No wonder my case nearly blew the scales at the BA check-in, there's a lot of gear to review here. Thankfully some of it has been serving me for a few years now so there are links below to previous reviews. For reference I'm 5'10" and 14 stone, or 178cm and 89kgs. This new weight figure means a medium is snug, but large tends to be a little loose, for now. If you've ended up here without seeing the Triumph Scrambler Ride Report then add some context to my ramblings by clicking here. ROEG PERUNA Dutch brand Roeg are relatively new to the custom scene, but so far we like their gear and stock some of their gloves and open face lids in our Shoreditch store. And this, the Peruna, is their latest helmet vying for shelf space in an already crowded retro MX lid niche - Peruna means potato in Finnish. Nope, I don't know why either. But what I do know is that I liked the look of it when Shopkeep and I were discussing launch wear for the Triumph Scrambler 1200 trip. There are no front vents and the rest of the shell is classically styled, with just a tastefully scalloped chin bar to set it apart from the models available from other brands. The lining has a quality Alcantara type finish and is removable for washing. Padding is plush and for me this is one of the comfiest helmets I've tried this year. I'm an Arai medium and the Peruna is a similar fit, with reassuring pressure on the cheekbone, cheek and lower jawline - imperative in my mind to ensure the thing doesn't twist on impact. The shell is itself is relatively small with a narrow opening so initially it was a bit of an ear bender to get it on. But worth the effort. It's also incredibly light, but I can't tell you is what type of composite the Peruna made from as Roeg have yet to release official specs. In a break from the boring black I tend to go for I boldly picked the glittery grey with silver trim. More subdued, and also more lairy colourways will be available. Initially I was concerned that the transparent peak wouldn't be effective in the Portuguese sun. I needn't have worried, the thing barely showed its face all weekend. The tint does however seem sufficient to reduce glare and the poppers attached securely and didn't rattle - unlike some lids of this style. The lack of vents made for a sweaty swede when the off-road day became a touch more arduous but that's not something that bothers me. I'd sooner have a clean looking shell free from holes and appendages. Overall I'm very happy to now have a well fitting retro MX lid on the shelf, and for now at least, one that stands out in a sea of Bell Moto 3s. Available in-store early 2019 ETHEN x BSMC SCRAMBLER GOGGLE During a trip to Eicma a couple of years ago Shopkeep and I stumbled across Italian eyewear brand Ethen, well known on the continent for their range of top notch ski and MX goggles. We've since stocked a few of their models and thought the quality good enough to warrant sticking our logo on the strap. The Scrambler is inspired by vintage off-road goggles and is therefore free from frills. The low profile body apes a traditional shape and fitted perfectly into the aperture on my Roeg Potato. The frame is flexible though so it'll wedge into a tighter space if necessary. The foam is thick and not too soft, and has a layer of Coolmax to improve all day comfort. The big winner for me is the photocromic lens that's completely clear in low light conditions but will automatically adjust the tint as the weather changes. During the Scrambler launch the weather turned bad, quickly. Those who'd left sea level with iridium visors had to remove their goggles and squint through the fog and rain while I smugly enjoyed the 100ft of visibility with a degree of clarity, the antifog coating did a great job too. The only thing that'll stop me using the Ethen Scrambler for longer trips is the lack of posts for tear offs. I've already scratched the lens while trying to keep them clean. But to be fair, the riding conditions over the launch weekend were rather extreme. Order online here Or try a pair in-store at 384 Old St. EC1V 9LT FUEL DIVISION JACKET Seeing as the all-new Triumph Scrambler 1200 has its roots, from a marketing standpoint at least, in the good old days of sledding around Californian deserts I couldn't very well turn up to the global press launch sporting the latest Gore-Tex round-the-world number from Rev’it! or Dainese. So, to match my ever so trendy Fuel Sargeant trousers I thought I'd try the Spanish manufacturer’s new Division jacket. Made from lightly waxed green cotton it’d mark the retro box with a big fat tick. Brown suede elbow patches break up the swathe of green and offers not only extra abrasion resistance but should wear and patna nicely with use. There’s a removable thermal liner and CE level 2 shoulder, elbow and back armour included. As well as customising bikes Fuel’s founder Karles Vives also runs a nostalgic desert rally each May, Scram Africa, which covers 1000 miles of Saharan dunes and trails. And that’s where the Division jacket was imagined and developed. It therefore features zippable vents on the forearms and across the shoulders. There are four poppered pockets on the front and one on the rear. I presume this is for a compass and emergency baklava. The Division looks great but I struggled slightly with the fit. I usually find a medium a little snug (especially these days) so chose a large. I just about got away with a base layer and a Knox Wind Buddy underneath but a jumper would have been a stitch too far, my fat elbows won’t allow another thread without seriously compromising movement. The body though is a different story, there’s stacks of room. In fact if you’re wintering rather well already and plan on going for it at Christmas then this is the spring jacket for you. The arms are also rather short, which is actually just what I'm after in the summer. Perhaps not ideal in the pissing rain stuck up a Portuguese mountain. The conditions were fairly extreme so I'll test the Division on a normal ride to work sometime and report back. A thick gillet over the body would certainly add another season or two's use. If you're a gymnasium type of person with sturdy extremities definitely try before you buy. We have all sizes in-store. Or order 2 sizes online and send one back. FUEL SERGEANT - BIKE SHED EDITION
As soon as I spied the new Fuel Sergeant pants on Fuel's Instagram I dropped Karles a mail to blag a pair for an upcoming Ducati 1100 Scrambler launch in Lisbon (pic below) - read that here. I’d been looking for a trouser that was more motorcycle in appearance and function than the plethora of abrasive resistant denim that have flooded the market in recent years. Garth Roberts was one of the first to wear the El Solitario ‘Rascal’ suede pants and, for the first time ever, I was envious of him. But those were made from rare mountain goat scrotum and way out of my budget so I considered a pair of seventies inspired motocross bottoms that I’d spotted in the far east. But they were mostly polyester and looked about as resilient as Theresa May’s Brexit strategy.
The Sergeants I tried first time around came in dark denim with brown suede panels or light beige Sahara version with lighter suede. I had a pair of each but left the beige ones in the handy carry bag they’d arrived in. I’m a grubby so-and-so with an inability to refrain from tinkering and then wiping oily hands down my legs. I begged Shopkeep for a black pair, and abracadabra a collab was worked out with Karles, and we now sell our very own BSMC branded version in me-proof black.
Sadly everyone in the office bought a pair, bang goes any early adopter style points.
That said, I wore the Sergeant through all but the hottest summer days and found them to be the most comfortable riding trouser in my wardrobe. The 11.5 oz stretch denim means they're as comfy as a pair of yoga pants, apparently, and there are ribbed panels around the knees and bum for maximum flexibility. This also helps keep the removable knee armour in place. The knee and seat areas also feature a wear resistant armamid layer, not that you'd notice, they feel only slightly bulkier than a regular pair of jeans.
The armour is CE level 2 and is squidgy yet really low profile, so you don’t look like you have elephantiasis when off the bike. The knee pads are retained by velcro and slip in, externally from the top so it’s literally a three second job to whip them out. The hips are nearly as simple to remove too. Loosen your belt, slide a couple of fingers in, and out they come. No faffing around like a 14 year old hunting for a g-spot, these are a practical, safe and good looking everyday trouser.
The waistline is fairly low. Not quite as bad as those weird things folk wore in the noughties but unless you add a belt you’ll end up looking like one of those youths with their whole arse cheeks on display. Maybe it’s just that I’m not youthful anymore and prefer the feeling of a waistband being slightly closer to my nipples than my knees.
As with many Spanish brands the sizing is a little different for us Brits, if you’ve been to Zara then you’ll get the idea. If you’ve ever held a rugby ball or sat on a bicycle you’ll need to size-up, the thighs are rather snug. I wear a 34 inch waist jean day-to-day but went for a 36” in the Sergeant. The lower leg is the narrow side of straight, tapered perhaps, with loads of material to spare for lanky folk. Perfect for tucking into boots and leaving less material to flap around. Despite the stretchiness I couldn’t quite get them over a pair of Icon Elsinores, but who cares, tucking in is the way to go.
There are normal pockets like you’d find on regular jeans and the linings feel premium when your hands are in them. A small point but there are plenty of expensive garments I try that are spoiled by cheap, bound-to-tear satin pockets and scratchy zip closures. There’s an additional thigh pocket with a water resistant zipper - ideal for a passport, card holder and perhaps a couple of Maoams.
The lining is also nicely executed. Snagging when pulling your legs out is a rarity and because the knee armour is accessed externally there aren’t any bits of scratchy velcro to annoy.
All in all I’m really chuffed with the Sergeant. I’d want something a little cooler in the desert but for the thrashing the Scrambler 1200 around mountain trails and flat tracks they were perfect and I can’t see myself replacing these anytime soon.
I've worn my Rev'it! Zircon to death, it's brilliant. A last minute addition to my packing list I figured I'd get this filthy rather than my new Fuel Division, plus we were promised biblical rain and the Zircon, despite a few goes through the washing machine, is pretty much waterproof.
Read the full review from a couple of years ago - here.
Available online with global shipping - here.
FORMA TERRA EVO
I needed a sturdy enduro boot for the launch but didn't want to wear my thick-soled MX jobbies as there is next to no feel transferred from the controls. I have a pair of Icon Elsinores that aesthetically would have been perfect, but now they're fully brocken-in they don't offer any rigidity to protect my ankles.
Having worn Forma boots before I thought these Terra Evos would do the trick. They feature just enough hard plastic to offer structural support without giving the deep sea diver feel. They're also a wide fit, ideal for my flipper feet. The size 45 ordered were a little snug in the length so swapped for a 46. With a thin, squidgy innersole added the fit is just right - enough room to splay my toes but without the the straps having to be fastened too tight.
Having not walked a step in them before the launch I was concerned about blisters but it wasn't until taking them off I remembered they were brand new, the comfort is that good.
The sole is grippy when off the bike, even in the sloppiest mud, and modulating the rear brake during power slides was possible thanks to the relatively thin construction. Best of all, given the Algarve's attempt to drown us, was that my feet stayed dry all weekend despite crossing streams and riding through a pea super of a mountain storm. The Terra Evo is touted as waterproof and I'll vouch for that.
I'm really impressed with Forma and could be tempted to try their Dominator Comp when my race boots need replacing. Until then the Terra Evo will be my green lane boot of choice.
Available in black also and from size 38 to 49 via Factory Agencies. We don't currently stock the Terra Evo, so email the distributor here and there'll point you to your local dealer. For specs check here.
For the road day I used my tried and tested Knox Orsa in leather.
And for the day on the dirt, the MX version.
There's a full review of both pairs here and the leather version is available in-store.
KNOX WIND BUDDY
I don't know a huge amount about the Knox Wind buddy, other than it's currently my favourite winter mid layer. It's windproof and breathable, and I dare say slightly water repellant too. But if rain has gone this deep you're in trouble anyway.
The lining is amazingly soft, it's like wearing a giant inside-out mole. The synthetic fibres trap heat but also allow arms to glide down the sleeves for faff-free dressing - important to me when rushing to leave the house. I can just about fit into a medium, if I breathe in, which along with the similarly slidey outer shell and tight cuffs means the there's no snagging with the final layer. And it just about fitted under the Fuel jacket above, without stopping bloodflow to my hands.
The tech specs can be found here and we stock all sizes, including a lady version, in-store.
(I don't know who this man is - library pics)
BIKE SHED ROUNDEL WAFFLE LONG SLEEVE T
Designed by Shopkeep and manufactured to our specific specification the waffle long sleeve t-shirt is more than just a fashion item. The tiny cotton squares in the fabric trap heat and the tight cuffs keep the wind out, even at grown-up speeds. At the rear the hem hangs extra low so that it'll remain tucked-in when you're tucked on the tank. A simple addition that you'd think all seasoned manufacturers would adopt, after all, cycle clothing has been this way for eons. I took a couple of these with me on the launch and they'll now be my go-to through the winter.
The medium is base layer tight but not clingy like traditional synthetic or merino layers.
Order all sizes with global shipping here
Or try for size in-store