Ok - So I'm a complete n00b and you're all going to say "Get good gear!! - Spend at least $2k...." (after you've finished saying 'go search all the similar threads' )- and of course in the ideal world I'd go out there and spend $1000's on top-notch super-safe gear before getting astride a bike. The reality however, is that I have NO IDEA whether the bike thing is going to work out, or whether after experiencing mad car drivers, bitching cold rain and sweltering 40C days I'll decide it was an interesting experiement but ultimately not one worth pursuing. (I've NEVER ridden a bike before so have no idea if this is a crazy plan or a solution to all my commuting woes) I am therefore considering what, if any, economies can be found in my 'introduction' period until I decide that YES this is me and I need to be appropriately equiped with long-term gear. (I'm doing my Q-RIDE course the end of this month and intend getting a bike for commuting after that) Obviously a helmet is a non-negiotable essential - no sense in debating that... $150-$200 should see me ok? Gloves again - I have nothing even close to biker gloves - so I'll need to spend something - but since I wont be doing long commutes, and QLD weather never gets THAT cold - perhaps a cheaper glove might do me ok? $50? Jackets - I need something obviously - but surely provided a jacket has the required protection everything else is just 'nice'? Cant I make it warmer by wearing layers underneath? Cant I make it waterproof by wearing my current walking/trekking goretex jacket on top? (Yes the G-tex would be ripped to shreds if I come off - but hey teh prtection would still bere there?) $200? Pants? - yes ok so I'll need to get a pair of something with a bit of protection.... $200 Boots? - What EXACTLY makes a boot a biker suitable boot? I've read some of you talking about sneakers getting worn down from gear changer - but what about walking boots? I have pretty decent gore-tex lined hiking boots that have good ankle protection from walking twists - is motorcycle protection a completely different ball-game? I get that you dont want laces getting tangled - so is the 'laces tucked into boot tops' approach inadequate even for a few months? Perhaps I'm being too much of a tight-ass here? is $600 too little to spend before I get a chance to even TASTE whether I want to bike or not? I may be being overly hesitant - but I guess like all of use n00bs I'm trying to work out what the 'minimum start-up costs' really are!