Royal Racing says that the Apex Race Pants are a culmination of 20 years worth of top-level downhill and enduro racing. The result is a reasonably well-designed, comfortable, and well-fitting pair of pants, proven to be rather versatile.
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Royal Racing's Apex Race Pants are designed for trail, enduro, and downhill riding, thanks to a water and dirt resistant four-way stretch construction. The fabric is also moisture-wicking, and the pants come sorted with a pair of zipped pockets at either thigh, and a single ratchet closure.
They come with a relatively simple build but with a few creature comforts, including a bonded stretch-yoke rear section that articulates with your body. The raised rear panel then gets a strip of silicone to keep the pants in place while offering a bit of extra protection against spray.
For the most part, the pants fit really nicely; however, they are quite tight around the thigh when pulling them on. This was because the pants come with an open fly that’s sewn shut halfway up rather than employing a zipped fly. I asked Royal Racing about cutting this part as I thought this might be similar to those sewn pockets found on suit jackets, but they recommended not to. It would have been great to see a Velcro tab or a zip just to make them slip on a little easier.
Once past the tight portion, they’re nice and comfy, with plenty of room for bulkier pads. They taper around the ankle too, so there’s very little fabric free to flap about and snag on the drivetrain or stray twigs.
The laser-cut venting found at the front of the upper thigh and behind the knee came as a pleasant surprise. These little perforations encouraged a good level of airflow, but not so much that the Apex Race Pants became cold. The perforations behind the knees are especially useful as, as expected, things can get a bit more toasty when wearing knee pads. These just allow most of the warm air to exhaust, making for a mighty comfortable pair of trousers.
The Apex Race Pant’s simple build and style are definitely something to be revered. Though at their price point, they join a market saturated with top-performing pants, one of those being the Rapha Men’s Trail Pants. They come at the very same price as Royal Racing’s offering, but their conventional button and zip closure and softer fabric make the Trail Pants luxuriously comfortable. They come with more pockets, too, making them a bit more trail-friendly.
Compared to a cheaper offering, say the Altura Esker Trail Trousers, the Apex Race Pants offer a noticeably burlier build with an extra pocket, a better fit, more adjustability, and better security.
If you’re looking for a performance pant, the Royal Racing Apex Race Pants are great for trail, enduro, and downhill riding. Apart from perhaps too simple a closure, they’re comfortable and surprisingly cool, making them a versatile option if you’re in the market for a racier pair of trousers.