Specialized's new spring 2024 MTB clothing just went on sale. I've been testing it and here are my first impressions…

Specialized 2024 MTB clothing
Paint me like one of your Specialized Trail riders (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Specialized have added a new lightweight, Trail Air offering to their Trail wear fashion parade for 2024 and also updated their Gravity clothing this season too. Our technical-turned-couture editor Guy has been riding in the brand's latest gear.

Trail Air Jerseys

We all know that most of us buy jerseys based on looks, but the new Specialized Trail Jerseys are top performers in warmer, more brutally sun exposed conditions. And if you’re wondering how I know that as a UK resident, then that’s because I put the first miles into them down in Chile where the UV will cook British skin faster than an air fryer. So a big thumbs up for the UV30 protection of the silky VaporRize fabric – which also dries acceptably fast after sweaty climbs or showers. Cut is generous enough to add some extra flappy ventilation and give space for armor underneath. The long sleeve ($90 / £60) is proper long too, so there’s scratch/sunburn coverage right down to your wrists. There’s 13 percent Spandex for stretch too, though the bagginess means it’s not really needed and it does slow down dry times.

Neon / pale colors are always vulnerable to staining in the medieval mulch of the UK, but the ‘Limestone’ sample I’ve got has come up OK after a cool wash and the polyester that forms 87 percent of the fabric is a recycled blend. The 'short sleeve' actually sits just above your elbow for a stealth carry of your guns and costs $49.95 / £45.00

Specialized Trail Air LS Shirt

The Trail Air VaporRize fabric is a silky symphony of recycled, sunburn beating fabrics for stretchy nipple awareness (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Specialized Trail Air LS Shirt

Also available in short sleeved with less of a '90s neon and multiple logo vibe than the long sleeved shirt (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Gravity Race Jerseys

There are Gravity Race long sleeve shirts ($100 / £75) in a heavier, less Spandexy, but more elastane mix and a closer cut for saving split seconds without going full skin suit. They’ve got laser perforation for ventilation, but a 13 percent cotton blend plus the stretchy stuff means they’re likely to stay soggy longer than the Trail jerseys. All of this is purely subjective thinking though, as I’m more of a sweater than a jumper so didn’t get any to play in. I am kind of excited to try the “Unique front sleeve design” that “equips you to ride with confidence” though, because who isn’t intrigued by a sleeve that helps you ride braver?

Specialized Trail Air Shorts waist detail

The one piece cut makes the waist arrangement feel and look a bit weird but it works well on the bike (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Specialized Trail Air Shorts

Specialized Trail Air Shorts are long, light and ready for an XC fight (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Trail Air shorts and Trail pants

Before I talk about the shorts, somehow I managed to miss an update to the Trail pants ($135 / £110) that aren’t officially in this launch, but is big news for some of the best MTB trousers around. Spesh have made the stretch panel on the ankles bigger and more relaxed. I know that doesn’t sound much, but if you’ve ever been held hostage by the over tight ankles of previous Specialized pants then you’ll be punching the air and high fiving the dog about this. Especially if they’ve had to share the embarrassment of you shuffling and writhing around a trailhead carpark with your kecks round your ankles trying to pull them off. They come in black with a white Spesh logo and a spectacularly millennial peachy Terracotta which reminds me of European nans. But if you feel you deserve more standout, check out the particularly delicious hue of Spesh's new Gravity Pants.

Obviously there’s no danger of similar trauma cankle capture with the Trail Air shorts ($130 / £85) but there’s a lot going in with these that pulls them up in the ‘worth rummaging through all the other perfectly good black shorts to find them’ rankings. The cut feels a bit weird at first as they’re one piece from hem all the way up to the top, with no separate waistband. There’s no zip fly either just a short V of mesh below the ratchet strap. This looks and feels a bit awkward on first try on, but actually works fine on the bike. The VaporRize fabric handles, is light, stretchy and quick drying, with a UV protection rating of 50 and enough length to not leave a gap between hem and pads. The DWR keeps showers and puddle splashes beading off rather than soaking in for as long as it lasts. While the single zipped leg pocket shows the emphasis is obviously on low weight, they’re tough and washable enough to handle skids inside and out. Black or army green if you’re wondering.

Specialized Gravity Pants butt detail

The perforation in Specialized's Gravity pants is great for sweaty or flatulent riders but can be result in unexpected rinsing  (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Gravity pants

My obvious lack of gravitas means I missed out on the new Gravity short, but I put my hand up for the new Gravity pants ($190 / £140) as the previous version was a great trail option for colder, dirtier weather. The new ones are even better in some ways too, featuring a more synthetic, obviously water shedding Cordura nylon that makes them usefully weather protected from the front. The Cordura mix has proved seriously tough during a sodden and slippery month when I’ve sat on the ground rather than the saddle even more than normal. There’s extra reinforcing on the knees for inevitable downward dog incidents or sliding across the floor of wedding discos.

Clusters of laser perforations on the back of thighs and top of the ass and upper hips also help cooling without freezing your delicates. However they do risk a startling rinse or looking like the kind of terrifying garments that appear on the ‘suggested items’ list of Temu adverts if you choose your undershorts unwisely.

The same waist design as the Trail Air shorts works well and keeps bulk to a minimum. Tapered legs saves soggy, saggy cankles for mortals and saves split seconds for racers while being loose enough at the cuff to stop any ‘half off hostage’ situations. They come in black (of course) and a pink mix that looks like someone vomited all of the early nineties onto your legs. No pockets though, because Loic Bruni obviously has someone to carry his keys and loose change to his private jet for him.

Specialized Trail Air gloves

Specialized Trail Air gloves are a real bargain in terms of features but prepare for a tight fit and size accordingly (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Trail Air Gloves

Most important thing about these gloves is that while most of the new collection is ‘average to high’ on price the new Trail Air Gloves are a bargain at $30 / £25. You certainly wouldn’t know it either as detailing is excellent with inter digital mesh sections, perforated unpadded palm and an embossed and silicon grip dots on first two fingers and thumb. The ribbed neoprene cuff is a meaty piece though and can get clammy even though it’s perforated. It’s tight to pull on and tight in overall fit too with an XL feeling like an L in most gloves. The ‘smart’ fingertips are hit and miss too so can you jabbing awkwardly at your phone like a Boomer in a checkout queue. Black only, but with a big white Spesh logo again.

All the gear featured here is available now from specialized.com

Guy Kesteven
Technical-Editor-at-Large

Guy has been working on Bike Perfect since we launched in 2019. Hatched in Yorkshire he's been hardened by riding round it in all weathers since he was a kid. He spent a few years working in bike shops and warehouses before starting writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. To make sure he rarely sleeps and to fund his custom tandem habit, he’s also penned a handful of bike-related books and talks to a GoPro for YouTube, too.


Current rides: Cervelo ZFS-5, Forbidden Druid V2, Specialized Chisel, custom Nicolai enduro tandem, Landescape/Swallow custom gravel tandem

Height: 180cm

Weight: 69kg