This article was originally published in the June 2017 issue of Dirt Rider.
I’ve taken my time testing the Leatt GPX 5.5 gear because there is a lot going on in this gearset. I’ve ridden with it at the track and off-road for more than four months (not every ride but a lot). Leatt wanted to really stand out in the gear market, and a lot of technical features are built into both the jersey and pant.
Starting with the jersey, the “Ultraweld” moniker denotes that the seams are tape bonded, which reduces bulk while also being super stretchy. This is the lightest, most vented jersey I’ve ever worn—yet it is also one of the softest and stretchiest. When you put it on, it’s almost like it’s not even there, which is great for moderate to extreme heat, but when there is a nip in the air I wanted more wind blockage. This jersey seems to be able to stretch infinitely, which is great for movement on the bike and when wearing an under-protector. And, for those riders who are proud of their athletic prowess, the athletically thin cut will absolutely show off your muscles. For guys like me in the XL range, the fit is not uncomfortable by any means—just more revealing than other slim-fit jerseys I have.
The pant also has a very stretch-oriented chassis, and the “IKS” stands for Internal Knee Brace System. You can think of this as sort of a MIPS system for your knees. Basically there are four layers of different materials that slide against each other in an effort to minimize the damage knee braces can do to the knees of riding pants. To be honest, this was one feature of the pant I didn’t notice. Everything felt normal while gripping the bike, and perhaps this is a sign that the IKS was doing what it was supposed to be doing. There were no external signs of wear in the knee area, but we saw some minimal wear on the inside of the pant in the knee area.
The sizing on the pant is XS to XXL, but each size correlates to a normal pant size (XS = 28, S = 30, M = 32, L = 34, XL = 36, and XXL = 38). I wore an XL since I wear 36, and the sizing of the leg was spot on, if a tad bit tight for knee braces, but they did fit. The waist sizing was odd though. The expanding side sections are very stretchy, and I adjusted the ratcheting closure to the max because the waist opening was so stretchy. But I can’t say that the pant slid down while riding because there is plenty of stretch throughout the chassis and in the above-the-butt area, plus there is silicone gripper material around the waist opening, as well as on the tail of the jersey. I had plenty of freedom for movement on the bike, and the seat material is a non-stretch, thicker material for durability.
Speaking of durability, I’ve been absolutely surprised by how well both the jersey and pant have held up. With other minimalistic, hyper-stretch gear, we’ve ripped the pants wide open on the first ride. Yet the GPX 5.5 gear has held up to off-road abuse without issue. It should be noted, though, that some of the gnarlier off-road rides in this gear were in colder weather, so I was wearing a jacket therefore shielding and protecting the jersey. The pant took the brunt of bushes and branches and has the stains to prove it, but there aren’t any rips or tears.
Overall, this is one of my favorite sets of gear. I’m not pumped on the high-viz color (there are other less-loud colors to choose from) or how slim-cut the jersey is, but that is just motivation to step up my workouts. And since I run hot, I prefer vented gear for most rides. This is extremely high-performing gear for the serious moto and off-road rider.