There are lots of thermal jersey and waterproof short options but most of them are XC rather than rad styled. The DBX kit from South African protection innovators Leatt looks as cool as ever but really comes into its own when the actual temperature drops.
The heavier fabric of this jersey is obvious straight away, with the whole front, side and sleeves made from a windproof ‘easy clean’ fabric. This is reinforced with perforated rubberised ‘brush guard’ panels on the elbows and the shoulders which also stops backpack straps slipping off or wearing through the jersey over time. The back panel is a mid-weight 3D-knit that ‘breathes’ sweat out really well and dries out fast after rain showers to help you stay consistently warm. The cut is closer than a conventional ‘baggy’ jersey to help breathability, trap warming air and remove chilly draughts up sleeves and hem but it still looks suitably aggro not aero. Easy stretch in the fabric means no compromise in mobility even if you’re wearing it over armour and the collar is structured to sync perfectly with Leatt’s neck braces. There’s a goggle wipe panel on the inside, too.
The result is a shirt that’ll comfortably take you deep into a dirty weather day before you have to reach for a shell jacket. The fact it stays warm when wet and then dries really fast afterwards helps keeps your temperature stable even when the weather is anything but. That’s made it super useful right through the year from flat out ‘power hours’ on warmer winter days to wet, single-digit temperature ‘summer’ nights. So far it’s not showing any signs that we’ve been wearing it a ton either, which makes it an even better investment.
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These bombproof multi-panel and multi-fabric shorts will take a lot of weather in their stride before getting uncomfortable. Super tough, the non-stretch ribbed fabric is used for the outer leg, inner thigh and the pre-curved knee sections that extend over your pads. A stretchier, but similarly tough, diamond pattern fabric with small laser cuts vents is used for the rest of the shorts. They’re fully lined too which means they move well - and quietly - despite the heavyweight build. The deep waistband gets silicon grippers and ‘tunnelled’ Velcro waist adjusters that will pull them in over 10cm if necessary (although you’ve probably got too big a pair if that’s the case). There’s a zipped pocket on the right hip and another at the centre rear and you get a sturdy YKK zipped fly and twin press stud fastening.
While they don’t shrug off rain like a shell short the DBX 5.0 definitely keeps the weather at bay for longer than standard heavyweight shorts. While the get heavy if they are totally soaked, the lining stops them dragging and clinging even when the rain has been relentless. They also stay a lot warmer and survive wipeouts a lot better than shell shorts. The multi-panel fit is excellent too and they’re long enough to cover pads well and stop grit creeping up your legs and rubbing you raw.
The perforation doesn’t really make a difference to ventilation though and the length over the knee means they do heat up fast if the conditions aren’t cold and wet enough for most riders to be considering trousers. If you don’t like trousers but don’t want the worst weather to stop you riding then these are a great - if not cheap - choice.
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As the name suggests Leatt’s Windblock gloves use a wind and showerproof back to keep them comfortable down to single figure temps. The suede effect MicronGrip palms get their grip in wet conditions increased with Leatt’s 'The Science of Thrill' slogan written across them in silicon letters. You get silicon stripes across the tips of the first and second fingers too. There’s partial rubber logo/graphic protection across the knuckles and the thumbs work as goggle/snot wipes. They’re touch screen compatible too and the thin, grippy palm means good bike feedback.
Generous sizing and lots of stretch in the fabric means we’d definitely recommend trying before you buy or ordering a size down if you can’t. Short cuffs and lack of insulation mean they’re not a full winter glove either but, like the jersey, they’ll keep you comfy a long way into worse weather than a standard glove without compromising control. They’re an acceptable price too, considering that - yet again for this Leatt collection - we’ve been wearing them regularly since winter and they still look new.
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Leatt’s DBX weatherproof gear has the mobility of standard enduro kit but is a lot more comfortable when the climate turns nasty. The jersey is a standout as it’s a rare combination of aggro style and thermal gains you only normally get from more nerdy XC/road gear. The fit and warmth of the shorts is exceptional for those who hate the idea of trousers too, although they do get hot fast if it’s not proper cold. The gloves are great if the fit works for you too, but there’s obviously a lot more competition when it comes to frigid finger protection.