Race Suit Review
Impressed as I’ve been with Alpinestars’ consistent ability to thoughtfully blend both stylish and comfortable products with a keen sense of utility, I was curious to find out what the RC-1 one-piece racing suit brings the table. When the one-piece performance riding/racing suit arrived, the first thing that caught my attention was the Alpinestars motto–"One goal, One vision"–along with the famous red A-stars logo on the GP knee sliders.
The RC-1 Suit ranges in size from 48-60 (Euro sizing) and up to 64 in black, and the suit sports a fitted cut. I found the 1.2-1.4mm full-grain leather construction durable, due to the multiple stitched main seams, as well as flexible, (especially in the hips, knees and shoulders), thanks in part to thoughtfully placed accordion stretch panels in those key areas. When I tried it on though, it was tight and slightly uncomfortable while standing or walking. I thought for a moment that I’d chosen a size too small.
That changed after a single day at the track. During the first hour or two of the session, I felt a slight obtrusiveness in the areas of knees, upper arms, chest and shoulders. It definitely caught my attention on a few occasions while lapping the circuit. However, as the session wore on, things loosened up, surely as planned, and the RC-1 found its form–literally.
By the second time I wore the suit–this time for a canyon ride–it felt all-but broken-in and I didn’t notice it at all, a significant point of consideration when one’s attention while riding the canyons or the track needs to be squarely focused on the thrill at hand. I was also pleased with the comfort of the soft neoprene collar and wrist cuffs.
The Alpinestars RC-1 Suit comes fully loaded with GP protectors in the shins, knees, forearms, elbows and shoulders. The removable mesh liner hosts foam padding in the chest and the suit is additionally adorned with external foam padding in select upper and lower locations–all steadfast soldiers, lying in wait to protect the king if and when the need may arise. Additionally, the Alpinestars Bionic Back Protector, a CE Level 2 certified piece designed from MotoGP development, is a must for any serious high performance rider. Protected? Yes. Hindered? No. Thankfully, I felt nothing like I’d imagine a fully laden medieval soldier with sword, shield, and mace in hand.
When wearing the Alpinestars RC-1 Suit, I never experienced issues with over- or under-heating. The ventilation on this suit is top tier and designed with the racer in mind. The perforated, aerodynamic, hollow hump in the upper back allows airflow in and then disperses the air throughout the suit via its internal ventilated ports.
The air is then exhausted from the RC-1 through any number of covert ports next to the hump on the back, on the arms, the shoulders or via the perforations on the lower back and chest. I found it useful insurance to bring my set of Alpinestars Summer-Tech undergear, just in case things got a bit on the chilly side.
Getting in and out of the suit (except for the first time, before break-in) is easy. The ankle and wrist zippers ensure a good fits at the extremities. The removable mesh lining includes 2 pockets for credentials, cash, keys, a cell phone or other small items, but I kept them empty while at the track.
The RC-1 Suit by Alpinestars is an exemplary product for those to feel comfortable, confident, and safe while pushing the limits and taking their high performance riding to the next level.
Photography by Don Williams