If you haven’t listened to my gear shootout podcast and would rather read about your product reviews, don’t worry I got you. I thought this would be a perfect time to write an evaluation of the Alpinestars Techstar Venom line of gear since we all saw what happened to Eli Tomac a couple weeks ago at Anaheim. I wanted to break down my experience with the gear as I may ride as much as Eli, if not more.
The Alpinestars Techstar Venom jersey is constructed of a lightweight, vented “polyfabric.” The Techstar Venom jersey is constructed of 87 percent polyester and 13 percent polyamide, both of those materials are superb at wicking away moisture from the body. However, Alpinestars goes even further to improve the Techstar Venom jersey’s hot boxing capabilities by incorporating perforated mesh inserts in several key areas, including them around the collar, on the side torso and in the forearms. The Techstar Venom jersey’s sleeves are pre-curved to enhance rider comfort as well, so there is no bunching involved . One of the best things I like about the Alpinestars jersey is the collar, the Techstar Venom jersey features a Raglan-style neck construction that is seamless to eliminate the chance of the rider’s neck being irritated by a prickly seam or riding up high against your neck. I am not looking to get a turtle neck for a jersey you know? The same goes for the jersey’s wrist cuffs, which also feature stretch inserts for a better fit and easier entry and exit of the rider’s hands. The Alpinestars Techstar Venom jersey also features sublimated graphics, which are heat-transferred to the material which prevents them from fading of course.
The Alpinestars’ Techstar Venom pant is even more technical as it features Alpinestars’ Adaptive Stretch Technology, which consists of a multi-panel stretch fabric placed in strategic areas of the pants. Stretch panels are incorporated in the thighs, crotchal region, above the knees and below the yoke on the rear. The pant is constructed of 75 percent polyester, 15 percent polyamide and 10 percent genuine leather, like the jersey, it features perforation zones to improve airflow for increased comfort. The Techstar Venom pant incorporates Alpinestars’ patented Babel knee design and Vector back panel. The Babel knee design features a pre-bent, reinforced and padded 3D knee design with hidden stretch spandex expansion gussets to provide a close fit without binding when in the riding position. The panel acts like one big stretch panel above the thigh all the way down to the ankle. According to Alpinestars the goal was to provide improved mobility and comfort and to make the Techstar Venom pant 30 percent lighter than Alpinestars’ previous top tier designed pant.
To round off your “Best Dressed” or “Lit Kit” look the Alpinestars Aviator gloves include stretch fabric on the top of the hand with a single-piece Clarino palm for consistent grip and flexibility. The palm features perforations to ventilate the glove, and a stretch insert in the palm and thumb area are is used to give the rider increased hand movement for better lever control. The thumb area is also reinforced for durability and seam stability. The wrist features a TPR Velcro closure plus Neoprene to secure the Aviator glove to the rider’s hand.
For increased comfort, the Aviator glove also has pre-curved finger shaping and finger gussets, and the finger fourchettes feature seamless one-piece spandex to help prevent finger irritation. Internal silicone gel padding on the fingers has been used for better fit, and there is also a silicon grip patterning the bottom portion of the first two fingers to enhance lever grip.
Now lets’s get to the real reason why we are here. How does it perform and last on the track? First things first, I don’t care what you saw at Anaheim with the malfunction of Eli’s pants. Yes, obviously things can happen and rear wheels can rip off a buckle system on a pant if hit just right. That happened, yes. My experience with the Venom pant has been nothing but great and I am very picky when it comes to gear as you may all know. The pant is on the snug side yet stretchy enough in all the right places. I have worn several knee braces with the Venom pants and all of them fit inside of the leg area just fine. The leather knee holds up well, even to the most aggressive hinged braces and the burn guard doesn’t show excessive wear after several hours of abuse. The Venom pant is an athletic cut pant, but unlike past Alpinestars pants the 2018 Venom pant is true to my 32 sized waist. I really like that that the thigh area doesn’t have those big TPU panels and feels lightweight. This is not the lightest pant that I have ever worn, but it has been a great blend of performance, lightweight feel and durability. The Venom pant is secured with the ratchet style buckle and zipper closure system along with the two velcro straps on each side of the waist. I have tipped over and crashed several times wearing these pants and never experienced a waist closure problem or failure. Yes, I am sure there are other measures Alpinestars could take to triple check the closure system, but until you have a failure, like we saw on Saturday night, products wouldn’t improve. Racing at the highest level brings better products for all of us mere mortals out there. Trust me I am sure that the boss from Alpinestars took Eli’s pants for inspection (after the race) and all of the consumers out there will benefit from Eli’s pant misfortune in the future.
The Venom Jersey is lightweight and has tons of ventilation. Colder days aren’t the best for this jersey, but if it’s warm outside you will feel the benefits of the ventilation system that’s for sure. I thought the sizing of the jersey was too big as it looked like I had batwings (near my bicep/tricep area) when wearing my normal large sized jersey sizing. As athletic cut as the pants were, the arms of the jersey felt like it was more on the “comfort” side of things. I asked Alpinestars for a medium jersey to see if that would be a better fit. When I received a medium, I found it to be much less baggy in the arms, long enough and wide enough, so I stuck with going down one size. I would recommend if you’re a large jersey going to a medium and if you’re and XL going to a Large. Like I mentioned earlier, I am in love with the collar area of the Venom jersey as it sits low enough, yet doesn’t attract dirt down inside of the jersey. The cuff is stretchy enough, but also keeps its integrity over time and doesn’t get too stretched out and baggy. The neck area of the jersey is also friendly enough for you neck brace wearing riders out there.
The Aviator glove is true to size and fits my large sized hands well. When the gloves are new, you will notice that it takes some time to break them in as they do feel stiff initially. Once I did a couple motos the Aviator glove contoured to my hand well and lost some of that new feeling stiffness. The Aviator glove does however feel a little fat on my hands and the velcro closure system tab needs to be a little longer. The velcro closure system secures fine, but I feel Alpinestars could use a longer velcro tab to secure the glove even better. The neoprene cuff didn’t bother me like other neoprene cuff’d gloves I have used (as some are super tight) and the palm of the glove kept my riding happy hands free of blisters. I do wish the color sublimation of the graphic on the gloves was a bit brighter as they look dull compared to the bold and bright colors of the pant and jersey.
I am very picky when it comes to gear and I truly enjoy wearing the Alpinestars Venom Pant, Jersey and Gloves. In my gear shootout podcast I ranked it in the top three of all the gear sets I tested. The gear has lasted and has proved to be durable for me, so don’t let Eli’s fluke mishap scare you away from this set of gear. If you’re looking for a high end set of gear the Alpinestars Venom set of gear is worth the price tag. The Venom pant sells for $179.95, the Venom jersey is $49.95 and the Aviator glove is $39.95. Many people think that Alpinestars gear is not available in the USA, but that is not true. Alpinestars sells direct to the customer at www.alpinestars.com so you can browse around and see what you like. If you have any questions about this set of gear or any others please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.