a package that can shrug off some weather and should last a good long time. They’re light enough and have enough stretch to them to make them super comfy for longer pedaling rides, but the length, cut, and style mean they’re perfectly at home in the bike park, too.
Most people buy jerseys based on looks, and personally, I think the Stage jersey looks pretty clean with a mildly retro appeal. But since I’m hardly an arbiter of fashion, I’ll let you make up your own mind on that front.
At first I was a little hesitant about the Stage jersey simply because it’s long sleeved — I usually prefer ¾-sleeve jerseys just because they’re usually a little less hot but still offer some minimal protection for my elbows when shrugging through trailside branches. But my fears were unwarranted; the Stage has turned out to be my favorite long-sleeve jersey in the closet, and it’s the only long-sleeve jersey I wear on a regular basis.
First and foremost, it’s super breathable without resorting to fish-net looking mesh. I run cooler in the Stage LS than I do in most ¾ jerseys, and it even beats some short sleeve ones I’ve used.
Secondly, the fit on the jersey is slim but not snug. I’m not a particularly thick person, and I find that a lot of long sleeve jerseys are excessively baggy. The Stage jersey fits loosely but without feeling like there’s a bunch of extra material flapping around. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a long-sleeve jersey to wear over pads, this probably isn’t the one since there’s not a lot of room underneath it.
I won’t belabor the point since a lot of people will make up their minds based purely on the color, but if you’re looking for a relatively slim long-sleeve jersey that runs cool enough to work for pedal-y rides, the Stage is a great option.