Over the years, Fox Racing has introduced some of the industry's most-innovative gear. Its 2005 lineup has raised the bar once again with the debut of the new Strafer gear. The Strafer line features new cuts that allow the gear to fit right when you're in your riding position, and the pant is significantly lighter than last year's Tactic pant, which is comparable to the new line.The light, 100 percent polyester Strafer jersey offers sublimated graphics and features a tight-fitting, V-neck collar; padded elbows; microcuffs; and a dropped-back tail. After putting the $39.95 jersey through the wringer a few times, we were surprised by how well the new sublimated graphics held up--absolutely no fading after several washes. The tight fit of the V-neck keeps dirt out. The mesh padded elbows offer a bit of protection but don't really serve as elbow guards; if you crash hard enough, you're still going to have a beef-jerky arm! The only downfall of the jersey is the cuffs. Testers found the tight cuffs annoying, but that was an easy fix: Stretch them out a few times and they fit perfectly. The much-needed dropped shirttail stayed tucked in at all times and offered a bit of freedom in that you weren't pulling on the collar area when you moved.Fox put a lot of R&D; time into the $139.95 Strafer pant. Comfort and performance are what the new pant is all about. Just look at its feature list: embossed-leather inner knees for better grip; a bigger overall knee area precurved and articulated to fit over knee cups or braces; and a rear yoke equipped with "spacer mesh" to keep things ventilated and sonic welded together to top off a better-fitting pant. When you first pull on the pant, it feels a bit odd thanks to the articulation. If you hold it up, it looks as if someone is already wearing it, as the knee area is bent into riding position. But this offers effortless mobility in the knee area, which, in addition to the embossed leather, is surrounded by darted stretch material. We were really impressed with the leather; it was super-tacky, almost like a gripper seat cover, and provided much more grip on the tank and seat. The pant actually allows you to grip with your knees with less effort. The rear-yoke area is slim and not bulky as some of Fox's pants have been in past years. Now the pant molds to your waist better in the attack position, and this also helps keep your jersey tail tucked in. The Strafer pant features a nifty hang tag that aids entry and can be used for hang drying. The new Fox pant's adjustable cam closer allows a snug fit and holds its place nicely.The Pawtector glove has been around since Fox's infancy, but it has seen numerous changes over the years. For '05, the $32.95 glove features a double-layer Clarino palm, lycra finger gussets and knuckle stretch panels for breathability. The Pawtector has a very light feel, though the small layer of padding in the knuckles is not enough to really protect from flying roost. The palm also features a thin area of padding that doesn't bunch up yet offers good traction around the grip. In hot conditions, the glove ventilates great; the silicone strips on the fingertips offer good grip on the levers, even in wet conditions.
--Corey Neuer**DR Tested: