WHAT IS IT? O’Neal’s Hardware gear is designed to
take a beating. It is handcrafted with extreme attention
to detail to ensure the best protection possible. Blake
Baggett is O’Neal’s high-profile test rider.
WHAT’S IT COST? $54.99 (jersey), $169.99 (pants).
CONTACT? www.oneal.com or (800) 326-6325.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that
stand out with the O’Neal Hardware gear.
(1) Pants. The Hardware pant is built like Fort Knox,
with triple stitching and heavy-duty denier fabrics. Our
test set of gear from last year still looks new. For 2016,
not many changes were made to the Hardware pant,
but why fix something that isn’t broken? The Hardware
pant has a 360-degree adjustable Velcro belt that allows
a size- 32 pant to fit waist sizes from 30 to 34. This is
a throwback to the good old days when leather racing
pants came with belts. It allows you to cinch your pants
as tight as you want. There is a full-length mesh netting
inside that is a step up from many other brands. O’Neal
takes care to stitch a soft material around the entire leg
cuff. This material not only doesn’t get stuck on knee
brace straps, but it adds a touch of class.
( 2) Pant colors. The 2016 Hardware pants are only
available in two colors—white/black and black/red. This
may seem odd given the cacophony of colors that most
gear companies throw at consumers, but there is method
to O’Neal’s madness. While there are only two colors of
pants, O’Neal offers seven different Hardwear jerseys to
choose from (four that match with white/black pants and
three that go with the black/red). The concept is that
black pants can go with any color jersey, so you
can spend your money on less expensive jerseys instead
of more expensive pants. We think it’s a good idea,
but not every color combination matched up perfectly
with each set.
( 3) Jersey. The Hardware jersey features mois-
ture-wicking material, an extended tail made of mesh
with silicone print (to keep the jersey tucked in), and
a flexible collar with a tag-less label. In years prior,
O’Neal’s Hardware jersey had sewn-in elbow pads, which
we liked because our elbows often looked like beef jerky
after a moto. The protection has been removed, but there
is less restriction without the elbow pads. You’ve gotta
give to get; we gave skin.
( 4) Comfort. The pant is a bit heavier than most due
to the numerous rubber patches and added padding.
Our testers didn’t mind the extra weight because O’Neal
Hardware gear has a reputation for durability. The inside
of the pant was plush and comfortable. As for the jersey,
it does not offer enough ventilation for the SoCal summer
months, but O’Neal offers a fully vented jersey for the
hot months. The collar is non-restrictive and the material
is soft as silk.
( 5) Durability. We could tell you tales of riders who
have been wearing the same O’Neal jersey for 10 years
without a rip, tear or fade. O’Neal’s Hardware gear gets
an easy five stars in the durability department. The thick
leather patches, triple-stitched seams and protective
rubber patches ensure this gear is built like a tank.
( 6) Options. The O’Neal Hardware line has seven
jersey color options but only two pant color options.
They are available in sizes 28–40 (pants) and from small
to extra-extra large (jersey).
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? Our only squawk is that we
like elbow padding, but it is rapidly disappearing from
modern motocross gear.
The O’Neal Hardware gear is as rugged as a
Sherman tank. This gear is like the Energizer
Bunny—it just keeps going and going.
O’NEAL HARDWARE GEAR
MXA TEAM TESTED