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Advice on gear

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by JohnnyZak, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. Hi All,

    I will try and keep this short, i am a new rider and am confused with the all the variety of advice i am getting regarding gear (mainly pants.

    I am looking to mainly do inner city (sydney) riding, which majority will be under 10kms. Then once a month i am sure i will be doing some high way riding. I am wondering what my best gear option would be. Riding in the rain and super cold/hot has no appeal to me (yet), so I have tried to focus on protection.

    Helmet - Shark s900c (based on fit)

    I am looking at a leather jacket from Rhino Leather - reviews on ebay and store all seem to be positive.

    Pants - I am hearing mixed things and am hoping to get an unbias view. I was originally only considering leather due to protective element. Although i have been suggested Draggin Jeans (or similar alternative) due to the type of riding i am doing. Are these jeans going to offer me the protection needed? or is it all just marketing. Plus the leather pants... don't ooze style (may be the ones i am looking at).

    Gloves - looking at getting a pair of gauntlets. I am trying to source ones with palm sliders although they all seem to be rather pricey

    boots - no idea where to start.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. Hi JohnnyZak,
    Don't forget to post an introduction on the Welcome forum.
    With leather clothing, you should ideally look for double stitching, and stitching that is concealed so that it doesn't break under abrasion. Hard armour is good - look for EC accreditation.
    Although I sometimes wear kevlar jeans, I am aware that they are a compromise. Kevlar is extremely abrasion resistant but very few brands offer complete coverage.
    Good boots will have a stiff sole (ideally reinforced although this makes them pricey) and hard plastic inserts each side of the ankle and sometimes the toe, heel and shin. It's possible to get reasonable protection without paying absolute top dollar.
    Good luck with your riding.
  3. I'd go Draggin jeans for starters. Put some waterproof over pants under the pillion seat if you can. Look to buy leather pants when you can for those weekend rides through the twisties.
    Draggin jeans dont offer any impact protection as such, unless you buy the optional CE approved armour to insert in them (which I am yet to see anyone actually do). What they do offer is abrasion resistance if you go for a slide.
  4. I can't recommend highly enough to look at places like gumtree and ebay.

    There seems to be more people that get a bike only to sell it soon after than there are that stick with it. I've bought some great stuff second hand at practically half the price new......and the garments have been practically new.

    I would say at this point get:

    - Pair of kevlar riding jeans (you can put armour in them if you need)
    - Focus on CE rated armour. In recent times it is well known that the hard plastic armour is not as effective as the softer stuff. Same theory of crumpling cars etc, the force needs to be dissipated not directed to your knee/elbow etc.
    - Get a pair of boots or at the very least a dedicated pair of riding shoes. I started with riding shoes as they were around $100, then when I had the cash bought a sub $200 pair of boots. Again when I get the cash I'll get a top notch pair.
    - Get a jacket with a waterproof and winter liner. You can take them all out and use them when required. There really isn't that much difference in airflow between a mesh jacket and some of these 'multi-purpose' jackets with the liners out. Not enough to warrant the lack of abrasion resistance you get with mesh.
    - Get half decent gloves. But you should be able to do this for under $100.

    This is what I spent for my start up gear....

    - $170 helmet (EVS Cypher helmet)
    - $50 gloves (Dririder leather black gloves, shorties)
    - $170 boots (Berik GPS boots)
    - $180 Dririder multi jacket
    - $110 Bull-it kevlar riding jeans
    - $10 foam ear plugs (do not forget this vital part of your protection)

    So all up I spent around $690 on start up gear. From memory it was actually a bit cheaper as I got it all at the same time from one place and got a nice discount for my troubles. Bike stores love new riders, and love to make a positive connection early, so you've got plenty of cards to play.
  5. Thanks! will do regarding the intro.

    Thanks for the advice around the gear. Gumtree me and the refresh key are well acquainted.
    Aiming to do that with the jacket, leather and then have a waterproof jacket in case. it also has a winter liner.

    With kevlar jeans (draggin for arguments sake) if I am riding on the high way and come off how will I pull up? Do I only need leather pants when i start getting more serious with my riding?
  6. Hey dude, where are you going to buy gear? I usually head to Sydney City Motorcycles in Kogarah since thats somewhat close to me. All the guys in there are really helpful. Otherwise try BikeBiz at Parra or Granville. Parra has more stock though.
  7. Howdy JohnnyZakJohnnyZak the difference between leather, kevlar and normal jeans is the abrasion resistance. That is the time is takes for your jeans to burn away and reveal your skin to the road.

    Normal jeans don't come with armor and would not last that long in a slide, good Kevlar jeans would have hip and/or knee armor in them and would last longer than normal jeans in a slide (generally around 4 seconds if sliding for abrasion). Leather armor would also have armor and should just have the odd scuff mark all things being equal.

  8. What everyone else has said, but I'll just reinforce the point that kevlar lined pants DO NOT offer the same protection as leather or even good quality textile pants. Having said that, you also have to be comfortable on the bike and then there's practicality as well. So there's little point in spending a few thousand on a 1 piece racing suit etc if you are riding a cruiser on quiet suburban streets.

    Helmet wise, buy the one that fits your head properly. A $1000 helmet is useless if it doesn't fit properly.

    If you are on a tight budget don't be afraid to visit Cash Converters or the "Op Shops" for boots, pants and jackets. DO NOT buy a second hand helmet, and personally I wouldn't buy second hand gloves, but that might just be me.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. If you are serious about protection, it's hard to go past leather.
    You've probably worked out that kevlar jeans are a compromise, and that's ok as long as you understand the risk. The kevlar panels will probably not rip unless it is a long or very fast slide, but the denim around them will. It's likely you will get some skin damage IMO. It's possible to buy fully kevlar lined jeans or full kevlar long johns but they are significantly more expensive. Full leather pants will stay together up to about 7 seconds in a slide. There's also cordura, which tends to be used as the outer layer in waterproof gear (and sometimes without the waterproofing). It's better than denim but not as strong as leather or kevlar.
    Armour will help to absorb some impact, but it's highly likely you will get some impact damage whether or not the armour is in leather or kevlar gear.
    All of this will be better than denim or cotton but there/s no there is no magic bullet. Understand the level of risk and make your own judgement, based upon how much risk you expect to take, and the speed at which it is likely to be at. There's no such thing a zero risk, on or off the bike.
  10. Also bear in mind that while Kevlar might keep the road away from your skin, it won't keep the heat of the friction away.
  11. Another small note, you want gear that has armor to protect your hard/pointy bits of your body.

    Commonly these would be shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and shins (think of tumbling down a road and rolling). There are also gloves/boots etc with sliders built in to protect your palms etc when you fall.

    You don't want your body grabbing on to a rough surface, rather you want to slide along it with as little contact as you can at speed.
  12. Agree with all of the above. But you'll still see some people rising around (metro usually) with t shirts and jeans, even shorts. Its what titustitus said - there is a level of risk and you choose where you want to be.

    Try and get an opportunity to try on any used clothes off Gumtree/eBay before you buy. Sizes do vary slightly between brands, and cuts are often different. You want to be wearing as comfy clothing as possible. To that extent you can either shop online "locally" only and go to their house to try/buy/reject, or if wanting to purchase interstate, then go to a bike shop and try on that exact item (size and model) before committing to buy online. And as b12mickb12mick says, don' buy a second hand helmet as you've no idea of its history - may be looking perfect but has been dropped and crash protection could be compromised.

    Have fun!!
  13. Hi JohnnyZakJohnnyZak and welcome.

    I did a fair bit of research into trousers for the bike and found most Kevlar jeans only had knees and hips fitted with Kevlar so they offered increased protection but only marginally. I found "Resurgence" brand jeans that have a full inner trouser made from Dyneema which is the stuff they make 4x4 winch ropes out of and the jeans don't look bad so you can wear them anywhere.
    The website shows their demo where a guy wearing the jeans is towed at 80kph sitting on his butt on the tarmak and they are the only ones to have full European Standards approval - rated for 20 seconds in the abrasion resistance tests. If you haven't come to a stop by 20 seconds nothing is going to save your butt.
    Interestingly they don't get hot like leather. The inner Dyneema breathes in summer and stays warm in winter. I did an 850klm ride (in one day in 38C heat) and my jacket (leather) was wet but the pants were dry to the amazement of my riding buddies who were dripping in their leather and Cordura pants....
    Cost was about $240 a couple of years ago but I would happily buy another pair if needed. Other than stains from kamikaze bugs they still feel like new - no stretching etc.
    My jacket is a leather Rhino and other than the toggle on one brass zip breaking it has been great. (toggle was my fault - it got caught in the wardrobe door and I was ready to ride......) Get summer gloves and winter gauntlets (one pair of each) make sure they have kevlar knuckle pads etc. and velcro wrist straps so they don't come off in a slide. Boots - go Ebay but buy good ones to match your style of riding. Don't go too short - your ankles need protection in a slide and make sure they have gear change pads on top.

  14. thanks for all that guys.

    Ok, i am thinking for my riding jeans (albeit they have to be a reputable and good brand) should be fine, even at 100km. I am looking at resurgence and bull-it. guess it comes down to fit and feel.

    Appreciate the advice,
    helmet - shark s900c helmet as it fit well.
    jacket - waiting to hear back from rhino leather
    gloves - thinking dainise pro carbo (on sale at mcsa)
    boots - will be riding boots of some sort just have to see how they feel

    Thanks your time all.. will post thoughts and feelings on the gear as i go
  15. All good advice...

    If looking for boots, try the brand Falco.

    I recently bought a pair and have been wearing them every single day. Very comfy and priced reasonabley well.

    Check my review in thr gear section..
  16. Personally I wouldn't touch kevlar jeans although lots of people do. The kevlar may be abrasion resistant but in most the only thing holding the kevlar in place is denim which has bugger all abrasion resistance.

    I'd be looking at decent leather or textiles. Leather is more abrasion resistant but textiles are warmer and better in the wet.

    That said if you don't crash it doesn't matter and if you crash badly nothing may save you.
  17. GreyBMGreyBM i don't think i should presume that i wont fall:)

    ok, so had some developments thanks to all the help here.

    Helmet - Shark S900C got it for sale from Motohub castle hill ($280) > chose it over the AGV k3. Fit was better and had a higher crash rating
    Jacket - Rhino Leather (hyperlinked)
    Gloves - looked at some second hand Alpinestars GP tech gloves ... they seem really good, although 2012 model, worn once. Alternatively Dainese pro carbon gloves (new), on sale at MCAS
    Pants - looking at some second hand ones from (Shift Leather), loads of protection on knees and shins, sadly no hip protection. One of the buttons on the waist is broken, is this and easy fix and a regular tailor?
    boots - need to try some on in store

    I will go try some gear on in store, and compare. I can get a good price on the Gloves and Pants as they are second hand. if anyone has any opinions around either of these two it would be appreciated.

    Cheers for the help guys!
  18. I good tailor should be able to fix the button yes.
  19. Ok deciding I'll probably purchase the leather pants, probably overkill for my city riding, but I'm sure they will come in handy and for the price can't go wrong.

    Also after speaking to some store reps... I'm leaning to get a pair of bull-it flex jeans. My understanding is they should protect me for regular suburban speeds.

    Gloves... So the alpinestars GP tech gloves, are apparently a bad starter? And I want a thinner glove to learn the feels of the controls.. Or is this just preference?

    Boots.... Struggling with. But getting there
  20. What's your budget Re: boots?