Alpinestars For 2013: by Grannygear

Alpinestars is making a real push to re-awaken consumers to the fact that they are hardly newbies to the MTB world.  They were there at the heyday in the 90′s and we remember them well, but lately, say the name “Alpinestars” and MTB gear may not come to mind.  That is likely to change.

From their press release on their birthday:

In 1963 a leather craftsman by the name of Sante Mazzarolo brought forth a future icon. Based in the small Northern Italian town of Asolo and with the perennial Alpine star flower as its inspiration, Sante began producing the first products bearing the Alpinestars name.

At that time a new sport called motocross was establishing itself across Europe. Sante saw the opportunity to apply his talents and technical acumen to design a new type of footwear that would meet the protective needs and demands of this beautiful yet demanding sport. The revolutionary boot that Sante produced would become an archetype for motocross protection.

Alpinestars boots soon caught the attention of motocross legend Roger De Coster, who became one of Alpinestars first brand ambassadors. From the outset Alpinestars vision has been to continually introduce innovative products that take performance to new levels.

Over the decades, channeling the same commitment into performance, protection, style and comfort, the Alpinestars product range has expanded into motorcycle road racing, auto racing, cycling and action sports. Now, nearly 50 years later, Alpinestars outfits and protects world champions in every discipline of motorsports and action sports, from Formula 1 to BMX to surfing.

2013 will mark Alpinestars 50th anniversary. Half a century of performance, protection and style. From the very first motocross boot, Alpinestars has been driven by innovation and a commitment to excellence.

As cycling evolves, the MTB discipline is getting ever more competitive and aggressive. The bikes and athletes are getting faster, the descents are getting steeper and the gaps bigger. Alpinestars is leading the protection category with the most sophisticated pieces and apparel in the industry. Drawing inspiration from our five decades of experience in motorsports and redeveloping it with a cycling mindset, the range of protection is at the forefront of the industry.

As with every other discipline we are committed to, a deep roster of World Champion MTB athletes endorse Alpinestars.

We reviewed some baggy shorts and jerseys recently that were very good, especially the jerseys, and there have been refinements across the line for 2013. The baggy shorts have been lengthened and a slight bit of girth was added to relax the fit at the legs.  There are new gloves, the jerseys are showing some new colors and use of lightweight fabrics to keep riders cool and covered, and women’s styles were very apparent as well.

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Above L to R:  Drop Long Sleeve Jersey – Drop Shorts – Hyperlight Jersey

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 Above L to R:  Stella Hyperlight Jersey – Manual Shorts – Sirocco Jacket

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Above L to R:  Stratus Glove – Moab Glove palm – Moab Glove back

 Alpinestars is a very serious player in international motorsports where they supply Moto GP, Formula One, Motocross and who knows what else with protective technical clothing and gear.  On display was a new suit the has built in airbags that deploy from small canisters of gas carried in the suit.  Accelerometers and electronics work though complex algorithms to determine rider habits, riding motions, etc, to learn what is a normal ride/race experience and what is a crash.  Amazing!  Coming to Mtn Bike racing soon?  Don’t hold your breath, but do not rule it out either.  It is likely just a matter of time and there will no doubt be an iPhone app for it too.

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One thing that stood out to me, well two things actually, was the fit and details in the clothing.  While some jerseys and shorts seem to have all the design effort put into them of a teenager’s home sewing project, the Alpinestars gear obviously has the Italian approach of blending function with style.  The second thing was the willingness to listen and make changes based on critical input from reviewers and consumers cuz good as it was, it was not perfect.  2013 looks like a good year of refinement and improvement over what already was very good stuff.

Some of the things that stood out to me were the Stratus and Moab gloves, the Drop Jersey, and the Sirocco Jacket.  For the ladies, the Stella line looks very nice. Colors for the men are a bit brighter then I like for general MTB use as I prefer a more dirt friendly color scheme, but you will be seen in these babies.  As well, there were some really cool clothing items from the moto bike line that gave Guitar Ted some ideas for winter cycling/commuting.

Look for some more gear, with some surprises as to just what that gear may be, to appear here on TNI.com, fresh from Italy to the wilds of Iowa and SO Cal.