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What exactly is the logic behind race gear vs commuter gear?

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' at netrider.net.au started by mogley, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. Hi all,

    I've been riding for only a few months now and have a pair of A* SMX-5 boots. I originally bought a pair of 'race' boots as I wanted the protection and figured my riding would largely be limited to spirited riding anyway.

    It seems however that I do get out often enough for the proverbial commute and am looking for something a little more casual.


    Those look the goods but obviously they are a massive drop in safety (the fastlanes look OK, the dainese is almost like a glorified pair of converses), presumably because the commute is less dangerous than racing?

    But how so? Is it because you are just going slower? What if you commute and have to hop on a freeway?

    I want something casual but not if its worthless and i can't do more than scooter speeds to be a 'commuter'.

    Maybe i'll just carry a backpack with some shoes to change into.

    Just trying to apply some logic to all of this, and distill a little fact from marketing fiction...
  2. I wouldn't say commuting is less dangerous then racing. In fact the opposite is true. On the track you don't have cars, gutters, pedestrians and other moving and non moving objects to potentially hit.
  3. That although if you're just going down the road for milk/paper etc. I just stay in the A*'s.

    Mate, the SMX-5's are a great boot, offer proper protection and very comfortable for day to day use. I have owned a pair for 3 years now and they go on my feet every time I ride.

    I'd argue that commuting has the potential to be be more dangerous than racing. Just think about it... okay, when commuting you're not barrelling down pit straight and tipping into corner one at speed but do you really think you need less protection? Heaven forbid you go down and spear yourself with a rearset in the calf.
  4. Check out the A* smx-2 boot, offer protection from the ankle down. From my experience fairly comfortable to walk around in all day. I believe they sell a shin guard that you can wear with the boot, although not sure if it offers calf protection.

  5. Look into getting under armour for your knees and elbows. Also having broken my ankle before it's not something I'd recommend - changing from boots to shoes is a good idea - I do that myself. Get a boot which resists movement in all directions and it will protect you better. A strong inflexible sole is also important
  6. I broke my leg in 33 places doing 15ks an hour outside my house. Shit happens.
  7. I think the basis is E=1/2mv^2

    That is the kinetic energy that can be transferred to the rider/body increases but the square of the velocity therefore the faster you go the higher the risk of a bad injury. Race gear takes this into account a little more than commuter gear and the speeds are usually less.

    However that is good for the group, it does not actually describe what is going to happen to the individual (see post above 15kph 33 broken bits) and also there are more hazards on a normal road vs a race track (unless you take up the wonderful sport of motorcycle vs truck racing). The use of leathers on the roads is probably the best option for safety but we compromise comfort vs safety when we regularly commute.

    Cheers Spocky
  8. I have a pair of the same boots, SMX5. As Blaise said, they are really comfortable. I could wear mine as normal shoes I reckon, they are that good.

    I wouldn't buy another set of boots. Just wear them commuting and throw a set of shoes in your bag.
  9. Difference between racing and commuting is that racing, if you're anywhere near the pace, you will fall off occasionally. It's an expected outcome. If you're commuting, crashing means you're unlucky or incompetent. It's a possible but unexpected outcome.

    Another difference is that, on a race track, when you go down, you've probably got stacks of nice, flat runoff and you probably won't hit anything solid before you come to a halt unless you're unfortunate enough to be hit by another bike. You can control your likely outcome by choice of gear to a much greater extent than you can on the road. On the commute, if you go down, you will hit kerbs, cars, street furniture, trees, small children etc. The outcome of your crash is much more influenced by random probabilities than by anything you can do or wear (see Chef's "Riding Naked" thread) and the priorities of what you need to protect against change (randomly directed impacts rather than 200m slides).

    On the track, a one piece suit that makes you walk like a constipated gorilla is brilliant and practical. On the road, in day to day use, it is an uncomfortable pain in the arse. On the track you don't need stuff to be accessible in pockets. On the road, it's a must.

    All that said, I don't really get the logic of a lot of short road boots. Many appear to give no more ankle support or protection against debooting than a pair of runners. TBH, boots are the one area where I believe that the road rider needs more protection than the track rider and I think that a case can be made for wearing good quality motocross boots in hardcore commuting.

    Personally I'm happy with my high-leg SteelBlues for all road use (and yes I have crashed in them BTW) but am considering the motoX (or more likely ATV) option for my next replacements.
  10. So basically, racing = higher chance of coming off = more protection. Commuting = less or more but you are restricted by practicality. Similar to race cars having roll cages vs just seat belts.

    I guess it comes down to finding the right balance between safety and comfort for commuter/road use. I do agree that the SMX5s are a great boot and confy for walking in but the high shin support makes it difficult to wear under my jeans.

    Maybe i just need bigger jeans. I do want to be able to fit in lower body armour for the more spirited rides.
  11. Race gear is not usually big on waterproof.
    Road boots you probably want taller for overlap of waterproof overtrousers.
    Race boots are a close fit. Road boots you'd want a bit more room for insulation if the weather is really cold.
    Race boot soles won't take many years of walking around once you get to where you're going.
    Do you really need toe sliders and testicular knee bulges on the road? Some reckon they do. I'm not one of them.
  12. You can try the Icon Reign. It's low profile so it should fit under jeans, plus it is also waterproof. Mine should be coming in 1-2 weeks.